Tech Fees on Deck

BY ALEXA CHERRY
For the UAS Whalesong
A short while ago, someone from the University of Alaska Fairbanks contacted the Whalesong office with a fairly specific request for research. In their E-mail, they stated “At its establishment in 1997, the Board of Regents stipulated that ‘each chancellor, director or president will ensure that student representatives participate in the decision-making process related to the use of the revenue at each campus.’” They continued on to say that “a reallocation of the fee occurred at UAF last year, diverting 85% of the collected funds to OIT and the campus library, with only 15% remaining for allocation to projects and departments with student input.” The question they had was  whether or not anything like this was also happening at UAS, and asked if I would make an inquiry with the regional Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR) about the use of the    technology fee on Southeast campuses and who decides on those uses.
That’s a lot of information to take in at once, and at first I wasn’t sure where to start looking for an answer. Fortunately, I did have access to the E-mails of everyone on the regional TLTR, so I contacted them all – and, to my surprise, I got an E-mail back from the one person I hadn’t contacted, Vice Chancellor Michael Ciri! He informed me that he was the “resident expert and historian” on the UAS tech fee, and asked if I would be interested in meeting to talk about it. Of course I was, so we set up a meeting to do so. I think my words to a fellow Whalesong reporter as I was going into the meeting were something like “I don’t expect this to take an hour;” I must have jinxed myself, because I did emerge an hour later, but it was worth it. While I’m not sure that I gained the specific answer to the specific question that our contact at UAF was interested in, I did glean quite a lot of interesting information about the application and history of the technology fee here at UAS that I thought other students might be interested in – so settle in, it’s time to learn some things. Continue reading “Tech Fees on Deck”