New Fee for Technology?

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Florida's State University system chancellor Mark Rosenberg says right now there are no state funds available to help Florida's public universities catch up with technology.

"Half of our buildings were built in the 1960s and 1970s. They, of course, were not built with fiber optic, or wireless connectivity, into the classroom with state-of-the-art projectors, which are critical now in the multimedia classroom environment," said Rosenberg.

During a recent meeting of the Florida Board of Governors, the board proposed the idea of allowing universities to have the option of adding a technology fee of up to $10 per student per credit hour.

"The cost of technology is really increasing every year. There are a lot of benefits that students would enjoy if there was funding for them. Hopefully we would be able to reinstitute the free printing for them at computer labs on campus," said Mary Coburn, FSU Vice President for Student Affairs.

The Board of Governors has to first bring the idea to the Legislature for approval. Once approved, each university will create a committee made up of students and administration. Those committees will decide if a fee is needed, and decide how much the fee with be.

Rosenberg says Student Government Associations from Florida's 11 public universities have worked on this idea for the past six months and anticipate the Legislature's approval.

Many public universities and colleges in Georgia, like the University of Georgia for example, have already implemented a technology fee, following approval by the Georgia University System Board of Regents.