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CSU Budget Boosts Salaries, Minimizes Tuition Hikes Despite Rate of Inflation

Release Date: June 14, 2022

Greg Hoye

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PUEBLO - The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System this week adopted a budget that minimizes tuition increases for Colorado students, includes a 3 percent salary increase for faculty and staff at the CSU Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses, and allows the Fort Collins campus to start long-awaited renovations on its most heavily used classroom building.

“Thanks to the support of the Legislature and Governor, the CSU System is in stable shape heading into the new fiscal year, which is great news so soon after the pandemic shutdown,” Chancellor Tony Frank said. “We have been able to provide modest increases for our employees and have kept tuition increases well below the rate of inflation – and below the average of prior years.”

Statewide general fund appropriations to higher education in Colorado increased by $105.3 million (11.4%) this year, and from this, the CSU System received a 10.4% increase in new funds (about $19 million) over the previous year. These funds will allow the campuses to cover salary increases and mandated and inflationary increases in campus operating costs.

For Pueblo and Fort Collins, the budgets approved by the Board of Governors this week include a 2% resident undergraduate tuition increase to assist the campuses in keeping up with inflation and closing revenue gaps from the pandemic year. This means an annual increase of $194 for a full-time CSU Fort Collins student and $131 for a full-time CSU Pueblo student. With this increase, resident undergraduate tuition rates have gone up a total 8.2% in the last five fiscal years, which included two years with no increase at all.

Graduate students in Pueblo will see a 3% increase in tuition this year; graduate tuition in Fort Collins will not change. This will also be the 10th straight year of zero tuition increases at CSU Global, the nation’s first fully online public university.

“Colorado State University Pueblo remains committed to providing high-quality education at an affordable price for all of our students,” university President Dr. Timothy Mottet said in a statement. “The decision to implement a tuition increase was not made lightly;  however, as we navigate forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to work to ensure our students receive the financial and personal support they need. Our partners at the CSU Pueblo Foundation have assets in excess of $50 million and distribute over $2.5 million in scholarships annually to nearly 1,000 students. We were pleased to share with the Board of Governors that in the six months since unveiling the Colorado Promise Scholarship, more than 170 student applicants have met the criteria for consideration, far exceeding our goal of 50.”

“The university is in a strong place, financially and in terms of its dedicated faculty and staff, and I believe this budget shows we will continue to meet our goals of enhancing the appeal of the campus, increasing student success and developing our people, as laid out in Vision 2028,” President Mottet said.

Chancellor Frank said providing a pay increase to faculty and staff at Pueblo and Fort Collins was a top priority for the campuses, where people have worked tirelessly to keep the universities operating during the pandemic. (CSU Global, which receives no state funding, operates on a different business model that ties pay increases to the operational success of the university.)

“We’re glad to be able to provide a 3% raise, even as we recognize that housing, health care, and the cost of living are placing a lot of pressure on employees who are trying to balance their own family budgets,” Frank said. “Providing competitive salaries and benefits that allow us to recruit and retain excellent employees is an ongoing focus for the campuses and the Board of Governors.”

CSU Fort Collins also received $7.6 million in new funding for controlled maintenance and $646,000 for network hardware improvements in the state budget. CSU Pueblo received $3.8 million for controlled maintenance and $458,000 in communications technology upgrades.

The three CSU System campuses, and the out-of-state students they attract in an average year, fuel nearly 23,000 Colorado jobs and roughly $238 million in state income and sales tax revenue annually. The campuses – the flagship research university in Fort Collins; CSU Pueblo, a regionally focused Hispanic-serving institution; and the fully online CSU Global – together enroll more than 60,000 new and returning students each year. The CSU System has nearly 300,000 living alumni worldwide. 

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