Tuition won’t fund Mesa name change, Foster says
Tuition and state funds will not pay for Mesa State College’s pending name change, according to Mesa State President Tim Foster.
Foster testified Thursday before the Senate Education Committee that other sources, such as rent money the college has been stowing away from rental properties, will pay for the anticipated six-figure cost of changing Mesa State’s name to Colorado Mesa University. Committee members quizzed Foster about the name change Thursday afternoon at the Capitol before unanimously deciding to approve Senate Bill 265, sending it to the Senate floor next. The bill would allow the school to change its name. The bill needs legislative approval before the end of the session, May 11, to make the name change possible this year.
Sen. Evie Hudak, a Westminster Democrat, told Foster she received some emails asking her not to approve the bill because some people were worried tuition would increase to pay for the name change or that the college would charge more as a university. Foster said the school is planning to increase tuition by 5.47 percent next year, one of the lowest rates in the state. He told Hudak the school had no plans to rapidly increase tuition costs as a university.
“We serve a fairly low-income part of the state,” Foster said. “(Rebranding) doesn’t change our motto. It doesn’t change who we serve.”
Senate Bill 265 likely will be voted on in the Senate next week, possibly Tuesday, according to bill co-sponsor Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction.