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New discounts and benefits for CSU faculty and staff through Commitment to Campus

May 5, 2011

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to update you on some exciting new discounts and benefits for CSU faculty and staff, made possible through our ongoing Commitment to Campus initiative.

These great new enhancements have come together through the hard work and partnership of many people, on campus and off - and it’s my pleasure to announce them to you now.

But first, I want to acknowledge that we created the Commitment to Campus as a way to better reward CSU faculty and staff, particularly during a time when the institution has been unable to provide salary increases. We recognize that the Commitment to Campus initiatives aren’t a substitute for raises - our people need and deserve more money in their paychecks to cope with the rising cost of living, and state funding cuts haven’t made that possible.

We’re strongly committed to some type of salary increase in the FY13 budget, but in the meantime, we will continue to explore other, affordable opportunities for improving the quality of work life for CSU employees.

Reinvesting in CSU's workforce

In addition, our employees enrolled in PERA were required to increase their retirement contribution by 2.5 percent this past year, and although legislation is still pending, we’re anticipating that the state will extend the 2.5 percent increase through 2012. Given the hardship this creates for many members of our community, we’ve made the administrative decision that the resulting cost savings to CSU will be reinvested in our workforce.

So in short, we can’t do salary increases or raises for next year, but we can make some great improvements that will have a positive impact, and I want to highlight those for you here:

  • The Board of Governors has approved our recommendation that there be no increase in CSU parking permit fees again next year.
  • Beginning in the fall, we will be increasing the dependent tuition scholarship from 25 percent to 50 percent of resident tuition.  Academic faculty and administrative professionals with regular or special appointments of 50 percent time or greater and all state-classified employees with appointments of 50 percent time or greater are eligible for the Dependent Tuition Scholarship program, which may be applied toward the tuition of a spouse, domestic partner, or qualifying dependent child of the employee or spouse/domestic partner. For more information, contact either Student Financial Services, 103 Administration Annex, (970) 491-6321, or the Benefits Office, 555 S. Howes, Suite 210, (970) 491-6737.
  • We will be  increasing the Employee Study Privilege benefit from 6 to 9 credits per year, starting this summer.The hope is that this will enable more faculty and staff to make real, more steady progress toward completing their degrees and advancing skills that will benefit both them and CSU in the long run. Learn more about using your Employee Study Privilege.
  • CSU faculty and staff will now be able to apply their study privilege credits to CSU-Global Campus courses starting this summer. CSU-Global offers online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in a variety of fields, including programs in management, education, organizational leadership, and applied social sciences. More information. (And remember that CSU employees already can apply their study privilege to courses offered at CSU-Pueblo.)
  • With the support of our students through their facilities fee, the Board of Governors today approved the purchase of the historic Washington School on Shields Street as the new home for CSU’s Early Childhood Center, doubling the center’s capacity for child care and allowing for the expansion of the program to accommodate children aged 6½ weeks to 5 years. The expanded center - which we anticipate will be open in January 2012 - will provide highest priority for enrollment to children of CSU faculty, staff and students. The Early Childhood Center functions as a lab school, so this project has the dual advantage of significantly improving the teaching and learning opportunities for CSU students and faculty in almost a dozen different academic programs  while also enhancing child-care options for campus parents.
  • We believe the University has an obligation to support its employees who have immediate needs to care for their families. This is reflected in two of our policies that have been recently adopted or are in the development process and will be adopted very soon. The first is a policy to support the health of nursing mothers at CSU. This policy embraces all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in support of public accommodation of nursing mothers, and its effect is to provide necessary resources, including private, sanitary lactation areas for breastfeeding or milk expression - and to authorize reasonable flexibility in scheduling break times to allow for breastfeeding during the workday. The second policy under development impacts childbearing leave and clarifies policies to be more consistent in allowing paid time off for mothers giving birth. These policies are available for review at our Policy and Compliance website.
  • We’ve joined Zipcar, the world’s leading car-sharing network. Zipcar essentially functions as a car “library,” allowing faculty, staff, and students to check out an automobile for a minimal charge on an “as needed” basis. This program will be operational by the start of fall semester and the hope is that it will help reduce campus parking and traffic congestion - allowing people to maximize their use of alternative transportation by ensuring they’ll still have access to a car as needed.  Check back on the Parking Services website over the summer for the details on where the cars will be located and how to check them out.
  • As we announced in Today@Colorado State in April, the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is participating in the Commitment to Campus by offering a 20 percent discount on veterinary services to CSU employees. (This discount is also available to all state of Colorado employees.) The discount applies to all veterinary services but does not apply to items from the pharmacy, central supply, or services provided by the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
  • And finally, we have worked with the CSU Alumni Association to create a new award, which will be announced for the first time at Homecoming this fall, to honor an employee who is a graduate of CSU. The Distinguished Alumni Employee Award will honor our graduates who have “enhanced the University's mission, reputation, or campus morale, and who represent the University with professionalism, enthusiasm, and dedication.”
Future options for  Commitment to Campus

CSU is a great university because of the hard work and achievement of our faculty and staff. We will continue to explore new Commitment to Campus options as a small way of thanking you for being a part of our campus community - and to demonstrate our commitment to building an exceptional, rewarding work environment.

I welcome your additional suggestions and ideas!


Amy Parsons, Vice President for University Operations