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BOT says hello to new school, goodbye to President Jordan

Board of Trustees also awarded faculty tenure and approved a tuition increase at the emotion-filled May 5 meeting.

May 8, 2017

BOT artworkCouldn’t make the May 5 Board of Trustees meeting? You missed a good one. As always, we at the Early Bird have recapped some of the highlights below.

Audio from the entire meeting will be available on the Board of Trustees website this week.

May 5 declared Stephen M. Jordan day

You know you’ve done something right when you have a day named for you. President Jordan has clearly done something right.

The honorable Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Denver Parks and Recreation executive director, represented Mayor Michael Hancock and read a proclamation making May 5, 2017, Stephen M. Jordan day.

Trustee members also shared their own proclamation and reflected on their time working with Jordan.

Trustee Jeff Shoemaker put it this way, “We’ve worked together on many things, and the word I would use to describe you is: hero. It’s a word I use for my father and I use it sparingly. Your leadership and entrepreneurship have taken this place and turned it into a world-class institution.”

Jordan also delivered an emotional address to the standing-room only crowd. “The past 12 years have been some of the best of my life. Among my accomplishments, I’ve had the honor of watching this University grow into my vision of preeminence. I now hear people repeating those same words that once seemed so far-fetched, as though a dreamer’s big plans have become inevitable. And when people start to believe and own the vision, in a way, it does become inevitable. “

His comments were met with a boisterous standing ovation.

Turning up the HEaT

You’ve probably heard some talk of a potential new school at MSU Denver. That talk was confirmed, when the BOT approved the creation of a School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism. The next step for the school will be to hire a dean with experience in the field.

The impressive growth of the program, which has doubled since it moved into the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center in 2012, was among the many factors cited in the decision.

“I think we really have the opportunity to create the kind of school that will prepare the next generation of hospitality entrepreneurs,” said Jordan. “We are setting ourselves up to train people who want to be in the business of starting, running and managing companies. This is our chance to be a major regional presence.”

No one likes a tuition increase

In what Chair Michelle Lucero described as a “tough decision,” the board approved a 6.5 percent tuition increase for FY 2017-18. This number was lower than the original 7 percent recommended by MSU Denver’s Budget Task Force.

The board heard from participants on both sides of the tuition debate. Those in favor of a 7 percent increase argued that the University would not be able to continue its upward trajectory without money to fund major priorities and cover a basic cost of living increase for faculty and staff. Those not in favor, including several students, detailed the hardships students would face with the change.

As a result of the debate, the motion for a 7 percent increase failed. The board ultimately decided on the 6.5 percent figure, a more palatable number for students while also providing enough funding to keep the University on course.

24 faculty members approved for tenure

In what may have been the easiest decision of the day, the board approved early tenure and promotion to associate professor for 24 stellar faculty members.

“We are so blessed with the caliber of the faculty our students get to interact with every day,” said Lucero.

Morehouse awarded emeritus status

The board recognized Percy Morehouse, Ph.D., with emeritus status, a title reserved for retiring employees who have dedicated more than 10 years of distinguished service to the University.

Jordan commended Morehouse for his more than 30 years in various capacities and his unwavering commitment to the University’s mission of access and diversity.

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