Technology access fees provide network access

Evidence of Tech’s infrastructure project can be seen by walking in the front doors of the library. No student fees are being used for the renovations. The infrastructure project is additional money separate from the funds provided by the technology access fee paid by students. “In 2009, the University received $9 million in federal stimulus funds,” Annette Littrell, information technology services academic computing support manager, said. “Part of that $9 million is being used to totally renovate the University network.”

The infrastructure project is a system upgrade to make both wired and wireless connections faster. The ongoing project must be completed by the end of the year.

The upgrade implemented guidelines for equipment in order to be compatible with the network. Computers below specification will be denied access to the network if not updated.

Departments can apply to receive TAF funds to pay for new equipment. Currently, the RUC 381 lab used by the journalism program is the only incompatible lab. All other departments applied for money or came up with money on their own.

The Tennessee Board of Regents sets the regulation on how the fund from the TAF should be used.

According to Tech’s web site, “The TAF should be used by TBR institutions for direct student benefit, for items such as new and improved high technology laboratories and classrooms, appropriate network and software, computer and other equipment, and technological improvements that enhance instruction.”

Teaching stations could also be affected by the network upgrades. Effective July 1, the specifications for a PC is Dell 745 or higher with a core-series processor, 2GB of RAM, and Windows XP or 7. Mac’s requirements are Intel-Core Duo 2GHz or higher, 2GB of RAM and OS 10.6x.

TAF funds should be applied for if the specifications are not met in a lab or teaching station. The proposal needs to include how the funds will be used, how it will benefit students and how many students will be impacted.

“The students pay the fee, so the money should be used to benefit them,” Littrell said.

The proposal is submitted and evaluated by a committee comprised of department chairs, deans and other faculty.

The busiest labs are automatically renewed by TAF to benefit students. Clement Hall 313, Johnson Hall 214 and Henderson Hall 111 will not be affected because they are cornerstone labs.

Lab hours and locations can be found at www.tntech.edu/computing/computing.