CSU faculty, staff to get 3 percent raises

FORT COLLINS – The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System on Wednesday approved CSU’s budget for fiscal 2012-13, including the first salary increase for faculty and staff in four years.

The budget, effective July 1, also includes a 9-percent tuition increase for resident undergraduates.

CSU’s budget includes state funding and tuition dollars, but does not include self-funded programs or research support. The general budget is $459 million, an increase of 6 percent from last year. The budget for the entire university is about $900 million, up about 4 percent from the previous year.

In addition to the tuition increase for residents, undergraduate nonresident tuition will increase 3 percent from last year.
Overall state funding provided to Colorado State will decrease by $2.25 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year to $91.2 million. Last year, state funding decreased by $23 million, and over the last four years, state funding has decreased by a combined total of more than $39 million.
CSU had been racing for bigger cuts. Projections last fall signaled the potential for a much larger cut in state funding, which would have meant big reductions in financial aid and operating budgets.

The worst-case scenario, however, did not materialize, CSU said in its release.

Instead, the improving economy means CSU will be able boost salaries for faculty and staff by 3 percent.

It will be the first salary increase for employees since the 2008-09 fiscal year.
The system also was able to afford a $3.1 million, or 11-percent, increase in financial aid for low-income families hoping to send their children to college.

“After three years of some of the toughest budgets in CSU history, we’re very pleased to bring forward a budget that keeps tuition increases in the single digits and provides the first pay increase to our employees in four years,” CSU President Tony Frank said in a statement. “While we’re still taking a reduction in state funding, it’s far less than what we had built into our original budget planning last fall.”
Fiscal year 2012-13 annual tuition rates for CSU will be:

  • Resident undergraduate – $6,875
  • Non-resident undergraduate – $22,667
  • Resident graduate – $8,392
  • Non-resident graduate – $20,572

Additionally, fees for full-time on-campus students at CSU are exected to increase $39, or 2.2 percent, pending an OK by the Associated Students of CSU.

The average cost of room and board at CSU will grow by $558, a 5.8 percent increase.

The total cost of attending CSU – tuition, fees and room and board – is expected to increase 6.6 percent over the prior year, a change of $1,165.

Frank used the news to repeat one of his key messages: The cost of educating a student at Colorado is the same as it was 20 years ago on an inflation-adjusted basis.

But what has changed is that 20 years ago, two-thirds of the cost of a CSU education was paid for by the state. Today, that ratio has flipped — individual students and their families pay for two-thirds of the cost, with the state paying one-third.

“While this budget contains much good news compared to recent years, it continues to reflect the privatization of public higher education in Colorado, with state support declining and students paying a greater share through tuition,” Frank said. “It is a fundamental challenge facing higher education in Colorado and throughout the nation.”

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Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, marmbrister@ncbr.com or twitter.com/MArmbristerNCBR

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