Campus & System Communications

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A message from the CSU System Board Chair

Monday, February 17, 2014

Board of Governors approves $5 million investment in CSU-Pueblo

DENVER - The Colorado State University System Board of Governors on Friday unanimously voted to approve a $5 million investment in CSU-Pueblo to help the institution weather financial challenges.

The support will provide CSU-Pueblo with the means to balance the university budget during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The institution experienced a budget shortfall after a drop in enrollment last year. The university, which had budgeted for a 7 - 9 percent increase in enrollment for the 2013-14 academic year, determined in October that enrollment had decreased 2.7 percent. Tuition, student fees and state funding tied to enrollment account for 95 percent of the revenue used for education and general operations at CSU-Pueblo.

“CSU-Pueblo has a vital mission and this investment by the CSU System provides a financial bridge so that the campus can focus on building a brighter future for current and future students,” said Dorothy Horrell, chair of the CSU System Board of Governors. “President Lesley Di Mare and the campus community are taking the right steps – though difficult – to put CSU-Pueblo on strong financial footing and to fix the structural imbalance between revenues and expenses.”

CSU-Pueblo will proceed with plans to reduce expenses by $3.3 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Nineteen vacant positions across the university have been eliminated as a cost-saving measure. An additional 22 filled positions will also be eliminated. Affected employees have been notified and will be able to remain in their positions until June 30. No tenured faculty positions have been eliminated.

The Board will consider additional investments and take a more detailed look at CSU-Pueblo’s proposed 2014-15 budget during its spring meeting, when the university will have a fuller sense of enrollment projections for the upcoming academic year. Further declines in enrollment at CSU-Pueblo next year could create additional budget challenges. The Board also encouraged continued consideration of strategies to leverage other System resources to assist CSU-Pueblo in an effort to assure the campus’s growth in quality, cost-effective educational programs.

“This investment from the CSU System will give us the time we need to create a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year and to craft a long-term strategy to return CSU-Pueblo to financial health,” Di Mare said. “While we must continue with our plan to reduce expenses, we are aggressively pursuing strategies to create new revenues streams, boost enrollment and gain operational efficiencies through partnerships with our sister institutions in the CSU System.”


Kyle Henley
303.376.2635
Kyle.Henley@colostate.edu

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just a reminder that new items have been and will continue to be added to the Budget Central web site as requested and/or completed, including new documents (Budget Explanations, Faculty Recommendations to Restructure Budget), recent media reports, updated podcast/video, and additional job resources for affected employees.

You may find the web site at http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/PresidentsOffice/BudgetCentral/ or by clicking the Budget Central button on the front page of the University home page.

Cora Zaletel
Executive Director, External Affairs
Colorado State University-Pueblo
2200 Bonforte Blvd.
Pueblo, CO 81001

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

To the Campus Community,

For those of you who were unable to attend the budget forum last Friday, I wanted to be certain to keep you apprised both through regular email communication and the creation of a Budget Central web page that will provide the latest updates on the current budget scenario as well as resources for employees affected by the budget reduction. Budget Central may be found at http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/PresidentsOffice/BudgetCentral/. You also will find a podcast of the Friday forum as well as my introductory remarks.

On Friday, I unveiled a plan to reduce the projected FY 2015 $3.3 million budget deficit. I again would like to express my appreciation to the Co-Chairs of the Academic Senate, the Chair of the American Association of University Professors, the Chair of the University Budget Board, and the Chair of the Chairs Council. As representatives of the faculty and staff, they have provided me with recommendations regarding the deficit. Many of the recommendations they provided reflect those offered in the University Budget Board PREP document and those provided by university deans, department chairs and unit heads.

In an attempt to keep the integrity of academic programs and serve our students, the following measures will be taken to reduce the FY 2015 projected deficit:

  • Faculty will teach 12 credit hours per semester (Reduction in loads for administrative duties and grant opportunities will be taken into consideration)
  • Operating dollars at the university will be cut by $400,000 after consultation with all units
  • Nineteen positions, currently vacant, will be eliminated
  • Twenty-two filled positions will be eliminated (these positions include one-year letters of appointment, retirements, and administrators)
  • Neither tenure track nor tenured faculty will be cut
  • Restructuring of colleges will be considered with input from the faculty, staff and students
  • Rationales will continue to be made to the county, the city, the system, legislators and the Department of Higher Education to recognize the fact that CSU Pueblo is an Hispanic Serving Institution and deserving of support beyond that currently awarded in the hope the cuts can be curtailed

Affected faculty and administrative professionals will be notified between January 20 and January 31 by his/her direct supervisor and Human Resources as well as by a letter of termination. The effective date for the elimination of positions is June 30, 2014, and affected individuals will have access to occupational counseling, guidance in refining resumes, and help in finding new positions. The classified staff process is different and requires compliance with the time frames provided in the State Personnel rules.

As we fix our budget problems, it’s important that we look toward building a future for CSU-Pueblo that leverages the many strengths of this vibrant and dynamic campus.

Beginning 2015 with a balanced budget means we have the opportunity to write our own future as a university and to chart a path toward a brighter future. I will be having this same conversation with the CSU System Board of Governors in the coming months and invite campus to contribute to that discussion.

Regards,

Lesley

Budget Forum, Friday, January 17, 2014

Colorado State University - Pueblo releases plan to balance 2014-15 budget deficit

Listen to the podcast of President Lesley Di Mare's address

Watch the video of President Lesley Di Mare's address

CSU-Pueblo President Dr. Lesley Di Mare

Dear Colleagues,

Today I will walk the university campus & our community constituents through the process the campus, as a whole, engaged in regarding reducing the 3.3 million dollar deficit we are predicting for the FY 15 year. Administrators, faculty, staff and students have a fiduciary responsibility to present a balanced budget to the Board of Governors every year. As well, we must project our budgets into the future utilizing historical trends and appropriate assumptions to determine enrollment growth or decline which constitutes the university’s largest influx of dollars into the Education and General Fund from the state of Colorado.

As is the case with all four year comprehensive regionals across the country and within the state of Colorado, universities align expenditures with projected revenues tied to enrollment. For the Fiscal Year 15 which begins Fall 2014, the institution anticipates a deficit of 3.3 million dollars. What has caused us to change our assumptions and anticipate a deficit?

  • $ 2.5 million would have been available had the university imposed yet another 9% increase in tuition for this fiscal year which will affect the budget for FY 15— the BOG, faculty, staff and, most importantly, students recommended a 0% increase in tuition for FY 14
  • $850,000 would have been available if the tuition increase for FY 15 had been a 9% increase which we had projected instead of the maximum 6% which the Governor recently imposed
  • $2.5 million would be available if enrollment growth were to increase by 8.5% as projected in 2012—which we now cannot assume based on the fact that the economy is improving and potential students are leaving the institution and returning to work—as such, we must project a flat enrollment projection for FY 15
  • $1 million would be available if we had not given raises to our deserving faculty and staff in 2012 when enrollments peaked.
  • Total projected deficit for FY 15—$6.8 million

Therefore, the university must make cuts of $3.3 million while the CSU System has agreed to cover the remaining amount as well as appropriating $ 3 million to upgrade our aging IT infrastructure.

I would like to thank all of our colleagues who participated in the very difficult & painful process of administering cuts. In October 2012, CSU Pueblo’s Academic Senate appointed their University Budget Board which has met continually since that point in time to evaluate all academic programs for efficiencies and to determine if any redundancies on campus could be eliminated to save dollars. In April of 2013, the UBB completed that evaluation and made short term and long term recommendations to me and my cabinet. The cost saving measures used to reduce the projected 3.3 million dollar deficit includes many of those recommendations. I would also like to thank the Co-Chairs of the Academic Senate, the Chair of the American Association of University Professors, the Chair of the University Budget Board, and the Chair of the Chairs Council. As representatives of the faculty and staff, they have provided me with recommendations regarding the deficit. Many of the recommendations they provided reflect those offered in the University Budget Board PREP document and those provided by university deans, department chairs and unit heads.

In an attempt to keep the integrity of academic programs and serve our students the following measures will be taken to reduce the FY 2015 projected deficit:

  • Faculty will teach 12 credit hours per semester (Reduction in loads for administrative duties and grant opportunities will be taken into consideration)
  • Operating dollars at the university will be cut by $400,000 after consultation with all units
  • Nineteen positions, currently vacant, will be eliminated
  • Twenty two filled positions will be eliminated (these positions include 1 year letters of appointment, retirements, and administrators)
  • Neither tenure track nor tenured faculty will be cut
  • Restructuring of colleges will be considered with input from the faculty, staff and students
  • Rationales will continue be made to the county, the city, the system, legislators and DHE to recognize the fact that CSU Pueblo is an HSI and deserving of support beyond that currently awarded in the hope the cuts can be curtailed

The timeline for informing faculty and administrative professionals that their positions have been eliminated will occur between January 20, 2014 and January 31, 2014. Those administrative professionals whose positions have been eliminated will be informed by their direct supervisor, Human Resources, and will receive a letter of termination in a face to face meeting.

All staff whose positions are eliminated will remain in their current positions through June 30, 2014, receive occupational counseling, guidance in refining resumes, and help in finding new positions. A webpage named “Budget Central” has been created and will post past and current communications from me, the Chancellor, and the system office and will go live today.

Once all employees have been informed that their positions have been eliminated, the university will post a detailed account of the savings incurred by cost saving measures, which positions were eliminated, both vacant and filled, and the university business plan and rationale for eliminating positions in specific areas.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

To members of the campus and local community,

In advance of our meeting at 3 p.m. on Friday, January 17 in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom to discuss the timeline and process for balancing the 2014-15 University budget, I would like to recognize the time and effort that so many individuals have expended both to share their passion for this University and to assist me in devising a plan to balance our budget deficit that will affect fewer individuals than we originally projected. Doors to the Ballroom will open at 2:30 P.M.

During the one-hour forum, I will describe the process we used to balance the budget deficit, including who provided input into our decisions, then explain both the timeline and notification procedures for any faculty or administrative professional positions who will be affected. Director of Human Resources Ralph Jacobs will explain the intricacies of the process for Classified positions. Next, I will respond to questions that have been submitted by various groups.

For the remainder of the hour, Chancellor Michael Martin and I, along with members of the cabinet where appropriate, will respond to questions from the audience. During this question and answer period, a two-minute and one question per person limit will be implemented in fairness to all attendees.

In an effort to share the information with the greatest number of participants we will provide overflow seating in case the OUC and Hearthwell Lounge locations reach capacity. We will simulcast the forum into the Life Sciences auditorium. Videotaping the forum also will allow us to post the proceedings onto a web site that has been created called “Budget Central” that will provide details about the university budget, answer many of the most frequently asked questions over the last month, and chronicle past correspondence and news reports. The site will be continually populated with the latest information as we make our way through this budget process.

The Fountain Plaza and the sidewalks up to the kiosk to the south of the OUC will be reserved for anyone wishing to gather or to display signs before or during the forum. No signs or banners will be allowed in the building. In doing so, we will insure safe and clear passage of students, employees, and campus visitors into the OUC, regardless of whether they are attending the forum. 

Thank you for your participation in this process.

Lesley Di Mare
President, CSU-Pueblo

Friday, January 10, 2014

Letter from Chancellor Michael Martin to Pueblo Board of County Commissioners

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dear CSU-Pueblo colleagues,
I have been meeting with many campus groups about our budget matters since returning from the Board of Governors meeting on December 4th and the Joint Budget Committee Briefing on December 12th.  I realize that even though I’ve met with many of you personally, it’s important that I continue to provide any updates on the status of the FY15 budget. Let me recap the general key points addressed in previous meetings.

  1. We must align our FY15 budget (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015) with a conservative revenue projection so that our expenditures align with our anticipated revenue. Enrollments continue to decline at CSU Pueblo which unfortunately reflects statewide and national trends. (For example, while we projected a conservative 8% decrease of enrollment from Fall 2013 to Spring 2014, that number may drop further and, if so, cuts to this year’s budget will occur.)
  2. We are not immune to the budget issues that many other Colorado higher education institutions are currently facing.  The Joint Budget Committee of the Colorado General Assembly has recently expressed grave concerns over the financial health of higher education institutes in the state. I am attaching the recent briefing from the JBC for your review. Of note are pages 19-31. http://www.tornado.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/jbc/2013-14/hedbrf.pdf
  3. The majority of our revenue comes from tuition paid by our students. As the economy has improved over the past three years and individuals returned to work, our enrollment and revenue have declined while our expenditures have increased -  through additions to our base budget and one-time expenditures that were necessary to maintain the functionality of the institution.
  4. In order to balance our FY15 budget, we must reduce our expenditures by approximately $3.3 million.  Because the majority of our expenditures are salaries, this will result in a reduction of our workforce.
  5. All units, along with my Cabinet, are currently analyzing all positions at CSU-Pueblo for possible layoffs in workforce.
  6. I have asked unit directors to provide recommendations to me on these positions by Dec. 18th.  Between that date and into early January, my Cabinet will assist me in reviewing these recommendations.
  7. The campus forum on the budget is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 17th from 3-4 p.m. in the OUC Ballroom. At that time, both CSU System Chancellor Michael Martin and I will address our budget issues, and inform you of the notification process as we move forward with a proposed reduction in force.
  8. All employee groups are being analyzed: faculty, classified staff, and administrative-professional staff. The university will follow state regulations throughout this process.

Until the analysis is complete, I hesitate to identify the exact number of positions that are subject to possible elimination.  However, initial estimates suggest it could be as many as 50 positions at CSU-Pueblo. I realize this situation is creating extreme anxiety on our campus; I will continue to keep you apprised of all matters as we go through this painful but necessary process.

Lesley

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

To University colleagues, students, and community leaders,

I hope that you can attend an open forum following winter break so that we can review and discuss the CSU-Pueblo budgetary issues that exist. Chancellor Mike Martin will also be attending the forum. The event is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 17, from 3-4 p.m. in the OUC ballroom.

As you may be aware, CSU-Pueblo faces a budget deficit in FY2014 in great part because the statewide downturn in college attendance impacted us with lower enrollment this fall.  As you know, we anticipate an enrollment drop from fall to spring 2014, as well.  We also face serious challenges with our FY2015 budget that will require us to realistically align our expenditures with lower revenue expectations.  Our goal is to create a balanced FY2015 budget that is based on conservative enrollment projections, so that our expenditures correlate responsibly with our revenue.  The purpose of the campus/community forum will be to discuss the FY14 deficit, and planning that must occur to prepare the FY15 budget, which is due to the CSU System Board of Governors at the May 2014 meeting.

Many institutions of higher education are also facing great budgetary challenges because of reduced state funding and more competition for a limited number of students.  We must be diligent in determining how we can continue to protect our mission, best serve our students, and simultaneously, be accountable to the CSU System Board of Governors.

To accomplish this, the PREP document that was prepared during the past year will continue to provide guidance on possible expenditure-reduction approaches to consider, both short-term and long-term. Over the next several months, we will analyze the possible ramifications that will result with a substantially lower FY15 budget. In addition, I will continue to work with the University Budget Board throughout this process. Such decisions will be difficult to make; however, it is imperative that FY15 planned expenditures be reduced to a supportable level that the university can sustain in FY15 and beyond. Until we can turn around our enrollment decline, we have limited options for balancing our budget, except to reduce expenditures to the revenue we expect to generate.

Although this message may result in a certain level of anxiety, it is important for me to continue to be transparent. In January, more detailed information will be presented at the forum discussing what the possible ramifications will be for CSU-Pueblo.

Lesley Di Mare, President
CSU-Pueblo