University of Colorado Board of Regents on Thursday approved tuition and fee changes for students as well as a compensation increase for faculty and staff.
Regent Heidi Ganahl cast the lone dissenting vote against raising tuition and fees, saying since she was elected to the board, she has made an effort to reduce spending.
“What I campaigned on or what I was elected for six years ago was to lower the cost of college, so I’ve made a very intentional effort to focus on how we can reduce spending and create more value and reduce expenses,” she said.
The vote to increase compensation for faculty and staff was unanimous. This increase will raise pay by 3% for classified staff as well as add 3% more funding to the pool departments can pull from to give merit-based raises to non-classified staff and faculty members.
All students at CU Boulder will pay $200 less in tuition and fees this fall thanks to the elimination of a capital construction fee that was tied to a bond payment. But continuing resident and non-resident students are the only ones who will not see their rates increase this fall but rather decrease due to the CU Boulder tuition guarantee, which mandates that incoming students pay the same — or less — for four years.
Colorado lawmakers are poised to approve an estimated 11.4% increase in funding for higher education, which when combined with tuition and fees, will add about $46 million to CU Boulder’s budget. Even with this increase, graduate students and incoming non-resident students will still see a 3% tuition and fees increase this fall, which will help cushion the university’s operating expense budget.
“That revenue also comes in to cover the core educational expenses of the entire university,” said Chad Marturano, acting chief financial officer for CU.
Tuition rates will also change from what was initially passed for incoming resident students in Boulder. Last year, the board approved a $500 combined tuition and fee rate increase for incoming resident students starting this fall. Even though incoming students will pay more than the class before them, their tuition and fee rate will decrease from the expected $500 increase to $300 due to the construction fee elimination.
The tuition increases, a projected 0.6% increase in enrollment and additional state funding will also help CU Boulder pay for salary raises for faculty and staff at CU Boulder. The 3% increase for classified staff will be across-the-board starting July 1. CU Boulder departments will have 3% more funding to provide non-classified staff and faculty merit-based raises starting January. Non-classified faculty and staff will not receive across-the-board raises.
Marturano said there are only about 1,400 classified staff across the four-campus system. Classified employees are part of the state’s personnel system. The State Personnel Board is constitutionally required to standardize these positions. At CU Boulder, these include positions like police officer, custodian and grounds technician, among others. Non-classified staff and faculty are university employees who exempt from the rules and regulations enforced by the personnel board.
The extra funding will also help CU Boulder cover increasing operating costs and will also help pay for programs and initiatives, some of which include the university’s diversity, inclusion, equity and access work; maintenance and technology infrastructure; and financial assistance for students.
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