December 14, 1998 Vol. III, No. 8

CSU Finalizes Two Technology Agreements

Software and information technology available for students, faculty and staff

The California State University has finalized two technology agreements that will provide software and information technology training for students, faculty and staff that otherwise would not be available. A four-year licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. and Wareforce, CSU's distributor of Microsoft software, will provide software for faculty, students and staff and save the CSU at least $7 million. In addition, a three-year contract with CBT Systems will make available about 650 computer-based information technology courses.

The agreements are part of the CSU's Integrated Technology Strategy, a systemwide initiative to improve student learning and administrative productivity through enhanced technology.

The Microsoft agreement will extend and replace an existing contract with Wareforce that expires at the end of this month. The new four-year, $8 million agreement provides software licenses for 30,000 faculty and staff and 180,000 students, which would meet existing needs determined during the development of the CSU's Integrated Technology Strategy. The software packages include Microsoft Office Professional Edition, Microsoft Visual Studio Professional Edition, Microsoft FrontPage, Microsoft BackOffice Client Access, and both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Windows NT Workstation.

The agreement does not require Microsoft exclusively on CSU campuses. CSU students and faculty will have the option to use any software they choose, but Microsoft Office product, which are already widely used on CSU campuses, will likely be less expensive because of this agreement. In fact, two-thirds of the CSU campuses endorsed Microsoft Office products as the campuswide standards, and all campuses reported that it is the dominant software on their campus.

The $550,000 CBT Systems agreement is a new initiative that will provide 650 computer-based information technology courses over the next three years. The agreement would make more than 300 courses available by mid-January. Campuses can also select more than 300 courses and revise their choices annually.

Courses will be accessible by faculty, students and staff for training in many areas including: Web authoring and publishing, Internet applications and concepts, database technologies, desktop PC fundamentals, wireless LAN technologies, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows, and Netscape communications. The courses can be used in academic programs such as computer science, business and engineering; by individual faculty, staff and students to improve productivity ; and for further training of CSU information technology professionals.

These are just two examples of such CSU technology agreements. Others include: the Ameritech Horizon library automation network to link CSU's 22 campus library systems; Simon & Schuster and AT&T distance education programs for teachers; a collaboration with the California Community College system for licensing electronic information services such as Lexis-Nexis and Dow Jones; Microcadam's donation of engineering software; and a partnership with Warner Brothers to offer distance education courses in animation.

The CSU also uses volume discount pricing agreements with the University of California to obtain products such as furniture and scientific and laboratory supplies. In addition, the CSU and UC will save about $15.7 million in energy costs over the next four years through a volume agreement reached earlier this year with Enron Energy Services.

December 14, 1998

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