CTS proposes increase to $431 technology fee

Campus Technology Services is proposing for Oswego State to increase its campus technology fee by $14 as part of its annual broad-based fee increase in order to support growing technology services on campus.

“One of the things that sets us apart from some of our sister schools is our cutting-edge technology,” said Victoria Furlong, assistant vice president of finance and budget at Oswego State. “Having smart classrooms and giving our instructors and processors access to the latest and greatest technology enhances the ability for students to learn.”

The current technology fee is $431 and pays for the CTS department, including college computers, campus labs and software licensing. The fee at Oswego State ranks the fifth most expensive out of 12 SUNY campuses, according to a presentation at Student Association on Feb. 26. Purchase College charges the most at $533, while Buffalo State University charges the least at $349.

“I think for the money that we offer, and we’re right in the middle with our tech fee, I feel very lucky here at Oswego. We really go back and invest in the technology that students have access to,” said Sean Moriarty, chief technology officer on campus. “It’s as good as you’d see at any school.”

The $14 increase would allow the campus to maintain its current level of tech services as those costs increase. The cost of the 45 students employed by CTS this semester will rise as minimum wage increases. Additionally, the fee allows CTS to expand services on campus, namely internet access.

“We’re all watching more video. We’re all streaming things from the internet,” Moriarty said. “So, to offer that level of service, we’re going to need to reinvest that money into the infrastructure.”

As internet traffic on campus increases, Moriarty said he expects the need for the network on campus to support those higher bandwidths and wireless internet access to expand.

The fee also goes toward offering professional licensed software in Oswego computer labs, which helps students prepare for their careers.

“It prepares students and gives them access to the things they’ll use [in their careers],” Moriarty said. “Having access to the software really prepares them for whatever the next step is in their career.”

Furlong said the fee increases are based on the Higher Education Price Index, which measures the costs of the higher education industry.

“Inflation alone, in terms of costs associated with higher education, probably at times exceed what that price index allows for,” Furlong said. “We have a planful projection of costs associated with the next three, to five, to seven years.”

Proposed broad-based fee increases total $44 this year, including increases to the athletics fee, technology fee, health fee and transportation fee. The rising cost of maintaining current services was the main theme when the fees were explained to SA on Feb. 26. The college is required to present the changes to broad-based fees to SA every year, according to Furlong.

“We like to keep [SA and students] abreast of exactly what the money is used for, how much the increase is every year,” Furlong said. “It’s a good atmosphere to solicit questions and have that body have questions asked and answered.”

The athletics fee is proposed to increase by the most, requiring an additional $18 to cover rising costs of supporting college sports such as transportation, events and student employees, Director of Athletics Susan Viscomi said to SA during her presentation.

The health fee is proposed to increase by $10 next year, which will allow the Mary Walker Health Center and counseling services to maintain their current programs and leave room for additional staff if those programs meet higher demand, Director of Student Health Services Angela Brown and Director of Counseling Services Center Katherine Wolfe-Lyga told SA.

Transportation is proposed to increase by $2, according to General Manager of Auxiliary Services Michael Flaherty at SA. The fee would go toward transportation contracts at Oswego State, such as bus lines.

Photo by Maria Pericozzi | The Oswegonian

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