Uriel Nauenberg, BFA Chair
Martha Hanna, BFA Vice Chair and Bylaws Cmte Chair
Deane Bowers, BFA Secretary & Nominating Cmte Chair
Greg Carey, BFA at-large Executive Board member
Bob Schulzinger, BFA at-large Executive Board member
Martin Walter, BFA Student Affairs Cmte Representative
Mark Osadjan, BFA GLB Affairs Committee Chair
Liz Bradley, BFA Intercollegiate Athletics Cmte Chair
Mark Dubin, BFA Libraries Committee Chair
Tony Barker, Arts and Sciences Council Chair
Bill Kaempfer, AVC for Budget and Planning
Mary Ann Myer, Staff Council Chair
Heather Beasley, UGGS Co-President
Rick Wilhelm, UCSU Liaison to Academic Affairs
Jeff Dodge, Silver and Gold Record
Fred Baerkircher, Colorado Daily
Tim Foster, CCHE Director
Bridget Mullen, CCHE
Mel Branch, BFA Faculty Affairs Committee Chair
Clayton Lewis, BFA Faculty Compensation & Benefits Committee Chair
Lori Seward, BFA Committee on Women Chair
Cathy Comstock, BFA AAP Committee Chair
Andy Cowell, BFA Academic Technology Cmte Chair
Stein Sture, BFA Budget & Planning Committee Chair
Tom Mayer, BFA Communications Committee Chair
TBD, BFA Academic Affairs Committee Representative
TBD, BFA Minority Affairs Committee Chair
TBD, BFA Administrative Services Committee Chair
Nauenberg introduced CCHE Director Tim Foster.
Foster gave a brief update including the following comments:
- The economy in the State of Colorado remains an unknown quantity.
The state measured a $380 million shortfall. It is difficult to
say what sort of budget cuts may become necessary in the face
of the shortfalls. The state withholding in July and August are
coming in at projected levels, however sales taxes in July are
$20 million below their previously adjusted, low estimates. Sales
tax revenues could rebound with a strong ski season. The state
is looking for solutions for how to finance the shortfalls, and
the CCHE has been meeting with presidents and budget officers
of state higher education institutions to solicit suggestions
and to explain that Higher Education is in the group of institutions
whose budgets are not mandated by law: 60% of the state budget
supports programs with budgets required by statute, such as K-12
education and Medicaid. These programs cannot be cut, meaning
that cuts will need to be absorbed by the programs which make
up the other 40% of state support, including Higher Education.
Of those in the 40% group, Corrections is likely to move into
the same category as K-12 and Medicaid if cuts continue, in order
to preserve public safety.
- Accountability - the CCHE continues to be interested in accountability,
continuing its focus on performance funding, the Quality Indicator
System (QIS), and the publication of the consumer guide to State of Colorado
Higher Education institutions.
- The Quality Indicator System ranks institutions on the average
of peer institutions across the country, with the aim of moving
the ranking of Colorado's institutions on or against the top quartile.
- The Consumer Guide provides consumer information on institutions
in the state, is used by parents and prospective students, and
is required under the same statute that established QIS.
- National statistics for QIS are generally gathered via the National
Center for Educational Statistics.
- In the CCHE's 360 degree review process, which surveys faculty,
presidents, members of governing boards, and various student organizations,
it has been suggested that the CCHE should be a better advocate
for the institutions. Advocating for the institutions is not the
CCHE's role - that role more rightly belongs to the Regents. The
CCHE's role is to carry out the wishes of the Executive Branch
and the Legislative Branch of the State of Colorado.
- The CCHE's master plan focuses on access and accountability
for higher education, but those priorities may not have been well
- Currently the CCHE is looking at instituting Colorado 'college savings
accounts,' which would reserve about $20,000 the state's portion of
each Colorado student's tuition, akin to a voucher system.
A question and answer period followed, including the following:
- Dubin asked for Foster's impression of how the institutions are
doing, now that data for QIS has been collected and is available for
analysis. Foster stated that Colorado's Higher Education institutions
do not look good in terms of student retention, particularly for low
income and minority students, but that faculty retention has not been
a problem statewide. Foster added that the CCHE is more concerned
with persistence than with retention, but that the institutions need
to be concerned about whether or not they want to be 'transfer' institutions.
He stated that retention at CU Boulder has improved markedly in the
last two years and hopes for further improvement. Foster also commented
that tracking of administrative costs is a problem with most higher
education institutions, mostly because institutions each compile their
financial statements differently - this makes it difficult to compare
administrative costs nationally.
- Dubin commented that retention rates may relate to the kind and
availability of funding and asked whether the CCHE has examined what
it would take in order to improve the level of persistence in Colorado
institutions. Foster responded that the first step in making improvements
has been to begin to collect accurate data.
- Walter reported that, according to a recent article in the Daily
Camera, the major reason that Colorado Hispanic students do not finish
2-year college programs is the cost.
- Foster reported that:
- Colorado ranks as the most educated state in the nation and
has for 10 to 15 years (in terms of the percentage of the population
with a baccalaureate degree).
- Colorado ranks 40th to 30th in terms of the percent of high
school graduates that go to college.
- Colorado ranks close to the bottom (worst) in terms of high
- Until recently, Colorado ranked 50th in terms of opportunities
for low income students to go to college. Foster commented that
with changes in financial aid implemented by the CCHE, that statistic
- "Sticker price" is a more powerful deciding factor
than financial aid for Colorado high school students in choosing
whether to attend college.
- Kaempfer commented that the range of tuition between two-year schools
and universities is more compressed in Colorado than in most other
states. Foster agreed, commenting that tuition ranges by approximately
$700 in Colorado, while cost ranges by about $2500. Foster continued
that the artificial compression results in institutions using the
"admissions window" to admit students who do not meet minimum
requirements in order to increase revenue.
- Carey commented that the increasing cost of living conflicts with
requirements that students graduate in four years, as many students
must spend a significant amount of time working to earn money.
- Dubin asked how the state would accommodate the additional students
if the matriculation rate among Colorado High School students were
increased. Foster commented that there is plenty of space at other
institutions in the state due to a mid-1980's forecast of high enrollments
which did not materialize.
- Quality for Colorado:
- Nauenberg stated that Quality for Colorado would reduce CU-Boulder's
enrollment and help spread enrollment across the other institutions
in the state. Foster replied that the latest iteration of the
plan includes the Colorado Springs and Denver campuses, and that
this dilutes the philosophical purpose of the plan: to narrow
the admissions window and still get more money. Foster stated
that he understood the rationale of Quality for Colorado for the
Boulder Campus but did not understand the inclusion of the Denver
and Colorado Springs campuses.
- Dubin commented that the faculty are in favor of Quality for
Colorado, which would allow the institution to provide quality
without having to engage in mindless growth in order to finance
it, and asked how the CCHE's proposed voucher program would interface
with Quality for Colorado. Foster replied that they are very different.
- Dubin asked whether the voucher program could change the enterprise
status of CU. Foster replied that it might increase that likelihood,
but that there are a lot of other General Fund monies available
to CU. Foster continued that Quality for Colorado without the
voucher program would increase revenue for UCB but would also
increase the refund that gets returned to the taxpayers under
the TABOR amendment, crowding out other kinds of funding such
as construction. Foster added that if CU becomes an enterprise,
the legislature will then have to decide how much tuition flexibility
ought to be granted to the institution. Foster commented that
higher education is a public good as well as a private good, and
that at UCB it appears that the private part of it is underpriced
- the current justification for underpricing it is that it is
part of the TABOR calculation and affects the ability of the state
to spend money on other programs. Foster added that it is also
an affordability issue.
- Beer commented that many people may be willing to trade off
a certain level of ranking in order to make institutions economically
accessible to Colorado students, but that quality institutions
are made up of quality components, including faculty, and that
these components could go elsewhere if they are too much undervalued.
Beer stated that this would limit accessibility for Colorado students
who want to attend an institution of great quality within the
State of Colorado.
- Schulzinger asked what difference it makes to the citizens of
the state to have an institution that is any better or worse than
institutions in other states. Foster replied that the reasons
for Colorado to have a quality university are pride in Colorado
and access to quality education for its citizens. Nauenberg stated
that CU wants to be the best or among the best academic institutions
in the United States and that this requires resources - sources
for those resources are endowment, research funding, tuition,
and state support. Nauenberg continued that, given that state
support is unlikely to be expanded and that CU already ranks #1
nationwide in terms of research funding per faculty member, tuition
seems to be the only avenue by which the university may continue
to flourish. Nauenberg stated that UCB does not want to grow to
40,000 students. Foster replied that the CCHE does not want to
see UCB grow to that level either, that there will be no CCHE
support for UCB's use of the South Campus, and that Quality for
Colorado seems to make sense for the Boulder Campus but that the
whole premise is lost when the other campuses are included.
- Dubin commented that parents and average citizens are not aware
of the cost of higher education, usually confusing tuition with
the actual cost of educating a student.
- Kaempfer commented that, in a year with low tax revenues, tuition
increases could fit in the gap between total state appropriations
and the cap set by the TABOR Amendment. Foster agreed but stated
that no one has advocated for making the entire Quality for Colorado
adjustment in one year. Nauenberg asked why the Governor vetoed
the proposed 7.7% tuition increase. Foster replied that the Governor
vetoed an increase that would have applied to all higher education
institutions in Colorado, and which would have represented an
increase in cost much over inflation in slow economic times when
individuals were not seeing their incomes increase at similar
- Nauenberg asked about a freeze on the creation of new graduate programs.
Foster stated that there is no CCHE freeze on programs. Carey thanked
Foster for his assistance in moving the Neuroscience program through
the CU and CCHE approval process last year.
- Nauenberg asked whether the CCHE could assist with solving the problem
of foreign students' visa delays. Foster replied that the state could
do no better than universities talking directly to legislators in
- Foster reported that the CCHE initiative to create a list of "feeder"
majors for teachers' education is moving forward, and that the CCHE
is working with the Department of Education, advocating that their
current licensing exam, PLACE, does not do an adequate job of measuring
- Beasley asked whether the plan for tuition savings accounts would
be used for graduate students also. Foster replied that the main focus
of this program is to encourage high school students to go to college
with the aim of their receiving bachelor's degrees, but that the state
will continue to provide block grant support for graduate students.
Foster invited additional discussion and stated that he would be delighted
to attend future meetings with the BFA Executive Committee if invited.