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Tony Frank presents preliminary 2018 budget to ASCSU

Colorado State University President Tony Frank presented a draft of the Fiscal Year 2018 Education and General budget to the Associated Students of Colorado State University on Wednesday night.

The early budget proposal is a static inflationary-only budget, which assumes that state support, tuition and salaries increased only by the rate of inflation, with no other change.

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Because the proposal only displays the rate of inflation, it is intended to serve as a “blank slate” point of discussion for future versions of the budget.

“That’s about a $19 million budget… there’s about $9 million of revenue that comes from that inflation-only tuition increase,” Frank said. “On this budget, there’s about $1.4 million that comes in if the state of Colorado were to increase their funding at the inflationary level.”

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President Tony Frank speaks to ASCSU Senate about budgets Wednesday night. (Kasen Schamaun| Collegian)

Frank also discussed the budgetary consequences on financial aid if expenses were to react only to inflation.

“There’s $4.2 million dollars in financial aid… As tuition goes up, there’s a certain amount of money that goes into the financial aid pool,” Frank said.

Other models of the 2018 budget include projections for 3 percent and 5 percent increases in tuition with varying levels of state funding.

These budget models define a zero percent increase of state funding as a flat rate state funding neither increases or decreases.

According to the 3 percent tuition increase model, CSU is projected to have $26 million in revenue if state funding were to stay the same, compared to $29 million if state funding increases by 2.5 percent.

If tuition were to increase by 5 percent, CSU’s projected revenue would amount to $29 million.

“The one thing I’m confident about in all these budgets is that none of these will be the final answer we’ll come up with,” Frank said about the projected figures. “The next step in the budget process will be that the Department of Higher Education will turn out their recommend budget in the first week of November. That budget will have the governor’s recommendations for higher (education) funding. We’ll use that budget (which) comes out in November to refine a scenario to bring back to the (Board of Governors) this December.”

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While cuts will also be made across the University’s various departments, Frank assured the student senate that the administration will hold people across the University accountable for trying to game the system of cuts.

“If someone’s saying, ‘If I have to take a cut, then I’m going to eliminate four sections of this important gateway course that affect pathways to graduation … because I know (the) university administration won’t accept it, therefore I’m going to get out of my cut,’” Frank said. “Not that anyone’s done that at Colorado State University, but we do watch pretty carefully that no one plays games with the system.”

Frank also thanked the student government for their role in representing the student voice in these decisions.

“I hope what you will always hear, whether we agree with each other on every single issue or not, what you should expect to hear from members of my administration is thanks,” Frank said.

Collegian reporter Gabriel Go can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @rgabrielgo.

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