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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Regents approve tech fee

    Regent Dennis DeConcini addresses the Arizona Board of Regents during the debate over student fees during their meeting yesterday. DeConcini helped introduce the student proposal for a $36 fee, which regents eventually denied in favor of a $50 fee proposed by President Robert Shelton.
    Regent Dennis DeConcini addresses the Arizona Board of Regents during the debate over student fees during their meeting yesterday. DeConcini helped introduce the student proposal for a $36 fee, which regents eventually denied in favor of a $50 fee proposed by President Robert Shelton.

    The Arizona Board of Regents approved a $50 student fee increase at their meeting yesterday, creating a total yearly library and a technology fee of $115 to begin in the fall.

    The regents approved the increase submitted by President Robert Shelton, comprised of $15 for the UA library system and $35 for information technology, that Shelton called “”absolutely the minimum”” necessary to achieve the UA’s goals.

    Students had proposed the same amount for the library, but hoped regents would approve a smaller $21 fee for technology.

    Regent Robert Bulla said the student fee is one way of obtaining necessary resources to keep this campus competitive with other universities.

    “”We’re just so far behind the curve on technology, especially here at the U of A,”” Bulla said.

    Regents also agreed to oversee how the money is implemented, with quarterly reports from the university.

    Paul Thorn, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, said he was a little disappointed by regents’ decision on the fee.

    “”I was optimistic we would get our proposal,”” Thorn said, adding that he was partially satisfied Shelton had come down from an initial higher proposal.

    UA administrators asked for a $130 technology fee one year ago. Regents approved half, handing down a $65 fee that students began paying this year.

    Regents had planned to discuss the remainder of this fee at their meeting in November, when they set tuition, but decided instead to allow student and university leadership time to discuss the issue.

    In that time, students formulated their fee proposal by forming a board to examine what students wanted and how much they were willing to pay for it. The board issued a report detailing specific uses for each of the students’ proposed $21.

    After examining the student proposal, Shelton said he revised his request down to $35, though he said he thinks $50 would have been justified.

    “”I felt I needed to show some respect to the students’ wishes,”” Shelton said.

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Erin Hertzog said she is encouraged by Shelton’s willingness to listen to student recommendations, but she had hoped to change the way regents look at the fee-setting process.

    “”We need to get to a point where not one dollar of that fee is unassigned to something,”” Hertzog said. “”The purpose should come before the approval.””

    Shelton said he thinks it’s good for students to have a venue to advise the administration about what is important to students, though he expressed reservations about an “”overly simplistic”” understanding of where university funding comes from.

    Regent Dennis DeConcini, who supported the student proposal, said he wonders why faculty members, who also use campus technology services, don’t have to pay a fee.

    Shelton said the university does ask for some percentage of money from the grants faculty receive for research, so they pay for the technology in much the same way students do.

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