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commodification of code does not bode well,” said the sys- tems analyst at a four-year public institution in Pennsylvania.
“Outsourcing help desk or instructional support to provide 24/7 coverage is going to be critical with the growing number of non-traditional students. Expecting current employees to answer questions at all hours is unreasonable,” said a trainer at a four-year private institution in the same state.
Positive Outlook and Job Satisfaction
In both public and private institutions, most respondents foresaw healthy growth for IT in higher education. Six per- cent of respondents from publics went so far as to pre- dict “unbridled growth and opportunity”; and 10 percent of respondents from private nonprofits said the same. Just a handful of people expected to see a slow decline or even doom in the near future. (See figure 9, page 22.)
Responses in the comment section were notably gloomier,
however, especially on the topic of IT budgets:
“Budgets continue to be tight, and a shifting of resources
to IT cannot continue without real challenges from other sourc- es,” noted an institutional research and analytics executive at a four-year public institution in Michigan.
“Educational institutions like to stay close to cutting-edge in technology, but many institutions don’t have the funds or struc- ture to adopt new technologies as fast as they are developed,” said an assistant director for data management and federal re- porting at a four-year private nonprofit in Maryland.
“It is still a struggle for departments at many institutions to find proper funding/budgets for (and keep up with) the latest equipment and software,” agreed a multimedia developer at a four-year private in Colorado.
A systems administrator at a four-year private in New York cited “stressed workers as institutions cut into the bone to sur- vive the student population shrinkage. Less custom possible;
help desk or instructional support to provide 24/7 coverage is going to be
critical with the growing number of non-traditional students.”
staff, faculty, then students will suffer.”
“Underfunded institutions continue to struggle to stay cur-
rent with technology. Pricing needs to be adjusted to benefit both situations. A wunderkind that attends a smaller institution may never reach his/her full potential, and that would be a loss for the entire field,” commented an IT manager at a two-year public in Michigan.
“When the guy driving the ship has money on the mind and every turn of the wheel costs one dollar, you’re going to hit an iceberg eventually if the ship only goes in one direction. When IT is one of the most expensive departments to maintain, it is usually one of the first to go under,” said a technician at a two- year public in North Carolina.
Despite those concerns, 74 percent of respondents re- ported being satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs overall. That satisfaction pervaded through most aspects of employ- ment (benefits, hours, physical comfort, etc.). The areas with the highest levels of satisfaction: hours (79 percent of re- spondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied), benefits (78 percent), co-workers (77 percent), physical comfort (77 percent) and equipment (75 percent). And the lowest: the departmental budget (32 percent of respondents said they were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied), salary (29 percent), top brass (25 percent), commute (17 percent) and supervisor (16 percent). (See figure 10, page 22.)
There were a number of complaints about conflicts be- tween IT and administration/faculty:
Does your employer outsource IT, or will it begin outsourcing within the next year?
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | November/December 2017

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