Fees review committee submits final report

The report aims to resolve issues on late applications, appeals, reserves and limits on staff compensation.

Cali Owings

The Student Services Fees Review Committee has completed its task of reviewing the fees process.
The committee submitted final recommendations to the Office for Student Affairs on Monday after it considered feedback on its initial report from Vice Provost Jerry Rinehart and the public over the last month.
The committee was charged with identifying solutions to common issues regarding the process by which student groups and administrative units receive student services fees. Problem areas in the past included: late applications, appeals, reserves and limits on staff compensation. They also had to decide how committee resolutions would be handled in the future.
The biggest difference between the initial recommendations and the final report is the handling of resolutions, committee chairwoman Bree Dalager said.
Rules that govern the fees process come out of resolutions passed by the fees committee.
Many previous resolutions referred to basic operating procedures of the committee, like having air conditioning in Coffman Union during meetings, Dalager said. The committee was told by Rinehart to determine a process for evaluating resolutions to decide if they would become requirements for future fees committees.
The initial report stated that all resolutions should be treated as rules.
Rinehart wrote to the committee that its initial recommendation for fees committee resolutions failed to address the issue.
Rinehart suggested the committee come up with a vetting process to address which resolutions were necessary to the fees process.
To address late applications, both the initial and final reports outline a checkpoint system to help groups submit parts of their application before the deadline.
In his response to their the recommendations, Rinehart asked the committee to consider a simpler approach that did not involve submitting parts of the application because of the extra work it would require of the person reviewing applications.
The final report leaves OSA in control of implementation of the checkpoint system and suggests submitting parts of fees applications electronically would not unnecessarily burden the fees advising staff.
While Rinehart supported creating an appeals committee to hear groups with late and incomplete applications, he wrote it was âÄúinappropriately restrictiveâÄù for the appeals committee to hear all appeals after final recommendations are announced.
The initial report stated that an appeals committee would âÄúnegate the need for intervention by the vice provost,âÄù but the final report affirms that the vice provost will have final authority.
The final report also includes problems the committee was not charged with reviewing but that come up annually during the fees process. Dalager said another committee might want to consider reviewing those areas in the future.
Some of the areas the committee suggests for further review include:
âÄ¢    Ban on first-year groups receiving fees
âÄ¢    Scheduled review for fees process
âÄ¢    The Minnesota DailyâÄôs status as an administrative unit
âÄ¢    Administrative units vs. Student groups committee workload