The Metropolitan State University of Denver Policy Advisory Council convened Oct. 23, led by Council Chairs Sheila Rucki, Ph.D., professor of Political Science, and Nicholas Stancil, J.D., deputy general counsel. 

The council serves in an advisory role to President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., and the Board of Trustees and provides recommendations to leadership on decisions covering Universitywide governance and operational policies. 


Members discussed the following proposals: 

Funding University Reserves (General Fund) Policy – new

Jim Carpenter, associate vice president of Administration and chief financial officer, presented a policy proposal to maintain University reserves, requested by the Board of Trustees to provide for the long-term fiscal health and sustainability of the University.  

The proposed policy would require University reserves to be maintained at 15% of annual General Fund operating expenditures, unless otherwise directed by the board. Carpenter said University reserves are about 12% after being used to stabilize the budget, so an additional 1% would be required over each of the next three fiscal years. Preserving the University’s fiscal health is also one of President Janine Davidson’s fiscal year 2025 budget priorities. 

While MSU Denver has had a practice of maintaining reserves, the level of those reserves has not historically been documented in a policy. Carpenter said having fund-balance guidelines outlined in a policy would provide clear direction throughout the organization as budgets are developed. This guidance would give the University Planning and Budget Advisory Committee clarity in its deliberations and provide a benchmark that the president and the Board of Trustees can use in considering budget proposals. 

Read the University Reserves (General Fund) Policy proposal. 

Veteran and Military Student Tuition Refunds – new

Joseph Foster, Ph.D., director of Veteran and Military Student Services, proposed a policy that would require tuition funds to be returned to the U.S. Department of Defense if a veteran student using the Tuition Assistance Program withdraws from a course during certain times of the semester. 

Eleven students are receiving tuition funding as part of this program, Foster said. If you know a veteran or military student who is interested in tuition assistance or other support services, please connect them with Foster and the Veteran and Military Student Support Services Office 

Read the Tuition Assistance Military 60% Return Policy proposal. 

Proposed Complaints by Administrators and Staff Policy – revision

Diane Forgione, director of Human Resources partners, and Charles Kibort, director of HR Operations and Strategy, presented a proposal to revise the process for administrators and staff members to resolve general employee complaints. 

Read the Complaints by Administrators and Staff Policy proposal. 

Proposed Faculty Employment Handbook Committee Policy – revision

Stancil, who also serves as co-chair of the Faculty Employment Handbook Committee, presented a proposed revision to update the composition of the committee, which reviews and makes recommendations to the president on employment policies and procedures pertaining to MSU Denver faculty members and others who teach. The proposal would add a representative from the Faculty Union and a second representative from the Council of Chairs and Directors. 

Read the Faculty Employment Handbook Committee Policy proposal. 

New University Closure Policy

The new University Closure Policy provides information to employees, students, tenants and other community members on how work, classes, labs, sports practices and other events are affected during a University or campus closure. The policy also provides guidance on remote work, submitting leave and accessing buildings during a University closure. 

Other University policies approved by the MSU Denver Board of Trustees, president and provost are available in the University Policy Library. 


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