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Residence Center Telecommunications...what do YOU do at your institution?
Good morning, Colleagues!
At Wiley College, we have come to a crossroads. We are trying to decide what the best practice is for providing our resident students with telecommunications services. While we have been looking at installing an ATA adapter solution (utilizing an analog adapter and controlling the port), we recognize that the solution will enable our students to have access to phones in their rooms, utilizing standard “Family dollar” analog phones. The main advantage being that we would have the ability to control communications, placing us in a position to utilize the system as a revenue generating stream.
My question…Is there a value to having this service available for our students?
I ask based upon these considerations:
1. While a large majority of our students come to Wiley with cell phones, there are those students who don’t have cell phones and many more who are not on plans, per se, that allow for consistent service…that is, they have limited plans and their phones tend to get turned off or numbers changed.
2. Parents like the idea of having another means of direct communications with their children.
3. Standard requirements for emergency preparedness requires an extended level of communications. Having phones/list of numbers for each room assigned helps with our ability to track our students.
4. Having an active phone number also helps to support the communications component of the retention effort (providing each room has a phone).
5. Safety and security impact
1. A large majority of students come to school with cell phones;
2. We are currently paying for telecomm services that are not being fully utilized (ATT)
3. Installation and maintenance costs (short and long term)
4. Total cost vs. usage -- The concern here is will we get our return on the investment?
5. Many schools are moving away from providing this service due to the cost (current trend analysis found in Kenneth Green’s Campus Computing Survey report 2011)
We would really appreciate your thoughts on this issue!
Nathaniel E. Hewitt, III
Vice President for Information Systems and Technology
711 Wiley Avenue
Marshall, Texas 75670
Visit us on the web at www.wileyc.edu
Wiley College: Home of The Great Debaters