MSU Denver

Members of the Budget Recommendation Committee gathered Friday for a broad overview of summer and fall enrollment, fiscal 2023 budget projections, high-impact and retention-supporting student programs, compensation scenarios and more. 

Fall enrollment update

As of Thursday, state-funded, full-year, full-time-equivalent undergraduate enrollment stood at 3,863 students, 8.88% lower than the same point before fall 2021. Enrollment continues to build week-to-week but at a slower pace than last year. Additionally: 

  • Total undergraduate head count is 11,020, which is 6.7% lower than the same point before fall 2021 (792 students fewer). 
  • Graduate FY FTEs are down 6.2% for this fall relative to fall 2021 at the same point in time. 
  • Total graduate-student head count is 1,024, which is 3.8% lower than the same point before fall 2021.  
  • Compared with fall 2021, applications are up 0.27%, the acceptance rate is up 0.63% and the registration rate is up 0.92%. 
  • The current baseline forecast estimates this fall’s census head count down 6% relative to fall 2021 and spring 2023 head count down 4.2% relative to this past spring. 
  • The students who are enrolling, including first-time freshmen and first-time transfer students, are doing so at lighter credit-hour loads. 

Summer preliminary enrollment report as of July 5: 

  • The current summer total of state-funded, full-year, full-time-equivalent undergraduate students is 14.42% lower than last summer at the same point in time (four weeks into the term). 
  • Summer undergraduate head count (5,736) is down 7.6%, or 467 students, compared with last summer. 
  • The current summer total of full-year, full-time-equivalent graduate students is down 2.4% compared with last summer at the same point in time. 
  • The summer graduate head count (468) is down 3.7%, or 18 students, compared with last summer. 

Stuff That Works 

Adrienne Martinez, Ph.D., associate vice president of Classroom to Career Initiatives, and Nahum Kisner, executive director of Student Support and Retention, provided an overview of the Classroom to Career Hub and several specific high-impact programs and initiatives. 

C2 Hub 

The C2 Hub represents a comprehensive approach to career development by integrating career activities more intentionally throughout the Roadrunner experience. It creates a more permeable boundary between industry and higher education and is focused on career development as an issue of equity and justice. 

Student programming: 

  • Engages students in meaningful and relevant academic advising, career exploration, development and support. 
  • Focuses on outreach strategies and campus partnerships.  

Faculty programming:  

  • Works with faculty to better understand how MSU Denver integrates career development into the curricula. 
  • Leverages faculty partnerships and expertise and ensures that policies and practices are as cohesive as possible and support applied-learning activities.  

Industry programming: 

  • Creates robust partnerships with current and prospective employers.  
  • Strengthens and streamlines employer portal and engagement opportunities. 

Pathways to Possible 

The presentation also highlighted the success and financial model of the Pathways to Possible program. Pathways to Possible saw an 89.7% fall 2021-spring 2022 retention rate among 126 participants by comprehensively supporting underserved students through: 

  • An annual stipend 
  • Scholarships for summer student-success course 
  • Leadership development 
  • Success coaches 
  • Campus employment 
  • Connection to faculty 
  • Intentional career-development support 
  • Community-building 

Additional initiatives

See the PowerPoint presentation for more details on the vision and impact of the C2 Hub as well as the return on investment of multiple student-retention and student-success initiatives, including: 

  • Exploratory advising 
  • Scholarships and scholar support 
  • Industry partnerships  
  • The Talent Accelerator Program 
  • Leveraging employer benefits 

The presentation also included an overview of 2030 Strategic Plan alignment and external partnerships such as workforce-development collaborations, employer partnerships and more.  

FY23 budget projections 

Based on projections as of Thursday and factoring in state funding — as well as programs such as the Roadrunner Promise, free tuition for Native and Indigenous students, Pathways to Possible, student internships and estimated compensation — the budget team expects a $5,930,506 shortfall should the University see a 6.9% decrease in enrollment. At the current projection of a 9% decrease, the shortfall would increase to $8,435,182. With enrollment held flat, the University would see a surplus of $1,521,608. 

One-time requests from all departments and branches total $14,791,318.


FY23 compensation recommendation and scenarios 

The Compensation Committee has recommended a 3% across the board pay increase for all employees along with corresponding adjustments to keep faculty members at within the appropriate College and University Professional Association UPA ranges. This would total approximately $4.2 million as a base budget increase. This recommendation is similar to FY23 increases proposed and/or enacted by other Colorado universities. 

Enrollment and funding scenarios