Options exist, cooperation is key chancellor says in campus forum

If the UCCS faculty, staff and administration work together, the university will survive the current state fiscal crisis and continue its mission of assisting students achieve personal goals, Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak told more than 80 faculty and staff who attended a monthly forum this week.

“I am not pleased about our current situation,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “But I’m not afraid. If we work together we can see our way through this , though it will not be easy.”

Shockley-Zalabak highlighted the current budget dilemma faced by the Colorado General Assembly which needs $300 million to balance the state budget. An idea that has drawn widespread news media coverage is to reduce higher education funding. The idea has generated predictions of large tuition increases and the shuttering of some schools.

“I don’t think that plan will happen,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “I believe there will be a compromise but I honestly don’t know what that compromise will look like or how UCCS will be affected.”

By April 30, Shockley said the General Assembly will have made its decisions about the state budget. In May, sessions throughout campus are scheduled to inform faculty and staff of General Assembly decisions and to work through solutions.

“We have choices,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “They are not easy choices or fun choices but we have the ability to determine our future.”

All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend one of the sessions.

The time, date and location of the budget meetings are:

  • 3 p.m. May 4, Columbine 317
  • 8 a.m. May 5, Engineering 103
  • 2 p.m. May 5, University Hall 109
  • 9 a.m. May 6, Dwire Hall 204
  • 3:30 p.m. May 7, Science 192

An all-campus forum is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 12 in the University Center Theater.

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