members of the President's cabinetMetropolitan State University of Denver’s first President’s Cabinet meeting of the semester highlighted an overall increase in enrollment, something the University has been critically monitoring as it heads into its Launch phase. There were also three presentations on policies that relate to University funding and employee complaints.

Congratulations to February’s Shoutout winners 

Group photo of Davidson and the Shoutout winners.MSU Denver President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., announced the winners for the Roadrunner Shoutout of the Month.  

  • Faculty winner: Elsa Dias, Ph.D., professor of Political Science   
  • Staff winner: Metza Templeton, systems specialist in the Registrar’s Office 
  • Student-employee winner: Denny Palacios, teaching assistant in the Political Science Department 

Enrollment numbers 

Long Huynh, DBA, informed the Cabinet that the University is up in several areas of enrollment. These numbers are pre-census and will be updated accordingly. 

Undergraduate students 

  • Total full-year full-time-equivalent students is 5,402, which is 3.99% higher than last spring at the same point in time (this represents credit-hour production).  
  • FTEs from undergraduate lower-level courses are up 7.12%. FTEs are up 0.07% for upper-level courses. 
  • Total student head count is 15,346, which is 4.77% higher than last spring at the same point in time, an increase of 698 students. 

Graduate students 

  • Total grad-student head count is 1,098, which is 2.9% higher than last spring at the same point in time, an increase of 31 students. 
  • Graduate full-year full-time-equivalent students are 3.61% higher compared with last spring at the same point in time. 

Policy reads 

The Cabinet also listened to presentations regarding important University policies from Jim Carpenter, chief financial officer; Joseph Foster, Ph.D., director of Veteran and Military Student Services; and Diane Forgione, director of Human Resources Partners.  

  • First, Carpenter presented the reserve-funding policy, which has already been approved by the Board of Trustees. The policy will ensure that the University can continue to operate under varying circumstances and will allow MSU Denver to fund new capital projects and academic programs, while safeguarding the institution against emergencies. More info can be found here. 
  • Foster then presented the Proposed Tuition Assistance Military 60% Return Policy, which would require tuition funds to be returned to the U.S. Department of Defense if a student veteran using the Tuition Assistance Program withdraws from a course during certain times of the semester. The full policy can be found here. 
  • Last, Forgione presented a proposal to revise the process for administrators and staff members to resolve general employee complaints. The full policy can be read here. 

The final two policies will be voted on in the next meeting after University leaders have time to discuss with their departments. 

Human Resources updates 

Stacy Dvergsdal, associate vice president of Human Resources, updated the body on recent Universitywide efforts such as the Energage employment survey and the compensation-equity study. She also informed the Cabinet that students can now edit their own time sheets. 

  • Energage employment survey: The results from the survey are in, and the Universitywide results, as well as recommendations, will be soon communicated with employees. Vice presidents are submitting their action plans to senior HR partners now, while associate vice presidents and deans have until the end of February to submit.  
  • Additionally, the compensation-equity study is almost complete, and results will be communicated to employees. Chairs, the Faculty Senate and deans have provided feedback to HR. Findings and recommendations should be available before the end of April. 

“Senior leaders heard your feedback,” Dvergsdal said. “They took it to heart; they had meaningful conversations. And I just really want to ensure that we are hearing our folks, ensuring they feel valued and really want to open the door to continue to get feedback from all of you about some key strategies and focus areas so that you all can have the employee-engagement experience that we all long for and deserve in this incredible community.” 

Financial Aid updates 

Huynh and Kerline Eglaus, Ed.D., executive director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, updated the body on the current FAFSA glitch. While there was no new information to communicate, Eglaus made it clear that creating a strategic plan to communicate with students is the “first priority” for her and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. 

“The purpose is to engage students so they know that they can continue to trust us and to share information and then also to strengthen that while we may not have all the answers about what the FAFSA will do, if there’s going to be any other glitches or things to expect, we want them to know that we are here for them,” Eglaus said.  

Upcoming events 

Up next 

The next President’s Cabinet meeting will take place Feb. 29 at 11 a.m. in Jordan Student Success Building Room 440A.