Proposal

Introduction

Proposal ID 2015-069
Submitted April 21, 2015
Owner kole
Department Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs
Category Computer Labs
Funding Status Partially Funded
Metric Score 3.47

Contacts

Primary
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Kole Kantner
  • Technology Director, Evans School
  • kole@uw.edu
  • 206-616-6972
  • 353055
Budget
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Linda Lake
  • Assistant Dean of Finance and Operations
  • lake@uw.edu
  • 206-616-1624
  • 353055
Dean
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Sandra Archibald
  • Evans School of Public Affairs Dean
  • sarch@uw.edu
  • 206-616-1648
  • 353055

Descriptions

Abstract

Computer Labs

Evans School students actively engage in the community beyond the university as a part of their education. Technology plays a key role in effective public engagement. Upon graduation, the government agencies, nonprofit organizations and companies that employ our students expect them to be able to: 1.) Create multimedia presentations, 2.) Communicate policy and influences stakeholders and policymakers; 3.) Analyze large data sets to extract information to inform policy decisions; and 4.) Find new ways to better inform and interact with the public. The Evans School computer lab provides a unique collaborative environment for meeting those needs that cannot be found elsewhere on campus. The dual monitor workstation configurations are vital to efficient data analysis and multimedia presentation creation. The Evans School lab computers provide critical software not available on general access lab computers. To help our students maintain a technological edge we are asking for $30,477.60 in funding for 15 iMac 27" workstations to replace the oldest 10 existing iMac computers in the lab and add an additional 5 workstations in recently reorganized space. These will provide Windows and Macintosh service to the 509 registered students at the Evans School of Public Affairs and to other students that desire to use this unique technology space.

Category Justification

The Evans School of Public Affairs is ranked nationally in the top tier schools of public policy and management. By its nature, the MPA program is multidisciplinary. Our graduate students develop analytical and management skills and apply those skills to a substantive policy area such as education, health, natural resources management, international affairs, nonprofit management, or urban and regional planning.

The workstations in the Evans School computer lab provide critical access to a range of statistical and mathematical packages not available in the General Access computer labs. These include Stata, Stat Transfer, Atlas.Ti, Crystal Ball, Gauss and NLogit. The dual monitor support in a collaborative environment greatly enhances the effectiveness of these packages along with the elaborate SPSS, ArcGIS, and Adobe Creative Suite software, that are not available comparably in the general access computer labs.

The Evans Computer Lab consistently experiences high use. Since the 2008-2009 school year, the lab is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help meet the needs of the growing student body and increased demand for computer lab services. As of Winter quarter 2015 the Evans School computer lab has expanded into the Parrington 121 space. The lab is now in two portions with 121 a quiet high density workstation area and B08 a mixed use area. 121 has 20 workstations and a high speed printer. The B08 space has 7 workstations combined with group work tables. We are proposing to add another 5 workstations bringing the total to 32 in both rooms.

The MPA program requires and highly encourages students to engage in the community beyond the university through internships and degree projects. Community collaborators expect students to be able to use technology to effectively communicate policy through presentations and publications; use statistical data to inform decision-makers; and conduct quality research to aid policy formation.

Agencies and organizations that employ our graduates expect them to be confident and competent computer users and to possess a diverse array of software and communication skills. Consequently, providing a level of technology that is commensurate with these market expectations is of paramount importance to the Evans School. Providing our students with the technology they need to acquire the skills employers demand drives technology decisions at Evans and is at the core of this proposal.

Background

To help students gain the technological skills they need in their professional careers, the Evans School established a computer lab in 1988. Since that time, both the lab and the school have grown. The Evans Computer Lab now has 27 workstations, 1 black and white high-capacity laser printer, 1 high-quality color laser printer, and 1 high speed digital sending scanner. To aid in information gathering and multimedia presentations for public affairs projects, the lab also has 10 laptops, 1 digital video recorder, and 2 data projectors available for checkout.

Usage data from the Keyserver software management system indicates that during Autumn 2014 quarter the computers averaged 297 logins per computer, 235 hours per computer and 1h 21m per session. The newer computers averaged over 400 logins and just under 400 hours per computer. This works out to 40 logins and 40 hours per week over the 10 weeks we recorded the usage. The oldest 10 iMac computers averaged 13 logins per week and 10 hours per week of use. Students have had longer and more extensive waits for available computers this year than at any time in the past, as reported from staff and student observations. The lab sees very heavy use for student projects and the computers are almost never used for games.

Benefits to Students and the University

Due to the importance of technology skills for professional development, the Evans computer lab faces increasing demand for limited resources. 10 of the iMac computers will replace the 10 oldest computers in the lab dating from 2008 and 2009. These machines are the workhorses of the computer lab and are used daily to process large data sets, produce GIS maps, prepare images for presentations, and create economic and risk assessment models. Replacing theses computers will increase the efficiency of student time; alleviate congestion in the lab as students will avoid waiting lines for usage; and ensure optimal functionality for new software.

The workstations provide critical access to a range of statistical packages not available in the General Access computer labs. These include Stata, Stat Transfer, Atlas.Ti, Crystal Ball, Gauss and NLogit. The dual monitor support in a collaborative environment greatly enhances the effectiveness of SPSS, ArcGIS, and Adobe Creative Suite software, that are not available comparably in the general access computer labs.

On the student survey the most strongly requested hardware items for the lab are additional Windows and Macintosh workstations with dual monitor support. We are proposing to install iMac computers that run both Windows and Macintosh operating systems to better meet student needs. The integrated computer and monitor of the iMac systems improve space availability and also frees up additional electrical capacity for student devices.

With newly available space we are proposing to add an additional 5 workstations into the mixed use part of the lab bringing that section up to 12 workstations. The two portions of the lab will now have 32 workstations with the highly desirable dual monitor configuration.

Departmental Endorsements

This proposal is endorsed by the Evans Student Organization and the Evans School Computer Support Staff. The Evans School's generous contributions to the student computer lab through providing a secure facility, software licensing, equipment, and technical support staff time offer further endorsement for our continued efforts to improve student technology resources.

Installation Timeline

Upon receipt of the Tech Fee funds in July, computers and software will be ordered and installed. All installation and support will begin immediately, to be completed before the start of school in September 2014.

Resources Provided by Department

The Evans School supports the salaries of all lab staff and will continue to do so. This includes .75 FTE for lab network administration, .5 FTE for computer technicians and .75 FTE for undergraduate tech support. Our new computer lab located in the Underground of Parrington Hall provides with more space available than our previous 1,000 square foot space. The Evans School provides supplies for the computer lab and maintains all equipment. Students are expected to produce professional quality work, and therefore need professional quality equipment. The Evans School recognizes that an up-to-date computer lab is essential to this mission and thus provides consistent additional funding for student technology from its general funds. The computer support staff will provide necessary technical assistance for installing and maintaining hardware and software, formatting new machines, and connecting the lab computers to the school network. The Evans School also provides hardware repair services to any computers that need service after the 3-year warranties expire.

Lab usage is tracked through Keyserver usage data, periodic student surveys, personal interviews, helpdesk ticket tracking system, and printing usage through a print usage accounting system.

The existing Evans Computer lab has extra work tables and a lounge area with wireless access that provides additional access to mobile internet device users. Mobile internet device users can print to the lab printers.

Access Restrictions (if any)

No restrictions. The computer lab is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week with door access codes given to all current Evans School students and students taking Evans School classes. Other students are encouraged to request door access codes from the Evans School IT department. Lab resources are advertised to students at the start of each year during orientation, on the Evans School Web page, in relevant classes, and through occasional emails to Evans School students. We will participate with Tech Fee resource utilities as those features are implemented.

Student Endorsements

The computer lab at the Evans School provides a professional, productive, and collaborative learning environment unavailable elsewhere on the UW campus. This year, I learned how to use SPSS and Stata along side my peers and my professors were easily accessible within this building for further assistance. Funding the new computers would mean that more Evans students can work together in our building, which would greatly enhance the student experience. We have unique requirements as a graduate school program and traveling to Odegaard would cause us to lose a sense of class cohesion.
--
Alma P. Weber
MPA Candidate, Class of 2016
Evans School of Public Affairs | University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I would like to endorse the grant to provide more technology to Evans MPA students. I'm currently on the Evans Student Organization and we know that students have voiced concerns about the number of available workspaces and programs we need to do our work and keep the Evans School as one of the best in the country. I know that the double screens are invaluable to me when I'm doing data analysis on the impacts of health care reform, a project I'm working on a professor with, or just for my class projects. As a student paying full tuition, I can't afford personal technology to do my work, the lab is very critical to my success in the program and something I value immensely as a full-payer.

Amanda Helfer
Masters Candidate
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

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I am a concurrent student with the School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences and in doing coursework on social science research methods we had to use a coding program (like AtlasTI) but there was no way we could spend the money for a good program like Atlas TI. It would have been much more convenient to have it on the school computers. Since then I have had to purchase Atlas TI for my thesis work and I have realized what an amazing program it is and how helpful it would have been to have to use in coursework and know about earlier in my school career.
--
Skadi von Reis
MS Candidate, 2015 | School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
MPA Candidate, 2015 | Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I rely on the Evan School computer labs for most of my courses and often come in on weekends because of the big dual monitors that make it much easier to work with data and write memos simultaneously. At many points throughout the year, the lab is at capacity. Increasing the number of workstations and updating older ones will help ensure that all Evans students have access to the tools they need. Our program has done a fantastic job integrating quantitative and analytical learning in our courses to respond to changing workplace and employer demands, but in order to successfully learn these skills, we need to have access to up-to-date technology.
--
Audrey Lawrence
MPA Candidate | Class of 2016
Evans School of Public Affairs | University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I would like to endorse this request for additional iMac computers. With the additional computers, our students will have more reliable access to the specialized software that is critical to our studies.
--
Corey Dahl
MPA Candidate | Class of 2016
Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I prefer the Evans lab because of the unique software on our computers and the collaborative environment with other Evans students. Thanks!
--
Jon Losey
Representative | Evans Student Organization
MPA Candidate | Class of 2016
Evans School of Public Affairs

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Having direct access to the computer programs I need while being able to work side-by-side with my co-students has been essential during my time at the Evans School.
--
Jordan Rooklyn
MPA Candidate, Class of 2015
Evans School of Public Affairs | University of Washington

------------------------------------------
We rely on Evans School computers (their high speed functioning abilities and their up to date programs and software) for coursework. The Odegaard library computer areas are often too crowded and the library is noisy with undergraduate students. It does not provide the same professional environment we require as graduate students to complete student coursework.
--
Thank you,
Lauren Broudy, 1st Year Evans Student

------------------------------------------
We've recently made some changes to our student spaces, including the creation of a quiet computer area and a more social area that also includes workstations. This has increased the already high rate of student use, and during peak times there are frequently multiple students waiting for an open computing station. More computers would absolutely help our students complete their work more efficiently.
--
Lisa Mikesell
Student Assistant
Center for Women's Welfare

------------------------------------------
I endorse the Evans School's application for a Student Technology Fee grant. I spend upwards of 40 hours a week on campus and more than half of those in Parrington lab. I don't own a laptop and all my readings are on the computer so it's crucial that I have access to the newest and fastest technology. I also do a lot of statistics coursework with large data sets, so not only is it important to have access to the programs, but that they operate in a timely manner is crucial as well. Parrington's Lab is a group-enforced quiet space that offers an area to be productive without the noise that a space such as Odegaard has. Thank you for your consideration of the Evans School for the Student Technology Fee grant.

Brian Taubeneck
Evans School of Public Affairs, Class of 2016

------------------------------------------
I fully support the proposal to request funding for 15 new iMac computers. The oldest computers in our lab need replacement and, most of all, students need more workstations. The computer lab at Evans reaches capacity at least once a day and more often during mid-term and finals week. As a representative on the Evans student government, I am aware of student needs and I have heard many complaints about not having enough computers for everyone.

Sincerely,
Daniel Grafton
MPA & MAIS Candidate Class of 2015
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs
Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I would like to endorse the proposal requesting 5 new 27” iMac computers to replace the 10 oldest computers in the lab and increase capacity from 27 to 32 workstations. More workstations to accommodate students will go a long way to improving the life of Evans students on campus. There have been many times when I needed to use a computer but they were all full; this happens most frequently around the end of the quarter.

Thanks,

Amanda Robins
MPA Candidate, Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington
(610) 888-3550

------------------------------------------
Thanks for getting this together. I fully support and endorse this upgrade. The Evans School students are expected to do much with little, a theme in the public sector, but we also need to be on the forefront of available technologies and equipment to remain competitive and better serve our constituencies: the public as a whole. Help us help everyone.

Aaron Vetter
MPA Candidate, Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I support getting new iMacs. I appreciate the larger screens due to my visual impairment. I also like the ease that the Macs that run both Windows and OS X provide for whatever assignment we have to complete. The iMac mice are great because they can easily scroll sideways (which others cannot) that allow for easier reading of PDF and Excel documents.

Suzanne Lipovsky
MPA Candidate, Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I’m so happy to hear that Evans is considering an upgrade to the computers. The 27” iMac computers would greatly improve my ability to work on complex assignments that require multiple windows to be open on one screen. I do have a sentiment on the keyboards in the student work room. I specifically struggle with the small, white apple keyboards, since I was trained in Excel using shortkeys on a windows keyboard. If Evans could add more of these, or at the very least not get rid of any of the workstations that have windows keyboards now, that would help me work more efficiently.

Thank you,
Anna Hurst
MPA Candidate, Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I'm here to endorse that Parrington Computer Lab and Basement should have new iMacs to better serve the need of Evans students.
The current iMacs are slow, which will decrease students' efficiency. Computers in Odegaard library are not ideal alternatives due to their location, softwares, and high occupancy.

Xurong (Benjamin) Lin
MPA Candidate | Class of 2016
Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington
linxr@uw.edu

------------------------------------------
Thank you for asking for student feedback. It is great to know some of the older computers will be replaced - this is great news! In addition to newer computers running faster, my main request is in regards to keyboards and mice.

Keyboards: It would be great to have quieter keyboards. The current keyboards are very loud and the noise from multiple keyboards going at one time can be distracting when students are trying to focus.

Mice: For Macs, it would be nice to have a traditional mouse with a right click option. This is extremely helpful when working in Excel, which we often do.

Thanks again!

Best regards,
Ashley Sonoff
MPA Candidate, Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

------------------------------------------
I endorse and support funding for 15 new iMac computers in the Evans School lab that provide unique access to Stata, Stat Transfer, Atlas.Ti, Crystal Ball, Gauss, and Nlogit.

Qingqing Sun
MPA Candidate, 2015
Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington

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As a 2nd year Evans Student; I look to my school for available computers for me to work with my group and get any work done that I won't be able to if I don't have my own equipment. Unfortunately, we don't have enough computers for the amount of students that are here. It would help a lot if the computers were updated and also that there were more of them so more students are able to utilize the resources here at Evans.

Florence Sum
Board Fellow | Child Care Resources
MPA Candidate | Class of 2015
Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington
sumflorence@gmail.com | 206-228-3899
http://www.linkedin.com/in/florencesum/

Items

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
Labs

Apple iMac 27"

$1,855.56 10 $18,555.60
Description

Apple iMac 27" 3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 8GB RAM 256GB SSD
UW Apple rep Charles Kenney, charlesk@apple.com

Justification

The oldest 10 computers in the lab are 2007 Apple iMac computers that have very nice displays the students appreciate very much. However the processors, memory and hard drives are very old and extremely limiting for effective student use. The 15 Apple iMac computers will replace 10 of the oldest computers and add another 5 bringing the total lab capacity up to 32 workstations.

These machines are the workhorses of the computer lab and are used daily to process large data sets, produce GIS maps, prepare images and video for presentations, and create economic and risk assessment models. The workstations provide critical access to a range of statistical and mathematical packages not available in the General Access computer labs. These include Stata, Stat Transfer, Atlas.Ti, Crystal Ball, Gauss and NLogit. The collaborative environment greatly enhances the effectiveness of SPSS, ArcGIS, and Adobe Creative Suite software, that are not available in a comparable setting in the general access computer labs. The benefits to Evans students of the new machines are enormous: the faster processor speeds will lead to more efficient use of student time; alleviate congestion in the lab as students will not have to wait as long for computing functions; and ensure optimal functionality for new software. The increased capacity is desperately needed by the expanding student body that is experiencing longer and longer wait times for available computers.

The Apple iMac 27 inch computers will provide better functionality to the students by providing high performance computers that can easily run either Mac or Windows operating system they desire, similar to what is installed in other computer labs on campus. The iMac computers are also more compact than standard desktop computers since the computer is built into the displays. The additional space freed up will be greatly appreciated by the students for project collaboration. The 256GB Solid State Drives provide greatly improved performance and much better reliability for these integrated systems. The systems will use native Windows and Mac OS system booting for improved performance and faster student access.

None

Tax

$176.28 10 $1,762.80
Description

Sales tax

Justification

Required Washington State sales tax

Total requested: $30,477.60

Total funded: $20,318.40

Comments

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