Colorado State University prepares budget proposal for Board of Governors

Ellie Mulder

When Colorado State University proposes its 2015-16 school year budget to its Board of Governors May 7, the University will request a 5.5 percent increase in tuition for resident undergraduates, a 4 percent increase for non-resident undergraduates and 3 percent increase for graduate students. All of these increases fall below the state limit of 6 percent for tuition increase.

CSU Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda addresses a budget open forum Wednesday. (Photo credit: Skyler Leonard).
CSU Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda addresses a budget open forum Wednesday. (Photo credit: Skyler Leonard).

Assuming a “strong flat enrollment model,” meaning that about the same number of students attend CSU in the same degree programs, these tuition increases will bring an additional $20.8 million to the University, according to CSU Provost and Executive Vice President Miranda.

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Combined with other means of funding and an expected $10.8 million in state appropriations, CSU will receive an estimated $32 million in new revenue for the 2015-16 budget.

“What’s left after non-discretionary things, things we don’t control, is what’s called the eduction and general budget,” Miranda said. “Those are the funds that come essentially form state appropriations and tuition. We do have some discretion (over those).”

Of this $32 million, about $4.7 million will be spent on financial aid and GTA tuition and health benefits; $9 million will be spent on salaries, promotions and benefits; $4.3 million will be spent on other mandatory costs including utilities and maintenance; and $14.3 million will be spent on “quality enhancements.” About two-thirds of these enhancements will include supporting academic programs and interests, and one-third will be allocated to infrastructure.

The 2015-16 school year budget has been in progress since June 2014, according to Miranda. Creating the budget for CSU, including setting tuition and revenue rates, is a year-long process involving collaboration with and suggestions from groups throughout campus.

“We’ve collected a lot of data from the campus about what the campus wants us to invest in, but unfortunately, the campus tends to have a lot of enthusiasm about the budget,” Miranda said jokingly during a budget open forum Wednesday. “The proposals we get … (we) got 40-plus million dollars of ideas. It’s great, but it makes decision-making harder.”

For more information about proposed budget changes and the budget’s current status, visit president.colostate.edu/budget.

Collegian Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @lemarie.