November Town Hall updates: Reviewing the budget model, leadership updates and more

In November’s virtual Town Hall, Chancellor Venkat Reddy and a panel of campus leaders shared updates on current events.

The Town Hall emphasized that the budget model is a tool to help realize our mission and strategic goals and that there are still some concerns that need to be addressed in the budget model. The Town Hall also featured welcoming remarks from Jose Cantu, who is serving as UCCS’ inaugural Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. Campus leaders also responded to questions submitted by the audience.

Take a look at the key takeaways below.

Good News

  • UCCS worked with the University of Colorado Board of Regents and our President to authorize a $600 commitment bonus for all regular faculty and staff hired on or before September 1. Eligible faculty and staff saw the payment on their October paychecks. This one-time bonus reflects our deep gratitude for all you have given to the university and our students.
  • This funding has also provided free faculty and staff parking for the 2022–23 academic year.  
  • UCCS worked with the Regents and the President to authorize a three percent, base-building merit pool for eligible faculty and university staff, which will go into effect in January 2023. Please note that classified staff received a three-percent compensation increase in July.  
  • The chancellor has added an extra day of administrative leave during the upcoming winter break. UCCS faculty and staff will be able to enjoy paid leave from  Monday, December 26, through Monday, January 2 without using vacation time.
  • Thanks to the Governor, UCCS will be granting one additional day of paid time off on Wednesday, November 23. 

Regent Updates

  • The Board of Regents considered the recommendation of two of our faculty members for the rank of Distinguished Professor. Dorothea Olkowski, from the Department of Philosophy and Carlos Paz De Araujo, from Electrical and Computer Engineering, both received the rank of Distinguished Professor.

  • The Regents also passed a resolution in appreciation of Dusty Loo, posthumously. Many on the UCCS campus are familiar with the name Dusty Loo through the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater in the Ent Center. It was wonderful to see his family and close friends attend the meeting to accept the resolution.  

Leadership Position Updates

  • The VCAF search has become a “rolling search.” Our search committee recently completed several screening interviews and the cabinet met with two candidates, who then gave presentations on campus this past week.

  • The search for our new Chief Human Resource Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources is also underway. Two candidates for this position were also on campus this past week.  

Budget Model

  • The budget model was intended to move the university forward, with the overall goals of creating more clarity for the colleges, eliminating the perception of a “black box” and eliminating the perception of a campus of “haves” and “have nots.” Ultimately, the budget model is designed to be fair.

  • Inevitable challenges ahead, outside of the budget model, include inflation and rising expenses, funding initiatives that were originally supported by one-time funds, and pending compensation increases. State funding and tuition increases are not currently sufficient.

  • Our budget is to help us achieve our mission and our strategic goals. The decentralized budget model will help campus stakeholders have a better understanding of campus finances and give unit leaders more authority with resource decisions. The new budget model aims to help the campus serve more students and support more staff.

  • The journey through the new model has included seeking consulting advice, engaging campus stakeholders, and working through COVID and personnel changes.

  • Campus is at a natural place in the journey, but the model needs more work. Leadership has heard campus concerns and are preparing to make the necessary changes to the model. The revised model will be designed to be simple, predictable and fair.

“This is our model, and we get to change it to fit our needs,” said Chancellor Reddy. “We can – and we will – make this a model that works for all of us.”

In his closing remarks concerning the budget, Chancellor Reddy acknowledged the challenges of a new model and expressed his gratitude toward the faculty and staff.

“Thank you for your flexibility as we navigate change,” he said. “Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your willingness to innovate. Our future is bright, and your ongoing support will help us achieve our potential.”

Listen to the full session online.