Tuition waiver benefit decision expected by spring

President Benson tells Faculty Senate he’s looking for ‘closure’ to issue

President Bruce Benson says he’s expecting resolution of long-running work on the university’s tuition waiver benefit in the spring.

“We’re going to have closure to something by spring,” Benson told the Faculty Senate during its Dec. 3 meeting at the Warwick Hotel in Denver. “I’m going to start pushing the campuses. There’s a lot of nuance to it. I think we need to spend the time to come to a conclusion and move on.”

Expansion and improved usability of the tuition waiver benefit has been a priority of Faculty Council and Staff Council for years. The benefit varies at each of the four campuses and system.

In recent months, governance groups have worked with administrators to pursue possible ways of streamlining and simplifying the application process for tuition benefits.

“I was glad to hear President Benson’s commitment to the tuition benefit,” Faculty Council Chair John McDowell said later in the meeting. “The charge to the CFOs has been to figure out how much this is going to cost and can we do it?”

Benson made his comments during a question-and-answer session with the Faculty Senate, where he provided updates on activity and issues across the system. He pointed to enrollment gains, the arrival of incoming CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell and the systemwide All Four:Colorado marketing effort as strong positives.

“In general, I feel pretty good about everything at CU right now,” Benson said.

As has often been the case in recent years, a top concern remains the state budget, Benson said. The governor’s initial proposal for the 2016-17 fiscal year likely would mean cuts of up to $6 million to CU.

Last week’s meeting also included an update from Privilege and Tenure Committee Chair Tom Napierkowski, who said the committee has been contacted seven times this academic year, but that none of the instances has yet been registered as an official grievance. Napierkowski said that his successor as committee chair at the end of the year will be Anna Hasenfratz of CU-Boulder.

The Faculty Council also voted to approve minor revisions to APS 1016 regarding allocation of sponsored project funding and facilities and administrative cost rates, specifically pertaining to projects funded on more than one campus.