March 20-21, 2003


ITEM 118-2803-R0303��������������� Authorization to Establish a Permanent Information Technology Fee; Montana State University-Northern        


THAT:��������������������������������������The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Northern 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 funding for Northern�s share of the current debt service on the student/administrative system (SCT Banner) and central costs associated with the system. It is scheduled to terminate (�sunset�) at FYE 2006, at which time the bonds issued to pay for the purchase and implementation of the SCT Banner System 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 located at Montana State University-Bozeman or fund life cycle replacement and support of faculty and administrative desk top computers at Northern.


4.�� Much central computing and network equipment located 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 generate approximately $110,000 per year on the Northern Campus 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, networking equipment and software, as well as funding for life cycle replacement and support of faculty and administrative desk top computers.


6.�� Board of Regents approval of this request will not modify the current $36/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 ASMSUN Senate for its review and discussion.�


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