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LTTE: In response to CSU ranked seventh for highest tuition hikes

A response to CSU’s ranking of seventh in the nation for highest tuition hikes 

By Steven Shulman, professor and chair of the department of economics 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The article “Colorado State Ranked Seventh in Nation for Highest Tuition Hikes” (March 21) blames tuition increases on state budget cuts, according to a CSU official quoted in the article.

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This is simply not true. CSU tuition increases are far greater than the amount needed to offset state budget cuts.

For example, the FY2017 budget shows that tuition increases will create an additional $13.9 million of revenue into CSU. Yet state budget cuts will reduce revenue by just $3.8 million (see http://www.president.colostate.edu/pdf/FY17-v4.0-summary.pdf).

Every year CSU increases tuition by much more than is necessary to offset inflation or state budget cuts. Over the past five years, tuition has increased by 58% despite the fact that family incomes have hardly grown at all.

What is the university doing with all the additional revenue? Unfortunately, it is not investing more in academics. Instead, the additional money has been used to service the huge debt that the university has taken on and to subsidize athletics by over $20 million per year.

As a land grant university, CSU is charged with keeping higher education affordable for Colorado families. But in truth, it has done exactly the opposite in order to pay for non-essentials like the new football stadium.

Feedback and letters to the editor can be sent to letters@collegian.com

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  • P

    PerseusApr 9, 2016 at 10:40 am

    The heavy hand of the administration is clearly visible in the highly orchestrated and edited comments below. The arguments made do not acknowledge these simple facts:
    – the cost of the new stadium could not be paid by alumni contributions after a two year campaign – it was a complete failure. The revenue estimates made by the contractors are hopelessly optimistic.
    – CSU refused to participate in any real dialogue with city residents, choosing to conduct a series of sham processes, social media and disinformation campaigns to get state back bonds issued. At least 60% of residents remain firmly opposed.
    – In essence, Dr Frank has chosen to take a huge gamble with public funds. Football is built on hype and will not provide a lasting legacy or asset as claimed.
    – In light of CSU football’s record, they should have done a minimum cost upgrade to Hughes. In 20 years there will be just as many structural problems at the on-campus site – that is the nature of Fort Collins soils.

    Reply
    • B

      BradApr 10, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Lets address your points one by one:

      – the cost of the new stadium could not be paid by alumni contributions
      after a two year campaign – it was a complete failure. The revenue
      estimates made by the contractors are hopelessly optimistic.

      You are correct, the fundraising goals were never met. The caveat is Tony Frank said again and again that if donations fell short of goal there would be reassessment of the financial viability of the project based upon the money in hand. If all indications showed that the numbers still worked, the project would move forward. Your second point is nothing more than an opinion but for the sake of argument lets assume that the projections are hopelessly optimistic. What a blow it must be then to know enough premium seating has already been sold to satisfy 96% of that hopelessly optimistic estimate.

      – CSU refused to participate in any real dialogue with city residents,
      choosing to conduct a series of sham processes, social media and
      disinformation campaigns to get state back bonds issued. At least 60%
      of residents remain firmly opposed.

      I must have been imagining the numerous public forums and BOG meetings. I could have swore I remember the same people, some wearing sweatpants no less, standing at a podium advancing conspiracy theories, calling for firings, ranting belligerently, at times screaming, and basically howling at the moon. In retrospect I’m amazed there so many meetings open to public comment given that nearly each one devolved into a circus of the absurd.

      60% of residents remain firmly opposed? Lets tally some numbers. On your side I will give you 600 from the SOSH phone survey and 4000 from the Coloradoan survey. I’m feeling generous, lets just count all 1100 and 6500 from the two surveys. You put 7800 people in your pocket, I’ll take the 40,000+ that will show up for the first home game of 2017. I would also surmise that if your 60% number actually held any validity all, or at a minimum the majority, of the anti-stadium candidates would have roundly trounced the neutral/pro-stadium candidates during the Fort Collins City Council elections. I recall that didn’t turn out too favorably. 60% would also lead me to believe that the biggest rally held by the anti-stadium group would have drawn more than 100 participants and I’m being generous with the 100 figure. As of late it seems the group’s public visibility has been whittled down to one professor sitting out on a corner with signs and a bullhorn every once and awhile. Must be the silent majority.

      – In essence, Dr Frank has chosen to take a huge gamble with public
      funds. Football is built on hype and will not provide a lasting legacy
      or asset as claimed.

      In essence, two opinions. 1893. I don’t know what else I need to add after that number.

      – In light of CSU football’s record, they should have done a minimum
      cost upgrade to Hughes. In 20 years there will be just as many
      structural problems at the on-campus site – that is the nature of Fort
      Collins soils.

      Geotechnical Engineer? Are you saying the same expansive soils out at the Hughes site are present at the new stadium site? I wonder why the geotech reports from Mortenson didn’t mention that? Are you also contending that modern day construction methods are no better than methods from 1968 and these methods only permit material life cycles of 20 years? Something here is leading me to believe you might be making things up as you go. Further, what are minimum cost upgrades? You probably better come up with a plan to cover the $30-$50 million before you start adding to that bill for actual upgrades. I’ll pose the same question to you that northernlights was unable to answer. What would be your plan to prevent the required $30-$50 million dollars in costs to keep Hughes from impacting the General Fund, tuition, tax payers and faculty? Again, little to no donor support for that option and no additional sources of revenue to obtain financing.

      Certainly football and it’s place in the college landscape is not everyone’s cup of tea and being ant-stadium is a perfectly legitimate stance but advancing unsubstantiated statements and opinions as factual evidence is a poor way to advocate for your belief. Ultimately, if you are truly anti-football like northernlights, why not shift the focus from keeping Hughes or protesting the new stadium to the actual root of your argument? It seems hypocritical to advocate for Hughes if removing football from CSU is the end goal.

      Reply
      • P

        PerseusApr 14, 2016 at 9:58 pm

        Oh “Brad” – I totally withdraw my suggestion that CSU Administration could possibly have been involved in this social media dialogue. The responses are far too professional, deceptive and devious to have come from the pens of our public servants and their scared little minions. In the fullness of time, the unpleasant truths behind this project will all be made public and we can all smile with satisfaction as the unpleasant financial facts becomes obvious to all.

        Reply
        • B

          BradApr 15, 2016 at 7:49 am

          Deceptive and devious, huh? Always easier to don the tinfoil than actually support your original statements I guess. Thanks for the professional comment, I’ll take it as a compliment though I’m sure that is far from your intent.

          People like you and northern crack me up. It’s completely acceptable for you to make all the unsubstantiated statements in the world but when anyone questions you they must be a paid shill, a scared little minion, or any number of things that northern accused me of being. This is the exact reason the anti’s failed at every stage of this process. SOSH always proclaimed they wanted a debate but the minute anyone applied even an ounce of scrutiny to their claims any semblance of a debate evaporated and was quickly replaced by ad hominem, conspiracy and stories of boogeymen.

          Good luck to you and your crusade of waiting for the sky to fall, Chicken Little would be proud.

          Reply
    • N

      northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Oh – you get BRAD too! Don’t get sucked into the morass of his “arguments”. Sure they listened. It was all about appearances and managing and strategizing and fraught with dishonesty. Tony Frank alienated major donors Jack Graham and Pat Stryker . The BOG are political appointees who have no idea about higher education and are Frank’s biggest cheerleaders. they intentionally let Hughes – a state owned facility – fall into disrepair and took the profits somewhere else. The 4 options were really only 2 and meant to stall and appease since we trusted what he had said previously about Hughes – stupid us for trusting the man. Now he is raising tuition yet again, obviously to raise money to pay for the massive debt incurred by his borrowing of which a major amount is for a new football stadium on campus. Alex Bernasek was absolutely right when she spoke as faculty council representative to the BOG that building this stadium would commit to spending excessively on football for the future in conflict with the academics budget. Now the chickens have come home to roost.

      Reply
      • B

        BradApr 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm

        I would ask once again for you to provide evidence backing up your statement that the stadium is in any way tied to the recent tuition increase. Let’s just cut to the chase, you won’t because you can’t. No merry-go-round of inconsequential back and forth, delving into wild speculation or trading insults with me while claiming to be innocent of the very critiques you apply to others.
        Lastly, if you are so dismissive of Hughes ultimately causing the very things you purport to be taking a stand against I have to ask why you do not just argue for your ultimate end goal and end the pretense?

        Reply
  • P

    PerseusApr 6, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Ten years from now CSU will still be mediocre team in a mediocre conference with big budget problems – geography and demographics have condemned them to this nightmare and the administration are just too scared or dumb to admit their mistake.

    Reply
  • C

    CSURamTApr 1, 2016 at 10:50 am

    LOL. Another pathetic attempt by Mr. Shulman. Here is an idea, if you hate CSU so much, leave. There are hundreds of universities around the country that don’t have athletic departments (interestingly enough, the cost of tuition for most of these is also much more than CSU). I’m sure they would welcome you with open arms to sulk your hatred of CSU’s success.
    His hatred of CSU’s Athletic Department is well documented and highly disappointing. He is letting his emotions dictate poor leadership and blind him from facts. I wonder how much revenue the economics department is sucking from the university?
    The simple fact is that state budgets account for less than 10% of CSU funding. CSU must continually determine better ways to raise funds for the university. The Athletic Department is less then 4% of the university budget. On top of this, the Athletic Department directly pays back more than $7MM in scholarship money to the university, so $20MM in subsidies is more like $13MM. Considering that private donations to CSU are breaking records and quickly becoming more than 15% of the revenue to this university (with close to $150MM raised annually now), it is not too difficult to realize that the donor engagement created by athletics far exceeds the $13MM in subsidies. Take a look at who those $150MM in donors are and you will see the people that are season ticket holders at CSU Football, Basketball, etc. You will see corporations that market in CSU’s Athletic Facilities, hire CSU students, and provide grants for CSU research. You will see alumni that only step on campus for CSU sporting events. And of course this also doesn’t include the national exposure provided by athletics which drives out-of-state and international students (which pay higher amounts in tuition dollars allowing for lower increases than what may have been necessary without them) to our university.
    So here is the thing, if you don’t have people, you don’t generate money. That is marketing 101, and the CSU Athletic Department is the greatest marketing tool a university can have. Go to any for-profit company and they will laugh in your face if you tell them they only get 4% of their budget to use for their major marketing efforts (and I promise you, none of them have half of their marketing budget paid via the marking department and they certainly don’t send hundreds of kids to school on top of that).
    Finally, CSU has had an Athletic Department for over a hundred years. It has been written in the budget for decades. And while the budget has increased, so have revenues. It is a mistake to use fear-mongering to try to generate support against CSU’s Athletic Department. Why? Because people aren’t that stupid. And it is sad that Mr. Shulman thinks they are. He should be ashamed. Though maybe he should make an example by going somewhere else.
    Last I checked, tuition is going up at every university, as are costs. CSU students don’t pay tuition in percents, they pay in dollars and cents. And while the % of CSU’s tuition increase may be one of the highest, the actual amount is not compared to CSU’s sister schools. In fact, tuition at Northeastern is $45,530 per year (cost of attendance is $63,330), and increase of $2,090 from 2014/15 school year. An increase of 4.6%. Why is this interesting? Because Mr. Shulman and his wife have been very vocal in the past of the fact that they chose and preferred to send their son to Northeastern. If tuition cost is that important to them, why didn’t they take advantage of the 50% faculty discount for children of faculty? And why is he writing a letter about the increase in tuition at CSU, when last year his own son’s college raised tuition by more than double what CSU raised theirs? And they don’t even have a football team… (in fact since Northeastern dropped their football team in 2009, their tuition has increased by $10,168)

    Reply
    • R

      RobApr 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Fair points and concept, but to my knowledge there isn’t a shred of evidence that supports this often-offered type of statement: “And of course this also doesn’t include the national exposure provided by athletics which drives out-of-state and international students…to our university.”

      Reply
      • C

        CSURamTApr 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

        I am evidence. I went to high school in California. I never would have heard of Colorado State University or even considered it if it wasn’t for Sonny Lubick’s success in college football. When it came to selecting a college I wanted one that was successful in Microbiology and Veterinary Sciences, but also had athletics that would enhance my student experience and create social atmospheres that interested me since I didn’t know anyone in Colorado. I had a choice between UC-Davis, UC-Santa Cruz, and CSU. I chose CSU after visiting the campus and because it better fit my interests outside of just school. After 3 years I ended up changing my major to Health and Exercise Sciences. Today, my group of friends, as busy as our lives are, are always re-connected when we come back to watch CSU football and basketball. And I know a lot of people with very similar stories.
        Additionally take a look at the consistent sellouts of engagement programs like Football 101 and Basketball 101 for international Student and Scholar Services. Athletics is an opportunity to help international students integrate into the American culture and unite in support of their university with people they may not otherwise have an opportunity to get to know.
        Here are some articles to read that may provide some additional “evidence” for you:
        https://www.unigo.com/admissionsadvice/how-important-can-athletics-be-as-a-hook-for-college-admissions/398/1

        This is a study from Berkley that shows that “increases donations, applications, academic reputation, in-state enrollment, and incoming SAT scores.”
        http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://are.berkeley.edu/~mlanderson/pdf/Anderson%2520College%2520Sports.pdf

        Guess what year Nick Saban was hired to Alabama…. 2007
        http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2014/09/fewer_alabama_residents_attend.html

        https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/01/21/ncaa

        Reply
        • D

          DaveApr 5, 2016 at 12:14 pm

          What? Do you mean to tell us that you chose CSU even though its football stadium was two miles west of campus? What a great argument that spending $451 million on a new stadium wasn’t needed! Thank you!

          Reply
          • C

            CSURamTApr 6, 2016 at 5:42 pm

            No I chose CSU because 18 years ago when I had a choice of schools, it was the only one that had Division 1 football. I would have loved to have been able to enjoy it a stadium on-campus and am envious of those that will.

          • P

            PerseusApr 7, 2016 at 12:02 pm

            Looks like your time at CSU failed to give you any marketable skills, Mr. RamT. The real world could get along very nicely without the questionable finances and ethics of college football as it exists today.

          • C

            CSURamTApr 7, 2016 at 8:17 pm

            Seems to me that the real world is doing pretty well with college football as it is a $7+ Billion industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people and provides free education for tens of thousands of student athletes who go on to live amazing lives, many of which would not be able to afford to attend college with-out it, while creating great exposure to universities who are able to engage their students and alumni-base more effectively because of it. Seems to me that when the head of CSU’s fundraising department says that one of the first questions he always gets from major donors to academics is in regards to how is the football team doing, that means that it is opening doors and creating interest that may not otherwise be there. Including but not limited to donors going as far as to anonymously pay tens of millions of dollars to do something as simple as name the football field after a former football coach (I wonder if a donor has ever made a donation to name an academic facility after their favorite professor at CSU?). And considering there are studies showing the bump in both quality and quantity of student applications after successful football season, it seems to have success that reaches far beyond the football field.
            Let’s be real hear, there are questionable finances and ethics in every industry. To act as if this is just a part of college football is just another ridiculous statement in which you criticizing one burnt twig in the middle of an entire forest fire. That again is why this letter is so ridiculous to begin with. Getting rid of football at CSU does not make hardly a dent in the cost of higher education, especially when CSU is already on the relatively low end of that cost bubble. And in fact it would hurt more than help considering CSU now relies on private donations more than public funding to curb costs.
            If you want to believe I don’t have any “marketable skills” so you can feel better about yourself. I have no problem with that, but last time I checked, despite all of the false claims by yourself and a few others, CSU has supported moving forward with the building of a new football stadium, an invigorated investment into CSU athletics, and while doing so has been breaking records in annual donations (both in quantity and amount), student retention, student applications and acceptances, and quality of education, just to name a few. Seems like a lot of success to me, with a lot more to come.
            It is time to move on. Your comments have failed over and over and over again, as it is the side of this debate that has consistently lost. Every single thing that people on your side of this issue has done or said has been 100% wrong, completely disproven over and over again, and the university after independent study and external opinion after external opinion has decided to consistently push toward excellence in athletics (and football) while achieving that excellence as well. That is part of the nature of CSU. To strive for excellence in everything and have athletics (including football which has a long standing tradition, even longer than pretty much any other tradition in Fort Collins) a major part of the strive for excellence. That is the real world. The only thing to support is CSU being more successful in college football and effectively working every day to do it better.

    • D

      DaveApr 5, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      I wonder if those non-athletic schools charge more because they take academics more seriously and thus the education they offer is worth more. Just a thought.

      Reply
      • C

        CSURamTApr 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        Maybe you should do some research on that, pretty sure you won’t find that to be the case… last I checked there are some pretty good schools that spend tens of millions more than CSU on athletics. You have already lost this debate. It is just look sad now.

        Reply
        • D

          DaveApr 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm

          Johns Hopkins? Emory? MIT? Caltech? Why, mercy me, how do these backwater institutions ever survive without athletics? Could it be … academic excellence?

          Reply
          • C

            CSURamTApr 5, 2016 at 4:34 pm

            You can’t be that naive. Really? Every single one of those schools has athletics. Heck, John Hopkins even has football and they have a Division 1 Lacrosse team that plays at an on-campus stadium. Look it up. How about Duke, Stanford, Cal-Berkley, Yale, Harvard, Georgia Tech, USC, Notre Dame, UCLA… I could continue if I needed to. Those universities you mentioned do have something going for them though… they all cost over $45K in tuition alone per year to attend. 5 times what it costs to attend CSU. That is how they survive. So maybe what you are really advocating for is for CSU not to keep itself affordable, but instead to be like those colleges and charge 5 times as much. And finally, here are the 2014 academic world ranks of universities in the US. Look at where CSU sits… with the group that includes Dartmouth, Northeastern, Notre Dame, etc. Seems like students at CSU are getting a pretty good academic value compared to the students of those 3 schools that are paying over $46K year to attend. Seems like excellence is alive at CSU to me.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 5, 2016 at 8:37 pm

            Do you mean that because these stellar universities have athletic programs, this equals what CSU is pursuing for football? Spending more in these private high end universities means getting more as far as education, a better brand and a better focus. CSU subsidizes athletics by 51% – these universities don’t. And to compare CSU to them in terms of academics is absolutely laughable. Why is it that this voice expressed in the recent comments from CSURamT is different from earlier. This scenario is so familiar. Hey ghost writer…..

          • C

            CSURamTApr 6, 2016 at 2:26 am

            What I mean is that in the year 2016 and beyond different universities have different avenues to pursue excellence. CSU I guess could raise their tuition by $10K per year like Northeastern has and not see much of a difference in academic achievements as Northeastern is rated #199th, or they can invest in avenues that create exposure and drive more out-of-state students, donors, and corporations into supporting CSU, so that they can achieve those things and advance educational quality at a fraction of the price (which is exactly what has happened).
            I’m sure Northeastern is happy to tell their their students and alumni that getting rid of football was a smart move for them while they justify the $10K raise in tuition the last decade. I am sure they have many justifications to you as to why they charge 5 times CSU’s tuition which makes you warm and fuzzy. And I am sure it just eats you alive that Northeastern is paying $26MM to turn a park into an athletic sports complex (which will include a football field for youth sports). I’m sure you can try to justify it as a “better brand” even though it is now a brand that many people across the nation don’t have exposure to and more and more are turning to universities like CSU (why because the quality of education is dramatically increasing at fraction of the price). And if all of that is true, then by all means send your kids to Northeastern or one of these other schools for $45K per year. No one is stopping you, but don’t complain when you get the tuition bill, and don’t write letters about how athletics is costing students when they are paying 20% in tuition what other universities with similar quality of education are charging, while also getting free tickets to sporting events (which most of the schools that don’t subsidize don’t receive).
            For CSU, football is one part of an investment that reaches millions of people world-wide while also engaging the donors and students. And well, it is working… CSU has record enrollment, record retention, record donations, and record support. And all you have (not surprisingly) is conspiracies about ghost writing and false assumptions. You have lost this debate. It is time to move on. I’m sorry you hate football as much as you do. But just because you don’t like something don’t make it wrong. But Mr. Shulman, as member of the university who tries to use influence students in their student run newspaper by using his own emotion and hatred of something to dictate discussion while leaving out the facts he just doesn’t like, that is the real tragedy here. It is pathetic. It is childish. And it is not representative of the excellence that CSU deserves, expects, or pays it’s professors for. The students at CSU deserve better. I’m glad the administration knows that and takes the time to look at all information and make decisions based on facts, not only just the small piece of info that Mr. Shulman strategically wants to tell to make a failed point that he has failed to make over and over and over and over again. As he said “As a land grant university, CSU is charged with keeping higher education affordable for Colorado families.” Well, that is exactly what CSU has done. While CSU is raising tuition by a few hundred bucks, other universities are raising it by more than a thousand every year. And CSU does it while keeping the athletic department and providing hundreds of scholarships to student athletes at the same time. Congrats to them and their continued success in providing a high quality education at a fraction of the price! Too bad Mr. Shulman and yourself are blind to the facts to recognize that.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 7:28 am

            The writing style and content has certainly changed from the first 2 posts from CSURamT. The name calling toward Dr Shulman is notable. And calling his information and letter childish and emotional certainly sounds like a member of the administration that is completely intolerant of faculty criticism or discussion or independent governance is writing this. That would certainly be par for the course. That is the reason half the faculty council executive committee resigned. His letter not representative of the faculty? Is that why 2/3 of faculty council (conveniently minus 3 needed for the full 2/3) stood to vote in front of the President and the Provost to support the resolution that objects to cutting academic spending which generates the revenues and calls for cutting subsidy to athletics instead? If you choose to respond, please try to address the facts of his letter without maligning Dr Shulman for doing so.

            And please, administration person, explain in concrete terms – meaning tangible benefits – why focusing and discretionary spending on football which loses over 7 million a year is such a good investment for an institution of higher education and why a football stadium that will ultimately cost half a billion moved next to student housing (where the medical center should be) on the academic campus and raising tuition so drastically to pay for it improves education, meets the needs of the students or faculty or fulfills the mission of a land grant university.

            We all know why the tuition is rising so excessively and it isn’t to improve education or educational outcomes. Academic donations are for academics and inspired by academics. And how about that steadily rising student debt to go with it?

            Let’s be clear that athletic scholarships and spending are focused on big time male sports for entertainment. From a document from CFO Lynn Johnson’s office – A $20+ million subsidy FY 2014, 51% of the athletic budget. Football lost $~7 million, Men’s Basketball lost $3.3 million, Women’s basketball lost $2.2 million and $5.7 million for ALL other sports combined (M track field, M golf, W track, W soccer, W volleyball, W swimming…….) More than half the undergraduates are women and paying for this. Shouldn’t the scholarship expense and athletic spending be equally spread between men and women and not focused on a sport that is so controversial because of the nature, frequency and extent of the life long brain injuries, that the players are largely brought to CSU to play football, not in order to earn a meaningful degree, and that it is violent, simulated war to entertain the wealthy. And students get to pay for this with rising tuition.

          • B

            BradApr 6, 2016 at 10:22 am

            “It doesn’t change the facts of the deficit spending and the half billion FOOTBALL stadium. That is why CSU is raising tuition so dramatically in order to pay for it since there is no way they can generate revenues through football to pay for it or to pay for football.”

            Could you provide some evidence to back up this statement. Can you provide any evidence that specifically ties the stadium to being culpable for the increase?

            Here are published stories that I’ve seen recently: $26 million dollars in private donations to be used for interest payments on stadium while under construction, $20 million dollar donation for field naming rights, construction costs currently under budget, and enough prime seating already sold to satisfy 96% of the required financial projections to keep the stadium in the black. What are we missing that ties the stadium to the tuition increase?

            What I never see addressed by either of the Shulmans or the anti-stadium group are the root causes of the stadium coming to be and how they could have been addressed without impact to the General Fund. As convenient as it may be to gloss over, the simple fact is that keeping Hughes was going to directly impact the General Fund / Taxpayers / Tuition Rates / Faculty to the tune of $30 to $50 million dollars. There were few donors on board willing to pay and Hughes was not capable of additional revenue streams to gain financing. Ultimately all of the deferred maintenance and current maintenance issues would have to be paid for by the General Fund. I would like to hear your solutions for the heaving foundations, code compliance, foundation underpinning, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing issues that were going to need to be resolved.

            Without addressing the root cause and offering up reasonable solutions to address it, everything after becomes nothing more than white noise. Ultimately this is why the anti-stadium groups failed as they were short on offering up actual solutions while being long on white noise and supposed scenarios that were not germane to the issue at hand. Maybe your answer is simply to be rid of football? That is a perfectly acceptable opinion to have but just state that is the basis of where you are coming from so we eliminate the forest from the trees.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 11:11 am

            Gee – it’s Brad now. And quite adept and practiced at the spin. The anti-stadium people happen to be the majority on campus, students and town residents. Do you think the opposition has gone away? It is only festering since the CSU administration has acted so dishonestly, has strong armed the city and forced us to adapt and pay. The BOG are political appointees that know nothing about higher education and did not provide the needed accountability in spending and raising tuition.

            So, now, let’s talk about failed fundraising for the new stadium to go with the extensive deficit spending on football. Borrowed 100% and now CSU is in huge, massive debt for football. The feasibility report produced by the builder was an insult – it wouldn’t have passed an undergraduate statistics class.

            Impact the general fund? Of course not. Raise tuition again and again, cut academic spending, essentially freeze payroll and put the extra money generated by academics and education in other accounts to pay for the stadium debt payments which amount to over $12 million annually – not counting costs for operation, maintenance, repairs and upgrades.

            I will be glad to post the document the details the athletic budget if you would like. And, BRAD, where is the promised transparency that is supposed to be a core value of the administration. Why is the athletic department the only department on campus that requires a CORA request for budget breakdown? Where is the transparency in spending on the new stadium?

            The root causes of why the new stadium came to be? Clearly the I wants of the administration and wealthy donors. It was not a need. Hughes generated $3 million in profit annually, would have been much cheaper to upgrade than build a new stadium. Yes, I now think getting rid of football would be a good thing for CSU. I mean, didn’t you insist that the stadium is multi-use?

          • B

            BradApr 6, 2016 at 12:19 pm

            So no facts to back up the statements, got it. That’s really all you had to say, no need for obfuscation. I asked for two simple things: direct evidence to support your assertion that the stadium played any part in the recent tuition increase and your solutions for Hughes directly impacting the General Fund / Taxpayers / Tuition Rates / Faculty. You’ve provided me with some opinions, conspiracy theories and numbers which, again, are not germane to how the stadium came to be. If the starting point of our conversation is me trying to disprove the existence of the boogeyman before we can move forward we are probably not going to get very far.

            As to your assertions that we have conversed on this topic before I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve seen your handle on the Collegian forum. I certainly don’t recall your name from the stadium articles that I have commented on here over the last couple years.

            You mentioned wanting a honest and civil debate but yet you are very close to ascending the last step on the bully pulpit. I used to be the same way but I’ve found it doesn’t facilitate debate as much as just devolves into insults. Then again, as it’s only my opinion, feel free to be you and I’ll go on being me, no harm no foul.

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            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm

            FACT – football loses ~ $7 million annually. FACT – CSU is in the top 10 nationwide for tuition increases FACT – CSU is cutting academic spending again. FACT – CSU is raising considerably more money raising tuition than to offset decreases in state funding FACT – CSU already has a football stadium that could be renovated. And who is insulting whom – get a grip. Believe me, I never expected honest debate or honesty.

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            BradApr 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm

            I’m still waiting for the “FACT”(s) in regards to my original questions. I’m also glad for the outline of things you never expected, at least I won’t expect them in return. Is that what I needed to “get a grip” about or maybe I need more CAP’s before I’m straightened out?
            And yes, as we dance around and around the subject, CSU does have a stadium that could have been renovated. Please tell me how the $30-$50 million in maintenance was going to be paid for? Remember, no donors, no additional revenue streams to obtain financing. The very things you are vilifying the new stadium for, events and outcomes which haven’t even occurred yet no less, were going to happen with Hughes. What was/is your plan to remediate those impacts in order to make keeping Hughes a viable option?

          • N

            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 2:19 pm

            Well BRAD – since CSU could borrow $220 million for a new stadium….
            You have been the one to insult me. I have not focused on you at all like you have toward me – just what has happened at CSU with football spending and the stadium. And yes, I was trying to keep on topic of what the letter was about while you and your predecessor – or was it really you – in these comments have continually focused on me and tried to divert attention – so typical of this administration’s tactics. I asked for evidence that football generates donations or is vital to CSU and you have not answered that . I gave you FACTS about football and tuition. You accuse me of a bully pulpit ?- go figure.

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            BradApr 6, 2016 at 3:06 pm

            I wouldn’t have suspected the victim card was in your playing deck but I guess you can never tell with people. I asked two very simple questions that allowed you a wide open podium to validate the assertions made in your original post that the stadium was directly responsible for the tuition increase. Had you given actual evidence to back your statements it would have been like crickets in here, literally your own safe space, with nary a dissent from me.
            As to your questions. Football does generate donations to the tune of $46 million for the stadium to date, even more if the pledges come through. Is football vital to CSU? Such a subjective question. I can guess how you would answer. Can you guess how I would answer? How about Pat Striker? How about Walter Scott? How about any of the large donors who routinely fund both the academic and athletic programs at CSU? Maybe the answer isn’t nearly as clear cut or as shared as you believe it to be?
            I didn’t accuse you of bully pulpit, I simply stated that you seemed to be climbing the steps. Based off your last sentence I’ll kindly revise my estimate and proclaim that you are straddling it comfortably.

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            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 5:11 pm

            The victim card – cute. What kind of women do you support? The weak ones who capitulate and kiss ass or the strong ones who express a supported, educated opinions and who have the education to match? Let’s look at those that the administration has rejected in favor of the good old boys, football fans women that are non threatening to the male macho. Hmmm…. Let’s just review who is in the administration and a woman. Amy Parsons? Jessica Rarebit. Lynn Johnson? Joke squad

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            BradApr 6, 2016 at 5:36 pm

            I didn’t even know nor did I care to speculate on your gender as it’s not relevant to the discussion. If your only response to my comment is to insinuate I’m refuting your opinion because you are a woman, I have to question your motives for breaking your intent.
            I will give you one thing, your jumping prowess is impressive. To go from my previous reply to your accusation that I’m singling you out due to your gender is a chasm so wide most people couldn’t throw a conclusion across much less carry it on their back while jumping across.
            Don’t get a splinter shifting around on that pulpit.

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            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 6:02 pm

            You obviously know exactly who I am. I culled information from previous comments about Northeastern., duh. I feel really sad about the direction of my Alma mater. It is no longer the school I came to for graduate education. Therefore, I no longer donate as I did for decades.

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            BradApr 6, 2016 at 6:14 pm

            I know who you are? Northeastern? You are convinced of something that I can’t even begin to understand. This whole thing has ventured into twilight zone territory. At this stage I’m just going to wish you well. Wow.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 7:08 pm

            To reflect the intelligence of your arguments ( – :, ( – ; , smiley face, etc etc

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            northernlightsApr 6, 2016 at 9:10 pm

            Oh so you jumped in without following the conversation? But kept up the same voice and thread. Weak – totally and absolutely weak. Bye

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            BradApr 7, 2016 at 9:05 am

            Your first reply was better. Editing posts after the fact? You are trying a little too hard here but I will go ahead and add revisionist to your list of skills. The only weak aspect of this interaction has been your inability to answer two simple questions. Any desire I may have had to hear you admit as much is trumped by my lack of required bread crumbs to help you find the way back to the actual topic. I also can’t Dr. Phil you through the other issues you seem to be having, issues you have endeavored draw the focus to rather than addressing the two questions.
            It’s not uncommon for people to derail a discussion when they cannot answer a question or back up a statement but you swerve so violently and so far that the whistle on your train of thought isn’t even audible at times.

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            northernlightsApr 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

            Adminstrative hack – that is you. Disgusting

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            BradApr 8, 2016 at 6:32 pm

            You’re offering me a ticket on the northernlights debate choo-choo train, destination parts unknown? Thank you but I’ll have to politely decline. I’m worried that if I accepted the only way I would ever recall my two original questions, yet to be addressed by you, would be at a therapists office via the use of hand puppets. Maybe that has been your devious plan all along? Clever!

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            northernlightsApr 8, 2016 at 6:49 pm

            Thank you for your prompt response. Don’t have a life? Your questions. Sure, I’ll just ask the CSU administration. What a joke you are.

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            BradApr 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm

            No life at all. All aboard the northernlights debate train where the engine is fueled by unsubstantiated statements, dodged questions, hypocrisy and shovels full of saltiness. The destination is not important as it only travels in figure eights. Passenger manifest: 1. Choo-Choo!

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            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 11:43 am

            Yep – insults is how you started and how you ended because you don’t have any intelligent response. Your demands were just silly diversions and the same old administration double speak. People call women victims, Brad, not men and you called me a victim. You are the bully here. I tried to keep with the content of the letter and the issues at hand while you started off with personal insults. Do you work at CSU? In the administration? No matter really because you sure sound and act like it and are representative. No wonder the faculty is starting to rebel.

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            BradApr 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm

            I call myself a victim for having to read through your diatribes to satisfy my curiosity of whether you actually made an attempt to answer my questions. Two simple questions, amazing. The fact you believe I was the first to throw a barb in this exchange is not as surprising after having seen your logic in action. You hold the administration responsible for my posts? The tinfoil budget must be epic.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm

            Satisfy your curiosity? No I did not attempt to answer your diversionary questions because I am not stupid and there is no answer that I have access to. How convenient that you asked those. You clearly think you are clever and smart. You want to go round and round about nothing in order to divert from the real questions and the impetus for this discussion. But, you haven’t and these issues aren’t going away. Bye Bye and, as your football fans like to say — LOL.

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            BradApr 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

            I want to divert from the real question and the impetus for this discussion? This LTTE never mentioned the stadium, you did. This LTTE never claimed the stadium was somehow tied to the recent tuition increase, you did. If the author intended to convey that the stadium was somehow culpable he could have typed the actual word, it’s only seven key strokes after all. You made the stadium an issue here and If you do not like being called out on your intellectual dishonesty then I suggest you avoid making statements that you cannot back up with evidence.

            And no, I’m not exceptionally clever but I sure managed to get you full on tilting at windmills. The greatest satisfaction for me is that you did it to yourself. Thank goodness that is done. I was worried if we had gone on much longer you would have eventually accused me of being a member of the illuminati.

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            CSURamTApr 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm

            FACT – football generates donors who donate far more than $7MM annually to CSU academics. FACT CSU is in the top 10 nationally for PERCENTAGE tuition increases, but counter fact, STUDENTS DONT PAY % THEY PAY DOLLARS and CSU is no where near close to top 10 nationwide in tuition $ increases. FACT – Yes CSU is raising more money in tuition thas to offset decreases because FACT they have $1.3 Billion in new ACADEMIC facilities to pay for which FACT those tuition increases are not paying a dime toward the new football stadium or alumni center. FACT the debt payments by the new stadium are paid for by the new stadium and with 18 months before opening CSU is already at 96% of what it needs to sell to fulfill those debt payments. FACT football does promote education as it provides scholarships to 85 players plus a dozen walk-ons who pay tuition to go to CSU as well as College football is a $7 Billion industry in the US, has a major tie to many other things such as Physical Therapy, retail, fashion, coaching, etc., etc., etc., as well as CSU has degree programs with direct ties to football including partnerships with the Denver Broncos. FACT – Your opinion that the new stadium is not a need is an opinion, not a FACT as was disproven by the unanimous support of the Board of Governors of CSU and unwavering support by the CSU Administration. Here is the ultimate FACT, you lost this debate a long time ago and you and Mr. Shulman are bitter and angry about it and acting like 2 year olds who didn’t get their way. Grow up, accept it, and make the best out of it. You don’t always get what you want in life, so learn to deal with it and move on.

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      northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

      You are a nut case, Tyler.

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        CSURamTApr 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

        Well I guess if you are going to continue to have a loser’s mentality and misinform people, why not call people names like a 4 year old while you are at it, eh? Pretty representative of why you lost this debate before it started. This debate is over and your continued comments and fighting just further demonstrates why.

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          northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 11:12 am

          There was no debate and there is still plenty of controversy. Do you think it has gone away because you say so? And, just love how you attacked me unprovoked on the Coloradoan facebook article on the specter of a faculty union. This was not about my husband or myself and you spinelessly chose to attack us both. Then you blocked me when I put up a post protesting your inappropriate, smarmy post. Therefore I came back here to drive you more crazy than you already are.

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            CSURamTApr 11, 2016 at 11:59 am

            There was 3 years of debate, multiple committees, public meetings after public. Just because the result is not what you liked, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
            And let’s get something straight, I did not attack you and your husband unprovoked. The article linked directly to a document submitted by your husband. It was included in the article. He is attacking CSU’s Athletic Dept… for what the 10th time now? If you and your husband don’t want to be part of the discussion, then stop attacking the Athletic Department and move on just like everyone else has. It is really sad how you can’t move on.
            And Deb, if you think you are driving me crazy then you really don’t know anything about me, but your attempts at doing so is why I blocked you on FB.
            The stadium is being built. CSU has invested millions in top coaches, upgrading facilities and programs in the athletic department for all sports, and has committed to excellence. And the BOG was extremely clear on that more than once. The only one you are driving crazy, may be yourself. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about you or your husband accept for the fact that you keep attacking the Athletic Dept over something that already been decided. I just feel sad that you keep up the same fight, same failed tactics, same name-calling, same immature behavior, and I am encouraging you that if it is that emotionally problematic for you and your husband then to solve that problem for yourselves, or move on, because there is nothing to win here. All you are doing is wasting time. All you are doing is reminding everyone the tactless antics that prevents anyone from taking you seriously. I feel very sorry for you, really I do. Bye Bye

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            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 12:25 pm

            So that explains why you are publicly derisive but don’t have the backbone to let me see your smarmy posts about us? You maligned us personally and unprovoked. There is no excuse for your behavior. And no, Tyler, there was no debate. CSU even turned down 4 different debates. There was appearances management, PR, stacked committees and strategy – that was it. It was highly dishonest from the beginning through to the end and remains so. And just because you want the controversy to go away, it hasn’t and won’t. There are many factions, including legislators, that are completely disgusted with CSU – the rising tuition, the immense public debt burden, the lack of independent faculty governance, cutting academic funding and treating faculty with such intense disrespect and demanding capitulation much less the focus on football instead of education and building a football stadium next to student housing where the medical center should be. There is so so much more than just the stadium. But how would you know? All you care about is getting your football provided for you that the students pay for and go into debt for.

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            CSURamTApr 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm

            LOL. Bye Bye. LOL.

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            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

            I’ll watch for your CSURamT posts. I just loved it when someone showed me your twitter account on forcing football down people’s throats. Rather disturbing sentiment. It was because people here aren’t interested and attendance at games is so paltry even when they win, wasn’t it?

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            CSURamTApr 11, 2016 at 1:04 pm

            Honestly Deb, please post a link to what I said. No need to post hearsay. So by all, means go through my more than 16K Tweets and find the one that I am pretty sure you completely took out of context or was a joke that went right over your head.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 3:54 pm

            It wasn’t a joke. And it wasn’t heresay. I was alerted to it on Facebook after one of the games at the end of the year and I took a look. It was real. That is you. It was what you tweeted and it definitely wasn’t a joke. It was disturbing, as are you. That is why someone messaged me about it. LOL LOL LOL bye bye

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            CSURamTApr 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm

            Keep making stuff up, Deb. By all means, present this evidence of something I never said. I never would say anything like that because it doesn’t represent anything I believe, and anyone who knows me would tell you the same. Pretty sad, Deb, but not surprising that you would make up stuff to pretend I said it. That is the level of which you have lost this debate. Your posts get funnier and sadder by the second, as well as further show I was smart to block you on Facebook.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 4:14 pm

            You are clearly on the defensive. And Deb?- pulling out all the stops, huh? At least I’ve shown you to be the complete ignorant chump that you are. Lost the debate? Don’t you have anything else? Answer – No you don’t since what is right is not on your side.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm

            Isn’t it interesting how I am post-retirement and you? You spend all your time on social media. Obviously, you have too much time and too little focus in your young life. Oh yeah, I forgot, you have football! I saw those tweets, Tyler and you were not joking. I can also bring witnesses to bear on this. Any search of your tweets would confirm this. You were mad that attendance was so poor and lashing out.

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            CSURamTApr 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm

            You must not be talking about me, because anyone who follows me on Twitter, knows I don’t lash out, and definitely not about CSU Athletics. You are making things up. But I look forward to you presenting this evidence. Honestly, I do because I have no idea what you are talking about. Please, search my Tweets. And btw, I am really good at multi-tasking and my life is awesome.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

            Sure

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            CSURamTApr 12, 2016 at 9:19 am

            Deb, I am not disassembling. I have already won this debate. The stadium is moving forward, the athletic department is being fully supported, the football program is success. I don’t have anything else I can win in this debate. I’m not the one making up quotes (which is obvious because you haven’t been able to provide any link to it and because the amazing thing about Twitter is you are regulated to 140 characters, yet you posted 221). Deb, this is fun for me. You are your own worst enemy. I love advocating for CSU and watching you post your typical laughable remarks which self-distruct right in front of you and you don’t realize it. Why? Because again, there is nothing more for me to win, or lose for that matter. The decisions have been made. CSU is moving forward. And everyone knows I am the biggest advocate of that that their is, which is why your quote that is not really a quote, is so laughable.

          • N

            northernlightsApr 11, 2016 at 5:05 pm

            From 11-29-15 “So I did see his tweets and the sour grapes about fans from Matt Stephens in the Coloradoan. What exactly did they expect? Ram it down the throats of those who claim they don’t care….. Is this the crusades or something?” The Ram it down the throats quote was from you, Tyler Shannon. Do you really want to pursue this further?

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            CSURamTApr 11, 2016 at 6:25 pm

            Please pursue further. And instead of quoting, just link me to the tweets themselves so there is context and so that it doesn’t look like you are just writing what you want to hear or assume I may have posted…. because that quote you just quoted is 81 too many characters to fit on a Twitter post. So would really love to see it. This is fascinating to me. I would love to see the context of this conversation I apparently had. Please direct me to it.

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    ChunkApr 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

    No, the university is not investing in athletics, but rather has had to implement 2% “internal reallocations” to the budget. To most of us, that means a direct budget cut for each department. Tony Frank says that this is not a sign of things to come, but I encourage everyone to look at CSU’s balance sheet and make that decision for themselves. It just doesn’t seem like the time for an intstitution of higher learning to be going 2 billion dollars into debt to build brick buildings.

    How much debt can be stacked upon other debt? What will tuition be here in ten years?

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      northernlightsApr 4, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Instead of focusing on education, the administration is investing into football. Deficit spending on football FY 2014 ~$7 million per year, not counting facilities (indoor practice field, outdoor practice field and now a new football stadium that will ultimately cost half a billion dollars).The administration already reduced academic spending dramatically after the 2008 recession and never restored it and now another decrease in academic investment all while steadily increasing athletic subsidies and tuition. A football stadium right next to student housing? It would have been appropriate to put the new medical center closer to student housing and student life.

      Reply