Date: 12/02/2008

CCHE -- FY 2009-10 Capital Recommendations


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

09:25 AM -- Colorado Commission on Higher Education FY 2009-10 Capital Recommendations

Mr. David Skaggs, Executive Director, Department of Higher Education (DHE); Dr. Patricia Pacey, Commissioner, Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE); and Ms. Diane Lindner, Chief Financial Officer, DHE; presented the FY 2009-10 recommendations from CCHE for higher education capital projects. Committee members received a capital funding history for higher education institutions and a list of prioritized higher education projects, prepared by CCHE (Attachment D). Ms. Lindner gave a brief 10-year history of capital spending for higher education. She explained that the COPs issued October 23, 2008, for higher education projects helped with backlog of capital need for higher education institutions. Ms. Lindner said CCHE is hopeful for another COP issuance for higher education in the future. She discussed legislation from the 2008 session that benefitted higher education, particularly House Bill 08-1205, which changed review thresholds, program plan requirements, and the six-month encumbrance rule for certain cash-funded projects at higher education institutions . Ms. Lindner said that projects that were listed in House Joint Resolution 08-1042 but not included in the October 23 COP, are at the top of CCHE's priority list. Dr. Pacey discussed the factors that were considered during the FY 2009-10 prioritization process, and qualitative and quantitative measures that CCHE plans to use to prioritize capital requests in future years. Discussion ensued about the different qualitative measures that can be used to assess capital need for higher education institutions.

09:38 AM

Mr. Skaggs explained the need to find an equitable system to evaluate a higher education institution's ability to contribute cash funds to capital projects. Mr. Skaggs addressed a question about how student fees should be weighed when CCHE evaluates requests for capital funding. Dr. Pacey reiterated that CCHE is trying to be sensitive to the ability of different higher education institutions to contribute cash funds for construction of new capital facilities. Mr. Skaggs answered a question about how budget recommendations are made for higher education institutions that use a property-tax base for funding. Mr. Skaggs said the allocation model used by CCHE is total revenue per student, measured by General Fund support and tuition. Discussion continued about comparative measures used by CCHE to evaluate capital requests and future capital needs. Mr. Skaggs explained economic factors impacting capital need for higher education in the next five years.

09:49 AM

Discussion continued about factors that can be used to assess capital need for higher education institutions including patterns of enrollment, per-pupil funding, and year-to-year revenues per full-time equivalent student. Mr. Skaggs addressed a question about how Colorado compares to other states in terms of higher education funding and preparing students for the workforce. Discussion ensued. Mr. Skaggs said revenue per higher education student in Colorado is very low as compared to the rest of nation. Dr. Pacey spoke about the need to convince the general public that Colorado's students be unable to compete for the same jobs as students in other states if the quality of education in the state is not improved.

09:58 AM

Discussion ensued about what CCHE can do to address concerns about the quality of education in the state and the need for additional funding for higher education. Mr. Skaggs said many leaders at higher education institutions are eager to find new funding options for higher education. Senator Schwartz said she would like CCHE to engage the business community in these discussions. Mr. Skaggs addressed a question about how decreases in construction cost inflation will be taken into consideration for FY 2009-10 capital requests and for the projects financed by the October 23 COP.