October 02, 2005

University Resource Usage Patterns

Here's a pattern:

A university removes (or decreases access to) a teaching resource that many staff use on their lecture courses.

Staff are cross about this because they still have the same goals for their courses as before but instead have to make do with less help available centrally from the University.

So staff resort to alternatives, and as the University isn't supplying the resources it used to, these require using extra resources, which have to come from the relevant department. This extra resource includes staff time, because most of the alternative resources take additional time to install and possibly to run.

University is happy it saved money. Departments are either cross because more money had to be spent, or not cross because they don't notice that the cost has manifested itself in the time spent by individual academic teaching staff. Staff are cross.

Wait, there's more.

The resource that got removed has a particularly obvious alternative resource. Lots of staff suddenly start using this alternative when the original resource got removed. The University has supplied no support for this alternative: no equipment, no guidelines, no help. Staff complain about the lack of support.

University complain that staff aren't using the alternative resource properly (gee I wonder why, with no support?) and moves to ban use of the alternative resource.

Much consternation and shouting ensue all over the university.

This results in (pick one):

  • University grudgingly provides limited support for alternative resource.
  • University reinstates original resource, but in much smaller quantities.
  • University bans alternative resource, and the above pattern repeats.


Post a Comment

<< Home