a State fee hike to free funds for faculty pay raises
Students at Mesa State College will pay a $5 per credit hour increase in student fees beginning in the spring semester to support faculty salaries.
The Mesa State Board of Trustees voted Tuesday at its meeting in Montrose to approve the increase. President Tim Foster said the additional funds are insurance for faculty salaries in anticipation of a tighter state budget.
“We hedging a bit and anticipating bad news,” Foster said. “We’re trying to get ahead of that.”
Patrick Doyle, vice president of finance, said the student fee increase will free up money in Mesa
State’s general fund for faculty salaries that otherwise would have been earmarked for debt repayment incurred in the Saunders Fieldhouse renovation.
Board member Glen Gallegos, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said in the face of a downturning economy and three student fee and tuition increases in two years, the extra money should be left in the general fund.
But no students attended a forum to voice concerns over the increase, said Adam Davenport, Associated Student Government president, and the student body voted last spring, with 80 percent voting yes, to increase tuition for faculty salaries.
The city of Montrose offered 85 acres west of the college’s Montrose campus for a new facility, Foster said during the meeting.
The city and the college had talked for some time about partnering, he said, but without much success before the land offer.
“Much to everyone’s surprise the city said ‘OK, we’re serious about this, and we have this nice piece of land’,” Foster said.
The challenge moving forward, Foster said, is determining the specifics of the partnership as well as increasing enrollment at the Montrose campus to justify the new facility.