Revised: July 20, 2001

I. Background

In the 1993-95 biennium, the University of Wisconsin-Madison proposed, and the Legislature approved, a 2.5% tuition increase, of which 1.7% was for technology. The technology fee was then applied to all campuses during the 1995-97 biennium at a rate of 1% in the first year and 2% each year thereafter. This fee is designated as the Student Technology Fee (STF).

The STF is a tuition surcharge, which is part of UW System’s GPR/Fee budget. As such, it is subject to policies for approval and allocation of GPR/Fee funds. It is not a Segregated Fee. The STF is intended to provide students with additional services. STF should not replace existing funds intended to support student technology. Students at all campuses pay the STF.

II. Policy

Each UW System institution shall form a committee that will review plans for the allocation of the Student Technology Fee. This committee shall include students appointed by student government, and appropriate campus staff appointed by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. This committee shall be advisory to the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. Plans developed for the allocation of the Student Technology Fee shall be consistent with the campus IT Plan and the campus overall strategic plan.

If there are major changes in STF plans during the year, the new plans shall be reviewed by the Committee. Furthermore, any significant changes in STF plans for fixed costs, especially personnel expenses, from one year to the next, must consider potential contractual obligations/implications.

UW System institutions shall establish a specific accounting tracking mechanism for STF allocations as well as provide an annual report of expenditures to student government.

III. Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to assist UW System institutions in evaluating the allocation of the STF. The fee should concentrate on areas that visibly benefit all students. The guidelines are divided to indicate examples of appropriate and inappropriate STF expenditures. Neither division is to be considered a comprehensive list.

A. Examples of appropriate STF Expenditures

  1. Expenses related to general access computer laboratories such as:
    1. Adding staffing for computer help desks and other support services to better assist students and increase hours of operation for computer labs.
    2. Upgrading current computer workstations or adding workstations.
    3. Adding hardware including printers, scanners, etc.
    4. Adding improved or upgraded software to general access computers or the comprehensive university network.
  2. Expenses related to student access improvements such as:
    1. Implementing/improving dial-in and other higher speed access for students off-campus.
    2. Upgrading or improving local area and wide area networking including internet access.
    3. On-line resources for students.
    4. General access computers, video projectors and related equipment and supplies used for student class presentations.
  3. Expenses related to training the student population as a whole to better enable them to utilize computer hardware, software, and new technologies.
  4. Expenses related to improving the level of technology for students with disabilities.

B. Examples of expenditures that are normally considered inappropriate for STF Funds

  1. Equipment and supplies used directly in classroom and lab instruction by faculty and staff.
  2. Computer hardware, software, or upgrades for faculty/staff offices and faculty/staff only workstations.
  3. Department specific or limited access equipment which has limited to little potential for student use.
  4. Research equipment.

If the campus STF Review Committee recommends and the Chancellor approves expenditures from the list of inappropriate expenditures or which may be questioned for appropriateness, a rationale of how the expenditures benefit students must be kept on file for future audits.