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    Posted January 17, 2014 by
    Pueblo, Colorado

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    Colorado State University-Pueblo Informs Constituents of the $3.3 Million Cuts Being Made


    PUEBLO, CO- Protesters came to rally on campus today to protest the budget cuts along with the cuts of up 22 staff and faculty. According to an email sent to faculty and staff today from University President Leslie Di Mare announcing that the committee looking at the budget shortfall issue has determined that dismissing 50 faculty and staff will not be needed and that only 22 positions will be cut to aid in the $3.3 million dollar deficit. The budget forum began at 3:00 PM mountain time to give the public, students, staff and faculty the official word on what the university plans to do about this budget shortfall.


    Colorado State University-Pueblo President Leslie Di Mare kicked off the forum explaining to community members, students, faculty and students why the cuts were needed at this point. “It is difficult for any cuts to be made and it is especially difficult when it is your position,” said President Di Mare in her opening remarks. As of right now the University is expecting a $3.3 million deficit as they enter the fall 2014 term due to a loss of $2.5 million by a decision made by students, faculty, staff and administration to not increase the tuition for the 2013-14 academic years. The vote to not increase the tuition came as a trail to see if it would help to attract more students to the University.


    President Di Mare also stated that these cuts were necessary because of the projected $6.8 million dollar deficit the University will face in fiscal year 2015. According to administrators at the forum today, the CSU System will be in $3 million to assist the University and will also be helping with another $3 million to aid in updating the current information technology system to aid in better serving the students. Today CSU-Pueblo President Leslie Di Mare announced to the community, students, faculty and staff that 22 currently filled positions would be cut along with 19 unfilled positions and some one-year contract staff. She also announced that a new budget website had been constructed to help keep everyone informed about what is taking place with the current and future budget situations.


    Next the CSU-Pueblo Human Resources Director, Ralph Jacobs came to discuss how these cuts could and will affect the classified staff. “The university has to develop a layoff plan when dealing with classified staff,” said Jacobs. He continued by saying that the rules state the University must post the layoff plan for 55 calendar days and after 10 days of the posting, the University could then begin the layoffs. Jacobs stated that, “the layoffs will be hand delivered by direct supervisors to the affected employees.” Also stated was that some classified staff will have what is knows as “retention rights” which would allow them to remain employed but that they must have at least 75 points toward those rights as of January of 2013 to qualify for those rights. Those classified staff that would like to appeal the decision once it has been handed down to them will have their appeals heard by the state.


    President Di Mare stated that all those who are being informed of their termination, which begins on January 20th, would remain employed until June 30, 2014. She also stated that a business plan will be put together and be available on the “Budget Central” website as to how they intend to deal with the duties not being fulfilled due to the cuts being made. A question was asked of President Di Mare during the question and answer segment of the forum about the future and if these kind of cuts could be made again in the future. President Di Mare said, “There are no guarantees that this will not happen again.” Because of the current economic situation in the United States right now there is no guarantee that more cuts could not be handed down at other Universities around the country as well.


    Chancellor Michael Martin made one comment that I believe stands out above all of the negative hype that was created by a Professor of CSU-Pueblo. The comment was stated during today’s forum and I myself as a student applaud him for it. He congratulated all those involved with this difficult process for all their help and assistance in coming to a resolution on how to make the $3.3 million dollar cuts and at the same time doing this without making any major impacts on the services offered to the students. Chancellor Martin also was asked about the rumor of a “CSU Denver” that had been going around to which he gave the following answer; “CSU Denver is a satellite campus of CSU-Pueblo in which all funds generated are coming to CSU-Pueblo. We are not sending the $3.3 million to anywhere; it is simply being cut from the budget here.”


    In an effort to begins the process of trying to cut down the amount of budget line items causing the deficit, President Di Mare made cuts in 2012 and 2013 to aid in this shortfall and at the same time did some reorganizing of the campus administration. Di Mare said, “We have the fewest administrators on this campus now than in the history of this University.” As we all know any cuts in budget or personnel are not easy to deal with and still even after President Di Mare, Chancellor Martin and other administrators answered questions, many people went away upset.


    “I myself am backing my administration and the CSU System for doing a great job at reviewing their current business practices and evaluating what steps needed to be taken next,” said Dustin Cox a student at the University. Dustin continued saying, “I believe they are making the right decision in making these cuts and many of the students don’t understand because they have not taken the time to be well informed on the issues that the University is currently facing.” In the days to come it is doubtful that this is the end of the cuts for Universities around the nation.

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