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Budget Recommendation Committee responds to employee questions

Members address concerns about possible furloughs, position eliminations and more.

By Lindsey Coulter

July 27, 2020

Aerial photo of JSSB and AES building.The Friday meeting of the Budget Recommendation Committee provided an inclusive and transparent look at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s recent budget decisions related to the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Larry Sampler, COO and vice president for Administration, noted the committee’s significant work to review numerous recommendations from all corners of the campus community. He also committed the BRC and senior leaders to continued inclusivity, transparency and meaningful, timely communication.

The BRC received more than 100 budget questions from the campus community and over two hours addressed a number of themes and specific concerns. As not every question could be fully addressed due to time constraints, more information and a living FAQ document will soon be available on the Human Resources webpage.


Budget Recommendation Committee Meeting 2020 from MSU Denver on Vimeo.


BRC members, led by George Middlemist, Ph.D., associate vice president for Administration and CFO, began by discussing the security of programs, services and departments that support the University’s mission as it relates to equity, inclusion and diversity. Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, noted that University leadership is committed to maintaining these critical components of the University’s culture and educational offerings and that program and service cuts and consolidations are not under consideration.

Other questions centered on reducing personnel salaries as opposed to further budget cuts in programmatic and administrative areas, to which BRC members explained MSU Denver’s chronic underfunding even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The University is currently funded at roughly 40 cents on the dollar when compared with peer institutions. It was also noted that senior leaders and BRC members worked closely with department leaders in determining position eliminations and where fiscal trimming could be most effective. Members further confirmed that there will be no CUPA increases this fiscal year and that furlough days will impact retirement contributions. More details will be available soon.

Other questions were related to proposed furlough tiers, processes for potential mandatory furloughs, how furloughs might apply to faculty, how salary reductions might be calculated, workload concerns, impacts to benefits and more.

The discussion also included more information about the remaining budget shortfall for the current fiscal year and projections for the next fiscal year. BRC members noted that final mandatory furlough decisions will not be made until August, when fall enrollment numbers are finalized. As of Friday, FTE is down 9.5% but continues to move in a positive direction. However, students are also enrolling in fewer credit hours per student. Fall applications are also down 12.68%, but accepted students are up 7.82%. Registered students are down 16.55%.

To learn more, watch the meeting recording and stay tuned to the Early Bird for timely updates.

Topics: Administration, Benefits, Compensation, Funding, Inclusion, Inclusive leadership

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