Ready to find out what MSU Denver can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
More from this office:
Aug. 26, 2022
I am excited to announce details about the 2022–23 Phase II budget approved by the board, including increased compensation for employees.
To address the pressures of inflation and improve employee retention, Metropolitan State University of Denver is increasing pay by $2,100 per year for all full-time faculty and staff with prorated increases for part-time salaried staff. The flat increases will be paid out over 12 months as a permanent salary increase beginning with October paychecks.
By providing an across-the-board raise to full-time employees, MSU Denver is focusing support on those who have been most affected by the economic challenges of the past few years. A $2,100 increase amounts to a 3% raise for someone making $70,000, so those making less than that will receive a higher percentage increase. The University will also maintain its commitment to paying competitive wages for faculty by funding adjustments that are in line with the College and University Professional Association (CUPA) database.
Additionally, affiliate faculty pay will go up 3%, with those adjustments added in a lump sum in December 2022 paychecks.
In total, the estimated budget allocation for the increased compensation pool is approximately $4.2 million.
Investing in our people is one of the most critical pieces of our multi-year budget strategy of “Recover, Stabilize and LAUNCH!” The recovery initiatives we implemented last year – Information Technology and classroom upgrades, systems improvements for online learning, Human Resources, Financial Aid and more – are doing wonders to help us overcome the initial shocks of the pandemic while modernizing areas of the University in desperate need of upgrades.
With this year’s budget, we are prioritizing opportunities to stabilize and launch MSU Denver. Without remaining base budget resources to allocate after the Phase I budget, the compensation increases and other budget priorities described below will be funded with $14.4 million of roll-forward balances out of our Education and General Fund. The University is in a strong financial position, and by strategically investing in initiatives that will shore up our workforce, stop our enrollment drop and create new revenue streams, we will provide a solid foundation for MSU Denver to launch long-term.
As described above, $4.2 million will be allocated to employee compensation, which makes up two-thirds of the University budget. Our faculty and staff are the greatest resource we can offer students, and we must retain employees in order to maximize our other investments.
By dedicating $1.07 million over two years to expand the Pathways to Possible program, the University will scale one of its most successful new programs with funding to add staff and programming as well as student stipends and scholarship opportunities. P2P, which was initially funded by the state through a RISE Grant, recruits and supports students from turnaround high schools; the first cohort of students persisted from fall to spring at a rate 18 percentage points higher than the University average. On average, P2P students returning for fall 2022 have completed 35.5 credits after their first year on campus, including concurrent enrollment credits completed in high school. The additional funding will allow P2P to recruit and support 285 students annually, which would generate a 20% return-on-investment for the University.
An allocation of $400,000 for Navigate technology will allow us to modernize and scale advising, which has a proven positive impact on student retention.
Students who participate in internships are retained at about 10 percentage points higher than average, but unpaid internships are a barrier to those who can’t afford not to work. By investing $940,000 in the Earn & Learn program, the University can provide continued funding for unpaid internships and the staff needed to match students and employers, bolstering retention and graduation rates.
MSU Denver is best positioned to serve as the anchor institution for public service. Allocating $524,000 for the Institute for Public Service will support service programming and help the center empower students and employees to participate more deeply and directly in civic life, contributing to a healthier democracy.
The University will invest $1.1 million for a virtual reality pilot program focused on certificates in high-demand technology fields, a chance to share our faculty expertise globally while leapfrogging peer universities in an emerging area with an expected positive return on investment in less than one year.
$6.2 million will be allocated for recurring costs that don’t fit in the base budget for marketing, communications, legal and other branch operations. It also includes the completion of projects that span fiscal years such as the Workday project, construction projects and the continued implementation of the Enterprise Data Warehouse.
Clear success metrics will accompany each of these initiatives to consistently evaluate and chart the way forward, much like we’re doing with the 2030 Strategic Plan. If you have specific questions about the budget, please contact the Office of Budget at [email protected].
Thank you to the Budget Recommendation Committee members for their tireless work helping prepare these recommendations, our trustees for being engaged and signing off on our strategic spending, and all of the faculty and staff across campus who have provided input on the budget process. Your participation in shared governance makes the University go, and I look forward to launching boldly into the future with you!
Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
This page was updated in September 2022 to clarify the timeline for affiliate faculty raises.