Colleagues and Students:

I know I’m surprising some of you by sending out a budget update on a Monday rather than a Friday, but yesterday’s article in The Denver Post relative to Colorado higher education funding is causing some level of concern on campus. I thought it would be useful to send a quick note just to let you know what we do and don’t know at this point in time about next year’s budget.

This is where I issue my usual caution to the campus community:
Nothing has yet been finalized ” the Governor hasn’t released specific figures and isn’t scheduled to roll out his preliminary budget recommendations until tomorrow. The Joint Budget Committee has yet to do higher-education figure-setting, and we’re actively involved on a variety of fronts trying to influence those decisions.

The state’s Higher Education Strategic Planning steering committee and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education have both recommended holding the higher ed funding level for next year at $555 million, a number we’ve been planning on for some years, as this accounts for the loss of ARRA funding.

The Post article generally reiterated what we already know. Our state continues to deal with budget challenges, and our state’s colleges and universities will in all likelihood be facing more budget cuts in the coming year. While the story talks about the possibility of additional cuts that would take state funding for higher ed below $555 million, the level of cuts mentioned in the story are the same level we have been factoring into this year’s budget planning process for our campus. Clearly, while cuts like these would not be good news for Colorado State University, they are the sorts of numbers that we have been planning around for some period of time, protecting ourselves from the possibility of being caught off guard late in the budget process.

As usual at this time of year, there’s still a lot of baseball to be played (by the way, pitchers and catchers reported to spring training camp so winter must be close to ending…). Of course, we’ll keep you posted as more definitive information becomes available, and Provost Rick Miranda and I should have a draft budget ready for campus comment in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, enjoy your Valentine’s Day and have a great week.


Dr. Tony Frank