Tech Fee: Looking Forward and Back

Block Miami 'M' with text 'Supported by your Miami Student Technology Fee'
Block Miami 'M' with text 'Supported by your Miami Student Technology Fee'

The Student Technology Fee competitive proposal awards began in 2009 as a way for Miami faculty, staff, and students to fund innovative and exciting technology-related projects. Since that time, over $4 million has been awarded to help students in and out of the classroom through the use of technology.

Literally hundreds of projects have been funded over the years. Everything from cameras and cables for the Libraries, to computers and servers, to highly technical scientific research equipment.

One of the requirements for receiving funding is that a final report be submitted to the committee upon completion of the project. A recently completed project was the purchase of 50 Livescribe smartpens and 50 3-subject notebooks for Student Disability Services (SDS) through Student Affairs. In the final report, SDS noted that they had a very high satisfaction rate by those who used the pens and notebooks, and that the overall GPA of the students who were assigned the pens rose from 2.70 to 2.88 during the first semester of use.

Another recently completed report was filed through the College of Engineering and Computing. They requested, and were granted, a little over $6,500 to help with the restoration of a Nexus 670 Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer to be used by chemical, paper and bioengineering students. The final report noted the restoration was a success, and the unit is being used by both undergrad and graduate students in a variety of disciplines. According to the report, “The refurbished equipment has been an asset for students involved in research involving chemical reactions or materials characterization.”

Proposals for the FY18 Student Technology Fee competitive process were submitted to the deans and Student Affairs through Monday, Feb. 27. Final decisions on what proposals are accepted will be announced by May 12. This year there is a total of $525,000 available, with $40,000 of that going specifically to graduate student projects.

Innovative or significant ideas that clearly benefit students are mostly likely to get Tech Fee funding. The guidelines define significant in two ways: impacting a large number of students or having a deep impact on a smaller number. Projects may be directly related to academics or may be part of the broader Miami Experience, making students’ life better or more productive. Both graduate- and undergraduate-focused proposals are encouraged.

For more information about the Tech Fee competitive process, please visit the Tech Fee website, or you also may send questions via email to

The Student Technology Fee is paid by all students on the Oxford campus. It was enacted by the Board of Trustees in 2007. Each year the fund is divided into portions that support broad student technology needs via IT Services, academic technology via a Deans’ Base Allocation, and the Competitive Proposal Process. A record of all competitive proposals received and funded is available on the Tech Fee website.