Progress on tuition waiver benefit expansion continues

Faculty Council hears update on systemwide negotiation

CU leadership continues to work on changes to the tuition waiver benefit, with one campus already having announced an expansion of the benefit for dependents of faculty and staff.

Kathy Nesbitt, vice president of employee and information services, last week updated the Faculty Council on system administration’s ongoing conversation with the campuses regarding changes to the benefit, which President Bruce Benson has said he expects to see determined by spring.

CU-Boulder last month announced an expansion of its dependent tuition benefit from 10 percent to 20 percent for all employees.

“I have met with the campus CFOs, and we have had really good discussion about establishing greater consistency with the tuition waiver,” Nesbitt told the council at its Jan. 28 meeting at 1800 Grant St. She said the goal is to establish a 30 percent discount for employee tuition; the current benefit is for assistance with up to nine credit hours per year.

She noted CU-Boulder’s recent commitment of a 20 percent discount for dependents, but that negotiations continue regarding the employee benefit.

A lingering sticking point for the campuses: transferability, which members of Faculty Council and Staff Council have advocated for throughout the review.

“For us to resolve this by spring, there won’t be any changes to the benefit in terms of transferability, which is still a big issue,” Nesbitt said. “The campuses were not in agreement.”

Nesbitt said the difficulty in determining how widely the benefit would be used poses problems in cost estimation. Tight budgets across the system also are influencing decisions.

“For a campus to pay for someone to (use the benefit at a different campus), there was no appetite for that,” she said.

Currently, system employees are alone in being able to choose at which campus they may use the tuition waiver. Employees at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus are limited to using the benefit at CU Denver.