Christopher J. Ortiz
A soon-to-be proposed bill in the state legislature is aimed to
make public universities state enterprises. This would release them
from TABOR (the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights) restrictions, such as
the amount of money universities can raise.
This idea has been in and out of committees for quite some time
and it will be interesting to see if it will actually be presented
to the Colorado General Assembly this time around.
If this isn’t your first year at CSU, you have likely noticed a
decline in services, class sections and funds because of the double
whammy of state budget cuts and TABOR’s tight restrictions the
amount CSU can raise tuition.
The bill is also packaging a student voucher idea that would
reverse the way state universities are funded.
We support the idea of making CSU an enterprise of the state for
the above reasons. Congress and the governor might not be too keen
on the idea because the bill can take away their power to oversee
how the CSU system, the University of Colorado system and other
schools raise tuition.
Currently, the Colorado Commission of Higher Education, along
with school representatives, present its proposed tuition increase
to the Joint Budget Committee, which then gives a suggested tuition
increase to the governor and he has final say on if and how much
tuition is raised.
An important question to ask in this enterprise pitch is who
will then have the power to raise tuition?
Would it be the Board of Governors of the CSU system, the CCHE
or a third party?
Though we support the idea of becoming an enterprise, we support
it with caution. Though we trust the board and the CCHE, having
that kind of power over tuition is important and can vastly change
who can and cannot afford to go here or another state