Proposal Instructions

Proposal Instructions PDF

Florida Statute 1009.24 provides for a Technology Fee. The specific language of the statute is:

A technology fee of up to 5 percent of the tuition per credit hour, beginning with the fall term of the 2009‐2010 academic year. The revenue from this fee shall be used to enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty. The technology fee shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

Purpose

Florida State University is committed to enhancing instructional technology resources and to preparing its students to thrive in a technology‐rich work environment. That commitment includes engaging faculty and students in the strategic planning and decision making process for instructional technology acquisition and implementation.

The university intends to fund projects which provide:

  • Significant value to students and faculty through the creation and support of high‐quality, relevant and effective instructional technology
  • New or enhanced instructional technology as opposed to perpetuation of the “status quo”
  • Accountability as to the use and impact of the technology funds on instruction

Background

To accomplish the above, the university Information Technology Governance Council oversees the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee, which is chaired by the University Chief Information Officer and is comprised of student leaders, faculty and senior staff.

The award methodology includes the following components:

  • Approximately one-third of the total revenue approved for distribution will be awarded to the colleges (including the Panama City Campus and International Programs) based on each college’s prior year instructional technology expenditures (as reported in the Annual Instructional Technology Expenditures Survey) and student credit hours, with the restriction that no college will receive more than 40 percent of its prior year expenditures on instructional technology.
  • Approximately one-third of the total revenue approved for distribution will be provided to the central IT units (Information Technology Services, Office of Distance Learning, University Libraries) for instructional technology enhancements that will deliver campus‐wide benefits.
  • Approximately one-third of the total revenue approved for distribution will be distributed in response to approved proposals that will materially improve instructional technology.

Eligibility

Proposals may be submitted on behalf of any university organization, not just the colleges and academic departments. The key for consideration by the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee is that the proposed project, if funded, must enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty, as specified by Florida Statute 1009.24.

Proposal Creation

Proposals should be no more than five pages in length (excluding budget and budget justification) and include the following:

  • A succinct yet descriptive project title.
  • project description that clearly states what will be done.
  • An explanation of the impact of this project on instruction. Submitters should include a description of the courses that will be impacted and their enrollments and/or a description of how this effort will benefit a segment of the student population. Submitters are strongly encouraged to estimate the overall number of students that will benefit and to explain the rationale for these estimates.
  • project plan, including a timeline, key milestones and how the submitter will determine that the project is complete.
  • An explanation of the relationship of this project to other university activities and how these activities will be enhanced and/or leveraged as a result of this project.
  • An estimate of the cost of ongoing support and a plan for supporting the effort after the project is complete.
  • description of the project team, including any partners external to the requester's department, such as vendors or other university departments.
  • Any special experiences or abilities that demonstrate the participants’ abilities to carry out this project. NOTE: Some projects only involve purchasing hardware and/or software and as a result require little comment on prior project experience.
  • budget and budget explanation/justification that include the total cost plus an identification of the individual personnel, hardware, software and installation and/or implementation expenses (beyond the efforts of those listed in personnel). These are internal funds, so no overhead is included. The budget should not include ongoing operational costs since these are expected to be funded by the department in subsequent years. The budget justification should include specific products to be purchased when known or brief descriptions of your requirements. Supporting documentation such as cost estimates, product descriptions, labor rates and vendor quotes must accompany the proposal whenever possible. If these are not available, please indicate why the Committee should consider the proposal. A budget template is provided: Budget Template

To facilitate efficient evaluation of the proposal, budget and any other supporting documents, all pages should be scanned and submitted as a single PDF document.

Submission Instructions

Proposals must be submitted to Tom Morgan, Information Technology Services Senior Project Specialist, at tmorgan@fsu.edu.

Multi-Component Proposals

It is recommended that the scope of each proposal be limited to one significant deliverable. If a proposal needs to include multiple deliverables that are sufficiently independent of each other to make stand-alone implementation feasible, it is recommended that costs be subtotaled for each component deliverable. Doing so will facilitate Committee decisions regarding full versus partial funding (see Funding Options below).

High-Dollar Proposals

While there is no official maximum dollar amount that may be requested via a single proposal, please keep in mind that the overall proposal budget for recent award cycles has been $1.5 million. Since the Committee generally tries to spread the budgeted funds across as many worthy proposals as possible, proposals requesting substantial six-figure amounts risk rejection because their approval would consume a disproportionate share of the budget. For these proposals, the above recommendation regarding "multi-component proposals" is especially important.

Evaluation of Proposals

The Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

  • The project will result in the improvement or continuation in the use of instructional technology.
  • The project addresses a well‐defined, mission‐critical need within the program or the university.
  • The project addresses at least one of the following types of strategic efforts:
    • Broad university‐wide instructional technology needs
    • Instructional technology needs of a specific group of students (such as those within a particular college, department or major)
  • The implementation plan provides a realistic representation and assessment of the resources, cost and time required to complete the project.
  • The project team is qualified to carry out this project.
  • The proposal provides a realistic transition and continuity plan that identifies the resources, cost and time required to move from project completion to ongoing operation and maintenance.
  • The project can be sustained after implementation with existing unit resources. There should be no expectation that technology fee revenues will be awarded in subsequent years to fund ongoing costs such as software licenses, technical support staff, equipment replacement, etc.
  • The project makes efficient use of Florida State University’s existing instructional technology resources and/or the project promotes collaboration and sharing of instructional technology resources between colleges and/or administrative units.
  • The project budget includes only allowable expenses (see below).
  • The project is consistent with Florida State University’s policies on the use of computing resources.
  • The project is aligned with Florida State University’s long‐term plan for instructional technology resources.
  • The proposal conveys a very high probability of being successful through the use of proven technologies, services and methodologies. The general nature of a project may be state‐of‐the‐art or leading edge, but not “bleeding edge,” experimental or research-oriented.

Proposals are expected to address strategic instructional goals and as a result may be part of a multi‐year effort. However, the funds requested for each year must be must be encumbered within the same fiscal year that they are allocated. Unused funds will be returned to the technology fee reserve for allocation in subsequent years.

Allowable Expenses

Proposal budgets are expected to cover the costs of project implementation and the transition from project implementation to ongoing use. These costs may include equipment, software, personnel and expenses.

As stated above, proposals should not include costs for ongoing operations. Proposal authors should explain how recurring costs will be funded following implementation and deployment.

While project implementation costs may include expenses for equipment and personnel, inclusion of funding in the proposed budget is strongly discouraged for:

  • Summer faculty positions
  • Faculty or staff positions which are not fully dedicated to the project, especially if they are meant to be continued after project completion
  • Equipment, especially computers, of a general use nature that will be used for non‐project related purposes during the project and/or after the project is complete
  • Facilities renovations
  • Furnishings

The rationale of these caveats is that technology fee revenues are solely intended to improve instructional technology and should not be used to fund expenditures that should be paid from the unit’s operating budget. Any anticipated project expenditures that might conflict with these guidelines should be explained in the proposal, with emphasis on why these expenditures are essential for the success of the project and why alternative funding sources cannot be utilized.

Funding Options

Proposals may be approved for full or partial funding. Offers of partial funding typically occur when:

  • The voting members of the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee agree that one or more proposed expenditures within a proposal should not be funded with technology fee revenues (please see the explanation of Allowable Expenses provided above); or
  • "High-dollar" requests include multiple sub-deliverables which, if funded separately, would enhance instructional technology; or
  • The Committee voting members attempt to spread the proposal budget across as many worthy proposals as possible.

Assessment of Need and Accountability

The Information Technology Governance Council and the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee share a fiduciary responsibility for ensuring that technology fee revenues are used for purposes that comply with Florida Statute 1009.24. Academic and administrative units awarded funds as a result of a Student Technology Fee proposal will be asked to document the use of the technology fee funds in a final project report that is addressed to the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee. Interim progress reports will be requested for multi‐year projects. Reporting requirements and procedures will be developed and communicated as a separate process.

Proposal Evaluation and Award Schedule

The following schedule applies:

Proposal Award Schedule 2017-2018

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Issuance of email invitation to submit proposals for 2017-2018 Student Tech Fee projects

Friday, December 8, 2017, 5 p.m.
Deadline for submitting completed proposals

Friday, March 30, 2018
Deadline for voting members of Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee to complete evaluation and scoring of proposals

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee presents proposal award recommendations to Information Technology Governance Council for funding approval

Friday, April 13, 2018
Completion of cash transfers to departments sponsoring approved projects

Submission Deadline

The published submission deadline of December 8, 2017, is firm. Late submissions will not be accepted.

To avoid the risk of missing the submission deadline, please pose questions related to creating and submitting proposals and allow sufficient time for the Student Technology Fee Awards Program Administrator to answer.

OMNI Financials Requirements

Fund 615 was created in OMNI for technology fee transactions. Awarded funds must be transferred to a college‐level or department‐level OMNI departmental budget ID that will be used only for technology fee transactions. These IDs have already been created for the colleges, central IT organizations and many individual departments. It will be each college dean’s decision on whether to establish a department‐level budget ID if one does not already exist. To facilitate tracking of project‐related expenditures, the Committee will provide a unique OMNI optional chartfield for each approved project. Each project‐related transaction must include the designated optional chartfield when entered into OMNI.

Contact

Please direct any questions to Information Technology Services Senior Project Specialist Tom Morgan at tmorgan@fsu.edu or 850-645-8936.


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