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Alva Adams

The following three questions were submitted this afternoon in an earlier post:

1. As a CU Grad it has been a tough couple of years for my school. From the Sex scandle to Churchill CU has become an embarassment for me when people ask where I went to school. What steps specifically are the Regents taking to bring some respectability back to Degree?

Posted by: Jay Z | March 30, 2005 01:10 PM

2. If Gary Barnett could guarantee that he would win the CSU game and the Nebraska game for the next 5 years, would you vote to keep him on

Posted by: Ralph | March 30, 2005 01:41 PM

3. Regent Carrigan,
Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. What are your thoughts of student fees paying for construction costs ordinarily paid for by the University? For example, student fees paid for the UMC expansion and the new Law School.
Is this high-risk game of chicken between the Student Government and the Legislature the best way to pay for much needed construction? Or, is it a loophole that needs correcting?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Posted by: Lurker | March 30, 2005 03:51 PM

Alva Adams

Here's one more question from an earlier post:

I would like to know what he plans on doing outside the public eye. For example, how does he plan to keep tuition costs from continuing to spiral out of control? Does he have any plans to bring more DPS students to Boulder, or does he still believe that inner-city students belong at UCD? (As he suggested repeatedly during the election)

Posted by: Essaywhuman?!! | March 28, 2005 09:24 AM


1. It was reported that Betsy Hoffman falselyclaimed to have other job offers -- is that true and is that why she is no longer working for you
2. Rumor has it that you worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get rid of Hoffman is that true
3. Why have you not taken steps to make Ethnic Studies a legit department instead of a dumpting ground for dumb jocks? Is your unwillingness to take on this shuck and jive department merely fear of not looking politically correct?
Thank you

Donald E. L. Johnson

You apparently are in the "scare them into revising TARBOR" camp. You predict sharply higher tuition and the end of state funding as the only outcomes if the TABOR taxe increase isn't approved.

Have you initiated a study to find ways to run the university with less money---to drop marginal programs that don't pay for themselves or serve many students, to downsize the university into an institution that fits the needs of the state rather than those of the academics? Do realize what a surplus of good educators there is and how easy it would be to replace high-paid profs who might leave with even better ones who want to teach instead of publish and win consulting contracts and grants? Are you willing to look outside the box, or are the trustees minds as closed as those of its scholars?

Barbara Laing

What is the regents' role in ensuring safety on the campus? A handful of students got press attention this week, calling on the university to allow guns on campus. Guns on campus would threaten safety, especially since so many students are in the most volatile age group where gun injury and death are concerned. Most parents wouldn't want their kids sitting next to a student with a gun in his backpack.


[moved to open thread above]

Alva Adams

Please restrict your comments to questions for Mr. Carrigan. Please also be respectful - rude comments will not be tolerated. There is no reason you cannot get your question and point across in a respectful manner.

Donald E. L. Johnson

[moved to open thread above]


Sorry. Please feel free to strike my comments. Perhaps this subject is a little to close to my heart.

Ter Ducken

Thanks for participating Michael. I'm curious what schools at the university seem to be growing the most and attracting the most students. Are there specific departments that students seem to be more interested in recently?

Thanks again.

Alva Adams

Kindly move your discussion to the open thread above and restrict this post to questions for Mr. Carrigan. Thanks.

Donald E. L. Johnson

[moved to open thread above]


Okay. So here are a few questions for Regent Carrigan. Do you believe the TABOR adjustment, assuming it passes, will fix the problem, or is it just a start?

Will it be necessary, as some here have suggested, to let go of our best professors and replace them with less qualified teachers?

And should programs be cut based on their popularity or lack thereof? That would mean that education, medical and science programs would be cut while business administration, and probably basket-weaving, programs would be expanded, no?

Wouldn't these 'fixes' be detrimental to student recruiting?

On a personal note, I had intentions earlier this year of going back to school to get a degree in education, so I checked in to UCCS (or CUCS, whatever it is these days). Well, it's been over 10 years since I was in college, so I was extremely shocked to see how high the tuition costs have gotten. I assumed the only impediment to me going back to school was going to be finding the time to do it. Turns out, I can't afford it. Any comments?

Evil Genius for a Better Tomorrow

Has anyone considered raising base tuition and then enacting a more graduated financial aid program?

I went to a private college with extremely high tuition, but it was actually cheaper for some of my classmates to go to the private school than it was for them to attend our state school. The base tuition at the state school was about a third as much as the private school, but because full-tuition students were paying so much, there was plenty of available financial aid.

It seems to me that CU students are getting a deal because we subsidize even the most well-off students. If the most well-off students were paying tuition rates comparable to private universities, there would be more funds available for lower-income students to receive more financial aid, and there would be more funds for the University system in general.

It just doesn't make sense to have a base price for tuition of about a third of comparable private universities.

Daniel Ong

Hi, Michael. It was a pleasure to meet you on the campaign trail last Fall.

My concern is with the discrimination against part-time students, minimally at UCDHSC downtown Denver campus but primarily at CU-Boulder, in the areas of tuition, policies, and fees. The College Opportunity Fund, or higher ed "vouchers" or stipends, being implemented this Fall, calls for state funding of undergrads to be by a fixed amount per credit hour, regardless of hours taken at a time. All CU campuses charge tuition using a "window" within which the tuition charged is the same no matter how many hours are taken, and part-time students are charged tuition roughly based on the minimum hours in the window. This has the effect of charging part-time students significantly more per credit hour than full-time students (about twice as much at UCB) and in effect taking away the state subsidy for part-time students and directing it toward full-time students.

In addition, part-time students are essentially ineligible for financial aid if less than half-time (federal rules), and students can be forced out of financial aid if they do not continue at at least a two-thirds-time rate. The COF has a provision, in which Jennifer Mello was instrumental, that directs part of future tuition increases toward financial aid. So not only are part-time students being charged more per credit hour, part of that differential is being directed into a financial aid pool for which the part-time students are not even eligible. By the end of the campaign, even Jennifer agreed (on KGNU) that that provision should probably be revisited.

I have spoken to the Board of Regents previously on these issues, including policies requiring full-time class loads at UCB for consideration of intracampus transfers, and significant fees being charged regardless of credit hour load, resulting in my fees being more than tuition at times.

Many students are unable to take a full-time class load due to personal or financial commitments (care of dependents or commitment to housing financial arrangements). Part-time students are an integral part of the learning experience, as I experienced recently at UCDHSC downtown Denver, as many of them are already in the work force in related fields and can bring work experiences to classes and labs and immediately apply what they learn in industry and society.

You and the CU administration have stated a commitment to diversity. I think it is no accident that the UCDHSC Downtown Denver campus has the most diversity in the CU system while encouraging part-time student participation the most. I can think of no action that would increase diversity more (without quotas or other tinkering with the market) than committing to equitable treatment of part-time students on all campuses in the areas of tuition, policies, and fees.

I would like all future tuition increases to be only on full-time students, until they were paying as much per credit hour as part-time students. Furthermore, part-time students should not be charged for that portion of tuition that is directed into a financial aid pool for which they are not eligible. I am not calling for the end of tuition windows, but eventually any part-time student should not be charged more per credit hour than any full-time student within the same category (school, major, division). All policies which discriminate against part-time students should be ended. And all future fee increases and implementations should be by a flat amount per credit hour unless shown unrelated to credit hour enrollment (i.e. parking).

The Regents set and approve tuition and fee schedules, although Governor Owens (with his budget veto) and CCHE seem obsessed with the percentage increases in tuition only for full-time students while ignoring the blatant discrimination against part-time students inherent in the tuition schedules. The Joint Budget Committee seems willing to consider addressing this issue by narrowing the tuition window. Can I count on your support to address these issues and treat all students equitably?

Michael Carrigan

Here Michael’s response to this morning’s questions:

(1) I can’t speak for the whole Board, but I am working for more transparency and accountability at the University to regain the public trust. Also, we are planning on developing a strategic plan to communicate some of CU’s many positive stories. Hopefully these efforts will increase pride in the institution.

(2) I honestly don’t know what will happen to Coach Barnett, but winning games is only part of my measure of success for our coaches.

(3) I don’t like the idea of student fees for capital construction. I think the that is the responsibility of the state, with the support of donors and alumni. However, as a graduate of CU law school, I am immensely grateful that the UC Boulder students stepped up to the plate to allow construction of that building to begin. I hope it does not send a precedent.

(4) I have always been committed to more diversity at UC Boulder and any suggestion that I “believe that inner city students” belong at UC Denver is patently false as is the claim that I supported that as a candidate. Both UCB and UCD are great campuses and both need more diversity. At the Board’s March meeting I sponsored a resolution expressing our continuing commitment to diversity an condemning the recent racial incidents on the Boulder campus. Finally, regarding tuition increases—CU needs funding to maintain its excellence and the less state funds we get, the more we need from tuition.

(5) Questions regarding President Hoffman:

(1) I don’t know what representations President Hoffman made regarding other job offers. A reminder, I only joined the Board in January.

(2) No I did not work behind the scenes for President Hoffman’s departure.

(3) I don’t see how to respond to this question in a constructive way.

(6) Yes, I believe that TABOR reform is essential for CU’s health. After years and years of cuts, CU is running at incredible efficiency. Of course we can do better, but sometimes I tire of persons who want CU to run more like a business, but at the same time won’t allow us to charge market rates for our education product.

(7) As a former prosecutor with more than five years experience in law enforcement, I agree that guns on campus would not increase safety.

(8) CU’s growth campus is, without a doubt, the Colorado Springs campus. There are wonderful things going on there—unfortunately they never get attention.

(9) Responses to your multi-part question-

(1) I think the current TABOR solution is a great start. It is hard for me to say what other changes might be necessary.

(2) I am hopeful that our quality senior faculty will stay. However, I have concerns about our ability to recruit and retain talented junior faculty who will be winning Nobel prizes 10 and 20 years from now. Excellence does not come cheap.

(3) I agree that as a world class university, CU has to have a wide variety of programs. However, if students are not choosing to enroll in such programs, we should consider whether resources are better spent elsewhere.

(4) I agree, the lower the quality of our faculty and smaller the class choices, the less interested students will be in attending CU.

(5) It’s regrettable the CU’s tuition has ballooned, but we still are well below the tuition charged by other major state universities throughout the U.S. I hope you will bring your concerns to the Governor and the General Assembly. If they restore past funding cuts we won’t need increased tuition revenue.

(10) CU currently dedicates 25% of tuition increases to need based grants and scholarships. If current tuition trends continue, I hope that we will continue this policy so that we don’t price out talented students who don’t have the resources to pay our tuition.


Mr. Carrigan: You state that you are in favor of more accountability and transparency by the University. However, your comments seem to lean more on the transperency side and less on the accountability side. President Hoffman's comments seem to have the same air. How will you insure accountability and restore academic credibility?


It seems that transparency and accountability would have nipped the Athletics situation in the bud long before it happened. Perhaps you could be more specific on the mechanics of transparency and accountability. I.e., will it lead to an open and responsive grievance process for students AND staff? Will it lead to more centralized control in the hierarchy? Will it include efforts to change culture and attitudes? Will it include a more stringent ethics standards for Regents to abide by?


If the budget does not recover, what else can CU do besides tuition increases in order to make up the costs? What other measures are being discussed?

thanks for making yourself so availble to us!


Isn't it more correct to state that the problem hasn't been TABOR, but mandatory increases in spending in Medicaid and K-12 Education which have pushed funding levels for Higher Ed lower? TABOR attempts to keep government spending from balooning and although Higher Ed is a priority, when 70% of the budget is mandated to increase, things will get squeezed out - Higher Ed simply happens to be the Department which the necessary amount of cuts could come from (dollar wise).

Michael Carrigan

Here are Michael’s response to questions posted between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., in order:

(1) To explain, CU (like most universities) subsidizes full time students in that for the most part students are charged the same tuition for 9 credits (3 typical classes) as 15 or 18 credits (5 to 6 typical classes). This model is currently under review and is likely to change over time. It has the effect of CU giving away 25-33% of its product, something we can no longer do in these lean times.

(2) Transparency is a good place to start, but I agree we have a long way to go on accountability. I hope that people remember all the personnel changes that have occurred on the Boulder campus—from the Athletic Director, to the Chancellor to, coming in June, the President. While there are a variety of reasons for these moves, they show that when changes are necessary, they can be made.

(3) I could not agree more that if there had been more accountability in the football controversy a year ago we would be far better off today. We do need to changes cultures and attitudes and stop trying to hide things from the public. One step I have taken is asked tough questions in our public meetings—it might mean that I am not popular with some administrators, but I don’t work for them, I work for all of you. Regarding Regent Ethics policies, at our March 2005 meeting the Board adopted a massive overhaul of our conflicts of interest policy. I worked hard to make sure this passed with an overwhelming vote.

(4) One thing President Hoffman did very well is cultivate an environment where CU has attracted an enormous number of research grants, mostly at the Boulder campus and the Health Sciences Campus. This revenue source has helped lower the need for higher tuition increases.

(5) I agree that we have had other budget constraints other than TABOR which have added Colorado’s current problems. However, the reality is that at the same time CU was enduring cuts the state was giving out TABOR refunds. Given that CU contributes over $26 to our economy for every dollar of general fund investment, we should be looking for ways to help the university. Major research universities like CU are the railroad hubs of the 21st century—our state economy cannot succeed unless our universities succeed.

Daniel Ong


Thanks for your prompt and succinct reply regarding tuition schedules, clearly pointing out the discrepancy. I would like a response on the issue of discrimination against part-time students in policies and fees also, however. Favoring full-time students over part-time students, whether via tuition, policies, and/or fees, simply increases the difficulty of participation in higher education by potential students with personal, time, or financial commitments, no matter what their race or lot in life.

P.S. How's your foot recovering?

Josh P

I'm curious about the finances of the football team. How much money do they bring in to the university in a given year, and how much of that money gets distributed back to the unversity?


michael carrigan

Michael’s final responses- questions posted between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., in order:

(1) I agree that these inequities should be looked at and while we can’t change the tuition policies overnight (which would result in tuition increases approaching 45%), unless we get other funding sources we have to look at changes like this.

(2) I can’t give you specific numbers on the football program. All I can say is that revenue for the football program does provide essential support for all of our other athletic programs.


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