Survey current uses of printer resources in Rochester. Compare local trends with those observed at other institutions. Collect feedback from students, staff, and faculty. If desired, propose implementation of printing policy.
The printing task force proposes to start charging for printing on the public printers in the College. We envision introducing a system where students are allotted a certain number of free pages, and will be charged for any extra pages printed.
As more and more faculty place course materials on-line instead of handing them out in the classroom, the cost of departmental copying has been transferred to the University Computing Center printing costs. For almost every class today, a student can print out past exams, syllabi, and on-line manuals. In addition, students doing research can print full text articles from conference proceedings, journals, newspapers, news wire services, books, and chat groups. During the 94 - 95 academic year our students printed approximately 1,000,000 pages. In the two subsequent years, 95 - 96 and 96 - 97, this number grew to 2,000,000 and 5,000,000, respectively. UCC currently spends about $76,000 per year to support printing.
It appears that the University of Rochester is one of a few schools that allow unlimited printing at no cost. Many universities, both locally and nationally, charge anywhere from two to twenty-five cents per page. A handful of these schools provide a number of free pages per semester (somewhere between 100 and 700 pages). Other schools reclaim their printing costs by instituting a technology fee.
The printing committee has studied various ways of implementing the printing policy. John Arnold from the University Copy Center has investigated a vendor-based solution for delivering print services for the Medical Center Library. Such a system is currently being used at a number of schools, including Harvard, and uses a debit card to charge for each printed page. Monroe Community College is considering using the same system for their libraries. The cost of implementing this system in the College is estimated to be $100,000. Mat Felthousen has developed an alternative software-based solution, which is significantly cheaper (around $25,000) more transparent from the user-point of view, and the CTLTR supports the implementation of the software-based solution. We envision to implement the software-based solution in one or two public labs during the summer for testing purposes before implementing this system College-wide next year.