Winona State renegotiates Adobe license

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Nate Nelson / Winonan

Winona State University is in the process of renegotiating its licensing of Adobe programs, moving from a site-wide license to individual licenses, with precise numbers coming this summer.

For the past four years, Winona State has been paying approximately $140,000 a year for every student on campus to have access to the Adobe Creative Suite, Kenneth Janz, associate vice president for academic affairs and chief information officer at Winona State, said.

Last February, the Winonan reported on the potential changes. At that time, Janz stated the current cost was unsustainable, which led to Winona State University optioning for new licensing.

“We never had the 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.

The negotiations with Adobe have become a problem for the IT department, Janz said. Over the past year, Winona State is no closer to figuring out exactly what the new licenses will be.

“I have zero new information. This has been incredibly frustrating for me and the other CIOs in the state,” Janz said. “I have no idea what we might be doing July 1, because Adobe has still not given us any pricing.”

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

These programs are used by hundreds of student at Winona State, including advertising

major and graphic design enthusiast, Noah Loos.

“The main two Adobe programs I use are Photoshop and Lightroom,” Loos said. “I use the two programs mainly for photo editing and making final edits to my graphic design projects.”

According to Loos, many of his classes make use of the Adobe programs for assignments and in class activities.

“I rely heavily on the use of the Adobe programs for my classes. Without them, the projects and assignments for my specific classes wouldn’t be as easy to complete,” Loos said.

Gilberto Hidalgo, creative digital media and film studies major, and a studio art minor, said he uses Premiere, Audition and Photoshop extensively, and is learning Indesign and Illustrator to assist with his personal studies into graphic design.

Approximately 30 percent of his courses rely heavily on the programs, he said, with some classes being built entirely around the programs.

Hidalgo said having those programs available allows him not only to work on classwork, but learn new aspects of his major on his own time.

“Having that access through Winona really helps out,” he said.

Hidalgo explained the programs are helpful to    students who already work on the programs, as well as those who may get into the programs later on.

Janz said that while he hoped to keep the full site license, they will likely have to make changes. However, he added, the programs will not be going away from those who need them.

“I’ve told Adobe that we need to have better pricing, or we’re not going to get a site license anymore,” Janz said in September. “We’ll have something for students, it’s how broadly available which will be the issue.”

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