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Fred Culpepper Writes- >Do we have a fee for all teaching materials used in the classroom? > 1. Do we charge a nickle each for students looking at >a transparency on the screen? > 2. Do we charge students a dime each time a video is shown in the classroom? > 3. Do we charge each student who receives a sheet of >paper handed out by the instructor to supplement the material >in the textbook? > 4. Are pay-stalls used in the restrooms? >While I have listed some rather obvious and one could say >trivial questions, each is based upon a technological advance >in public schools and universities over the years, yes even >including #4. Why a separate fee for computer use? If the >school feels it is an absolute necessity to learning (and I >doubt there would be any disagreement on this), the cost should >be covered in the budget of the institution. >If the instutition's budget doesn't have sufficient amounts >listed to operate a computer lab, then when budget time >arrives, a stronger case should be made for an increase in >funding. If a strong case for the increase cannot be made, >then there is some problem in communications within the >administrative path. Each one of the aforementioned improvements resulted in an increase in the cost of instruction. Either tuition went up or the taxpayers portion went up, or both. The cost probably went up in small amounts. However, currently we have two major problems that I think are different. 1. Both the taxpayers and the students feel that they are now paying too much for education. Increases in expenses are very hard to sell. 2. The explosion in Information Technology uses makes the time-honored incremental mode (let's put an overhead projector in each building this year and two per building next year, etc., until we get a projector in each classroom) unsatisfactory. Ten years ago we could say to the humanities and social science faculty, "the science and matematics faculty and students need computers more than you. Wait." Waiting time is over. The computer needs of my freshmen chemistry students no longer are more significant then the needs in freshmen English, or sociology, or library usage, or, or, etc. We need a big addition to the "Information Technology" infrastructure. We have to sell it and we have to convince the "buyers" that it is going to go for what we say it's going for. The fee concept locks it in. I don't know if in the past additional funds were requested for need X and then spent for X, Y, and Z. I do know our Board of Regents has been actively trying to get additional funds, but with great difficulty. The fee idea has been used in many places. It would be interesting to hear if there is any institution that started "computer fees" and now regrets it. Charles Sundin, University of Wisconsin-Platteville