Proposed CU budget: salary merit pool, low tuition increases

Regents begin review that continues through spring

CU’s proposed 2018-19 budget includes minimal tuition increases and a 3 percent salary merit pool that is consistent with the governor’s state budget request.

The Board of Regents reviewed the proposal during the Feb. 8 meeting at CU South Denver.

“The budget priorities are consistent with leadership’s priorities of the past,” said Todd Saliman, vice president of budget and finance and chief financial officer, who presented the details. “The first of those priorities is maintaining affordability by keeping tuition increases as low as possible.”

As proposed, tuition and fees for typical undergraduates would increase 1.2 percent at CU Denver, 2.6 percent at UCCS and 4 percent at CU Boulder for freshmen and transfer students only. The guarantee of no tuition increase remains in place for continuing students at CU Boulder. With the elimination of some course and program fees, many students will see a decline in costs.

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s state budget as proposed in November calls for 3 percent salary increases for state employees. The CU proposal echoes that with a 3 percent merit pool, the highest level in three years.

“We’re very grateful for the governor’s budget request,” Saliman said.

The board likely will vote on the tuition and salary proposals in April; the final budget is not voted on until June, after the state budget has been set by the legislature.