Published: Feb. 8, 2018
University of Colorado Board of Regents

At its regular meeting Thursday on the CU South Denver campus, the Board of Regents listened to a preliminary budget review for 2018–19, which includes a proposal for tuition and fees, a compensation pool for faculty and staff, and a 6 percent increase for graduate student teaching faculty (TA) stipends.

The board also voted on and approved a new MOOC-delivered electrical engineering master’s degree, three capital construction projects and a proposal to split the doctoral offering in chemical and biological engineering into two degrees.

Budget and fees proposal

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Todd Saliman reported on the preliminary budget and proposed fees for 2018–19. The proposal includes the following:

  • A maximum four percent tuition and mandatory fees increase for incoming resident freshman and transfer students on the CU Boulder campus. 
  • A zero percent change in tuition and mandatory fees for continuing resident undergraduates.
  • A three percent merit pool increase for faculty and staff.
  • A nearly $5.8 million compensation initiative that includes graduate student teaching faculty (TA) stipends, instructor faculty salary compression and equity needs, front-line service worker compensation.
  • An investment in student success, which includes increased support for academic units, the new Impact Scholarship, merit- and need-based aid, and program and course fee elimination.

The board is expected to vote on tuition, fee and merit pool proposals at the April meeting and the full budget in June.

First MOOC-delivered electrical engineering master’s degree

The board voted to approve a MOOC-delivered (massively open online course) electrical engineering master’s degree—the first of its type in the world. These faculty-designed courses leverage MOOC platform technologies to offer a rigorous degree at a lower cost and an unprecedented level of flexibility.

The degree was announced last month when the academic affairs committee approved the degree to move forward in development. It is slated to launch in fall 2018 with additional curriculum rolling out in 2018–19 after authorization by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online resolution

The board heard and approved part two of Regent Stephen Ludwig’s online education initiative for the CU system, of which part one was approved by the board at the November 2017 meeting. Pursuant to this resolution, CU Boulder will be responsible for developing a fully online masters degree, with a total cost of $15,000 (tuition, fees and books), by 2022.

Capital construction projects

As part of the consent agenda, the Board of Regents also approved spending authority for three capital construction projects on the CU Boulder campus. These include: 

  • $21.8 million to construct a 29,500-square-foot addition to the Ramaley Biology building to accommodate the Integrative Physiology program, the second largest major on campus. The addition is slated to break ground in October and be finished by January 2020.
  • $18.7 million to expand the scope of the new aerospace engineering building, which is under construction on East Campus, by 29,600 square feet to meet stronger-than-projected demand for the program. The building is scheduled to open fall 2019.
  • $3.9 million for renovation and to address critical deferred maintenance needs of the Engineering Center administration wing. Construction is slated for completion during the summer of 2018.

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering doctoral offering 

The board approved by consent agenda to split CU Boulder’s doctoral offering under the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering into a doctorate in chemical engineering and a doctorate in biological engineering. The offering previously included both areas of study and will now separate the options into two academic paths.

The department believes the move makes sense in furthering its offerings for bioengineering/biomedical/biological engineering students. It also expects the split will build diversity in the graduate program at the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

"Although our department is called the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and we have been educating PhD students in biological engineering for more than 30 years, the name of our PhD in chemical engineering didn't reflect this," said Charles Musgrave, chair of the department. 

"Splitting our chemical engineering PhD to create a PhD degree in biological engineering is a natural progression that will allow us to build on our tremendous expertise and continue to define this exciting discipline. We look forward to increasing our collaboration with other CU departments, the BioFrontiers Institute, Anschutz Medical Campus and industry as we begin accepting PhD students to matriculate this fall."

In other board news

  • With regards to eligibility for medical benefits, the board approved by consent agenda the addition of “domestic partners” and "domestic partners' dependent children," regardless of gender, as categories of persons eligible for University of Colorado benefits as dependents.
  • The board voted 7-1 to approve employment agreements for 20 athletics head coaches, associate coaches and assistant coaches, including an employment agreement extension amendment for Head Men's Basketball Coach Thomas "Tad" Boyle through 2023, with Regent Shoemaker voting against the resolution.
  • The board authorized the University of Colorado to establish two endowments at CU Boulder: the John J. Wehman Scholarship Fund for the Leeds School of Business and the John J. Wehman Scholarship Fund at the Center for Western Civilization, Thought & Policy.

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