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CU Board of Regents Approves Funding Proposals for CU Campuses

May 2, 2023

CU’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Chad Marturano provided an overview of state funding and enrollment projections, tuition and fees increases, and employee compensation to the University of Colorado Board of Regents during its regularly scheduled meeting on April 27 and 28. The update included how each of these areas will impact the campuses for the 2023–24 fiscal year. 

State Funding and Enrollment 

CU Denver is budgeting an overall enrollment decrease of 2.7%, with undergraduate enrollment budgeted to decline by 2.3%. The shifts are in line with national and regional trends. Enrollment of new first-year students is anticipated to be on par with fall 2022. Enrollment of new transfers and continuing undergraduates are expected to be lower, which also follows national trends seen across higher education post the COVID-19 pandemic. UCCS and CU Boulder’s enrollments are also projected to decline.

Tuition and Fees 

The Regents approved tuition increases for all CU campuses. CU Denver will have a 5% tuition rate increase for all students, effective fall 2023, which was included in budget scenarios presented to the CU Denver community during earlier budget informational sessions and in meetings of the Campus Advisory Committee on Budget. To help maintain affordability and reduce financial barriers for students with higher need, CU Denver will also increase its financial aid budget by 5%. 

CU Denver’s tuition increase is consistent with national and local tuition trends. “We want to be able to continuously improve the services we provide to our students, and part of the way we do this is by ensuring that our faculty and staff wages are competitive in this market,” said Jennifer St. Peter, associate vice chancellor for budget.  

For the other campuses, CU Boulder will see a 4% tuition increase, which comes on top of the 3% increase the campus enacted last year, plus mandatory fee increase, for incoming undergraduate resident and non-resident students; UCCS will have a 5% to 5.1% tuition rate increase for all students; and CU Anschutz will raise its tuition 4% for undergraduate resident students. 

Regents also approved an overall increase of 2.6% to CU Denver’s mandatory fees, which equates to $25 per year for students who are enrolled full time. This includes a 6.2% increase to the Auraria Campus fee and a 2.8% increase to the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center fee. 

Compensation  

Regents approved a pool for University Staff and Faculty salary increases, which is dependent on CU Denver’s ability to meet or exceed its budgeted fall 2023 enrollment and tuition revenue. As discussed at earlier budget info sessions and other budget committee meetings, the compensation plan, which is contingent on making fall enrollment goals, includes a 3% merit pool for University Staff and Faculty and a 2% pool to address compression, retention, and equity, bringing the total compensation plan to 5%. Campus administrators will make final decisions in the fall when we have a clearer picture for fall enrollment. Compensation increases would go into effect in January 2024. 

The State of Colorado determines classified employees’ pay raises, which are expected to be 5% this year. Pending state approval of the budget, any changes would take effect on July 1, 2023. 

“Even amid challenging budget times, we need to compensate our faculty and staff competitively and equitably,” said Chancellor Michelle Marks. “Our employees work extremely hard, and it’s important they are rewarded and retained here so we can provide the best experience possible for our people and our students.” 

Other Business 

The Regents approved two new degree programs. The first is a new Executive Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) degree program in the Business School. The program, which is the first executive doctorate program of its kind at a university in Colorado, provides senior-level executives with advanced business skills and data-informed, evidence-based strategies in health care, which supports CU Denver’s commitment to workforce development and the Business School’s strategic plan. CU Denver’s program will be offered in a hybrid format, which will help the recruitment of not only in-state and domestic students, but also international students and others interested in the degree. 

An Associate of General Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was also approved. This degree program is part of the Colorado Re-Engaged Initiative (CORE)—which was created under Colorado House Bill 21-1330— that enables four-year institutions to offer an associate degree to students who were previously enrolled in a baccalaureate program but stopped attending the institution before attaining a bachelor’s degree. Recognizing completed academic credits with an associate degree can boost earning potential, open new employment opportunities, and increase the likelihood that a student will return to higher education and complete a bachelor’s degree, according to the proposal.