DENVER — Recently, the President of Metropolitan State University of Denver, Janine Davidson, asked the state legislature for $50 million in additional funding, spread out over five years, to address racial equity.
Typically, state universities request funding together, but this request was made separately and will be specifically used to close the racial equity gap for underrepresented students.
“If we really want to make an effort to change the dynamics in this state with respect to educational attainment and equality of opportunity, then we have to actually provide equality of opportunity,” Davidson said.
Davidson told Denver7 that state leaders often talk about closing the equity gap when it comes to funding, but MSU Denver has the largest percentage of students of color and underserved students and receives 40% less funding per student than the state average.
“We are 48th in the nation as a state for what we invest in for higher education,” Davidson said. “Even if we don’t get a huge new pot of money for higher education in the state, we can still make a correction on the inequity. It doesn’t matter how much money we have, it should still be allocated more equitably.”
Davidson said the lack of funding is having major implications.
“66% of white Coloradans have some sort of higher education credential, 39% of African-Americans, and 29% of Latina students. So that’s just not acceptable on an equity basis,” said Davidson.
According to Davidson the funding would allow the university to continue providing wrap around services such as advising and essential student interventions.