The University of Colorado will consider improving a benefit that allows employees to pass along tuition waivers to their spouses or children so that they're redeemable year-round.
For those who work on the Boulder campus, the perk can now be passed along to spouses, domestic partners or children -- but the waivers can only be redeemed for summer classes if the student has full-time enrollment status. Part-time students using a waiver can take classes during the traditional academic year or the summer.
CU faculty leaders want those restrictions loosened, and they're advocating for the campus to accept the tuition waivers year-round for full-time, degree-seeking students. The benefit would help CU recruit and retain talented faculty members, according to the Boulder Faculty Assembly.
CU first announced the program for employees last school year, but the benefit on the Boulder campus has tighter restrictions than the programs at other CU campuses.
In its inaugural year so far, there have been 62 instances of faculty members passing along the benefit to their spouses or children, according to spokeswoman Malinda Miller-Huey. Of those, 48 students took courses in the summer, and 14 took classes in the fall.
The Boulder Faculty Assembly recently passed a resolution asking the Boulder campus to extend the benefit to any semester. The campus is taking that measure into consideration.
"We would like to make the tuition benefit more accessible," Miller-Huey said. "We need to study the budget implications involved."
Leading up to the launch of the new benefit, the university hired an outside consulting firm to study how its benefits stacked up when compared with other schools nationwide. The findings showed that CU's tuition waiver benefit was lacking -- on average, employees at the 27 other schools are eligible to take up to 12.3 credit hours, and their families often benefit from the program.
CU leaders in the past have said they may also consider upping the credit hours allowed per year from nine to 12.
The outside report, completed by Aon Hewitt, suggested CU increase the maximum number of credit hours for faculty and staff members to 10 or more a year, extend eligibility to dependents and allow participants to enroll in classes during the traditional academic year.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or email@example.com. ___