Student Information Technology Committee
By Mary Jane Pearson, Executive Assistant
When the technology fee was first established, a portion of that fee was set aside to give students a voice in student technology initiatives above and beyond university administrative direction. In the past, these funds have been used for outstanding initiatives across campus, including laptop checkout at the Library, wireless access in open areas of the campus, computing equipment in computer labs, and much, much, more. Currently, $250,000 is allocated each academic year, giving students an important role in determining where technology dollars should be spent to give the best value to the student community.
A Student Information Technology Committee is formed annually each fall semester and consists of appointed representatives from each of the academic colleges. The committee is under the leadership of the Student Body President and the direction of Jeff Sorensen, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs. Each fall, the committee begins by notifying eligible departments of the request process for available funds and appropriate deadlines. When the deadline is reached, the committee reviews all requests to determine if they meet pre-established criteria, and then forwards eligible requests to the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to be reviewed for technical accuracy, compatibility with UT Arlington systems and best price recommendations. In January, the committee meets with the CIO and OIT directors to discuss the viability of each request and sets priorities on their value to students and the University. OIT attends in a consulting capacity with no voting privileges. Final decisions are based on the amount of funding that is available, prioritized requests, and their costs.
Due to leftover funds from prior years, the funds allotted for the fiscal year of 2006-2007 totaled more than $600,000, funding projects in 15 different units on campus connected to Student Affairs, Academic Colleges and OIT. Funds will be used to provide technology for areas such as the new Maverick Activities Center computer lab, Student Governance and Organizations, the School of Architecture, replacing outdated equipment in computer labs, continued expansion of wireless technology to classrooms, and many more. For a complete list of funded projects and requirements to participate, please contact Jeff Sorenson in the Office of Student Affairs.
The 2007 committee spent many hours in discussion and debate about the best use of funds for both students and UT Arlington. They should be commended for taking this responsibility of spending student funds in a fair, consistent and cost conscious manner.