Student Fee Review Board Policy (1310)

Date Originally Issued: 12-03-1996
Revised: 10-16-1998, 08-23-1999, 01-01-2001, 06-24-2003, 08-01-2006, 01-17-2013, 07-21-2014
Subject to Change Without Notice

Authorized by Regents' Policy 4.7 "Tuition and Fees"
Process Owners: Student Fee Review Board and Associate Vice President for Planning, Budget, and Analysis  

1. General

There are three (3) components of the mandatory fees paid by all students: the facility/information technology debt service fee, student activity fee, and student government fee. This policy describes how student activity fee revenue is allocated each year. 

Revenue generated by the student activity fee is used to support a variety of student activities that enhance the academic and intellectual environment at UNM. The activities funded by the student activity fee should advance student learning and support the mission of the University.  Units that receive funding are expected to ensure that student activity fee funds are spent in a manner consistent with the stated purpose for which the funding was provided. The University encourages student participation in the deliberations about which student activities and organizations should receive support from student activity fee revenue.

The role of the Student Fee Review Board (SFRB) is to recommend student activity fee amounts and unit allocations of projected student activity fee revenue to the Budget Leadership Team (BLT). The SFRB acts as an advisory body and has no binding authority over the allocation of student fees. The SFRB acts as a joint committee of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) and functions through student action and with the advice of both faculty and administration representatives.

2. Definitions

2.1. Student Activity Fee

The student activity fee is the portion of the mandated general fees used to support a variety of student activities. It does not include the student government fee, which is a fixed dollar amount approved separately by the Board of Regents for ASUNM and GPSA.

2.2. Student Activity Fee Revenue

For the purposes of this policy, student activity fee revenue is the amount projected to be available for the upcoming fiscal year based on the prior fiscal year’s student activity fee revenue and the upcoming fiscal year’s enrollment projections. 

2.3. Unit Allocation

A “unit” for the purposes of this policy is a University department, division, organization, or program partially or fully funded by student activity fees or seeking funding from student activity fee revenue. Chartered student organizations are not eligible to receive funding from student activity fees.

The “unit allocation” is the amount (dollars and cents) of student activity fee revenue designated for a specific purpose by a unit, and approved by the University President based on recommendations of the SFRB and BLT.

2.4. Term of Office (Term)

The term of office of an appointed member or alternate of the SFRB, except for a person filling an unexpired term, is the period of time that begins with the appointment of the member, as provided in this policy, and ends with the end of the term of the ASUNM or GPSA official making the appointment or the official's successor in the case of two-year appointments.

2.5. Distribution of Student Activity Fee Revenue

Student activity fee revenue will be deposited in an Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis (OPBA) index and distributed in accordance with the approved unit allocations.  If actual revenue exceeds projected student activity fee revenue, the excess funds will be held centrally in a Reserve Fund by the OPBA and reported at year end for future investment in student activity fee funded units.  All uses of the Reserve Fund shall be in accordance with Section 7.2. 

3. Student Activity Fee Recommendation and Approval Authority

3.1. Board of Regents

The Board of Regents shall approve any change in the total amount of the student activity fee.

3.2. University President

Taking into consideration recommendations of the SFRB and the BLT, the President shall:

  • recommend to the Board of Regents any change in the total amount of the student activity fee;
  • approve annual unit allocations of the student activity fee; and
  • approve expenditures from the Reserve Fund.

3.3. Budget Leadership Team

The members of the BLT represent the major constituencies of the University including students, staff, faculty, and the administration.  The President has authorized the BLT to:

  • act as an intermediary between the SFRB and the President; and
  • recommend student fee amounts and allocations to the President.

3.4. Student Fee Review Board

The SFRB makes annual recommendations to the BLT regarding:

  • any change in the total amount of the student activity fee; 
  • annual unit allocations of the student activity fee revenue; and
  • at its discretion, expenditures from the Reserve Fund, as provided for in this policy.

4. Membership of the Student Fee Review Board

There will be seven (7) voting members of the SFRB, two (2) of whom are ex-officio and five (5) of whom are appointed; three (3) alternates; and up to five (5) non-voting members. Of the seven (7) voting members, five (5) will represent ASUNM and two (2) will represent GPSA. One (1) of the alternates will represent ASUNM and the other two (2) will represent GPSA. The officials making appointments to the SFRB should use their best efforts to ensure that SFRB's overall membership reflects the diverse makeup of the University.

4.1. Ex-Officio Members

The two (2) ex-officio voting members of the SFRB shall be:

  • The ASUNM President, who serves on the SFRB as the elected representative of the undergraduate student population and as a recognized student advisor to the Board of Regents. The ASUNM President shall serve as Chair of the SFRB in academic years beginning in even-numbered years and shall serve as Vice-Chair in academic years beginning in odd-numbered years.
  • The GPSA President, who serves on the SFRB as the elected representative of the graduate and professional student population and as a recognized student advisor to the Board of Regents. The GPSA President shall serve as Chair of the SFRB in academic years beginning in odd-numbered years, and shall serve as Vice-Chair in academic years beginning in even-numbered years.

4.2. Appointed Members

The five (5) appointed members of the SFRB shall be:

  • One (1) ASUNM Senator appointed by the ASUNM Vice President to serve a one-year term coinciding with the term of office of the ASUNM Vice President making the appointment.
  • One (1) student appointed by the ASUNM President to serve a two-year term commencing in academic years beginning in odd-numbered years.
  • One (1) student appointed by the ASUNM President to serve a two-year term commencing in academic years beginning in even-numbered years.
  • One (1) student appointed by the ASUNM President to serve a one-year term coinciding with the term of office of the ASUNM President making the appointment.
  • One (1) student appointed by the GPSA President to serve a one-year term coinciding with the term of office of the GPSA President making the appointment.

4.3. Alternate Members

4.3.1. Selection of Alternate Members

The three (3) alternate members of the SFRB shall be:

  • One (1) student appointed by the ASUNM President to serve a one-year term.
  • Two (2) students appointed by the GPSA President to serve a one-year term.

 4.3.2. Responsibilities of Alternate Members

The alternates are non-voting members of the SFRB. In the absence of any voting member at a meeting, an alternate from that voting member’s student government (ASUNM or GPSA) may vote. If a voting member resigns, an alternate will fill the unexpired term and a new alternate will be appointed in accordance with this policy. The alternates are subject to the same meeting attendance requirements as voting members. The alternates may participate during all hearings and deliberations with all rights and privileges of voting members.

4.4. Non-Voting Members

The non-voting members of the SFRB serve as advisors to the SFRB. The two (2) non-voting members of the SFRB shall be the following:

  • the Associate Vice President For Planning, Budget, and Analysis or designee, and
  • the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.

At their discretion, the Chair and Vice Chair of the SFRB may appoint up to three (3) other non-voting members such as the Director of the Student Activities Center, the Student Regent, a faculty member designated by the Faculty Senate President, or a staff member designated by the Staff Council President.

4.5. Unexpired Terms of Appointed Members and Alternates

If an appointed student member fails to complete the term for which appointed, the alternate for that student government association shall serve the unexpired term. If an additional appointed student member or an alternate fails to serve the complete term for which appointed, the current ASUNM or GPSA official responsible for the appointment, according to Section 4.2. or 4.3. herein, shall appoint another member who shall serve the unexpired term.

4.6. Initial Appointments

When the initial appointments are made under this policy, the ASUNM and GPSA Presidents shall appoint members to initial one-year terms as necessary to establish the staggering of terms contemplated under Section 4.2. herein.

4.7. Resignation

Any appointed member or alternate of the SFRB may resign by submitting a signed and dated letter of resignation to the SFRB chair or is deemed to have resigned by failure to attend three (3) regularly scheduled SFRB meetings in an academic year, regardless of the reason. In the case of resignation because of non-attendance, such resignation shall automatically become effective at the close of the third meeting which the voting member or alternate has failed to attend.

4.8. Removal

Appointed voting members serving one-year terms and alternates may only be removed by the officer who made the initial appointment. Voting members serving two-year terms may only be removed, during the first year, by the appointing ASUNM or GPSA President while still in office and, during the second year, by a vote of the SFRB in which five (5) of the seven (7) voting members vote in favor of removal.

5. Organization and Meetings of the Student Fee Review Board

5.1. Regular Meetings and Applications Deadline

The SFRB shall meet as needed throughout the year. By no later than the first Friday after Labor Day, the Chair of the SFRB shall communicate meeting dates to all members of the SFRB and to the Daily Lobo for publication and shall provide at least three (3) days' notice of any change in regular meeting dates. The Chair shall be responsible to ensure that all departments, divisions, and organizations applying to the SFRB have adequate notice of any meeting or hearing in which funding for the organization is to be discussed.

Applications for funding must be submitted to the SFRB by no later than the first Friday after Labor Day.

5.2. Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by a majority vote of the members at a duly called meeting or by the Chair or Vice Chair of the SFRB. Sufficient notice must be given to all voting and non-voting members and alternates for a special meeting to be valid, but in no case may notice be fewer than three (3) days.

5.3. Quorum

A quorum at SFRB meetings shall consist of a majority of the voting members of the SFRB.

5.4. Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

All members of the SFRB, whether appointed, alternate, or non-voting members, are expected to perform their duties faithfully, efficiently, and with the highest integrity.  They must avoid real or potential conflicts of interest that could interfere with the impartial performance of their duties.  The guiding principles for determining appropriate conduct shall be full disclosure of any real or potential conflicts of interest, and recusal from participating in any decisions related to the matters that present the conflicts.

6. Annual Recommendation and Transfer Process

In the fall of each year, the SFRB shall initiate the budget process by requesting information from units funded by student activity fee revenue and units seeking funding from student activity fee revenue. This information should provide evidence that the unit is meeting the requirements as stated in Section 1. herein. After reviewing projections for student activity fee revenue and funding requests, the SFRB shall make recommendations to the BLT. In April of each year the Board of Regents will approve any change in the student activity fee, and the BLT will recommend and the University President will approve unit allocations for the following fiscal year.

The annual student activity fee revenue available to units shall be based on the unit allocations approved by the President based on the various projections of fee revenue referenced in Section 2.2. 

6.1. General Guidelines for Funding Units

The student activity fee shall be used to supplement University units which benefit students directly.  All applications will be subject to the same processes. There should be no expectation that the recommendation for funding for any of these units will continue from year to year. 

6.2. Process for Unit Allocations

All units are required to submit an application to be eligible for funding.  The SFRB will hold hearings in which all voting members are mandated to attend.  After the hearings are complete, the SFRB will convene to deliberate and determine the total amount of the fee to be used for unit allocations.  

Fee recommendations for each applicant must be approved by six (6) voting members of the SFRB.  If six (6) members do not agree, the SFRB will recommend funding the applicant at the previous year’s amount.  The SFRB’s preliminary and final recommendations will be made public.

6.2.1. Any unit funded through student fees must notify the SFRB before spending student fees in a way that does not reflect the approved application, by submitting a SFRB Budget Revision Memo to the SFRB Chair and Vice Chair; the Associate Vice President For Planning, Budget, and Analysis; and the Director of the Student Activities Center.

6.2. 2. If a unit will directly transfer funds to any entity outside of UNM, contracts between the unit and outside entity will be presented to the SFRB before approval.  Payments for services provided by official UNM vendors are not considered a transfer of funds to an outside entity.

6.3. Deadlines for Submission of Recommendations

The SFRB shall submit its preliminary recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year to the BLT no later than by November 15 of each year.  The SFRB shall submit its final recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year to the BLT by December 1 of each year.

6.4. Content of Recommendations

The annual recommendations shall consist of the following:

  • the proposed change, if any, in the total amount of the student activity fee;
  • the proposed allocation of student activity fee revenue for each unit;
  • the proposed expenditures from the Reserve Fund (see Section 7).

7. Reserve Fund

7.1. Funding

The Reserve Fund shall be funded by balances carried forward from previous years and allocated on a strategic basis to units funded by student fee revenue, in accordance with Section 3.4.  

7.2. Use of the Reserve Fund

The Reserve Fund may be used for emergency expenses of units. These expenses may include one-time expenses required to replace or maintain equipment owned or operated by units. The intent of the fund is to avoid raising student activity fees or unit allocations to cover one-time expenses.

7.3. Expenditure and Savings Approval

Expenditures from the Reserve Fund, and carrying balances forward in order to maintain a healthy balance for emergencies, shall be recommended by the SFRB and the BLT and approved by the President or designee.

8. Amendments

In addition to the standard review process for proposed policy changes as described in UAP 1100 (“Development and Approval of Institutional Policy”), any changes to this policy (other than typos or updated titles) must be approved by six (6) of the voting members of the SFRB.  The SFRB should send formal notice of its approval of the proposed policy changes to the Policy Office.