Technology Access Fees

Technology Access Fee Guidelines

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.

  • Computers and other technical laboratory supplies, equipment, software and maintenance.
  • Network costs (WWW, internet, interactive video, etc.)
  • "Smart” or multi-media classroom equipment and classroom modifications
  • Lab and course staffing – student and staff assistance for lab and classroom uses; universities are limited to a 12% maximum (Pool 2 current-year TAF revenues) and student employees only; community colleges are limited to 25% maximum (Pool 2 current-year TAF revenues) for student or staff employees.
  • Renewal and replacement reserves as necessary.
  • New machines for faculty use when faculty are actively engaged in developing and conducting on-line courses.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Expand technology resources in library, i.e., video piped anywhere on campus, interactive video room for distance education, network for web video courses.

Effective July 1, 2005, institutions may use Technology Access Fee (TAF) revenues for the purpose of supporting the financing of the implementation of the Banner Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project including susequent software and hardware upgrades.  Use of TAF funds for this purpose is limited to a maximum of 25% of the annual revenue collected at universities, community colleges and technology centers.  Use of TAF fees for the ERP project must be disclosed and justified in the annual spending plan which requires approval by the Board.  The provision for use of TAF fees for this special purpose is limited to a maximum of five (5) fiscal years.

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

Are there any written guidelines that explain what TAF Pool 1 funds can be used for?
There are no written guidelines for Pool 1. When this was originally approved as a fee, the funds were to go toward supporting technology for students.

Is printer paper an allowable TAF expense?
Printer paper may be purchased from Pool 1 TAF Fees only.

TAF guidelines include a maximum percentage for Pool 2 revenues for lab and course staffing. Does this mean that I can use any amount of Pool 1 revenues for lab and course staffing?
Yes. There are no limits on the percentage of Pool 1 revenues used for lab and course staffing.

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 there any limitations on how Pool 1 TAF revenues are spent?
Guideline B-060 states that the purpose of the technology access fee is to “provide student access to computing and similar technologies.” All TAF expenditures should meet Guideline B-060’s definition.

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 TBR TAF policy restricts Pool 2 uses for staffing to student employees. The issue of benefits is not addressed, but usually student employees are not eligible for benefits. There are no restrictions on the use of Pool 1 funds for staffing other than Guideline B-060's general requirement that all TAF expenditures "provide student access to computing and similar technologies." There are no further TBR restrictions regarding extra benefits therefore the restriction must be an institutional one. The above answer also applies to community colleges with the exception that Pool 2 funds are not limited to only student employees.

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 instititions 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.

What type of spending plan revisions require TBR approval?
Guideline B-060 states that “Revisions to approved spending plans that expand existing projects or add new projects must be approved by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.” Therefore, projects that only exceed the approved spending plan without increasing the scope of the project do not require approval; an expansion of existing projects or new projects do require approval.

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.