About 5 years ago or so, we were running:
* A Windows centralized server with SPSS, SAS, Matlab, etc. for computing labs and classrooms
* A UNIX centralized server with SPSS, SAS, and all for computing labs and classrooms,
and because our networks were split, a completely redundant set of servers on the administrative network.
The costs for this environment were not sustainable. In the last round of Michigan budget cuts, I turned this all in as a budget cut. While there were a lot of complaints, no one came up with the funding, and we shut the entire thing down.
We moved to a "desktop model." If someone needs SPSS, their department funds a stand alone purchase.
We reviewed again this year, thinking at least a bulk purchase of the most recent SPSS would save the university money overall. But we couldn't get enough people to agree on a platform to make the bulk purchase a cost-saver. SPSS pricing, in particular, is very difficult to manage for our size university.
Given that, some of our faculty have moved to teaching entry level stats with Excel. This is very popular with our students, as they often have that software at home.
But that has caused some problems, because getting the faculty member and the student on the same release of Excel with the right install of add-ins is difficult.
I've explored Google Docs and Spreadsheets. The advantages are many: cost (none), the spreadsheet is wherever the student or faculty member is, the faculty member and student are on the same release of the software.
So far, faculty have resisted. They tell me that the student must have SPSS on their resume or vita or their stats knowledge will not have a recognized value. I maintain it is the knowledge of the statistical functions that has value, not what tool you use.
In any case, a partial list of the functions follows. The web site is at:
and on through the alphabet
Assistant Vice President
University Technology Services
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