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An Academic Arms Race: The catastrophic rise of taxpayer-funded salaries at the University of Colorado and its peer institutions

IP-3-2009 (May 2009)
Author: Jessica Peck Corry

PDF of full Issue Paper
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Executive Summary:
In the last three years alone, CU’s budget has ballooned from $1.9 billion to $2.4 billion, with increases to salaries eating up a big part of the total. Between 2006 and 2009, CU’s three chancellors received a collective annual taxpayer-funded raise of more than $500,000.9 And even in the aftermath of the cuts recently announced by Benson, Denver Chancellor Roy Wilson could still make over $700,000 this year.

Students, meanwhile, have been forced to foot the bill through skyrocketing tuition increases. CU-Boulder undergraduates saw an average tuition increase of 9.3 percent this year; in Denver, the average was 8.5 percent; and in Colorado Springs, 7.5 percent. These increases followed 2007-2008 hikes ranging from 7 percent at CU-Colorado Springs and 14.6 at CU-Boulder.