Why the U.S. government is building more computers at the same time as it shut down its most productive universities
— The government is investing billions of dollars in computer education and research programs to keep the country’s most productive colleges and universities afloat, while shutting down many others to save money.
The money to replace and upgrade computers and other devices at colleges and university campuses has been growing as the federal government tries to balance its budget.
And as part of the effort, the Education Department announced this week it is working with private companies to replace some of the most expensive machines.
But while universities are increasingly adopting more efficient and cost-effective technologies, they are also looking to reduce the number of employees and equipment that are needed to keep them online.
The department has invested more than $3.5 billion in computer hardware, software and other equipment since January, including about $1.6 billion on the cost of computers and about $700 million on other related items.
The budget announcement came amid growing concern that some of America’s most prestigious universities are at risk of shutting down, particularly as more and more of their students are opting for the Internet or other digital platforms.
The government is also spending $3 billion on a new generation of data centers at some of its colleges and other research centers.
But the administration’s announcement Wednesday was far from an end to the spending.
While the department said the investments were necessary to keep colleges and schools functioning, it did not provide a timeline for completing those investments.
“It’s going to take a lot of time to do everything we need to do, but we will do our best to make sure we get the resources we need in order to continue to grow our businesses and our education programs,” said David L. Loeffler, assistant secretary for science and technology policy.
In a separate announcement, the department also announced it is investing $2 billion to upgrade computers at a small number of research centers, including a facility in Alabama at Huntsville State University.
At the same event, the administration said it is also working with contractors to replace computers at some high-cost universities, including in Georgia, North Carolina and Louisiana.
Meanwhile, the U,S.
Chamber of Commerce said it will begin spending $2 million on a national effort to reduce its reliance on IT services and technology.
The chamber has been lobbying for better access to computers, a growing share of computing and other computer jobs and increased competition with other industries.
It is urging Congress to enact a law that would force universities to create jobs and invest in research and development, and to invest more in infrastructure.
The bill has been introduced in both chambers of Congress and has not been taken up by the Republican-controlled House.