For at least the next 10 years, CSU can also be known as the University of Coca-Cola.
Earlier this week the university inked a deal with the beverage giant to provide scholarship support and student programming opportunities in exchange for allowing Coca-Cola to be CSUâ€™s sole beverage provider, ousting former CSU contractor Pepsi.
Among other organizations, the Alumni Association, Athletics and the Division of Student Affairs will benefit from the partnership and, according to university spokesman Brad Bohlander, offer far more than the average corporate sponsorship.
Itâ€™s a pretty sweet deal, but also one thatâ€™s a reflection of the sad financial state of Coloradoâ€™s higher education system.
With staggering decreases in state funding, contracts like these are necessary to provide services to students without tuition and fee increases.
The Coca-Cola partnership coincides with to the universityâ€™s recent partnership with Office Max, and while itâ€™s noble of university officials to seek innovative ways to fill budget shortfalls, agreements like this are something that should be met with caution.
After all, weâ€™re still a state university and, while corporate sponsorships are beneficial during the recession, we donâ€™t want to be hopelessly beholden to large corporations. Weâ€™re privatizing state higher education enough already, thank you very much.
So, while we commend university officials for taking initiative and looking for creative ways to generate revenue, we also warn them not to take it too far.
After all, donâ€™t literally want to become the University of Coca-Cola.