A $370.60 tuition and fee increase for resident students,
a 2 percent salary increase for faculty/administrators and an operating budget
of $125,278,502 (state appropriation and tuition) were approved for fiscal year
2011-12 by the Metropolitan State College of Denver Board of Trustees (BOT) at
its annual business meeting today.
BOT Chair Robert Cohen said, "None of us obviously celebrate this (tuition
increase),” which was necessary because of the reduction in the College's state
funding by $7.1 million compared to last year and includes the end of federal
stimulus funds and non-base general fund on June 30, 2011.
If not for the tuition increases, Metro State President Stephen Jordan said,
“We (would) see significant deterioration in the quality of services we are
providing our students.”
Starting in fall 2011, the resident tuition and fees for students taking 15
credit hours will be $2,416.86 per semester. The total increase of $370.60
combines the $351 tuition increase and $19.60 fee increase, which includes the
conversion of the information technology fee and registration fee to tuition,
as well as the elimination of the online course fee.
Metro State has kept the 12.5 percent operating increase originally proposed in
Accountability Plan, approved by the BOT and the Colorado Commission on
Higher Education in November 2010, despite an additional $2.8 million decrease
to the state appropriated budget.
Jordan pointed out a strategy for students to keep their tuition low. By taking
advantage of a special window, Metro State students taking 12-18 credit hours
pay the same tuition and fees. The cost does not go up again until a student
hits 19 credit hours.
“If students planned, they could get a four-year degree and only pay for
two-and-a half years by taking advantage of this window. We have consciously
not closed this window.”
It’s one of the ways to save money while attending Metro State, according to
Jordan, who thanked Vice President for Administration, Finance and Facilities
Natalie Lutes and her team for putting in the painstaking work it took to
develop the upcoming year’s budget. He also stressed, "There is a limit to
how many rabbits we can pull out of the hat in the future.”
With the board’s approval of the operating budget, the 2011-12 fiscal year
budget includes securing faculty promotions and new faculty positions to move
the College toward the 60 percent of credit hours taught by tenure-track line
and non-tenure-track line faculty, equity adjustments for faculty and
administrators and increased staffing in college-wide departments. Classified
staff will be compensated in non-monetary ways explained
in the May BOT meeting.
Read the Fiscal
Year 2011-12 Operating Budget presented by Lutes during today’s meeting to
learn more about:
• Academic Affairs Allocations
• Administrative and Finance Allocations
• Institutional Advancement Allocations
• Mandatory/Institutional Allocations
• President Allocations
With growing cuts to higher education expected in the coming years, Cohen said, “We (BOT members) need to be voices on how higher education is funded in this state. We (the College) are not funded at appropriate levels in our state."
Using 2008-09 data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Jordan also gave a brief presentation that demonstrated Metro State to be the second to the lowest funded higher education institution in the country among 137 institutions (both four-year and two-year) with enrollment above 15,000.
“Next year, we are going to have to do something different in how this institution is funded,” said Jordan, adding that the College in 2008-09 had its highest level of state support, at $49 million.
Read about more board approvals in the June 6 @Metro.
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