Opportunities for Improvement

Several areas with opportunities for improvement are being investigated.

The current printing model is extremely complex.

How complex? If you chart it out, it looks something like this:

Complex diagram showing components of current printing system

Why does this complexity matter?

Having a setup like this one carries side effects that can impact your printing experience.

  • Unstandardized printers are harder to support, meaning when one stops working, it can take longer to get going again. That leaves fewer printers to be shared among everyone trying to print.
  • Discrepancy of printing rates among different departments means you might get surprised by the cost of a print job when you try printing at a new location.
  •  Numerous charging options require you to manage more accounts, and can be distracting when all you want to do is seamlessly print your files.
  • Finally, complex systems require more support resources, which means fewer resources to support the other services you might need.


These are some of the areas being evaluated to improve the Student Printing experience:

Unit Client/ Desktop Applications Support complexity
Number of different client operating systems supported.
  • Three different client packages: Windows, Mac, and Linux (Red Hat and Debian).
    Apple logo Debian logo  RedHat logo Windows logo
  • One is supported out of the box, two require custom programming.
Unit Printer Model Variety Support complexity
Number of printer model variations in use that need to be managed. Support level varies by department and can involve multiple vendors.
  • 71 different printer models from many manufacturers, including Konica, HP, Océ, Dell, Epson, Ricoh, and Xerox.
User Printing Rates by Department Student experience/inequity and support complexity
Number of unique rate combinations maintained per department.
  • 50 different unit/department rate combinations across campus.
Charging Options Student experience/inequity
Some departments offer allocations, some do not.
  • Four different charging options.
  • Students may have five or more accounts to manage, including Bursar, personal (cash), and multiple course or departmental accounts.