Apr 172008
Authors: Aaron Hedge

Tony Frank, the senior vice provost, presented CSU’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 to student government Wednesday night, saying that students will foot two thirds of the university’s operating bill for the year with tuition increases and increased enrollment.

About 70 percent of the increased funds will go to standard operating costs, such as salary increases and maintenance, while the other 30 percent will be allocated to university stretch goals, including the hiring of 10 tenure and tenure-track faculty positions, Frank said.

He said that while the budget was overall good quality, one of downfalls is that it is “unfortunately dependent on student tuition and enrollment.”

With a state constitution that doesn’t allow cash flow to higher education, Colorado fell to last place in the nation this year in terms of higher education funding — a fact that largely restricts schools from relying on outside sources of money.

Frank said this facet of the state budget process has been especially detrimental to CSU administrators.

The faculty stretch is 30 positions less than the original goal of 40 new positions for each of the next two years, said political science professor John Straayer.

If approved by the state, the total expenditure increase for all university programs will be $39.4 million, bringing the entire budget to over $400 million in 2009.

Frank said $1.1 million of the budget, which was approved late Wednesday afternoon, would go to the Athletics Department, leaving a $2.4 million hole in funding for the program.

Athletics came under intense scrutiny early this month when student leaders learned that it would be requesting a late student fee increase of $15 per student to fill the hole. The request was withdrawn after much debate between the Student Fee Review Board and Paul Kowalczyk, the director of Athletics.

Frank took responsibility for the debacle, saying that he told Kowalczyk not to request an increase at the initial SFRB budget presentation in January as the university projected a much smaller deficit. Frank apologized for the timing of the request, which some student leaders said lacked transparency.

The hole will be filled by a one-time CSU reserve fund.

“We will hope for a phenomenal football season,” Frank said, indicating that the new money spent on the Athletics Department will improve the quality of the program, which saw two years of frustratingly low success levels.

News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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