Academic Software Funding & Acquisition Guidelines

Purpose

This document describes the guidelines for new academic software acquisitions and allocation of existing software resources.

Funding Source

Academic software capital purchases and annual software maintenance costs are funded by the student technology fee. The software maintenance budget is divided into system software (operating systems, compilers, backup software), utilities (FastX for Windows, Ghostview, Acrobat), non-engineering-specific software including productivity tools (Visual Basic, Microsoft Office, Java), and commercial educational software (e.g., Pro/E, Matlab, ChemCAD).

Guidelines

ECS will fund 100% of purchase costs of new academic software up to a budgeted maximum per year for all new purchases. ECS will consult with the dean to set priorities when requests exceed the budget.  ECS will fund 100% of the annual costs for all academic software that is less than the cost per launch budget threshold. ECS will not fund any costs for software that is greater than the cost per launch budget threshold.

There will be a trial period for new software not to exceed one year from the date of installation of the software. During this time, the usage threshold requirement for funding will be suspended. If the software exceeds the cost per launch budget threshold for the year following the trial period, ECS funding will be discontinued.

Departments can opt to provide 100% of funding for software that does not meet the cost per launch budget threshold.

ECS will manage license negotiation and purchase additional licenses for academic software on maintenance when usage warrants. 

Cost per Launch Software Budget Threshold

ECS will collect launch count data for installed software applications. These data will be combined with the annual maintenance cost for each application to create a cost per launch for each year. The cost to maintain an application includes both the annual cost of maintenance or lease and the dollar value of the staff time required to install and support the application. All supported software will be sorted from low to high cost per launch and a running total calculated for the cost to maintain software.  A cost per launch budget threshold will be set at the point when the running total for the cost to maintain exceeds the annual budget for software support. 

ECS will provide DEOs with software usage data for applications that do not qualify for ECS funding.

Research Use

The cost-share model applies to the educational portion of any license agreement. When there is a differential cost between an educational version and research version of a software package, the ECS contribution will cover only the cost of the educational version. Departments and researchers interested in the research version must cover the purchase and annual cost differential.

Commercial Educational Software Acquisition and Installation

In order to maintain a secure and productive computer environment, software must meet the following guidelines to qualify for a network install and ECS funding.

  • Annual maintenance must be purchased for all commercial software. Annual maintenance must include phone support.
  • Software must be able to run as an ordinary user (i.e., not as Administrator).
  • Software must support network licensing and must be able to be run from any machine on the College network.
  • Enough licenses must be purchased to adequately support the class (or classes) in which the software will be used. The College recommends purchasing a number equal to at least 20%-25% of the maximum number of students in the class (or classes) or a number equal to the number of seats in the 1245 SC electronic classroom (33).
  • Department(s) using the software are responsible for any reporting requirements (e.g., Ansys requires an annual usage report).
  • Software must be compatible with the supported engineering lab load to be installed on the college network.

If a purchased package does not meet these guidelines, ECS will not install it on the network. Such software may be installed on an individual faculty machine or in a research lab.

Annual Software Renewal and Installation

Academic software renewal processing coincides with budget planning for the new fiscal year. New funding requests will be accepted beginning March 1 and until the funding for that year is exhausted.

Donated or no cost software will be handled in the same manner as purchased software.

In general, the sooner ECS receives the software, the more likely it is that the install will be completed prior to the start of the next semester. Requests will be processed in the order they are received. Queue order may change if the requesters agree to the change.

Guidelines for Software Removal

College software launch data will be compiled immediately following the spring semester.  DEOs will be notified of software that no longer qualifies for ECS funding. Software that does not get alternate funding will be removed from lab, classroom, and other public workstations prior to the start of fall classes. In addition, ECS will not maintain retired software that remains on individual faculty or research machines. New OS loads will likely render retired software inoperable.

Installation Requests

The Software Installation Policy includes the deadlines for requesting software for installation on the ECN or the laptops used in SC.