Communication from the President
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
As I’m sure you’re aware, Attorney General John Suthers issued his opinion late yesterday regarding Metro State’s new Colorado High School/GED Nonresident Tuition Rate. It is important to note that the AG’s office did not deem it illegal. As reported last night on the Denver Post website:
Suthers’ statement said that Metro's new rate creates a "public benefit." Under state law, public benefits can be given only to individuals who can prove their lawful presence in the United States. … That action, Suthers said, "is simply not supported by governing law."
Deputy Attorney General David Blake said Metro State was not technically breaking the law by offering the new rate, but that Suthers' opinion should give school officials pause. “The opinion is that these students are being given a discount—$9,000 (on full-year tuition) is a public benefit," Blake said.
In response, our Board of Trustees has issued the following statement, which was distributed last night to all the local media outlets:
Metro State Board of Trustees statement regarding June 19, 2012 Attorney General Suthers’ opinion:
When Metro State’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the Colorado High School/GED Nonresident Tuition rate earlier this month, we reviewed current state statute and deemed this as a legitimate policy within the Trustees’ authority, based on:
1. The structure of nonresident tuition rates by state higher education institutions are not required to be authorized by the state legislature; and
2. This nonresident tuition rate contained no state subsidy.
It was the Board of Trustees and Metro State’s administration intent to enhance our role and mission and provide access and affordability to all of Colorado’s high school students. It was never our intent to disregard Colorado’s law or its legislature, and we do not believe we have done this.
We are respectfully considering the AG’s general’s opinion and will address after further review.
I, along with Trustee Melody Harris, will still be attending this afternoon’s meeting of the Joint Budget Committee. Watch for a Special Edition @Metro reporting on that meeting.
I will continue to keep the campus community apprised on the situation as it develops.
Thank you for your support.
Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Memo to the JBC
Re: June 20, 2012 presentation on Colorado High School/GED Non-resident Tuition Rate