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New money, new major and new emeritus

Board of Trustees meetings include budget breakdown, approval of academic programs and an honor for former President Stephen Jordan.

By Matt Watson

May 7, 2018

Image from Jordan Student Success Building unveilingThe Board of Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver held its final meeting of the academic year May 3-4. Highlights of the public sessions included a breakdown of upcoming state funding, the detailing of a new student fee to support mental-health services on campus, and approval of a number of new academic programs.

Breaking down the budget

MSU Denver’s projected base allocation from the state has increased by $4.86 million for the next fiscal year, a 9.4 percent increase to about $56.5 million, which covers close to one-fourth of the University’s operating budget.

The University’s fiscal 2018-19 budget includes mandatory increases of $3.39 million for costs such as fringe benefits, faculty promotions and the statewide minimum-wage increase.

State appropriations also include more financial aid for students, with an increase of $1.73 million bringing the state’s total aid offered to MSU Denver students to more than $21 million. The increase in financial aid will for the most part offset a 3 percent increase in tuition for resident and nonresident undergraduates proposed by MSU Denver’s Budget Task Force and approved by the board Friday.

An additional proposal under consideration in the legislature could provide MSU Denver with an extra $2.6 million of one-time money. The University would use this funding to support the creation of the Classroom-to-Career (C2) Hub, an initiative championed by President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., to connect Colorado employers to MSU Denver’s academic programs and low- to middle-income students. 


The Early Bird will have a full recap of Colorado’s legislative session, which ends Wednesday, next week.

A healthy new student fee

The board approved an increase in student mandatory fees of about $65 for a student taking 15 credit-hours. This includes a 5 percent increase for most student fees as recommended by the Budget Task Force and a $45 mental-health fee per semester.

MSU Denver students voted on the mental-health fee in April, and 72 percent of Roadrunners approved the measure to bolster a number of services at the Counseling Center and the Health Center at Auraria. The fee will cover unlimited use of mental-health services for students, a new full-time psychiatrist position, increased salary for clinicians to reduce turnover and recruit high-quality employees, and outreach and educational services to promote the new services.

“This is awesome, particularly on the psychiatric side – students will have access to top psychiatric services at no additional cost, regardless of their insurance. We’re removing a cost barrier that can be otherwise very difficult to overcome,” said Braelin Pantel, associate vice president for Student Engagement and Wellness and dean of students.

Major announcement on new programs

The board approved several new academic programs, including one new major, a bachelor of science in banking in the College of Business.

Chad Harris, associate vice president for curriculum and academic effectiveness, proposed the major and two new minors, one in computer security (Mathematical and Computer Sciences Department) and another in human development and family studies (Psychology).

Harris also detailed three new certificates: engineering manufacturing (Engineering and Engineering Technology); instructional technology (Secondary Education, K-12 Education and Education Technology); and aging-services leadership (Health Professions).

Three new concentrations will be introduced as well: nutrition-science pre-healthcare (Nutrition), clinical and counseling psychology (Psychology) and early-childhood special-education endorsement (Special Education, Early Childhood and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education).

On the right track

Vicki Golich, provost and vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, recommended 22 professors for tenure and 32 faculty members to be promoted from associate to full professor. Golich introduced several faculty, including the Theatre Department’s Jeffrey Parker, who won a Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Award last year and is one of 12 people worldwide certified by two prestigious vocal-training programs.

“This is a tremendous moment in a faculty member’s lifetime,” Golich said. “Earning tenure means they’re earning a property right, and I think it’s worth our time and energy to celebrate and honor it.”

The board approved all of Golich’s recommendations unanimously.

Emerging emeritus

Former MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan was on campus Friday to see his name added to the Student Success Building, but before that Jordan added a new title: president emeritus.

“His accomplishments over the 12 years of his presidency are innumerable,” said President Davidson as she nominated her predecessor for the honor. “He changed the actual trajectory of this institution. He guided us as we evolved from a local college into a nationally recognized university.”

President Emeritus Jordan received a plaque commemorating the honor at the unveiling ceremony of the Jordan Student Success Building following the board meeting.

The leaders who launched AES

The Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building and initiative received a Downtown Denver Partnership Award last month, and the leaders who made the initiative possible were honored by President Davidson at the board meeting.

The list of faculty and staff who had a crucial role in the AES development includes Zsuzsa Balogh, Jennifer Capps, TJ De Cino, Leone Dick, Terry Dreher, Jeffrey Forrest, Joan L. Foster, Aaron Gordon, Sandra Haynes, Mingli He, Stephen M. Jordan, Devi Kalla, Richard Krantz, Steve Kreidler, Cathy Lucas, David McCallum, Kate McLaughlin, Abel Moreno, Sean Nesbitt, Randy Owen, Robert Park, Ken Phillips, Richard Pozzi, Ted Shin, Duane Swigert, John Wanberg and Tina Wells. Additionally, a special recognition for the AES lab coordinators will be given later this month.

For more information on future board meetings or to read board agendas, visit the Board of Trustees website.

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