Student Technology Fee
The Student Technology Fee Fund was established through a resolution adopted by the CUNY Board of Trustees on February 25, 2002. This fund is replenished from fees collected by both full-time and part-time students. Each semester, full-time students pay tech fees in the amount of $100 each and part-timers are charged half of that amount. In essence, students themselves finance a major part of our technology acquisitions and should be a part of the decision-making process.
The process begins with an invitation sent out by the Director of ITR Joseph Middleton, with a "call”for student technology fee proposals. This invitation occurs annually, about several months before the start of the approval process. Departments are encouraged to starting planning their technology fee proposals in the fall semester. This allows time to evaluate needs, plan the details of the project and determine priorities of projects. The question most asked is, “What should we include in our proposals?” How we define “information technology” determines what to include/exclude. Examples of information technology associated materials include: hardware, software, and labor. Hardware includes printers, computers, monitors, external/internal hard drives, cables, digital cameras, network jack/access point installations, parts, security alarms for computer labs and other specialized technical equipment. The definition excludes furniture and other non-technology items.
While the "call”is sent out once, the process of prioritizing, evaluating/reviewing, approving acquisition of approved items and implementation of approved requests are all accomplished in phases. Each department has the option of submitting one or more technology fee proposals to our academic Dean. Multiple proposals from one department may arise. This need occurs if the department has several high priority projects that fit the requirements of a student technology fee proposal. Acceptable proposals MUST demonstrate a direct benefit to students and or faculty development (referred to as the pedagogical effect), which would improve/facilitate effective student learning or methods of instruction.
After student technology fee proposals are created they are forwarded to our Dean around mid-February. The Dean in turn is responsible for prioritizing the group of proposals. The prioritized list is entered into a report titled "FY---- Tech Fee Proposal Budget Summary for the School of Arts & Humanities.” Next, several meetings of the Student Technology Fee Committee are held. The committee consists of academic deans (or their representatives), vice presidents, the chief librarian, faculty members, and students (at least two per meeting). After hours of reviewing/perusing/vetting/requesting justification of need/determination of alternative funding sources/modifications or complete eliminations, each proposal is tested for legibility, cost, and priority. Priority is first established with each school or administrative entity. Prioritizing needs is critical because Technology Fee Funds (estimated at $2M annually) are a very limited resource that is hotly contested. It supports recurring costs, technical positions (both full-time and part-time) and new initiatives. The proposals that the committee recommends for funding are sent to the President for review. Afterward, the proposals make their final journey in the approval process to CUNY Central, which occurs in March.
During the fall semester of the same year, proposals that are approved are then sent to CUNY, where the actual funds become availableˇXin part or whole. At this point, technology fee purchase requisitions are created and processed as funding becomes available. Each purchase requisition requires three subsequent levels of approval before it is forwarded to the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Department in turn assigns a purchasing agent who creates the Purchase Order. A Purchasing Order is then submitted to the vendor and a Receiving Report is created in the e-procurement system. As items are received from Technology Fee Purchases, end users confirm their receipt and Receiving Reports are completed. Subsequent to the completion of a Receiving Report, the department of Accounts Payable makes payment to the vendor.
The technology fee cycle is now complete from conception to delivery of materials. The goal of the School of Arts and Humanities is to foster transparency of student technology fee funded projects. This commitment is further reinforced by the mission statement on our Lehman College ITR home page, which states “We deliver by being accountable…for the transparent management of computing, data …” Through reconciliation reports, we are able to track/trace technology fee items from proposal, approval, purchasing, and implementation. This procedure ultimately ensures our student-generated financial resources are indeed fully benefiting our students.
Last modified: Sep 14, 2015