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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

Board of Trustees Approves New Budget, Extends President's Contract Through 2024

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June 15, 2021

The University of Northern Colorado Board of Trustees conducted its final meeting of the 2020-21 fiscal year on Friday, June 11, 2021. Even with the approved increase to tuition and fees for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2021, UNC remains one of the most affordable research universities and one of the most affordable public universities in Colorado.  

The university’s FY22 budget includes $194.6 million in net revenue and $191.7 million in total expenditures, leading to an operating surplus of $2.9 million. The budget includes increases of 7% for undergraduate tuition, 3% for graduate tuition, 3% for student fees, and 4% for room and board charges. The last tuition increase at UNC was for the 2018-19 academic year (3%), approved in 2018.  

A 7% tuition increase for the average undergraduate resident student amounts to an annual increase of about $387 or $39 per three-credit course, after institutional aid is applied. For non-resident undergraduate students, the increase amounts to about $809 a year or $81 per three-credit course, after institutional aid is applied. The change to the total cost of attendance (tuition, fees and room and board) for the average undergraduate resident student before aid is applied amounts to an increase of $1,072 a year, the change after aid is applied amounts to an average increase of $830 a year. However, with increases in institutional financial aid, on top of students’ Pell grants, Colorado financial aid, and other Foundation and private scholarships, approximately 30% of UNC’s undergraduate students, especially those from low- and middle-income families, will see little to no increase in out-of-pocket expenses. 

The increases are important steps in correcting the strategic positioning of UNC’s comparative rates among other Colorado research institutions, and will provide timely, incremental base-level funding for critical investments in FY22 and the years ahead. In addition, a significant amount of the revenue generated from the increases will be used to re-invest in the university and our students, funding initiatives in Rowing, Not Drifting 2030. 

In other news: 

  • The board approved a new employment contract for UNC President, Andy Feinstein, extending his presidency through June 30, 2024. Under the new agreement, Feinstein’s annual salary remains at $325,000, with the addition of a non-base signing bonus and non-base yearly incentive bonuses, as well as adjustments to a housing and vehicle allowance and deferred compensation.  
  • David Fedorchak, director of admissions, provided an enrollment updadte for fall 2021. For undergraduate enrollment, the university is anticipating the highest increase in new transfer students since 2018. While the number of new degree-seeking students is expected to be slightly higher than fall 2020, it's still well below the numbers seen in previous years. That overall decline, coupled with anticipated decreases in continuing and non-degree seeking students has the university projecting an overall undergraduate enrollment of 7,493 students, a total decrease of 642 (8%) from fall 2020. According to Fedorchak, the majority of schools across the nation, including UNC, are seeing a lower number of deposits from incoming new students compared to this same time in previous years. He indicated the trend could be the result of a number of key factors related to the pandemic, such as lack of support in the remote environment for high school seniors or new students delaying their decision until they know what type of college environment to expect in the fall. For graduate enrollment, the university is anticipating increases in new and continuing students and a slight decrease in new international students. Overall graduate enrollment is projected to be 2,961, an increase of 114 students (4%) over fall 2020.  
  • The board also heard an informational presentation from Tobias Guzmán, UNC’s interim vice president of Student Affairs and chief diversity officer, and representatives from Sodexo, a worldwide leader in food and facilities management, regarding a new Dining Services proposal. The university has had its own in-house dining operations for the past 50 years, but this past year the university began looking into other options that would optimize a food service operation that meets the needs of the 21st century campus, create opportunities for facility modernization and generate more local and diverse retail options on campus. UNC solicited proposals for Dining Services, which includes board operations, catering, vending, and concessions. As a result of that process, the evaluation committee recommended extending an official Notice to Award to Sodexo. The proposal includes an initial capital investment by Sodexo of $15 million, with a projected total return to UNC over the next 10 years in excess of $100 million. The university expects to proceed with the contract in the next few weeks, welcoming Sodexo as an added partner to UNC this fall.    

 The board also approved: 

  • FY22 Capital Plan 
  • Promotion and tenure of faculty and tenure for new deans 
  • Emeritus status for 19 retiring faculty  
  • The building name for UNC’s new Empower Center, a brand new 10,250-square-foot, state-of-the-art sports performance center. The $4 million project will be built and furnished entirely with donor funds and will offer flexibility for large team workouts, new branded equipment, an enhanced nutrition station and strength coaching offices. 
  • Requests for two faculty members’ unpaid leave of absence 
  • Board Policy Manual Amendment – Section 2-3-1201 regarding faculty grievances 
  • Board Policy Manual Amendment – Sections 1-1-307 and 2-3-801 regarding post tenure review and comprehensive review 
  • Board Policy Manual Amendment – Section 2-3-901 regarding promotion guidelines 

—Written by Deanna Herbert

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