Tech Fee Competitive Proposal Process Changes Announced

By Cathy McVey, IT Services

What if you got the notice that your tax refund will cover that special vacation, but you have to wait nearly six months before that money is yours to spend? Lots can happen in six months. Prices for tickets, hotels, and more can shift drastically. Reservations may not be held without payment. Life circumstances may change.

Faculty, staff, and students applying for the Student Technology Fee competitive proposal awards have faced similar challenges. Proposals have been due in February, with awards announced in May. Funds, however, are not disbursed until October. The student with the great idea in January may well have graduated and moved on. The technology a faculty member sought to enhance learning may be eclipsed – technology moves that fast, sometimes.Instructor pointing at virtual cadaver while working with a student

Responding to concerns expressed by members of the Miami community, the University Senate IT Policy Committee has been reviewing the Competitive Proposal Process that has been in place since 2008. The first change approved by the Committee is to revise the timeline for submission, review, and awarding of funds.

Beginning with the FY19 round, the Competitive Award Process will be compressed into the Fall Term, culminating with the disbursal of funds in December. A detailed schedule provides all of the significant deadlines in the revised timeline.

All students registered on the Oxford or Luxembourg campus pay the Student Technology Fee. The fee was created in 2008 to support the continually rising costs of maintaining a robust IT environment and stimulate the development of innovative student-focused technology projects on the Oxford campus.

The funds are divided into three pools, as follows:

  • Ongoing Student Services: Provides funds to keep technology in classrooms up to date, fund positions dedicated to student support, pay wages for IT Services student staff, and provide maintenance for software in support of student services.
  • Dean's Allocations: This portion is allocated to the School, the Colleges, and the Libraries for each dean to respond to student technology needs in their division.
  • Competitive Proposal Process: Provides funds for the innovative student-focused technology projects submitted by students, faculty, or staff. Any student, faculty member, staff member, group or department on the Oxford campus may submit a proposal. Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the approved tech fee guidelines for expenditures.

While the IT Services division is charged with managing the Student Technology Fee funds, the Competitive Proposal Process is overseen by the University Senate IT Policy Committee. This change in timeline is the first of several changes being considered. Watch future Miami Matters, myMiami, and the IT Services monthly newsletter for announcements. For more information about the Student Technology Fee, please send an email to