Faculty Council, Staff Council support expanding tuition waiver benefit

Leadership moves ahead with implementation set for this summer
By Staff

University leadership is moving ahead with plans to expand the tuition waiver benefit now that Staff Council and Faculty Council have given approval.

In separate meetings Feb. 16, the groups voted unanimously in favor of the proposal that allows university employees to transfer use of the current nine-credit tuition waiver benefit to a dependent child, spouse or partner. The expanded benefit is slated to go into effect in April in order to allow for registration in summer courses.

The benefit’s inconsistency – at CU-Boulder, full-time students may not use the tuition waiver during the fall and spring semesters – isn’t popular, but E. Jill Pollock, vice president of Employee and Information Services, said this initial expansion provides a “foot in the door,” with hopes for future expansion. During the meeting at 1800 Grant St., Faculty Council Chair Mark Malone echoed the sentiment: “It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start – something to work on and improve as soon as we can.”

The tuition benefit has generated more comments to the Office of Policy and Efficiency than any other, said Lisa Landis, director of Human Resources, during the Staff Council meeting at the CU Denver Building. While employees want a more robust benefit, she said, the down economy has dictated that the university pursues only cost-neutral benefits. In other cases, the university’s hands are tied by IRS rules, which, for instance, prohibit use of tuition benefits for graduate studies or classes considered hobbies, such as physical education classes. Landis said the policy can be revised at any time after final approval and said employees should continue to make suggestions through the OPE website.

More information about the benefit is in this fact sheet.