Procedure- Student Computer Fee

Student Computer Fee Committee Summary of Operations

The Student Computer Fee is one of three different student fees collected for the purpose of funding technology costs within the University.


Mandatory Student Fees

1. Student Computer Fee: Generates about $1M/year, allocated in a public process, by a specific committee tasked to the allocation, largely governed by BoR policy 940.23

2. Instructional Equipment Fee: Generates over $500K/year, allocated by a “closed process” controlled by the Provost.

3. Technology Fee: Generates about $1M/year, allocated by a “closed process” controlled by A&F.



*The SCF was always intended to supplement University funding for student IT, not pay the whole cost.

*Neither the CIO nor Central IT control any of the technology related fees or fee allocation processes.

     The Student Computer Fee Committee (SCFC) is comprised of twelve voting members: 6 students, 3 faculty members, recommended by the Faculty Senate (one designee from Missoula College), 2 university staff members (one to be recommended by the Staff Senate and one to be nominated by the SCFC) and 1 designee appointed by the Provost. There are also several non-voting members, including representatives from Disability Services for Students, Foreign Student and Scholar Services, and Information Technology. General oversight is provided by the IT CIO. Voting members elect their own chair and chair-elect.

     The primary purpose of the SCFC is to determine and monitor the use of Student Computer Fee funds. Within the broad duties outlined by Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education policy 940.23 the committee sets its own rules governing the committee’s operating details. MTBOR policy on computer fee document.

     Currently there are three different types of allocations made from Student Computer Fee funds: equipment (computer hardware and software), student employment, and classroom technology. Specific criteria must be met in order to expend the funds and in most cases there are reporting requirements after expenditure.

     The SCFC meets periodically to review the SCF funds allocation process, determine allocations, review expenditure requests, and address issues as they arise. The funds allocation process begins in the fall and culminates in the spring with SCFC recommendations for the year. These recommendations require approval from the Board of Regents (amounts above $25,000), Commissioner of Higher Education (between $10,000 and $25,000), and President (less than $10,000). Once allocations are approved equipment funds are distributed and expenditure proposals for the use of the funds may be submitted to the SCFC for review. Employment and classroom technology funds are distributed at the beginning of the next fiscal year.


Equipment Funds

     SCFC equipment funds can only be used for student computer related expenditures such as hardware and software. The Unit submitting the proposal must have existing funds available to cover the cost and supplemental funds to cover any proposed expense that exceeds the SCF funds available. To request approval for expenditure of funds the Equipment Expenditure Proposal Form must be completed, signed, and submitted along with supporting documentation to the SCFC for consideration. Before new requests will be approved SCF Equipment Expenditure Reports documenting the use of previous funds must be on file. Unused equipment funds are carried forward to the next fiscal year, which provides an opportunity to accumulate funds over time for larger projects.


Network ports provided by Units and used by students may be eligible for a subsidy if the following criteria are met:

*ports are for computers in labs open for general student use

*ports are for printers in labs open for general student use

*ports are in registrar controlled classrooms (one port per registrar controlled classroom) Network ports not eligible for SCF subsidy include the following:

*Ports for student or TA/RA offices

*Ports used by students working in an office

*Ports used by students working on grants

*Ports not intended for general student use

*Ports used for revenue generating purposes such as ticket sales

*Wireless access ports

     To request student network port subsidies the Port Subsidy Request Form must be completed, signed, and submitted to the SCFC for consideration. If the use of a SCF subsidized port changes and no longer meets the SCF subsidy requirements, the Unit is responsible for reporting the port usage change to the SCFC along with information on what Unit is now responsible for the charges.


Student Employment Funds

     Student employment funds can only be used for paying wages and benefits for students working in positions providing computer support. These funds are intended to assist University Units in covering expenses of providing computer services to students, not necessarily to cover the entire cost. Graduate students are eligible to be paid with SCF employment funds only if they are being paid as student employees using a regular student employment account code. The TA or RA type account code may not be used for paying graduate students with SCF employment funds. The submission of quarterly reports is required to document and certify the appropriate use of these funds. Student employment funds allocated to a department may not be carried forward; any funds remaining at the end of the fiscal year will be recaptured into general SCF funds for redistribution.

     In some cases with preapproval student employment funds may be used for the purpose of hiring student employees to provide web assistance. Current examples are qualified student employees in Spectral Fusions and IT Technology Support Services.

     STAP (Student Technology Assistants Program) employment funds are a special type of student employment funds with different rules. STAP places students in campus units to provide part-time technology support. To be considered for STAP, campus units complete a campus unit profile form. Once approved, student placement occurs, and the campus unit completes the STAP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which details program requirements. Upon MOU receipt, the STAP coordinator allocates STAP funding to the campus unit to fund (or partially fund) a student’s wages and all STAP required student training. STAP commits to two semesters per student, but only allocates funding per semester. Campus units are expected to provide an expense report each semester. Future semester funding is dependent on receipt of this report. Campus unit supervisors are expected to allow and encourage their STAP students to attend all STAP-specific training sessions, which are held both in-person and online. Students also complete an MOU which details STAP program guidelines and expectations. More information can be found at Unused STAP funds can be carried over into the next fiscal year.


Classroom Technology Funds

     The SCFC is currently providing $100,000 per year for 5 years (through FY2014) towards the UM Campus Classroom Technology Upgrade Project. After 5 years (beginning in FY2015) the SCFC contribution will be reduced to an appropriate annual amount towards ongoing classroom upkeep.


Contingency Funds

Limited SCF employment and equipment contingency funds are available under the following special circumstances:

*available equipment or employment funds are not sufficient to cover a special project

*due to special circumstances a fiscal year-end shortfall is anticipated

     To request contingency funding the Contingency Funds Request Form must be completed and presented by a departmental representative at an SCFC meeting. Limited funds are available and there is no guarantee that funds will be provided even if a project meets the minimum requirements for approval.

     Employment contingency funds are provided from unused employment fund allocations recaptured from previous years. A maximum of $20,000 may be available for the campus wide pool. Proposals will be accepted from the first day of spring semester classes through the last day of February of the current fiscal year; no preference will be given to earlier submittals. Proposals can also be made during this time if anticipating a fiscal year-end shortfall of funding for SCF student employment. However, recurring requests for this shortfall assistance will not be considered.

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Article ID: 42492
Tue 11/14/17 9:13 AM
Thu 6/10/21 2:45 PM