By Donna Fowler
Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed a $30 million increase in General Fund appropriations for the state’s higher education budget for the next fiscal year. He also requests $5.3 million for financial aid.
“While this doesn’t restore the $193 million that has been cut from higher ed since 2009, it is positive news,” says MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan. “In addition, the Governor’s stipulation that institutions cannot exceed a 9 percent tuition rate aligns with our approved Financial Accountability Plan, which calls for 9 percent tuition increases in fiscal years 2013, 2014 and 2015.”
Prior to Hickenlooper’s Nov. 1 announcement, Jordan stressed in a Denver Post article the need for Colorado’s higher education institutions to show that they are fiscally responsible and are retaining and graduating students. While he hopes that voters might be willing to raise taxes to help fund higher education, he also acknowledged that all of the state’s colleges and universities should plan and prepare for the possibility of no state funding in the future.
Since the announcement, the chief financial officers for all the state's public institutions, including MSU Denver Vice President for Finance, Administration and Facilities Natalie Lutes, agreed on a formula for disbursing the additional funds among the state institutions and a letter from the CEOs was sent to Colorado Commission on Higher Education Chairman Richard Kaufman.
According to Lutes, under that agreed-upon formula, MSU Denver would realize a 5.4 percent increase in General Fund appropriations.
“With the potential 5.4 percent increase and the 9 percent tuition increase, “Jordan says, “we have a set of parameters to begin planning so that we can ameliorate the impact on our students.”
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