A much-discussed policy at the University of Colorado that deals with tuition benefits at each campus currently is under review and the University of Colorado Staff Council examined suggested changes during its meeting on May 15 at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
The Tuition Assistance Benefit policy allows eligible employees and their dependents to take up to nine credit hours (tuition waived) per year for most undergraduate or graduate courses each year, except on the Boulder campus, which instead will offer a 10 percent discount for dependents using the benefit. Course enrollment for employees at some campuses is on a space-available basis.
Each campus has its own guidelines (see APS No. 5024), but generally, benefit use is limited to the campus where the employee works and the waiver or discount is subject to income tax and is credited against financial aid eligibility. System administration employees and their dependents may choose to take classes at any campus and must follow the eligibility rules at that campus.
The tuition benefit policy is one of several being studied for implementation July 1. Dan Jones, chief information security officer, discussed APS No. 6001, Providing and Using Information Technology, and APS No. 6002, Use of Electronic Communications.
Jones said the IT policy last was updated in 2000 and is being revised, in part, to comply with new regulatory requirements. Previously, if the university was being sued, it was required to hand over pieces of paper to opposing counsel during discovery. Now the university must save everything from emails to track changes in Word documents.
“We have to do more than preserve data in its original form and we want to make sure all employees have these requirements,” he said.
The email use policy was last updated in 1997. Because the university uses electronic communications in an official capacity, security can be a challenge.
The policy sets up expectations for departments or campuses using bulk mail to help inform employees which emails are legitimate. “For example, if your email goes out to 1,000 people, we want to make sure the URL is a trusted domain,” Jones said. People should immediately understand that the message came from the university and that any included links to other sites are safe. The policy includes procedures that will be used to help ensure security.
Also at the meeting:
- Kelly Cronin, vice president of advancement, discussed the university’s fundraising efforts, saying $128 million has been raised to date, making this the best fundraising year in the history of the university.While Cronin is proud of the effort, she said her team is developing several strategies to build on that foundation, including having more face-to-face contact with potential donors; providing training for faculty and staff to help them discuss university attributes with potential donors; and developing giving campaigns for both university employees and students.
- Council members discussed the revised Social Climate Survey and the feedback they have received from constituents. Council members reported that some people say they refused to take the survey because they did not like the way gender and race were identified or because the revised survey does not do enough to mask identities of survey-takers.
- Deserae Frisk, staff council chair, told members that she is serving on the search committee for the position of vice president for academic affairs. She said the university hopes to have the chosen candidate in place by Aug. 1.