Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Board of Trustees approved the Phase II budget at the Aug. 25-26 board meetings, including the compensation increases for faculty and staff members detailed by President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., on Friday. 

The budget also includes funding to improve student advising, expand the Pathways to Possible program, provide more paid internships, launch the Institute for Public Service and more. 

This year’s strategic investments are focused on the last two phases of the University’s multiyear budget strategy of “Recover, Stabilize, LAUNCH!” Davidson said improving employee retention, stopping enrollment drop and creating new streams of revenue will help MSU Denver launch long-term. 

“We don’t do anything on this campus without human beings,” she said. “Despite the fact that we are investing a lot in our technology, two-thirds of our budget goes to people because it’s a human-centric enterprise and we have to make sure they have the tools they need.”


Manuel Del Real, Ph.D., presented an overview of the University’s Hispanic-Serving Institution status as well as goals and initiatives related to HSI and Minority-Serving Institution servingness — the intentional transition of organizational structures to better serve students. Del Real, the executive director for HSI and Inclusion, detailed $6.4 million in HSI/MSI grant initiatives, previewed the upcoming HSI Week (Sept. 12-16) and described MSU Denver’s pursuit of the prestigious Seal of Excelencia. 

The board expressed a desire for the University to be known as the school of choice for Latinx and Black students. Davidson said one focus of the board’s fall retreat will be taking lessons learned from HSI initiatives and trying to apply those to other communities of color. 


Homecoming is Sept. 27-Oct. 2, which will include an Alumni Award luncheon recognizing Board Chair Russell Noles and other distinguished alumni. Awards include: 

  • Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Elsa Holguín (1992, Finance)
  • Alumni Philanthropist of the Year, Noles (1981, Accounting) 
  • Alumni Volunteer of the Year, Amber Mozet (2006, Psychology) 
  • Alumni Campus Employee of the Year, Eric Lansing (2009, Journalism)

Other notes 

  • The trustees approved Liza Amon for staff emeritus status.
  • MSU Denver is engaged in the hiring process for several leadership positions, including chief strategy officer; dean of the College of Aerospace, Computing, Engineering and Design; dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences; director of community engagement; and director of planning, design and construction. 
  • The University has established a scholarship in honor of alumna Gloria Tanner, a trailblazing state legislator who died in April. Tanner earned a Political Science degree in 1974 and went on to become the first Black woman to serve as a Colorado state senator. MSU Denver is also sponsoring a Colorado Black Round Table event honoring Tanner. 
  • Several trustees participated in a speed networking event with students at the Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting. 
  • College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Dean John Masserini, DMA, presented about MSU Denver’s Institute for Public Service, which will formally launch soon and potentially host a series of political candidate forums called the Solution Studio. 

The trustees will convene for a retreat Oct. 6-7, while the next public meeting will be the Special Finance Committee Meeting on Dec. 9.