Monday, January 23, 2012

University of Colorado a Great Investment

(NOTE - the following is a reprint from my Greenwood Village blog)

The University of Colorado's men's basketball team weren't the only ones playing strong defense this weekend - though their battle with the Arizona Wildcats was exciting and memorable. The other strong Buffs defensive move came this weekend on the Denver Post op-ed page, as university president Bruce Benson offered a well-argued public relations piece identifying the CU-Boulder school as "a model of efficiency." His thesis was intended to and should encourage Colorado voters to support their state university - and yes that means financially.

Some Coloradans who seem to think they are living in tax-heavy Sweden should be enlightened to learn that only 5% of CU's budget comes from the state. However there is a downside that must be mentioned:

Over the past two decades, [students] have had to pay a greater share of the cost of a college education. State funding used to pay about two-thirds of the cost; now tuition accounts for two-thirds. Colorado ranks 48th nationally in state funding per resident student. Still, CU produces the most degrees for the lowest amount of state funding per degree. CU's administrative costs are 44 percent below those of our national peers. With minimal state investment, CU provides the highly educated workforce crucial to Colorado's economic success, competitiveness and quality of life.

Clearly, CU-Boulder is a first-class academic institution that should be the pride of the state. However, it is struggling to get by as state support for higher education is further strangled by the economy and some harsh and narrow-minded ideology. Each year, I encourage students to consider becoming a CU Buff and supporting this fine institution. However, rising tuition is putting that out of the reach of more students. Colorado needs to reverse that trend.

Go Buffs.

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