March 20-21, 2003


ITEM 118-2703-R0303 �������������� Authorization to Establish a Permanent Information Technology Fee at Montana State University-Billings       


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


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 and campus specific computing and network equipment and software at Montana State University-Billings.


4.�� Much central and campus specific computing and network equipment 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 generate funds to provide funds necessary to ensure timely (3-4 year lifecycle) replacement of the University�s existing investment in central and campus specific 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 $5.45 per credit hour 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-B Senate for its review and discussion.