Over the summer, Campus Network Services revamped the on-campus printing system; removing an older, more wasteful system in favor of a new system that offers greater efficiency and precision in trade for adding an extra step or two to the printing process. Associate Vice President & Chief Information Officer David Fusco offers some facts and ideas about the new print system and users’ opinions and reactions to it.
What was the biggest drawback of the old system that made this change necessary?
If you were to go around campus last year, particularly the library, you would see mounds of paper lying around the printers that were just never picked up. This is a problem for a couple reasons. It’s a waste of paper first and foremost; some people print things multiple times, never picking them up. It’s also a security risk if students were to leave sensitive information lying around on a printed paper. The goal was to make a more secure environment in which students and faculty think about what they’re printing.
What was the largest change you had to make in order to revamp the printing system?
The biggest change was behind the scenes; all of the changes on the server side, the things needed to manage the PINs, authentication, and setting up the rules. Setting up on the printers, or MFDs [multifunction devices] was pretty straightforward. We didn’t want to just do the whole campus at once. We picked five machines that were student-centered at first, and we will eventually push this out to other machines around campus.
As one of the system’s users, how do you think the new print server is working?
From my perspective, I think it’s working out great. I was quite honestly a little nervous a few weeks before school was starting because we were still finalizing the design and making sure things were working properly. Printing is a pretty heavy component of life at an academic institution, and if printing were to fail, that’d be something we would not take lightly. But it went through and worked very, very well.
What feedback or reactions have you received from students or faculty using the new system?
We haven’t done an official survey, but I have been in close contact with the library, and 75 percent of student printing is done in the library. The times I’ve been over there, the library staff and students have given me very positive feedback. Many of the 40 or so students that work in my department have said that it’s a good system, and they don’t mind taking the extra 5 seconds to punch in a number.
What do you expect to be the next step for network printing at Juniata?
The next immediate change will be to expand to a number of other print machines around campus. We’re also looking at giving each student a fixed number of prints, or a quota, as part of your tuition. This would give you X number of prints, and you would be charged for each page over. However, the page cost and quota are yet to be determined. We understand that a lot of printing is required by professors, so we want to make them consider what they’re requiring students to print and possibly reduce that.
-Steven Goehring ’12, Juniata Online Journalist