‘Free’ Printing? Not at These Schools
Four managers detail how they ended “free” student printing, cutting waste and saving money for their schools.
Copy Center/Communication Services Administrator
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Manager, IT Support and Printing Services
University of Technology
Manager, Printing Services
University of North Carolina
Director of Imaging Services
University of Colorado
AT MANY universities, students in the computer labs are still allowed to print as many pages as they want—at no charge. This has led to tremendous waste. But in-plants who seek to change the situation are met with resistance from groups who don’t want to give up “free” printing.
The four managers in this article are among those who have successfully addressed the problem. Here’s how they did it.
Before the Change:
Sandy Griffin: Paper and toner waste was a major issue. Students doing research for a paper would print out everything on a Web site, only to keep the first couple of pages. Housekeeping reported that daily they would be throwing away tons of printed material from the computer labs.
Robert Mascarenhas: Equipment was overused, resulting in unreliability and increased wear and tear, student demands for the university to provide more printers, labor impact on IT support staff and increased network traffic.
Don Harty: We saw students printing every imaginable type of document. To control cost, the labs were placing a ream of paper into the printer at the top of each hour. Once that was gone, the students were on their own. Labs were placing the printer setting on the lowest possible to conserve toner. This made prints look bad and this irritated the students.
Newell Fogelberg: There was very little hard data on what the university was spending on printing. Equipment was replaced in a fairly haphazard manner. There was also no dedicated load and fill service. So often printers would be down for long periods of time or they would simply be out of toner.