Technology Fee Advisory Committee
Meeting notes: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 10 a.m.
Green Room, Telecommunications Office
Members present: Student members: Megan DeCock-Bristow, Brian Fier; Faculty /Staff members: Ann Denton, Jim Hammond, Gary Fisher, Rian Nostrum, Jon Bronken; Ex-Officio members: Cathy Hanson, Jeff Gerst- Chair
Members absent: Student members: Jacee Beehler, Kevin Black, Nick Cilz, Paul Gunderson, Abram Jackson, Ex-Officio members: David Wittrock, Bonnie Neas
Jeff shared a PowerPoint presentation related to the history of the Technology Fee, its establishment under the State Board of Higher Education and the general philosophy NDSU adopted related to the funding of proposals. Proposals that impact large numbers of students, such as printing, multimedia support and general classroom technology, have typically been funded.
Jeff’s presentation referred to data collected from the Educause Core Data Service and compared the fee structure with other institutions across the country. NDSU is noted as being average with others.
There was a graph showing the amount of fees collected each year from 2000 to present. Over the 10 year period amount has more than doubled. The increase comes from student enrollment, plus an increase in fee structure implemented a couple of years ago.
Other slides showed the estimated FY10 fund distribution and an overview of the Division of IT funding For FY 2008. The division has over an $11K budget. 41% is local/recharge funds, 26% is NDUS contract services, 14% is Student Technology Fee, and 19% is NDSU appropriated funding. Overall, 81% of the budget is for committed contract services. Of the 19% of NDSU funding, over 80% goes toward salary administration.
Jeff talked about the issues with Barry Hall and that $845,000 of Tech Fee money was needed to support classrooms with IT equipment. This did not include infrastructure costs. Resolving how to maintain and plan for the continued cost of ownership of this equipment is the question IT and NDSU has to solve. Discussions are underway.
Jeff ended the PPT with asking what is our vision? What might this committee recommend so that student technology fees fund projects that advance the University’s mission and objectives of teaching and learning?
A comment was made as to why the students should have had to pick up the shortfall for Barry Hall. That should have been part of the administrative budget costs. There seems to be a lack of accountability. If the students are going to be asked to pick up costs such as this, then they should have some say or knowledge about it. There were a few questions about how many new classrooms were equipped, and how is that divided up – classrooms, labs, study space. Again, the group talked about a shift in thinking to study space vs labs vs more print stations, power and wireless options. Student government is working on a campus survey on the usage of clusters/labs, that data, when complete may provide more insight.
There was general discussion about campus program fees. Some see it as a tenancy to avoid higher tuition.
Brian Fier asked about as enrollment has gone up, what’s been the ratio of tech fee money spent on just ongoing IT support to the increase in available funds? This would have to be looked into.
What might this committee recommend that would help shift the way the technology fee funds get spent?
One recommendation is to be sure that any new or remodeled spaces needing technology support (equipment) clearly have a budget plan for current and ongoing ownership and support.
Continue to evaluate alternative approaches to software (cloud computing). Continue to examine the “real” use of clusters/classroom learning spaces. Should the campus become a more laptop environment?
Do more research on what other universities are doing to resolve similar issues – learn from best practices. Are there more effective ways for students to print – evaluate print stations for flash drive usage/card swipe.
Work to emphasize to administration that the technology fee should not continually be taped as the sole source of funding for continued IT support/maintenance costs.
There needs to be a clearer strategic direction – a long range plan for what this campus needs in terms of campus technology and the associated costs.
Lastly, do we need to consider an increase in the technology fee? Not a popular option, but the question should be considered, as there is obviously a cost to sustaining to a growing, expanding institution – who should fund the associated technology needs?
Next meeting will be to consider the proposals. We will look at availability within the next two weeks.