Special Course and Non-Computing Laboratory Fee Policy

Purpose

To create a policy for the determination and use of special course and non-computer laboratory fees at Michigan Tech University.  

Basis

Students are assessed tuition to attend courses and earn credit toward a degree at Michigan Tech. The tuition rate is determined based on the total cost to deliver intellectual material in a traditional classroom environment. Included in this tuition assessment is the cost of any administrative and facilities support necessary to fulfill the instructional mission of the university.

Policy

It is the option of Michigan Tech to levy special course and laboratory fees for any course with a designated laboratory component to cover the additional costs of providing this important form of educational experience.

These fees shall be:

  • deposited to a separate, easily audited account under the direct control of the department responsible for providing the laboratory.
  • used for the sole purpose of supporting, maintaining, and improving the laboratories and/or to cover the non-educational expenses associated with a unique experience.
  • reviewed for appropriateness as part of the existing curriculum proposal (binder) process.
  • established for a specific course; all sections of a course shall levy the same fee and the same amount.

The authority to approve special course and non-computing laboratory fees resides with the provost.

Acceptable Uses:

Appropriate uses of these funds are:

  • equipment and furnishings amortized over an appropriate period;
  • amortization of fixtures, finishes, and coverings;
  • cost of supplies and services;
  • exclusive equipment and software maintenance agreements;
  • cost of any utilities or space rental charged to the department specifically for the laboratory;
  • sinking fund monies used for future improvements;
  • non-faculty instruction;
    • academic faculty salaries and benefits are specifically excluded;
    • it is intended that non-faculty instructional duties (staff and otherwise non-supported GTAs), directly relevant to special courses and laboratories, be paid from these fees;
  • technical, safety, chemical hygiene, and clerical support; and
  • training, travel, and lodging directly related to the laboratory or course for support staff and otherwise non-supported GTAs.

Expenditure of these funds for travel, lodging, and meals shall require advance approval by the school or college dean.

Prohibited Uses:

Academic faculty shall not be paid from special course and non-computing laboratory fees.

Procedures

Departments will annually examine their lab fee account balances (and balance history) in an effort to maintain proper course funding levels and minimize student costs.

Changes to existing fees, or newly proposed fees, may be initiated by the department chair or school dean. Course and laboratory fees initiated by department chairs must be approved by the college dean.

All requests will be reviewed by the Manager of Finance and Planning in the provost's office. The provost’s decision will be communicated back to the initiating department. The department is required to notify each student enrolled in the course.

Questions about course fees may be directed to Amie Ledgerwood in the provost’s office.

Establishing New Course Fees:

Requests for new fees (on existing or new courses) shall be made using the Course Lab Fee Annual Budget form and submitted according to the existing course and curriculum change (binder) process.

New courses with fees will additionally require a Course Add Proposal and associated documents.

See the Course Proposal Guide for forms and details.

Fee Modifications:

Minor adjustments to existing course fees can be indicated on the “Course Fees Form” that is part of the curriculum proposal (binder) process.

Waivers & Off-Cycle Requests:

Requests for fee waivers and fee requests outside the normal submission process must be presented to the provost's office (Amie Ledgerwood). All requests must include a completed Course Lab Fee Annual Budget form (see the Course Proposal Guide page for form).