The Colorado State University System Board of Governors, including student and faculty board representatives, publicly discussed and approved the budget for fiscal year 2010 at its monthly meeting. In addition, the board voted to induct new board officers, and reviewed and approved the compensation for the new CSU System chancellor and CSU Fort Collins president.
The CSU System budget for fiscal year 2010, which began July 1, 2009, is $872 million. The total budget reflects a $33 million cut in state support to the system and a corresponding $33 million in funds from federal stimulus dollars allocated to Colorado to temporarily offset cuts to public institutions of higher education through the American Reinvestment and Recoveries Act of 2009. Funding provided to the system through the ARRA is temporary and provides a two-year “time out” from significant cuts in state funding for higher education.
"Governor Ritter's plan for using the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 State Fiscal Stabilization Fund will help the universities maintain funding levels. It also allows time for higher education, elected officials and the business community to thoroughly look at sustainable funding sources for our public universities and colleges," said Richard Schweigert, CSU System Chief Financial Officer. "The federal stimulus funds provide valuable time for state leaders to explore all future options. We are on a time frame, because once the stimulus funding is up in 2011, we are looking at a cliff where funding levels could drop dramatically. We need to take this time to find a long-term solution to the budget deficit facing the state."
The board voted Patrick McConathy, as its new Chair; Ed Haselden as Vice Chair; Marguerite Salazar as Treasurer and Bonifacio A. Cosyleon as Secretary. The officers serve a two-year term. Doug Jones, outgoing Chair, will continue to serve on the board. Jones is up for reappointment at the end of the year.
"CSU is in a tremendous place in its life with three exceptional leaders in Joe Blake, Tony Frank and Joe Garcia," Jones said. "This is a very dedicated board whose best interest is always with the students, faculty and staff. It's not easy managing such a complex organization, but it is incredibly worthwhile."
The board took final action on the permanent appointments for CSU System Chancellor Joe Blake, who was the president and chief executive officer of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for the last 10 years, and Dr. Tony Frank as the president of CSU in Fort Collins who had been serving as Interim President since November 2008. Both appointments were effective July 1, 2009.
Colorado State University has created a new initiative to help Coloradans through the current economic downturn. Ram Response provides resources about services and information provided by CSU, such as career services, educational opportunities, CSU Extension fact sheets and community resources.
"As a land-grant university, all of us felt that Colorado State University had services and support to offer to the people of Colorado," said Deb Young, Associate Provost for Extension and Director of Extension. "In order to make these resources more available, and to make people more aware of them, we initiated Ram Response. This is intended to serve as a portal to address emerging and imminent issues, whether it's economic downturns, drought, wildfire danger, or other issues affecting our state."
The current economic downturn is being compared to the worst recessions in modern U.S. history and is deeply affecting many citizens, companies and institutions alike. Colorado State provides education, outreach, and service programs that may help to lighten the load for those affected. For more information, visit the Ram Response web site at http://outreach.colostate.edu/ramresponse/index.asp.