The Adams State University Board of Trustees adopted a $61.8 million spending plan for fiscal year 2020-21 on Monday that positions Adams State for future revenue growth and stabilizes the University’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new budget, which takes effect July 1, reflects some structural changes to Adams State’s revenue streams. One aspect is tuition for the coming year and the Trustees move to change the per credit-hour cost by $5 for in-state students and $18 for out-of-state students.

Adams State continues to be focused on increasing degree completion of its students. All students are encouraged to take a minimum of 15 credit hours each semester to ensure they graduate within four years of entering Adams State. To support this encouragement of a full credit load, Trustees also adopted a new tuition window allowing students to take up to 16 credit hours for the cost of 12.

The new budget reduces Adams State’s annual general fund expenses by $2.4 million. The University achieved its reductions mostly by choosing not to hire for 18 positions currently open on campus and will work over the fall term to combine academic programs into larger divisions for further savings and enhanced academic units. The campus will continue to explore other expense savings with a potential adjustment on the percentage of cost Adams State covers for employee health insurance premiums. Further, a two-year temporary reduction in Adams State’s contribution to employee non-PERA pension plans is planned as well.

No furloughs and direct layoffs are planned for Adams State as the University works to manage its expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic fallout from the pandemic has devastated State revenue streams to allocate to public universities like Adams State. Similar to the State of Colorado, the new budget adopted by the Trustees forgoes cost-of-living increases for employees for the period of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

Adams State will welcome students back to campus for in-person classes on August 24. In its effort to minimize risks to students, faculty, and staff, Adams State will complete in-person classes by Tuesday, Nov. 24. Students then will break for Thanksgiving and take final exams from Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 via Adams State’s Blackboard online platform.

Adams State established a Safe-to-Return task force to develop a plan that would facilitate the safe return of students to campus for in-person classes. By finishing regular classes prior to Thanksgiving, Adams State shortens the time students normally would be on campus and helps reduce the risk of exposing students to COVID-19.

“Our students are the heart of Adams State University and having them back on campus will help restore some level of normalcy during a period of great upheaval and uncertainty,” said Adams State President Cheryl D. Lovell. “Preparing for their return has been complex and challenging, and we very much look forward to welcoming our students back to campus in August.”