FAQ: Pharos


Pharos: Frequently Asked Questions


1. How much money do you estimate this new printing system will raise through fees once students exceed the $25 printing standard?

ITS does not profit in any way through this printing system. So far, less than 4% of students have exceeded their print quota. However, all monies billed for excess printing return to the fund which pays for paper, toner, and printers for student printing.

2. The money raised from these fees is going towards “other technology ventures.” What would these ventures be?

The money which pays for student printing comes from the technology access fee, and any money generated as a result of a student printing more than his or her quota is returned to that fee. The technology access fee as a whole pays for items such as paper, toner, and printers for student printing, internet connection fees for the campus, computers for student use in labs and the Learning Commons, all the site license software available for students to use including our new Microsoft agreement, student salaries, and classroom technology.

3. Will money from an engineering student go towards new software for education majors?

The technology access fee is the same for all majors, and any monies generated will be returned to the line item that is budgeted for student printing supplies. After the Pharos system has been fully integrated for a few regular semesters, then we will look at total pages printed and adjust the line item accordingly in the next budget.

4. How will ITS decide who to allocate money to through the technology access fee funds?

ITS does not decide who receives Technology Access Fee dollars. Departments submit proposals, then the department chairs and college deans prioritize the projects submitted. After that, the Strategic Planning subcommittee of the Information Technology Committee, which has faculty, staff, and student representatives from across campus, makes a recommendation for funding which is sent to the Provost.

5. Are professors and other faculty and staff also going to be charged for use of printers around campus?

Faculty and staff are entered into a separate Pharos group, with a nominal allocation of 50-66 sheets (depending on single-sided vs. double-sided), and we are monitoring the use. Very few faculty have printed in the labs so far, and of those who have, we are reviewing what’s being printed to ensure that it’s academically related. We will continue to watch this closely.

7. The Pharos system was implemented as a response to wasted paper and toner on campus, under the idea of ITS “Going Green.” Was this really the main concern, or was the cost of printing becoming too much to cover under the fees already charged to students?

Anyone had only to see the overflowing recycle bins placed in each lab to see how much paper and toner was being wasted, with jobs printed but never picked up. In the past five years, printing costs for students ranged between $72k-$124k per year, with an average of $84k.

Since the Pharos implementation, students are printing more than 750,000 sheets per semester, but we are seeing savings of 22-25% from paper and toner wastes. The Pharos system has provided savings, both fiscally and environmentally.

8. Is the Pharos system going to keep track of money charged to students who exceed quota?

Pharos does track student usage.

9. How will the students be billed with the arrears program? Through their Eagle Card/Eagle Online accounts?

By allowing students to print “in arrears,” we ensure that they are able to print when needed, and we bill for it later. Students do not need to plan ahead and preload their EagleCard with printing funds. At the end of each month, Pharos reports any students who have a negative balance to the Bursar’s Office, where that amount is then billed to the student via his or her Eagle Online account.

10. In case of technical errors, will there be a way for students to contest the Pharos system’s printing charges?

If there is an issue with the printer – such as a smeared or wrinkled page – then the student will simply need to bring the faulty printout to the HelpDesk when he or she picks it up. The HelpDesk will then reprint that job for the student at no charge. The HelpDesk is located in the Learning Commons.

11. Has ITS established average required pages printed for a three-hour course? Has ITS shared this amount with faculty and staff on campus so that they will not require students to exceed this amount per course?

There are three-hour courses which require zero printing, and others which may have historically required a significant amount. We have asked the faculty to take the students’ quota into consideration when planning courses, and we have volunteered to help faculty minimize the amount of printing they ask students to do by finding alternatives, such as submitting assignments electronically.

We also encourage students to be creative when printing. For PowerPoint presentations, choose Handouts and six-per-page to save your quota. For notes or articles or other lengthy items, select Layout-2 per page to reduce the sheets needed. For all print jobs, the duplex option is the default.

12. Will there be a way for students to report professors who require them to print in excess of their quotas or the average pages printed per course?

We hope that students will help the faculty be aware of large printing requests. ITS is happy to assist faculty to implement alternatives as well.

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