Campus quality fee funds student services on campus

Students registering for fall classes will pay $90 as part of the campus quality fee, that will increase to $100 for the spring semester, as per the fee proposal, according to the CSUN Student Affairs Office.

William Watkins, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, does not believe the overall tuition fee increases will affect the campus quality fee.

“There will be no additional increases,” Watkins said.  “None that I have heard of.”

The campus quality fee was adopted in fall of 2008 as a way to improve the overall experience for CSUN students.  Money is allocated to student support services, technological improvements and structural upgrades, according to the campus quality fee website.  The total amount collected for the 2010 – 2011 academic year approved allocations exceeded $1.1 million, down from over $1.6 million in the 2009 – 2010 academic year.

A review process overseen by the Student Fee Advisory Committee ensures that the money is used to fund programs deemed most important, according to the campus quality fee website.  A Student Allocation Committee will allow current students to have a voice in how campus quality fee money is spent.

“It’s important to let students know how their dollars are supporting other students,” Watkins said.

Based on feedback solicited through a survey of 10,000 CSUN students, Watkins cited two areas where the fee has been used most effectively.

The first is improvements in what Watkins described as a “robust technology environment.”  In the 2008 – 2009 academic year, about $448,000 was used to improve wireless technology on campus.  An additional $175,000 will be spent in 2010 – 2011 academic year on upgrades to mobile technology applications.

The second area is support to tutorial and academic assistance programs, such as peer learning assistants and academic advisement for student-athletes.  Courses with low pass rates are targeted for newly developed tutorial programs.  Watkins said he believes these programs meet the needs of CSUN students.

“Staying in good standing and making progress toward academic completion important to our students,” Watkins said.

The campus quality fee also funds indirect academic support.  The fee supports the Oviatt Library’s 24/7 access program during finals week. Miguel Galvez, political science major, appreciates that option.

“It is a very convenient program for me because I don’t have a computer,” Galvez, 21, said.  “Whenever I need to do research or homework during finals, I spend my time at the library.”

Not all of the goals included in the original campus quality fee proposal have been met. By replacing course-specific fees, the fee would allow for more selections of classes to be offered, according to the campus quality fee proposal.  However, due to state budget cuts, fewer classes will be offered in the fall than in 2008, according to a message sent by Watkins to students.

“The fee was created in a differently funded environment,” Watkins said.  “However, campus quality fees have not been used to offset reductions related to state funding.”

Thomas Thang, chemistry major, felt that whether a student commutes to campus affects their appreciation of the fee.

“I feel great about improving the experience for those that live on campus,” Thang, 30, said.  “But it depends, personally, on how much time those students spend on campus.”

While the statewide increase in CSU fees may hinder student’s academic progress, Watkins said he views the campus quality fee as a success.

“In an environment where so much is being cut, the ability for a source of funds that supports learning and achievement 100 percent is wonderful,” Watkins said.


View Campus Quality Fee Allocations, 2008 – 2011 in a larger map