Jeff Parker, vice chancellor for Administration and Finance, presented a budget outlook during the monthly meeting of the University of Colorado Denver Staff Council Nov. 8 at the Lawrence Street Center.

Highlights of his presentation included an outline of the university’s current budget, state funding pressures, fiscal year 2012 enrollments and pay increases awarded in the fiscal year 2011-12 budget. Parker said the outlook for the state general fund – which dropped 12.9 percent from FY 2007-08 to FY 2008-09 and another 4.3 percent from FY 2008-09 to FY 2009-10 – is on the rise for FY 2012-13, though the amount left for higher education will continue to drop annually as more state dollars are absorbed by the growth in state mandated programs of Medicaid, K-12 education and the Department of Corrections.

“The state has a lot to fix in terms of its general fund policy, and it’s probably going to take a referendum to get us there,” he said.

Highlights of the presentation:

The University of Colorado Denver has absorbed more than $30 million in state funding cuts from FY 2009-10 to FY 2011-12.

To cover the budget shortfall, for FY 2008 to FY 2011, the university already has eliminated more than 110 faculty and staff positions, which were achieved mainly through attrition. Operating expenses have also been reduced, and the university has also achieved cost efficiencies through better contract negotiations. In addition, reductions in system overhead allocations and bridge funding from the President’s Office has also served to mitigate the reductions in state funding.

Looking ahead:

Another $61 million reduction to higher education overall is expected in 2012-13, Parker said, meaning about another $12 million in cuts to the University of Colorado System’s operating budget as well as a reduction to the university’s state-funded student financial assistance, by an amount which is unknown at this point in the budget process.

Enrollments are holding steady at both the University of Colorado Denver campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus, Parker said. CU Denver has 14,444 students in fall 2011 compared to 14,619 in fall 2010. Although that’s a 1 percent decline overall, non-resident undergraduate enrollment climbed to 1,202 this fall from 990 in fall 2010, a 21 percent hike, resulting in steady revenue since non-resident students pay more in tuition. The Anschutz Medical Campus saw 3,482 students enroll this fall compared to 3,297 in fall 2010, a 6 percent increase.

Parker said first-quarter revenue results this year have come in on budget.

Compensation highlights this year:

  • Chancellor Wartgow certified a 3 percent salary raise pool for faculty and exempt professionals; raises were base building and were effective in the October payroll.
  • President Benson approved a 3 percent, one-time non-base-building merit award for all classified staff who received an evaluation score of “3” or “2” during the last cycle ending March 31 – also effective in the October payroll.
  • The outlook for a salary pool for FY 2013 is unclear at this point, Parker said. More will be known when the state’s budget, the long bill, is submitted to the Legislature April 1, 2012.

Parker noted that only the Legislature, not the university, has authority to raise the base salaries of classified personnel.

He said the sacrifices made by all university personnel during the tight budgets of recent years have been appreciated.

“I know a lot of you in this room are doing double duty,” he told the Staff Council. “We recognize the hard work that you all do.”

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