Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Adobe licensing under review

Nathaniel Nelson / Winonan

Winona State University is planning on reducing their Adobe Creative Cloud licensing from a full campus license to 400 individual accounts by fall of 2018.

Kenneth Janz, associate vice president for academic affairs and chief information officer at Winona State, is in charge of the negotiations with Adobe. Over the next few months, Janz will be working with Adobe to find a new licensing agreement that will work for the school’s budget.

“The current agreement we have runs out in February of 2017,” Janz said. “We have enough money so we can continue that license at least through June, so we’ll get all the way through next school year.”

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Adobe produces the Adobe Creative Cloud, a gold standard in digital art applications. The full suite includes Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign and many others.

Adobe knows this, Janz said, and because of their product’s necessity, it can be a difficult corporation to negotiate with.

“They know they have a product, Photoshop. They’re the only ones that sell that graphic design product,” Janz said. “Because they know their position in the market, they negotiate from a position of strength, which is not exactly good when you’re trying to get a better deal.”

The change is a result of years of overspending on Adobe licenses, which were caused by a shift in how Adobe sells licenses to colleges and universities.

Until three years ago, Winona State purchased 400 licenses for use on campus. What this means is that at any given time, only 400 students were able to have Adobe products on their computer.

This covered the programs which needed Adobe, namely graphic design, marketing and mass communication. It cost the university approximately $40,000 a year, which was manageable but did not last for long.

“(Adobe) came in three years ago and said they could no longer do concurrent licensing. You have to buy a license for every computer that could possibly run it on campus,” Janz said.

According to Janz, there are currently 419 students on campus who have Adobe products installed on their laptops

Due to Adobe’s site license requirement, the university has to instead buy licenses for all 8,486 enrolled students instead of just the students who need it.

The other problem with site licenses comes from the cost. Instead of the $40,000 that Winona State was originally paying, Janz said, the switch forced the university to spend $140,000 a year.

“We never had budget to assume that impact. So what we did is we started cutting $100,000 out of our classroom repair and betterment funds,” Janz said.

This $100,000 amounts to a full half of the classroom repair budget. This kind of budget loss can have a huge impact on a university, and with only half the money they need, classrooms have suffered over recent years.

“We are trying to do the right thing for the students, but at the same time, we’ve made sacrifices to continue the Adobe products that we have,” Janz said.

According to Janz, Winona State is doing everything they can to keep the software available for the students that need it, and there is no need to worry about losing Adobe entirely.

“Worst case scenario we’re saying well, it becomes a book cost, and if you need Adobe, You’re paying $19 a month,” Janz said. “We don’t want to do that, and we’re going to work so those majors don’t have to do that.”

While students in programs that require Adobe have nothing to worry about, other students may not be so lucky.

“The only thing that might hurt is people who are outside of certain majors may have a harder time getting it,” Janz said. “That’s an issue which, I will admit, might be the negative consequence of this.”

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