Technology funding in higher education will remain flat or decrease for the “foreseeable future,” according to an annual education technology report released June 10, as campus IT officials said funding was their top concern over the past year.
The survey of 424 campus technology decision makers showed that administrative systems, computer security, teaching and learning with technology, identity and access management, and disaster recovery also were among the top 10 most pressing issues in campus IT.
EDUCAUSE, a higher-education technology advocacy group, conducted the survey, which was sent to nearly 2,000 college IT officials. The survey had a 22-percent response rate, according to EDUCAUSE.
IT leaders at research universities and community colleges alike have bemoaned the dwindling technology funds available during the economic downturn that started almost two years ago. Much of the discussion at EduComm, an education technology conference held June 7-9 in Las Vegas, centered on how campuses can stretch shrinking IT dollars with innovative technologies.
The EDUCAUSE report said that stagnating IT budgets might present an ideal “time to turn this issue completely on its head.”
“That is, rather than bemoaning insufficient funding for present and planned IT services and initiatives and trying to find the best ways to seek increased funds, perhaps the time has come for IT leaders to accept the level of funding for technology as a given and begin to work with others on campus to determine what services can be offered within the allocated budget,” the report said. “Rather than seeing the perceived (or real) lack of funding as a problem, perhaps IT leaders can see it as an opportunity to engage with other campus leaders in a meaningful discussion about priorities.”