A variant on the CU-Boulder seal. (Josh Shettler/CU Independent Illustration)

Board of regents discusses tuition proposals and updated degree programs at meeting

Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Charlotte Bowditch at charlotte.bowditch@colorado.edu.

The University of Colorado Board of Regents had an eventful meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18 and Friday, Feb. 19. The meeting focused on the new tuition plan proposals for Colorado residents, updated degree programs, funding for athletic facilities and new information on Colorado Connect, the online program CU offers.

Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget proposal for the state implements a 3 percent state-mandated funding cut to the public universities and colleges in Colorado for next year, which means that CU would suffer a funding cut of approximately $1 million. In past years, tuition increases for the Boulder campus has fluctuated, with a 3 percent increase in both of the past two years, and as much as a 19 percent increase during the recession.

The board proposed a new plan to keep the tuition rates for resident students at a fixed amount for four years. To make this happen, the tuition rate would undergo a 5 percent increase for each incoming class. After that 5 percent increase, tuition would remain unchanged for that particular class for four years, but if a student attended for a fifth year, they would pay another 5 percent increase for additional time spent at CU.

This change would allow prospective students to evaluate whether or not they are financially capable of affording tuition at CU before they commit to attending. It also provides an incentive for students to graduate within four years. Out-of-state students already have access to this fixed plan, whereas under the current system, the tuition rates in-state students can change each year.

The board also came to a unanimous decision about adding a new major to the Department of Theatre and Dance at CU: a Master of Fine Arts in Experience Design degree.

Bud Coleman, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, said, “Besides employment preparation, other goals of the program include engaging students from many backgrounds to new ways of seeing the reality around them, new ways of knowing their culture, new ways of creating, of resolving problems and expressing ideas. In other words, they will be learning new ways of telling stories.”

More information about new changes to CU academic programs can be found here.

Regarding Colorado Connect, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Chancellor Pamela Shockley-Zalabak said there has been an increase in the total number of online courses offered, the number of students taking online courses and the number students who are enrolled solely in online courses. This news follows the efforts of provosts to simplify the registration process for online students, a positive development for the board.

Regents addressed the issue of funding for the development of athletic facilities by approving CU’s request for the remaining amount of $6.3 million needed to finish projects near Folsom Field. The total cost of the project has reached $166.2 million.

When asked if the funding for this project would “adversely impact students or academic budgets,” Senior Vice Chancellor Kelly Fox said, “No; we are actively fundraising to pay for a large portion of the project, and athletics revenues will pay for the bond payments. So it will not impact our academic operating budgets or student tuition.”

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