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Budget Recommendation Committee meeting recap

Members revisit enrollment trends and vote on Phase II Budget recommendation.

By Josie Lavender

August 3, 2021

MSU Denver signFriday’s Metropolitan State University of Denver Budget Recommendation Committee meeting opened with a final review of fall enrollment trends before members cast their vote on a Phase II Budget recommendation. Although the University’s current enrollment trends are down from 2020, several members expressed optimism for a last-minute bump in enrollment in the final weeks leading to the start of the fall semester.

As of July 27:

  • Fall Preliminary Enrollment Report
    • State-funded full-time-equivalent students are down 11.16% compared with 2020 (a 0.01% decline from last week).
    • Head count is down 8.96% compared with 2020.

As of July 26

  • Fall Applications
    • Applied is down 7.91%.
    • Accepted is down 2.58%.
    • Registered is down 12.32%.

Continued efforts are being made to reach and support students yet to enroll for the fall semester. Among these efforts is the Virtual Registration Event on Wednesday. As of Friday, the event had 240 participants signed up, which is the most RSVPs for a virtual event at MSU Denver.

Phase II Budget recommendation discussion

The committee convened Friday to consider the Phase II Budget allocation recommendation that they will make to President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. The Phase II recommendation focuses on three primary questions, including the use of base and one-time funding for faculty and staff compensation and supporting any other base needs. Tiered salary increases were also suggested as a means of addressing existing pay inequities, as supporting MSU Denver employees remains a top priority for the committee.

Angela Bender, associate director of Talent Strategy for Human Resources, cautioned that determining where pay-increase breaks should be set in a tiered structure was problematic. She went on to explain that sometimes tiered salary increases result in employees who qualify for a higher pay increase jumping above the salaries of employees qualifying for a smaller increase.

Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs, also weighed in.

“I don’t want to prolong one inequity because we can’t fix all inequities,” he said.

The committee resolved to refrain from a tiered salary increase for now and resume consideration of a tiered structure after the fall census if there is additional funding available.

Phase II Budget recommendation vote

The committee considered base-compensation increases ranging from 1.5% to 2%. Ultimately, the committee voted unanimously to recommend 1.75% across-the-board base increases and $2,000 one-time stipends for faculty and professional staff. The remaining $587,000 in base will be allocated to partially cover the branch undesignated-fund requests. Undesignated funds can be used to cover staffing upgrades, new positions and other base needs within a branch.

What’s next

The Phase II Budget recommendation from the BRC will be presented to President Davidson for Phase II Budget consideration. Once the budget recommendation has been approved by Davidson, it will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval at its Sept. 4 meeting. The approved budget and any compensation adjustments will be effective Oct. 1.

Topics: Funding, Inclusive leadership

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