June 5, 2020

Dear CSU Community,

I know that many of you have already read the news from the CSU Board of Governors meeting that just ended this afternoon, including the CSU-Fort Collins-specific news. Both press releases were shared via SOURCE and you can read them here (System) and here (Fort Collins).

I do urge all of you to read both stories, along with these FAQs, if you have not done so already. As you’ll see, both lead with the news that the Board did approve our proposed tuition freeze for 2020-2021, which is tremendously good news for all our students and their families.

This information represents the end of a long, complex, and thoughtful budget decision process, informed by our leadership team and by experts and stakeholders from across the university. I want to share with all of you the beginning of that process, and specifically reiterate the principles that the CSU Recovery Advisory Committee and Working Groups used to develop our recommendations to the Board.

These principles include:

  • Teaching–Excellent, innovative education that is accessible, inclusive, equitable and designed for the success of a diverse student body;
  • Research–Transformative research with impact in all disciplinary areas;
  • Engagement–Purposeful engagement with Colorado communities and beyond to meet community-identified needs;
  • Workforce–Focused recruitment, equity and success of diverse faculty and staff with a goal of payroll protection;
  • Finance–Sustainable financial future.

I am extremely proud of our Recovery Planning team and of the many, many other members of our university community who engaged in the process that has resulted in our current, Board-approved budget scenario. Everyone who contributed to our recommendations demonstrated an unfailing commitment to our access mission, to equity for all members of our campus community, and to maintaining our extraordinary research enterprise and our statewide engagement. We have proven that collaborative planning for our shared future can truly produce tremendous results. In this case, the result is a budget scenario for CSU at both the System and campus level that will allow us to continue to educate our students, to employ our extraordinary faculty and staff, and to contribute positively to the economic health of Colorado.

Thank you all.

So, what’s next?

While the Board’s decisions have provided us with a comprehensive framework for our budget decision-making for the coming fiscal year, we have latitude within that framework to identify and allocate resources to our strategic priorities, while also foregrounding the needs of our most vulnerable students, faculty, and staff members. That is exactly what we will do. I will share an outline of the next steps of our Recovery Planning process next week.

As we head into the weekend, I hope many of you feel relief in learning that our budget will allow us to avoid the deep reductions, pay cuts, and job losses seen at other universities across the country. But I know that most of our hearts are still weighted with grief and rage at the racist violence that continues against Black Americans, and that even as we work together to build a strong, vital 2020-2021 academic year for CSU, we are craving action on other fronts as well.

That action is also coming, from across our university. For a moving call to personal action, please take a moment to watch this video message from CSU Athletics, share it with others, and add your name to the pledge here.

Personal action is powerful; collective action can be even more so.  We will take impactful steps this year to stamp out racism, hate and bias, and we will take them together. Please don’t give up hope for our shared future, as a university, as a community, and as a nation.

Take care all,