savings reaches $420,000 annually
MetroConnect, the college's seven-month-old
Internet portal, is saving more money than anticipated, according
to Mike Barnett, vice president for finance and administration.
In a presentation
to the Board of Trustees at last week's meeting, Barnett said, "We
originally estimated an annual savings of $300,000. We've actually
incurred a savings of $400,000 to $420,000." He added that
much of the savings comes from reduced printing and mailing costs
as well as the elimination of other information systems and maintenance
of the project is $447,000, funded equally from the general fund
and student fees, as well as a $47,000 annual maintenance agreement.
IT Web Manager
Ben Zastrocky said that about one third of all higher education
institutions are using portal technology similar to MetroConnect.
By 2005, the number is expected to increase to 85 percent. "Students
are beginning to expect this type of technology," Zastrocky
told the Board.
currently provides e-mail, calendar, class registration and employee
information, news, events and announcements to students, faculty
and staff. Enhancements to these functions are planned, as is the
addition of a system for alumni and potential students. For instance,
IT plans to work with the campus library and bookstore to generate
book-and-materials lists for students that become available when
they register for a course.
is a journey and not a destination, and we are very much at the
beginning of the journey," Zastrocky said.