CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano
CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano

Publicly addressing last year's tuition-funded raises for top University of Colorado administrators for the first time, Chancellor Phil DiStefano acknowledged that "some of the larger-than-average raises, while well deserved, were poorly timed and communicated."

The Camera reported last month that CU used money generated from last year's 9.3 percent in-state tuition hike to reward many of its top administrators with raises, increasing DiStefano's salary by $49,000 to $389,000 and distributing tens of thousands of dollars in salary increases to other high-paid employees.

DiStefano, in his message sent late last week to all Boulder campus employees, said that his well-intentioned staff has not been paying enough attention to communicating with faculty and staff members, leaving them to get information from the media.

Of the increases, 87 percent went to employees earning less than $100,000 a year, DiStefano noted.

"We know -- almost to a person, at every level of this organization -- our staff is paid at levels below the average of comparable positions at other universities and that increases are necessary to retain the best employees," DiStefano wrote. "Yet regardless of the raises, the tuition increase was necessary to cover cuts in state tax funding, increased operating costs and academic program investments."

The university has proposed a second round of raises and a 15.7 percent tuition hike for in-state students on the Boulder campus next year, but some regents have asked for alternative proposals.

The regents will vote this spring on tuition rates covering the next school year.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com.