CSU President Tony Frank presented a five percent increase for undergraduate in-state tuition and a three percent increase for out-of-state tuition in his initial budget proposal for next year during the ASCSU senate meeting last night.
In the budget proposal, Frank discussed tuition numbers, non-resident growth and increases in on-campus parking.
Frank said the university has been approved for up to a 12 percent increase, but has kept it down for student benefit. He also stated that without a tuition increase, CSU could not keep its quality faculty.
“We could cut tuition down…but that would damage the quality of our educational experience,” Frank said. “Whether we like it or not, tuition drives the academic health of this university.”
Frank feels that these tuition increases would not be necessary if higher education funding were more of a governmental priority. If trends continue, in 2022 Colorado will be the first state in the union to completely run out of higher education funding. This will put the weight of tuition entirely on the shoulders of CSU students.
“We have privatized the world’s greatest system of higher education,” Frank said. “(Colorado’s) state support is among the lowest in the country.”
ASCSU Senator Chelsea Crosse questioned why Frank has not pursued a tax increase for citizens in place of tuition increases for students.
“It’s not within my power to launch a tax initiative,” Frank said. “I’m not opposed to it, we’ve just been unsuccessful.”
Frank also discussed how to continually enhance CSU’s non-resident interest and how projects such as the stadium and recent building renovations will contribute to this.
According to Frank, the stadium may not directly cause student growth, but it will increase the athletic visibility of the university in the eyes of non residents, which Frank believes would be a great benefit for CSU. Frank also suggested that if Hughes was to be renovated instead of building the new stadium, the money would have to come from somewhere within the budget.
“How do I come up with 30 million to fix a stadium off campus?” Frank said. “I don’t have donors for Hughes.”
Frank maintains that whether or not a new stadium is built, non residents will continue to be a focus of the university.
Parking on campus is another area Frank emphasized.
Frank was questioned by ASCSU Chief of Staff John Stockley as to whether an on-campus shuttle will be implemented to decrease parking issues. Frank did not confirm whether or not this shuttle will happen, but stated that either way increases in general parking demands will likely cause parking rates to double over the next decade.
“(This increase) would provide revenue for shuttles, meters and new parking technology,” Frank said.
Throughout Frank’s ideas for university funds, he emphasized the importance of student involvement.
“If we want to build you all as successful alumni, we’ve got to engage you now,” Frank said. “We really value the student voice.”
Collegian City Beat Reporter Caitlin Curley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.