While CU cuts exec salaries, CSU hires chancellor and hikes tuition

As Colorado State University prepares to hire a top executive at the school, expanding its administration significantly, it appears University of Colorado President Bruce Benson is taking the state’s leading research university in the other direction, eliminating 54 administrative offices and slashing executive pay to cut a total of $6.2 million from the university’s $39 million operating budget.

Senior executives, including Benson, are taking a salary cut of 5 percent. The position of vice president for academic affairs and research will be eliminated altogether.

Hit with the same major budget shortfalls this year, CSU plowed forward with its controversial chancellor search and speedily hired its own board of governors vice chairmen Joe Blake to fill the position. Analysts estimate that fully funding the position and new chancellor support staff will run to hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.

Revelations last fall of controversial ballooning administrative costs at the expense of faculty and student funding at CSU forced the resignation of President and chancellor Larry Penley.

Benson addressed any similar concerns regarding administrative costs at CU in a statement released last week to accompany news of the drastic cuts.

The reorganization of system administration will improve our operations while also allowing us to address significant budget challenges. Our primary focus is ensuring that we support our academic and research functions while keeping administrative overhead low.

Later that week, CSU interim president Tony Frank proposed raising tuition by 9 percent for in-state students and cutting 40 jobs to make up for a roughly $33 million budget shortfall.

A day after Frank announced the proposed tuition hikes and job cuts, the CSU board rushed to nominate Blake chancellor. The board will vote on Frank’s budget plan in June.