Friday, February 13, 2009

Article: CHE: WSU Goes Paperless

Internal Communications at Washington State U. Go Paperless / Steve Kolowich

The Chronicle of Higher Education / Wired Campus / February 10, 2009

Washington State University has decided to go paperless for all internal communications on its four campuses, moving all memos, fliers, posters, and its weekly newspaper to cyberspace. “Experts have been predicting a transition to a paperless society for years,” wrote Elson S. Floyd, the university’s president, in a statement ... :

"Recently we announced that, for budget reasons, all internal communications at Washington State University will be shifted from paper to electronic formats."



“Meanwhile, it seems that the piles of papers that cross our desks keep growing. We plan to reverse that trend.”

The decision, made official last month, comes amid an effort to trim $10-million from the university’s budget by June, with further cuts anticipated next year. Barbara B. Petura, vice provost for university relations, said that it was “probably impossible” to project how much Washington State would save by phasing out paper, and she admitted that the savings would only put a small dent in the amount the university hopes to cut from its operating expenses. [snip]

While the budgetary impact of going paperless might be largely symbolic, university officials note that the switch also has environmental benefits.[snip]

[Barbara B. Petura, vice provost for university relations] also said that quitting paper cold turkey would encourage the university to integrate Web 2.0 technologies—such as blogging and social networking—into its internal communications. [snip]




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