More than $4 million will be set aside for compensation increases and branch priorities under the new fiscal 2025 budget, unanimously approved by the Metropolitan State University of Denver Board of Trustees on Friday.  

The newly approved $221 million budget: 

  • Is balanced, aligning revenue and costs, while prioritizing employee compensation and meeting our mandatory costs. 
  • Builds in a 2% compensation increase for all faculty and nonclassified staff members and a 3% increase for classified employees (in alignment with state requirements).  
  • Sets aside an additional $1 million to start addressing findings from a compensation-equity study, which is underway. 
  • Includes a 3% tuition increase for in-state students and a 4% increase for out-of-state students.  
  • Includes $1 million in new spending on advising systems, infrastructure and more support for alumni- and donor-relations efforts, in alignment with the budget priorities of President Janine Davidson, Ph.D.  

“This is the most strategic, inclusive and transparent budget in the University’s history,” said board Chair Kristin Hultquist. 

Largely in line with the recent recommendations from the University Planning and Budget Advisory Council, the FY25 budget was calculated based on the conservative assumption that enrollment will decrease by 1% from fall 2023, resulting in a $1.1 million reduction in revenue.  

Jim Carpenter

“MSU Denver’s budget process takes into account the 2030 Strategic Plan, the president’s priorities and proposals from every branch and academic department,” said Chief Financial Officer Jim Carpenter. “It helps ensure fiscal heath, long-term sustainability and fulfillment of our mission to keep higher education accessible. UPBAC members deserve a big thank-you for all their work this budget season. 

 New programs, emeritus and tenure 

In addition to approving the budget, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of three undergraduate certificate programs that align with Colorado’s workforce needs: 

  • An Affordable Housing Management Certificate 
  • A Community Health Educator Certificate 
  • A Community Health Worker Certificate 

Emeritus and tenure: The Board of Trustees approved the following appointments. 

Professors emeriti: 

  • James Aubrey, Ph.D., English 
  • Antonio Chu, Ph.D., Philosophy 
  • Carlos Frésquez, Art 
  • Kathy Heyl, Health and Human Sciences 
  • Richard Wagner, Ph.D., Earth and Atmospheric Sciences 

Tenure and promotion to associate professor: 

  • Jeremiah Castle, Ph.D., Political Science 
  • Silu Cheng, Ph.D., Finance 
  • Sonny Dhoot, Ph.D., Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy 
  • Kelly Evans-Grieshaber, Ph.D., Exercise and Sports Sciences 
  • Steven Geinitz, Ph.D., Computer Sciences 
  • Megan Lazorski, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biology 
  • Yishi Lee, Ph.D., Engineering 
  • Brian O’Hara, Ph.D., Sociology and Anthropology 
  • Daniel Pittman, Ph.D., Computer Sciences 
  • Alfredo Sanchez, Journalism and Media Production 
  • Prabhdeep Sandha, Ph.D., Nutrition 
  • Kathryn Schmidt, Ph.D., Philosophy 
  • Garvita Thareja, Ph.D., Health Professions 
  • Marcia Walsh-Aziz, Ph.D., Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences 
  • Devon Wright, Ph.D., Africana Studies 

Tenure upon appointment: 

  • Lynn Minnaert, Ph.D., dean, School of Hospitality 
  • Jeffrey Newcomer, Ph.D., dean, College of Aerospace, Computing, Engineering and Design 

Additional updates

  • Angie Paccione, Ph.D., executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, addressed the board about the special way MSU Denver activates potential in its students. 
  • Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, shared that the rising cost of living in Denver is one of the largest barriers to the recruitment of diverse faculty members and how the University is supporting faculty of color and promoting culturally-relevant pedagogy across the University.  
  • Director of University Strategy Meredith Jeffers, Ph.D., and Buffy Ribble, Ph.D., director of Data & Analytics, shared that data analysis by the Office of Strategic Initiatives & Analytics shows that, on average, 64% of each cohort of  students transfer out, stop out or drop out before completing their bachelor’s degree. 
  • Kaycee Gerhart, vice president of Government and External Affairs, highlighted the $73.8 million in new state funding to the University through the legislative session 
  • Christine Márquez-Hudson, vice president of University Advancement, announced that her department exceeded its FY2024 fundraising goal of $20 million — a quadrupling of fundraising outcomes since 2019. 
  • President Davidson thanked faculty, staff, and trustees for helping center the needs of all students during last month’s campus protests.

The Board of Trustees at MSU Denver is responsible for the governance of the University and has authority over and control of its assets and resources. Click here to listen to a recording of the June meeting.