Technology Access Fees

Technology Access Fee Guidelines

1.    A fee shall be levied by each institution for the purpose of providing student access to computing and similar technologies. It is refundable on the same basis as tuition or as established by the institutions. Institutions shall establish expenditure accounts and designated revenue accounts for purposes of recording technology access fees and expenditures.

2.    Use
The TAF should be used by TBR institutions for direct student benefit, for items such as new and improved high technology laboratories and classrooms, appropriate network and software, computer and other equipment, and technological improvements that enhance instruction. Use of TAF funds includes but is not limited to the following items:
a.    Computers and other technical laboratory supplies, equipment, and software and maintenance.
b.    Network costs (internet service, interactive video, etc.)
c.    "Smart" or multimedia classroom equipment and classroom modifications.
d.    Lab and course staffing - student and staff assistance for lab and classroom uses; community colleges are limited to 25% maximum of current-year TAF revenues for student or staff employees.
e.    Renewal and replacement reserves as necessary.
f.    New machines for faculty use when faculty are actively engaged in developing and conducting on-line courses.
g.    Faculty and staff development directly related to the introduction or application of new technology which impacts students. These guidelines should have the flexibility to place instructional technology in a faculty lab where course materials are being prepared. For example, TAF funds can be used to create faculty labs to include the purchase of computers and to conduct faculty training and course development. (Travel costs for faculty and staff are excluded; however, consultants may be hired as needed for training.)
h.    Infrastructure (wiring, network, servers, etc.) necessary to provide students maximum computing capability. A ceiling is established of 50% of the total project costs from which technology access fees can be used.

3.    Expand technology resources in library, i.e., video piped anywhere on campus, interactive video room for distance education, network for web video courses.
Compliance with these guidelines will be audited by the internal audit staff and reported to the Board as determined by the internal auditor’s annual risk-based planning process or other appropriate means.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the monthly internet access fee an allowable TAF expense? If so, is there a percentage limitation (25%, 50%, etc)?
Yes, the monthly internet access fee is allowable. TAF guidelines include network costs (WWW, internet, interactive video, etc.) without any percentage limitations.

Are furniture (tables, chairs, etc.) expenditures allowable?
Furniture that is part of an overall TAF project (such as smart classrooms, student labs, etc.) is allowable. Furniture that is not part of a TAF project (such as for student lounges, regular classrooms, faculty offices, etc.) is not allowable.

Is it a STATE policy that universities cannot pay extra benefits with TAF funds or is it an institutional decision?
The issue of benefits is not addressed, but usually student employees are not eligible for benefits. There are no TBR restrictions regarding extra benefits therefore the restriction must be an institutional one. 

If it is either a STATE policy or an institutional decision, do we have the option of not paying the extra benefits (such as 401K)?
While there are some benefits that some institutions have elected not to pay (such as the professional privilege tax for their employees), TBR made a systemwide decision some years ago that all institutions would participate in the 401k match. Depending on what some of these other "extra benefits" are, you may have the option of not paying them. The decision to not pay the benefits, however, would have to apply to all employees, not just those funded by TAF.

Once an institution spends TAF money that has been transferred to R&R, are there any reporting requirements at that point? Do these expenditures have to be included in the TAF budget or expenditure report in any way?
There is no further reporting on expenditures from R&R; however, the purchases made should be for items that fit the TAF Guideline criteria.

Are Desire2Learn (D2L) costs, an allowable TAF expense? If so, is there a 50% cap on the expenses that may be charged to TAF?
Yes, D2L costs are an allowable TAF expense. Also, because D2L is a software program, it is not limited to the 50% cap that is placed on infrastructure costs.