Last Updated: Mar 28th, 2013 - 15:54:01
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BOT approves budget and increases in tuition, salaries

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 the Financial 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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