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Regents hear more about state budget woes

Even if economy rebounds, 'state will still struggle'

CU Board of Regents
Glenn J. Asakawa/University of Colorado
The University of Colorado Board of Regents. Top row left to right: Joe Neguse, Stephen Ludwig, Jim Geddes, Tom Lucero, Michael Carrigan. Bottom row left to right: Kyle Hybl, Tilman "Tillie" Bishop (vice chair), Steve Bosley (chair), Monisha Merchant.
The University of Colorado Board of Regents today heard an assessment of the poor condition of the state budget and its implications for the university.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Kelly Fox said the state is projected to have a $1.8 billion shortfall in fiscal years 2008-09 through 2010-11. The state has made many difficult decisions over the last year to address the shortfall, she said. In addition to taking about $300 million in continuing cuts, the state has used about $1.5 billion through one-time fixes such as use of cash reserves and stimulus funding.

"Even if the economy rebounds, the state will still struggle to meet its obligations," Fox said.

CU will look to improve its financial situation though a combination of strategic cuts, revenue enhancements and efficiencies, she said.

The $129 million in base funding (excluding temporary stimulus funding) CU receives from the state is about 5.8 percent of the university's $2.6 billion annual budget. But it's a critical piece of the budget since it goes toward operating costs such as salaries, technology and utilities, Fox said. Other areas of the budget, such as research dollars, donations and auxiliary funds are targeted at specific areas and cannot be diverted.

In other business at today's meeting on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus, the regents will consider:

  • Tenure and sabbaticals.
  • A briefing on progress related to Title IX.
  • An update on campus sustainability efforts.
  • The mission statement for the university the board drafted in the summer.
  • The creation of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
  • A new degree proposal for an MS in Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health.
  • A revision to the university's optional retirement plan that takes into account new eligibility standards that resulted from a new state law.
  • Revision to the operating agreement between the university and the University of Colorado Real Estate Foundation.

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