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Focus Groups, New Action Plans, Funding

Meeting Minutes
November 7, 1996


I. Call to Order
II. Meeting Minutes
III. Announcements
IV. Special Assistant for Technology Report
V. Subcommittee Reports
VI. Funding
VII. Adjourn


I. Call to Order
Meeting was called to order by Val Tareski at 3:38 p.m.
Members present: Val Tareski-Chair, Joan Chapek, John Fossum, John Grosen, Troy Guenther, Cathy Hanson, Bill Maki, Prakash Mathew, Erik Sonju, Larissa Schmidt

Members absent: Phil McClean, Bill Perrizo, Craig Schnell, Suzann Willison


II. Meeting Minutes
Troy Guenther moved to accept Minutes from Oct 24, 1996 meeting, Larrisa Schmidt seconded the motion. Motion carried.


III. Announcements
Next meeting date - Thursday, Nov 14, 1996.

Val Tareski asked for spring semester schedules of those who had not responded to his e-mail request. Based on open time slots, 3:30 on Wednesday's is the target for meeting dates next semester. Confirmation will follow, at next meeting.

Joan Chapek updated the committee on a voice mail box for Technology Fee questions and comments. The phone number would be 231-9919, the same as last year. Committee members will be given a password to access the phone number. Joan's department will graciously transcribe messages periodically for reference. A word of caution to the group - do not delete messages after you have listened to the message.

An e-mail account cannot be set-up without a specific individual's login ID. There are a number of ways to use e-mail, one of which is using an alias which points to an individual's mail box. The question was raised as to whose mailbox would the messages be sent? John Grosen offered to accept mail as he has capabilities to fairly easily filter and monitor activity. The suggestion was to research and discuss ideas further at the next meeting.

Cathy Hanson asked for clarification on mailing addresses for the student representatives.


IV. Special Assistant for Technology Report
Dr. Maki shared data about other institution's fee collections and how the money was being used. The committee reviewed the information in comparison to what NDSU was collecting and what projects were being funded.
Dr. Maki shared a spreadsheet printout regarding the Technology Fee budget. The budget reflected funding/activity of the various projects. Funding is broken out for first, second, and ongoing anticipated income years and project funding. The figures do not reflect summer school collection.

The committee was asked to comment on what projects might be given priority for possible Spectrum articles. Residence hall wiring has had some exposure and will continue to be a priority. The modem pool expansion has certainly affected the students capability for dial-in access. The ACM student consultant program might also be good choice. Dr. Maki will try to pursue PR activity in these areas.


V. Subcommittee Reports

Evaluation of Past Funding Process:
Joan Chapek summarized the recommendations from the last meeting. This subcommittee felt strongly about the need to move the Action Plan deadline up and also recommends two cycles of funding. In addition, the idea to carry over a certain number of committee members from year to year would help to maintain a historical reference point to past funding issues. In view of the complexity of the processes this committee deals with during the assessment of the Action Plans, some consistency is desired.

Troy Guenther moved to adopt a two-cycle system for processing Action Plans. The first cycle would be to examine those projects which are requesting renewed funding for another year. The second round would be to review new Action Plans. Motion seconded by John Grosen. Motion carried.
The issue of when a project ends ongoing funding requests was tabled as a future agenda item. If we commit all the funding to renew ongoing projects, will new projects get the appropriate funding needed? The committee will consider recommendations for how PI's go about seeking institutional funding support, rather than continue to request Technology Fee Funding.

The committee discussed possible funding cycle dates. After considerable debate the consensus of the group was to tentatively set a target date of January 17, as the first round deadline, and February 28, as the second round. A confirmation will be needed by next meeting.

Joan Chapek moved to recommend to the President that a certain number of committee members representing students, faculty, and staff on the TFAC be carried over from year to year. Troy Guenther seconded motion. Carried.

Monitoring Funded Action Plans:
Minutes of this committee's activity were sent to the TFAC list via e-mail. A tentative date chosen for focus group sessions is December 10th, 1:00pm-5:00pm. John Grosen summarized activity: The subcommittee recommends three groups be used for the focus group activity; one group of student leaders, another group of students who are not active in student leadership, and a third group comprised of faculty and staff. A fourth group could be used if the committee feels it is inappropriate to combine faculty and staff in one group. The advisors from the Speech/Mass Comm Department feel that the optimal group size is between seven and fifteen people. The subcommittee recommends inviting 12 people from each constituency. These lists will have to be prepared soon and invitations sent. Speech/Mass Comm will help formulate the questions.

Recommendations are to meet in one large room with all focus group members for a 30 - 45 minute overview presentation during which the Tech Fee objectives, state board directives, etc. are presented, as well as progress to-date. Break out sessions of 45-50 minutes would then take place with participants, ending with a group reception. Video taping the sessions is also recommended. Estimated expenses are under $500, including honorariums for the Speech/Mass Comm facilitators and the reception. The TFAC agreed to move forward in support of this effort. Bill Maki was asked to make the necessary room reservations.

The subcommittee is still working on coming up with a HTML document form which can be used to solicit input via e-mail.

On November 20, Congress of Student Organization meets. TFAC student representative will distribute information regarding how to provide feedback to the TFAC. February 1, CSO is having a conference which will be another opportunity to talk about projects and funding issues.

Soliciting New Action Plans:
This subcommittee is looking at methods to "standardize" the format of the Action Plans submitted. A template format was suggested using a disk for distribution. The idea is to help make the review process more efficient in terms of comparing and prioritizing plans. Standard sections, such as cover page, budget, description of project, are all ideas being considered as key elements to include in the template format.

Identification Labels and Logo:
The student representatives are continuing to work with University Relations to help design a graphic identity. The logo will be used in conjunction with labels which will identify various funded items.

VI. Funding
TFAC chose not to spend all the money collected this year as a precautionary method to meeting any unexpected funding problems. The questions are:

  • should a contingency fund be formally established,
  • how much should be set aside, and
  • how long do we retain that fund?

It was recommended a portion of the annual revenue of the Tech Fee be the basis (5-10%) for the fund. Another suggestion was that the previous contingency money should be released in the spring and deposited into the general Tech Fee fund with a new contingency fund being built from revenue from the summer semester. A strategy needs to be reviewed more thoroughly.
Dr. Craig Schnell presented the TFAC a request for funding for $20,000 to match other funds in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to support administration of the Technology Fee projects. Tech Fee funds will be used to support part of the salary of the Special Assistant for Technology. The justification is based upon the fact that the Technology Fee is generating approximately $850,000 annually and there were 15 projects funded; considerable effort is needed to monitor and "trouble-shoot" these projects.

John Grosen moved to recommend to the President that $20,000 of Technology Fee funds be designated to pay salary expenditures associated with administration only, for the fiscal year 96-97, and that the administration look for alternative sources to support this expenditure in future years. Motion seconded by Troy Guenther. Carried.

Val Tareski distributed an updated WWWIC Action Plan to the committee members. Reaction was to allow for members to more thoroughly review this plan and to continue discussion at the next meeting.


VII. Adjourn
No further business, meeting adjourned at 5:21 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,

Cathy Hanson/Erik Sonju


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7890 / Fax: (701) 231-7599
Campus address: Bison Court West 104
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5310 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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