TU’s EduCycle® program is the 2017 recipient of the Campus Technology Impact Award in the administration category. The international award honors universities with unique projects that make an extraordinary impact on campus technology. Previous award winners include Duke University and Harvard Business School.
“EduCycle® gives new life to campus computers, teaches technology skills to volunteers, and supplies useful equipment to classrooms,” said Vice President for Administration and Finance Joseph Oster. “This is a well-deserved award for a program that has a positive impact on our campus and across the region.”
Because they endure such heavy use, it’s standard practice to replace computer lab equipment every three years. But while these computers are no longer a good fit for labs, they often have a lot of life left. Rather than discarding the computers, the EduCycle® program trains volunteers to recondition them through cleaning, replacing or restoring hardware, and adding new keyboards and mice. The equipment is then repurposed for use in campus offices. When there’s a surplus of equipment, it’s donated to local schools in need.
The program began in 2013 as a collaboration between campus departments. It has now repurposed more than 2,800 computers, saving $2.8 million through reduced equipment and disposal costs. Approximately 1,500 of the computers were reused on-campus and more than 1,300 were donated to Baltimore County, Baltimore City and Harford County schools. The computers in Dulaney High School’s library were supplied by EduCycle®, as were the computers at the TU Counseling Center’s walk-in counter.
In addition to repurposing equipment, the program has trained more than 200 volunteers in computer reconditioning. Volunteers include clients from the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, Baltimore Urban League members and local high school students.
“The Campus Technology Impact Awards seek to recognize projects that are really making a difference in higher education,” said Rhea Kelly, executive editor, Campus Technology. “Towson University’s EduCycle® program is a wonderful example of having that impact on many levels — cost savings, reducing e-waste, providing hands-on tech training to the community and equipment to area schools. It truly takes recycling to a higher level.”