CU president lauds governor’s 2013-14 budget request

University of Colorado President Bruce Benson said that Gov. John Hickenlooper’s budget request announced earlier Nov. 1 will infuse new money into the four-campus CU system.

The governor recommended a $30 million increase in state funding to the higher education operating budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14. CU’s share would be approximately $9 million if an allocation plan agreed to by all the higher education institutions is implemented.

“We appreciate the governor’s clear commitment to ensuring that higher education continues its substantial contributions to the economy, health and culture of our state and beyond,” Benson said. “We are also grateful for the leadership of Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, who has been a champion of higher education in his role as executive director of the state Department of Higher Education.”

The recommended increase marks the first time since FY 2008-09 that higher education’s budget would increase.

“The past several years have been difficult times for budgets for higher education, so this is great news for CU and all of higher education,” Benson said. “We still face challenges in the coming years, but the clear message today is that the governor sees higher education as a top priority and that our colleges and universities are integral to Colorado’s well-being.”

Benson joined public college and university presidents from around the state who signed a letter to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education that commended the governor for his budget. In addition to much-needed investments in higher education, the governor’s budget also includes important increases for K-12, mental health and other critical programs.

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