Lagging Behind the Time: Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee

ACANS News & Information Center

Lagging Behind the Time: Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee

In 2004, while students were asking for more wireless zones, web-based services, and 24-hour computer labs, ICT was stretching its already too thin budget to maintain its existing infrastructure and services.

In the February 9, 2004 edition of the Round Up, Argen Duncan reported that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Chief Information Officer Michael Hites was proposing a $50 Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee per semester for all full-time students. The proposed fee was to be implemented over a three-year period beginning in the 2004-05 academic year.

The three-year proposal requested $20 the first year (2004-05), and an additional $15 the next two years (2005-06 and 2006-07). The proposal included a two-year freeze in which no increases would be sought once the three-year plan had been met.

Prior to ICT’s Hites’ fund request, NMSU students had reaped the benefits of computer labs, connectivity, modem pool, WebCT, and email accounts at no cost to themselves. The Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee proposal was in response to the increasing cost of technology and infrastructure, and services being requested by students.

At the time Hites was presenting the ICT Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee proposal to the Regents of New Mexico State University, 11 of NMSU’s 14 peer institutions had already implemented a technology services fee. While NMSU students were not paying a Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee, students at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) were paying $150 per semester, students at Oklahoma State University were paying $45 per semester, and students at Texas A&M’s were paying $210.75 per semester.

The first-year request of a $20 Campus-Wide Student Technology fee proposal was supported by the Student Technology Advisory Committee and the Regents of New Mexico State University. It was implemented in the 2004-05 academic year. That same academic year, UTEP’s fee rose to $259, and Texas A&M’s fee rose to $296.80. In comparison to its peer institutions, NMSU’s technology fee was $110 less than the average of $130.

A year later, ICT requested a $15 increase in the Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee for the academic year 2005-06. This $15 increase was Phase II of the three-year plan as it was proposed the year before.  It was not approved, and NMSU’s Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee for the academic year 2005-06 remained at $20.

When funding for the item came up again the following year (2006-07), ICT requested that the Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee be increased by $30. This increase would have kept the three-year plan intact. It was not funded as proposed, but instead it was funded at a $15 increase. The Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee for the 2006-07 academic year is $35 per semester. This same year, UTEP’s fee is $337, and Texas A&M’s fee is $320.80. In comparison to its peer institutions, NMSU’s technology fee is $102 less than the average of $137, and $15 less than the 2004 proposal.

The $35 Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee collected for the 2006-07 academic year generated $903,400. Those monies will be allocated in the next academic year (2007-08). Among the services that will received some of the funds are the development of central data access at myNMSU, network connectivity in student computing labs, expansion of wireless zones, introduction of laptop rental program, improvements to the PC rental program, and availability of free antivirus software to all students. Additionally, ICT will be able to support improvements and new construction to infrastructure including public workstations, student computing labs, and the addition of multi-media classrooms.

The Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee will be among the items that will be presented to the University Fee Review Board in February 2007. The University Fee Review Board will make their recommendations to the Regents of NMSU, who will in turn, make their recommendations to NMSU President Michael Martin. The outcome of the proposed increase of the Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee will be known May 2007.

The outcome of the recommendation process will be announced in May 2007. If approved, the Campus-Wide Student Technology Fee will be $50 for the 2007-08 academic year. That dollar amount would fulfill the three-year plan proposed in 2004. Additionally, if approved, administrative personnel will recommend that an increase not be sought for the academic year 2007-08.

ACANS Newscenter is published by the Association of Computing and Networking Services at New Mexico State University. If you would like to subscribe to the ACANS Newscenter, request further information, or to submit articles of interest contact ICT Strategic Relations, 646-4857  email: ict_sr@nmsu.edu