It’s a bit like one of those incomprehensible story problems: If the Medicaid train leaves Denver bound for Grand Junction at 44 mph, when does it force colleges and universities off the budgetary tracks?
The sense among policymakers, though, is that the problem isn’t so far-fetched.
The recent budget history of Colorado is that legislators have looked to cut higher education, a budget they can control, to fund Medicaid, which is spending they cannot.
The squeeze on state revenue has Colorado Mesa University looking for a way to get clear of what President Tim Foster sees as an impending collision. To avoid that collision, Foster has pitched the idea of the institution become a “charter university,” a term that has no precise definition but embodies an effort to extract the university from the state funding conundrum.