At an Oct. 19 meeting for college and university presidents with
higher education commissioners and lawmakers, Metro State President
Stephen Jordan presented two budget request initiatives for the 2008-09
fiscal year that total $4.1 million.
The Quality Initiative
The first request, which Jordan
referred to as the Quality Initiative, was for an estimated $2.8
million to continue building the faculty by adding new positions and
filling those that are vacant with full-time, tenured and
tenure-track faculty. He told the group that approximately 60 new
tenured and tenure-track faculty need to be hired annually. He also
explained that to effectively improve retention rates, 60 percent of
Metro State’s courses should be taught by tenured and tenure-track
faculty. The currently figure is less than 40 percent.
The Access Initiative
The second budget request was for
$1.3 million for the Access Initiative to expand the First-Year Success
pilot program. Jordan said that the pilot program was funded mainly
from one-time funds available from within the institution and had
roughly 2,700 students participate. When fully operation, he expects
the program will serve 16,500 students.
Jordan explained to the legislators that there are four components
to the Freshman Success program: the First Year Seminar, learning
communities at all levels, Sophomore Retention Services and Transfer
Services. He added that with sufficient funding to implement all four
components will improve Metro State’s retention rate by 33 percent.
Jordan wrapped up his presentation with what the consequences will
be if the initiatives aren’t funded. He said that without additional
tenured and tenure-track faculty—and with the College’s continued
enrollment growth—Metro State’s ability to provide a high-quality,
well-supported learning environment will be significantly comprised.
Regarding the First Year Success program, Jordan said ongoing base
funding is essential for long-term success in reaching all first-year
students. Without this funding, the College will not be able to offer
the programs necessary for improving student retention and creating a
preeminent learning environment.
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