To: Course Fee Administrators
From: Office of the Registrar
Subject: Call for Summer and Fall 2018 Course Fee Requests
Date: January 12, 2018
You are receiving this message because you're listed as either a Course Fee Initiator, Course Fee Auditor, Collegiate Budget Officer, Dean, or Department Executive Officer.
The University has implemented a workflow process to request new or revise existing course fees. Information about this process, including links to the Course Fee Policy, Course Fee Request Form, and Workflow Inbox, is available here.
Deadlines for the Registrar's Office to receive a new course fee (or change the amount of an existing course fee) are:
- For summer session and fall semester - February 15
- For spring semester - October 1
The University of Iowa defines a course fee as a charge applied at the course level for consumable expenses directly related to the student's participation in a course. A course fee should be based on plausible estimates of the anticipated costs or previous records of actual costs and should be kept as low as possible.
Examples of costs that may be recovered by assessing a course fee include: (1) consumable supplies, such as art supplies and non-inventoried instructional materials, used as part of the course; (2) required travel expenses for students to visit off-campus sites as part of the course; (3) fees assessed to pay for services external to the University.
The department is expected to bear the general costs related to the development, instruction and assessment of offering a course. This includes materials related to the mechanics of teaching the course (such as course outlines, syllabi, exams, and similar handouts) and the purchase, maintenance, and replacement costs of instructional and other capital equipment. The department is also expected to bear the costs of staffing courses, including personnel employed to aid in the course such as teaching assistants and guest speakers.
Students are expected to pay directly for the cost of supplemental written materials, such as supplemental readings, if they are to have ownership of the materials. The costs of supplemental written materials will not be assessed through the course fee system. If the department does not wish to cover the costs of such materials, the materials should be sold to the students through the University Bookstore or other local distributors. This procedure simplifies the financial transaction, and helps to avoid possible copyright infringement.
To request a new course fee or change/renew an existing course fee, the department initiates the request using the MAUI Course Fee Request Form. The request must include a budget detailing what costs will be covered by the fee and a revenue estimate based on projected enrollments. If changing an existing course fee, any existing account surplus or deficit should be explained. The request goes through workflow and must be reviewed and approved by the Administrative Home Department Executive Officer (DEO), Budget Officer, and Academic Dean, then forwarded to the Miscellaneous Fee Committee. The committee reviews each request and, if approved by a majority vote, forwards the fee request to the Executive Vice President & Provost and to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations for final approval.
Workflow will notify the request initiator and Budget Officer of the final disposition of the request and keep complete records of the justification for any fee approved.
Fee approval will expire after five years. For example, a fee implemented for fall 2014 will be effective through summer 2019. MAUI will automatically generate renewal request forms and assign them to the course fee departmental initiator. To reinstate the fee, the fee renewal request must be submitted by the appropriate deadline.
Accountability of Course Fees
Course fee revenue and related expenses should not be co-mingled with other activities of the unit. Each course fee associated with a course must be accounted for using a unique account (at the Who Key level), acknowledging a course may have multiple sections including cross-referenced course sections. A unique Charge Type within MAUI Billing will correspond to each course fee. The following fund, institutional account, and function codes apply: 240-xx-xxxx-xxxxx-xxxxxxxx-4023-xxx-xxxxx-10-xxxx.
Each course fee account free balance must be reviewed for reasonableness at least annually by the Budget Officer or Account Owner, with further investigation occurring if the free balance is +/- 20% of annual course fee revenue. The Budget Officer is responsible for ensuring there is a review process in place within their unit.
Units are expected to consider whether a course fee should be reduced whenever the account free balance exceeds 20% of annual revenue. If a course has not been offered for two consecutive semesters (and a course fee is cancelled), balances may be swept into a central account to be used in one of the following ways:
- Fund expenses in courses where fees are not sufficient to cover current consumable costs.
- Consolidate into an account that would have broad applicability to student-focused initiatives.
If the account is in deficit (by more than 20% of annual revenue), units should consider whether the fee should be increased or whether there are other funding sources that should be used to fund the activity. Accumulated deficits are the responsibility of the college/department.
Each year, University administration, the University's Internal Audit department, or the State Auditor's Office may randomly select a number of course fees to be audited, at which time the responsible college may be asked to justify the account balance or document compliance with this policy.
Publication of Course Fees
Course fees are published in MyUI. When a student enrolls in a course with a course fee, the student's tuition and fee assessment summary will include the fee. The public can view a list of approved course fees on the Registrar's Office web page here.