I attended President Benson's recent town hall presentation to the Boulder campus. He spoke of the difficult budget situation and its impact on the institution's ability to maintain competitive salaries, retain academic stars and to maintain the physical plant (infrastructure).
It would have been helpful to hear about the total amount of funding brought into the state of Colorado from external sources by tuition and fees, research grants, donations and other forms of income relative to the amount of money allocated to the institution by the legislature. I'm confident that the former total far exceeds the latter.
I doubt that the typical Colorado citizen with an interest in higher education is aware that CU is largely self-funded, and contributes much more to the Colorado economy than it takes out. This kind of information would support Benson's view that the organization's resource utilization is highly efficient by any measure.
Our leadership has an obligation to inform our fellow citizens of the economic and social benefits of higher ed in general and of CU in particular. I'm certain that it can be argued that investment in higher education stimulates the economy (attract business and industry, enhance job opportunities, income of college grads far exceeds that of others).
David R. Kassoy
Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering
University of Colorado Boulder