The University of Colorado regents are poised to vote Tuesday on a tuition plan that would translate to an 8.7 percent increase for most in-state students on the Boulder campus.
If approved, the plan would increase annual tuition rates to $8,760 for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. But that could change, depending on the size of a salary pool that regents approve.
Leading up to the meeting, some regents have said they have not yet decided how they'll vote. But at least one regent on the nine-member board -- Sue Sharkey, R-Windsor -- said she will not be supporting the administration's proposal, saying it's too high of an increase.
"My concern is that if tuition continues to rise at this rate it's putting more of our students into debt," she said. "I'm afraid college affordability is becoming a thing of the past. I think we have to be very diligent to keep the costs down as much as possible."
The regents will meet in public at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the system administration building, 1800 Grant St. The meeting will be in the fifth floor conference room.
"I'm going to wait for the discussion and listen to what everybody has to say," said Regent Steve Bosley, R-Broomfield. "I'm not ready to say how I'll vote."
Last year, CU approved a 5 percent tuition increase for in-state students, which is lower than the 15.7 percent rate originally proposed by the university. On the day of the meeting, the regents had two options on the table -- an 8.6 percent increase and a 6.7 percent increase. The regents lowered the proposed compensation pool from $12 million to $8 million, effectively driving down the tuition increase proposals that were on the table.
The university this year is looking to change the way it charges tuition, proposing a new "linearity" model.
The proposal includes a 1.9 percent increase for first-year, non-resident undergraduates, raising the incoming rate to $30,528. CU offers its non-resident students a four-year locked rate.
CU system spokesman Ken McConnellogue said it's currently the only tuition proposal on the table.
The proposal would bring in an extra $20 million in revenue for the Boulder campus, covering mandatory increases -- such as pay increases for state employees -- as well as modest investments in financial aid, maintenance projects, the library and a merit-scholarship for in-state students.
CU is proposing a $6.7 million compensation pool to be awarded based on merit for faculty and administrators.
"I think it's an important discussion that we're going to have on Tuesday," said Regent Kyle Hybl, R-Colorado Springs.
"I think that there are a lot of important principles at play. One is trying to make higher education as affordable as possible, particularly for in-state students and the other is making sure that the good efforts of faculty and staff and administration is honored. It's going to be an interesting discussion."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 anasbycamera.com.