Home / General / The budget has been slashed by 53%

The budget has been slashed by 53%

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And by “53%” we mean that it’s 53% bigger in real terms today, which is a kind of slashing I suppose — the kind for which you should get two minutes in the rhetorical penalty box if you’re a university spokesperson (hockey joke for Scott).

As students rushed out of classes near the University of Colorado Boulder’s University Memorial Center, dozens of faculty members and staff chanted, demanding better treatment from the university. 

Parts of the crowd, which included non-tenure track faculty, contracted staff and student workers, held signs with slogans such as “We need a raise!” or “$14K per class.” Members of United Campus Workers Colorado, a currently unrecognized union that represents workers across the University of Colorado system, spoke to the crowd, demanding better working conditions for non-tenure track faculty and staff. 

“Who do you think is doing the lion’s share of the undergraduate teaching work on this campus? It’s graduate students, it’s adjuncts, and it’s those of us who are non-tenure track professors,” said Sigman Byrd, an associate teaching professor. 

Members at the rally said CU has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in order to advance the university’s image and mission, including spending big on buildings, research projects and athletics. Meanwhile, members of UCW said money spent on faculty and staff haven’t kept pace with CU’s growth.  . .

As of 2021, about 66 percent of faculty at CU were non-tenure-track, meaning they lack a clear path to lifetime employment, a perk of tenure-track positions. Non-tenure track faculty usually make less than their tenured counterparts, despite having similar credentials. Since the 2008 recession, universities have traditionally relied on a higher rate of non-tenure track faculty to teach more classes as budgets were slashed and cost-cutting measures had to be put in place. 

No doubt the “facts” in the last sentence were provided to the Colorado Public Radio reporter by CU’s internal PR machine.

Let’s look at some alternative facts.

Total current funds budget, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2009-2010: $1.048 billion.

In 2023 dollars: $1.47 billion

Total current funds budget, University of Colorado-Boulder, current fiscal year: $2.26 billion.

Now to be fair, 37% of that increase is being sent directly to Coach Prime (football joke for Erik and Rob).

But still.

BTW I had no idea this protest was happening, which is telling in itself.

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