Regents begin consideration of 2023-24 budget possibilities

Board hears details on potential tuition, compensation scenarios
By Staff

The Board of Regents has begun the work of determining the 2023-24 budget for the four-campus system with consideration of three potential budget scenarios for the fiscal year.

Chad Marturano, vice president and chief financial officer for the CU system, presented details of the budget proposals on Feb. 9, the first of a two-day board meeting at CU Denver. The proposals differ based on potential variations in state funding, tuition, compensation and fees.

Undergraduate resident tuition rates would increase 4% at CU Boulder and CU Anschutz regardless of which of the three scenarios takes place. At CU Denver, those rates would rise either 4% or 5%; at UCCS, 4%, 5% or 6%. Proposed fees vary by campus.

The proposed budget options assume compensation increases across the system, including a 5% increase for classified staff, based on the state requirement. At the campuses:

  • CU Boulder would institute a 4% merit pool.
  • CU Denver would use a 5% combination of merit pool and pool for compression, retention and equity.
  • UCCS also would use a combination of merit pool and pool for compression, retention and equity, either 3.5% or 4%, depending on the scenario.
  • CU Anschutz calls for a 4% merit pool and a 4% pool for compression, retention and equity.
  • CU system administration would have a 4% pool.

All campuses also are increasing base hourly wages for staff and students.

Marturano listed budgetary risks that will be in play for the 2023-24 fiscal year, including rising costs brought on by inflation, market pressure on compensation, low state funding and challenges to enrollment.

Overall enrollment at CU Boulder is projected to decline 0.7% in the fall of 2023. UCCS expects a 0.9% drop in overall enrollment in fall 2023. CU Denver projects an overall enrollment decrease of 2.7% for the 2023-24 fiscal year. CU Anschutz projects an enrollment increase of 5.6% for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

The board in April will receive budget resolutions with recommended tuition, compensation and fee changes, with a final vote on the budget scheduled for the June meeting.

In other business at the Feb. 9-10 Board of Regents meeting:

  • Marturano and Angelique Foster, assistant vice president for strategic initiatives, presented metrics and led group discussions tied to the Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access pillar of CU’s strategic plan. The deep dive into new hires and employee retention showed progress in growing the number of underrepresented minorities among faculty and staff.
  • Elizabeth Garner, state demographer with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, gave a presentation on state demographic trends and the potential ramifications for CU and other higher education institutions. The state’s population is growing at a slower rate and also is aging. Competition among higher education institutions will increase as the college-age population decreases in coming years. Racial and ethnic diversity among the younger population is growing.
  • Regents approved the renaming of the Fleming Building to honor former CU Boulder School of Education faculty members Ofelia Miramontes and Leonard Baca. Read more in CU Boulder Today.
  • Regents approved three new certificates for UCCS’ School of Education. Read more in Communique.
  • The board authorized the establishment of the Aurora Wellness Community 501(c)(3), which now may be incorporated as a Colorado nonprofit corporation. The Aurora Wellness Community is a partnership between the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the Aurora community that aims to improve access to primary care for underserved populations in Aurora.
  • A group of CU students spoke during public comment, with most asking the board to reverse its policy that allows those with Colorado concealed carry permits to have concealed weapons on campuses (with the exception of most residence halls and ticketed events). The board referred the issue to its University Affairs Committee for discussion. Changes to regent policy must follow an established process, which starts with discussion in a regent committee. Any policy changes must be approved by the full board at a public meeting. The University Affairs Committee will discuss the issue at its April 18 meeting.