The uncertain fall is fast approaching, and higher-education institutions are readying themselves for what’s ahead: remote instruction. While health and safety precautions are at the forefront of leaders’ minds, this shift also brings an increased need for digital services, IT infrastructure, and training to support virtual learning.
At the same time, the pandemic is triggering budget cuts and furloughs within institutions across the country – financial repercussions that may reshape higher education for decades.
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Almost three-quarters of higher-education institutions are preparing for cuts in the institutional IT budget for the upcoming academic year; and many are cutting five to 30 percent of their IT budgets. Boston University, for example, plans to lay off or furlough about 250 employees as part of its plan to close a $96 million budget gap.
This places great pressure on IT departments to reduce costs and at the same time, prepare to deliver expanded digital services.
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