At the Special Finance Committee meeting of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Board of Trustees on May 5, trustees approved the Phase 1 budget for fiscal 2022-23, highlighted by a line item for the Indigenous and Native Peoples’ Grant that was formally announced two days later at the Native and Indigenous Graduation Ceremony.

The budget includes $82.5 million from the state, a tuition increase of 2% and an increase of 4.3% in mandatory student fees along with increased spending on mandatory and strategic financial allocations.

Solid State Funding

MSU Denver’s state funding is the largest increase in base funding among Colorado institutions of higher education for the second year in a row and includes allocations for two information-technology projects allowing the University to stay on track in its critical efforts to modernize administrative systems and improve the campus network. MSU Denver also secured $10 million to build updated and expanded simulation labs for Nursing and other health disciplines, supporting the labs’ relocation from Boulder Creek to West Classroom and nearly doubling the programs’ student capacities.

Strategic spending

Based on current enrollment projections, the University anticipates a net increase of $5.7 million to next year’s budget, including state funding and tuition revenue. The FY 2022-23 budget estimate includes approximately $11 million in increased spending on mandatory and strategic financial allocations. This includes $4.3 million in mandatory cost increases, $4.4 million for compensation increases, and allocations for high-impact initiatives such as deans grants, expansion of the TRIO program, Honors Program scholarships and more to begin to stabilize enrollment.

George Middlemist, associate vice president of Administration/CFO, noted that to fund all of these strategic allocations would require enrollment projections to improve by 4 to 6 percentage points or to identify between $4 million and $6 million in budget reallocations.

The trustees also gave approval for the University to seek refinancing of its bond from the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building construction, which could save MSU Denver at least $1.5 million.

Full-speed fundraising

Christine Márquez-Hudson, vice president of University Advancement, shared that her team has already exceeded its fiscal-year goal of $7 million, with $7.6 million raised and more than $5 million in the pipeline expected before the end of June.

“We’re going to blow our goal out of the water,” she said. “The campaign truly is supercharging fundraising for the University. What is important to me isn’t so much the dollars that are coming in for the campaign but the long-term sustainable fundraising infrastructure that we are building that will fuel the University for years and years to come.”


Márquez-Hudson noted that MSU Denver recently received its largest-ever planned gift of $5 million from Mark and Tori Smith, which went to the College of Business.

Other notes

Students presented internal audits of student-athlete academic success and the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs to the trustees, with the latter group showing that MSU Denver received an increase of $11.2 million in new grants and contracts in FY 2020-21.

The trustees also briefly convened a special full board meeting to approve the reorganization of the College of Health and Applied Sciences. The trustees voted to approve the formation of the College of Aerospace, Computing, Engineering and Design and the College of Health and Human Sciences. Read more about the new colleges in the April article in the Early Bird.

The next Board of Trustees meetings are June 2-3.