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At the May meeting of the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees, college staff presented a draft 2019-20 budget for a first reading. The balanced general fund budget includes an overall increase in operating expenses of 3.5 percent, in line with annual inflation, and $74,297,009 in revenues.

Trustees heard that college leadership remains committed to ensuring that the college’s overall operating budget grows at a rate near inflation while the college remains a highly competitive employer.  All full-time and part-time faculty and staff are slated to receive the same 3.5 percent increase in their wages, though the buying power of this increase will be somewhat minimized for many due to mandatory increases in individual contributions to the state’s retirement program.

By end of the day Thursday, May 23, the draft budget will be available for public review at every CMC location and at coloradomtn.edu.

Trustees unanimously set the board of trustees’ budget for 2019-20, accepted quarterly financials and received sabbatical reports from the fall term. They also heard updates about the college’s master plan for information technologies and cybersecurity, and a renewed partnership with the University of Denver.

They also voted unanimously to approve:

  • A site plan for the Bear Park Permaculture Center at CMC Steamboat Springs
  • The naming of the Steamboat campus’s observatory dome
  • A one-year, $1 lease of the college’s Chaffee County Academic Center in Buena Vista, by the Buena Vista School District, enabling that school district to expand its use of the building from the current 50 percent to the entire building, all for district-sponsored early childhood education. The college will continue to offer courses in Buena Vista and Salida, at alternative sites.
  • A resolution reflecting the board’s commitment to major facility and programmatic improvements at CMC’s Aspen campus. This action follows several years of discussing and prioritizing capital projects across the college’s multi-campus system. As with any infrastructure project of this nature, trustees emphasized the need to meaningfully engage with local community members and businesses, collaborative partners, and others. To better address questions from some neighbors of the campus, the resolution was revised to emphasize that “the college will continue its practice of informing and consulting with Aspen neighborhoods and other local parties during planning activities” and will “identify and address local concerns whenever feasible.” College leadership, with the help of consultants, will work over the summer months to outline financing options, land use scenarios, additional listening and brainstorming sessions with local residents, partnership opportunities, and next steps in a capital campaign for discussion at the trustees’ Aug. 28 meeting at Spring Valley.
  • Formal acceptance of the resignation of Trustee and Board Treasurer Ken Brenner, who represented District Five (the Steamboat Springs School District). Brenner cited time conflicts in his resignation from the board. Pursuant to the requirements of state law, the trustees initiated a process to seek applicants to fill the seat temporarily until it is filled with an elected candidate in November. A notice of vacancy will be published and the trustees will interview and consider applicants at their next meeting in June. The board also elected Eagle County Trustee Chris Romer to fill the office of board treasurer and audit committee chair until December.
  • Trustees completed their annual evaluation of President Carrie Besnette Hauser, as is required by board policy. Citing enthusiastic support for the direction of the college and its very strong performance over the past year, the trustees unanimously authorized a one-time, non-base-building bonus of 5 percent to Hauser.