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Responding to Recession: IT Funding and Cost Management in Higher Education

Monday, July 19, 2010


This 2010 ECAR study is an analysis of how the economic recession is impacting information technology (IT) organizations and operations in higher education. The study was designed to address the following questions: How have IT funding levels been affected by the recession among respondent institutions? What strategies did institutions follow to reduce their IT costs? Where have IT costs and expenditures been reduced, and how were those reductions accomplished? Are the budget reductions that have been taken sustainable, or were they the byproduct of a series of one-time actions? To what extent did institutions attempt to leverage the recession to substantially change the way IT services are delivered and managed? Were efforts at substantial change successful? How have the impacts of cuts in IT funding impacted the capacity of colleges and universities to sustain their technology and meet their institutions' strategic technology goals? The study was conducted using a variety of research methodologies, including a literature review to further our understanding of higher education's present and future financial outlook and the methods organizations have employed to reduce their IT costs; a quantitative web-based survey of EDUCAUSE member institutions that was completed by 319 institutions (83.4% of respondents were the institution's chief information officer or equivalent); qualitative interviews with 20 IT leaders to deepen our understanding of survey findings in critical areas; and an online, real-time Delphi process that solicited the opinions of a panel of experts on how the recession has impacted IT organizations and the potential of technology to transform higher education's future costs and revenues.

Table of Contents
Entire Study Responding to Recession: IT Funding and Cost Management in Higher Education
Chapter 1 Executive Summary
Chapter 2 Introduction
Chapter 3 Methodology
Chapter 4 The State of IT Funding
Chapter 5 Responding to the Fiscal Crisis
Chapter 6 IT Cost Management Practices
Chapter 7 The Impact of the Financial Crisis on IT's Institutional Positioning
Chapter 8 The Economy, the Academy, and the Future of IT
Appendix A Institutional Respondents to the Online Survey
Appendix B Participants in Qualitative Interviews
Appendix C Bibliography
Online Supporting Materials
Key Findings
Survey Instrument


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