March 20-21, 2003


ITEM 118-2001-R0303��������������� Authorization to Establish a Permanent Information Technology Fee; Montana State University-Bozeman


THAT:�������������������������������������� The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Bozeman to replace its temporary Network Services Fee with a permanent Information Technology Fee, at FYE 2006, when the temporary Fee is scheduled to expire.     


EXPLANATION:����������������������� 1.�� The Network Services Fee is a mandatory, per-student fee which provides partial funding of the University=s current debt service on its student/administrative software. It is scheduled to terminate ("sunset") at FYE 2006, at which time the bonds issued to pay for the purchase and implementation of the University's student/administrative (SCT Banner) software will have been retired.


2.�� In 1998, when the Regents approved Network Services Fees for MSU campuses, they required a "sunset" provision on the Fees.� The following year, when the Regents approved Information Technology Fees for UM campuses, no "sunset" provisions were required.


3.�� At present no reliable, continuing source of funding exists to fully fund the purchase, upgrade, and replacement of central computing and network equipment and software at Montana State University-Bozeman.


4.�� Much central computing and network equipment at MSU-Bozeman has reached, or is reaching, the end of its useful lifespan and must be upgraded or replaced before a disastrous failure occurs.


5.�� The creation of a permanent Information Technology Fee will eventually generate approximately $600,000 per year, which will provide a substantial portion of the funds necessary to ensure timely (3-4 year lifecycle) replacement of the University's existing (~ $3,000,000) investment in central computing and networking equipment and software, as well as enhancements that will undoubtedly be expected by students and faculty in future years.


6.�� Board of Regents' approval of this request will not modify the current $25/semester cost of this Fee, nor its pledged use, throughout fiscal years 2004, 2005, and 2006.� However, approval of this request, at this time, will allow the University to begin developing long term financial and capital replacement plans.


7.�� In accordance with the Regents= new Policy (506.1) on Student Participation in Mandatory Fee Decisions, this proposal was presented to the ASMSU Senate for its review and discussion.� A copy of the presentation is attached.� On February 20, 2003, the ASMSU Senate voted (17-1-1) to support an extension of the current sunset date by five (5) years.


8.�� Use of Information Technology Fee revenues will be subject to oversight by the MSU-Bozeman Information Technology Advisory Committee, which includes student representation as well as university faculty, staff, and administrators.  


ATTACHMENT������������������������� ASMSU Senate Presentation