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Photos: CU-Boulder proposes 8.7 percent tuition hike after $170M sports-facilities-upgrade pitch

Categories: Education

bruce benson photo cropped.JPG
Bruce Benson.
"A lot of people think that no matter what happens at the university, it's paid for by tuition," Hilliard concedes, "and that's simply not true. We don't build buildings with tuition; we never have. And the athletic upgrade will come from auxiliary funds, which are any self-earning entity at the university: parking, housing and dining fees, revenue athletics earns from gate receipts, merchandise sales, ticket sales, broadcasting contracts."

Could the university have prevented this sort of linkage by making the announcements at different times, rather than back-to-back? "There really isn't any way to do that," Hilliard says. "There are so many things at the university involving costs that are on time schedules. The regents have their calendar for discussing tuition; they've got to discuss it with enough leeway and enough time to set it. They start that discussion in February and set the tuition usually in the springtime, sometime between February and April, so that young people who are accepted at the university and are going to enroll the following fall know how much they're going to pay. And that calendar is completely separate from the Boulder campus calendar of announcements. We always planned to make the upgrade announcement early in the new semester -- we thought January or February. So the timing issue couldn't be avoided...no way to create a clear separation in people's minds."

For that reason, expect a considerable number of students -- including those enrolled at the College of Arts & Sciences, who will pay around $704 more per year to attend CU-Boulder if the tuition plan wins approval -- to complain about the sporting expenditure. CU president Bruce Benson makes a valid point when he says "intercollegiate athletics is the front porch of the university," and there's no doubt the student body was humiliated by the awful performance of the CU Buffs football team this past year. But that won't make this week's pair of announcements any easier to process for budget-conscious enrollees or parents (another disclosure: My two daughters currently attend CU).

That's no surprise to Hilliard. "Communicating about the university's finances is one of the biggest public-relations challenges we face," he says. "The financing is complicated and not widely understood -- and because less than 5 percent of our budget comes from the state, that forces us to be very entrepreneurial and private-fundraising-oriented. We have to leverage the dollars we get to the maximum to get things done.

"And that's a very complicated story to tell."

Here are images from presentation about the athletic-facilities upgrade:

cu boulder athletic facilities plan 1.jpg

cu boulder athletic facilities plan 2.jpg
Continue for more images of the athletic-facilities-upgrade proposal.

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8 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

We are talking about a sub .500 team since basically the early 90's . 

Yes it's cool C.U. now plays in the PAC 12 BUT, the division they left wasn't or is the WAC,  either .

I can think of a single aspect of Buffs football that ISN'T an embarrassment, INCLUDING DAVE LOGAN and KOA !!!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

C.U. isn't going to be experiencing ANY enrollment issues w/ the passing of Amd 64 .

High school seniors across the nation are already salivating at the opportunity of moving Boulder .

Olivia Kahlo
Olivia Kahlo

And as Dan and Carla know, the increase doesn't go to the professors...not even the tenured ones are out racing their yachts...but certain regents may be getting some cushy bonuses...

Dan Brown
Dan Brown

Higher education is a mess right now, and it is hilarious and sad that CU has no idea how silly they sound raising prices right now.

Rob Salyers
Rob Salyers

I'm reminded of an article I read several years ago. I don't have exact numbers, but it pointed out that while most costs increase no more than about 2-3% per year, higher education increased on average something like 10-12% per year. Something doesn't add up.

rain
rain

> And the athletic upgrade will come from auxiliary funds, which are any self-earning entity at the university: parking, housing and dining fees, revenue athletics earns from gate receipts, merchandise sales, ticket sales, broadcasting contracts."

Hmm. Seems like some of these things should be paying for academics, not athletics. I'd also bet the athletics dept gets monetary contributions from alumni that the academic side doesn't get. 9% annual raise puts tuition on a schedule to double every 8 years or so, which seems excessive to me.

DenverEric
DenverEric

@rain Agree 100%. I am a CU alumni and would be happy to see the athletic program shut down in support of better funding and attention for the school's great academic program.

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