Originally published: March 28, 2009
Last updated: March 28, 2009 - 3:00pm
What's the point of running a university computer lab when all the students bring laptops anyway? That's a question that schools have been asking themselves as computer ownership rates among incoming freshmen routinely top 90 percent. Schools like the University of Virginia have concluded that the time has come to dismantle the community computer labs and put that money to more productive uses. With labs closing down, the university hopes to save some cash. School vice president James Hilton told The Chronicle of Higher Education that it cost about $300,000 to run the campus computer labs each year, but the amount that the school actually saves will depend on how much it costs to provide alternative access to things like community printers and niche software. To make specialized software available to students, the school says it will "convene a community to jointly review potential software delivery solutions." Its ideas so far all appear to revolve around accessing specialized tools over the network, possibly through "software streaming" or some form of remote connection to dedicated machines.
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