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Budget Recommendation Committee recap

Friday’s meeting covered recommendations for fiscal 2021-22 tuition and fees, closing the tuition window and more.

By Lindsey Coulter

April 12, 2021

MSU Denver sign.The Friday meeting of the Budget Recommendation Committee included in-depth discussions on recommendations for fiscal 2021-22 tuition and fee rates, possible temporary funding alternatives and closing the tuition window, all through the lens of equity, student success and Metropolitan State University of Denver’s short- and long-term financial health.

The meeting began with a bond-fee update and a presentation on classroom improvements by George Middlemist, Ph.D., associate vice president for Administration/CFO, and Jonathan McCann, director of Planning, Design and Construction. The presentation highlighted that the University has no capacity for additional debt and is spending into the fund balance at an unsustainable rate. The options to address this are to increase the Metro Bond Fee or temporarily pause the 10% allocation to classroom upgrades. To learn more, see the full Bond Fee Update PowerPoint presentation .

Michael Nguyen, director of Enrollment Management Systems and Operations, and Sean Petranovich, Ph.D., director of Data and Analytics, provided an overview of the impact of tuition increases on enrollment, highlighting trends and findings from peer institutions. Based on an analysis of 130 peer institutions between academic years 2006-07 through 2011-12, for every $1,000 increase in the total cost of tuition, undergraduate enrollment can be expected to decrease by approximately 2.1%. To learn more, see the full tuition-and-enrollment PowerPoint presentation.

Middlemist also led an overview of recent Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (distributed through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), fiscal 2022 state funding projections and three budget scenarios reflecting potential tuition-cost and tuition-window options. Additionally, members heard insights from Kaycee Gerhart, director of Government Affairs, on the potential political ramifications of a tuition increase, and Provost Alfred Tatum, Ph.D., noted the need to balance equity matters across the board with budgetary decisions.

The discussion moved members to request a final recommendation vote this week as they review meeting documents, consider the impact of the stimulus funding and observe the tenets of inclusive leadership and shared governance by conferring with their teams.

By Tuesday at 5 p.m., voting members of the BRC will provide recommendations on the following questions to President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., and to the Board of Trustees:

  • Will the University increase tuition rates by 3% or hold rates flat?
  • Will the University close the tuition window completely or by half or delay closing the window for one more year?
  • Do we increase the Health and Wellness fee by $4.60 and the Student Affairs fee by $1.60?

Watch the Early Bird for more BRC news and meeting recaps.

Topics: Funding, Inclusive leadership

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