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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Regents Delay Laptops and Pay Date Switch

Dr. R.T. Tad Perry sends all Board of Regents personnel a note indicating that Governor M. Michael Rounds's gloom and doom on the state budget hasn't put the kaibosh on the Regents' plans to pursue the Mobile Computing Initiative, the plan to require every student on state university campuses to purchase a laptop computer for school and integrate that device into daily instruction. Far from it: if the Legislature can't make funding available, the Regents will get it through student technology fees. It will just take longer to implement, moving from a two-year implementation starting fall 2009 to a four-year phase-in starting fall 2010.

On the good side, the Regents appear to be moving toward the purchase flexibility I've been advocating from the start. Students will be able to bring whatever computer they want to campus, as long as it meets certain tech specs. Alas, the universities will still play favorites, offering tech support only for machines from the "preferred vendor" (who had better not be MPC Gateway!). Given that university tech services are generally staffed by students, those student workers would only benefit from working on the widest range of brands possible. Let those student workers get the experience of working on a diverse set of equipment and maintaining a robust yet broadly accessible wireless network.

On the bad side, the Regents still plan to manufacture money from nothing. The pay date switching scheme remains in effect but will wait until summer 2010. The rationale: this delay gives employees time to plan for the fact that 1/12 of their pay and benefits will disappear from one year's accounts. Given that retirees will be affected most negatively by the balance-sheet chicanery, the Regents plan to offer our older employees incentives to "self-select retiring during the months of April, May, and June of 2009 for FY10, FY11, and FY12." Doing so will get the employee a one-time stipend equal to 10% of her/his FY09 pay in July 2009.

I'll let the aspiring retirees do the math there; I'm buying the notion that for my generation, retirement will be exist in nostalgia only....


  1. Well, if anyone is smart enough to manufacture money out of nothing, I guess it would have to be the well-educated members of the BOR!! The federal gov't could use them now too!

    Truthfully, this is a chicanery at its best. Anyone who buys this hoax deserves to get fooled, and taken monetarily. It surely isn't a very good example to set for a group we should be able to look up to.

  2. The Regents are people who are in charge of higher education. What educational message are we sending to young people and taxpayers by creating this accounting gap? Corporate America is now paying the price for the same kind of unbalanced bookkeeping that SD Board of Regents has proposed. An absolute immoral joke!


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