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CU’s Board of Regents opens presidential search committee

McConnellogue stresses the importance of balance.
Photo: Marianna Caicedo· The Sentry

The committee is focused on depoliticizing the process

With the news of CU’s president Bruce D. Benson retiring, the CU Regents are putting together a search committee to find his successor. The regents are attempting to depoliticize the search by having one democrat and one republican chair on the committee.

On Sept. 5, the CU Regents selected Heidi Ganahl, a republican, and Irene Griego, a democrat, to serve as co-chairs in the search for Benson’s replacement.

The regents will be putting together a committee that will include deans, faculty and staff members, students, and alumni. Regent law requires the regent board  to put together a search committee that includes four faculty members, one from each of the four campuses—CU Denver, CU Boulder, CU Colorado Springs, and University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus—one student, one staff member, two alumni, four community members, and one dean. If the board sees fit, they can always expand those requirements.

Ken McConnellogue, the Vice President for Communication for CU, acts as the official spokesperson for President Bruce D. Benson and the CU Board of Regents. “We want to represent a broad cross section of views from the university. There are various perspectives. Students have a different perspective, faculty another perspective, staff a different one, a dean a different one as well, and then alumni and community members from outside will bring other perspectives,” McConnellogue said. “All of them will have slightly different perspectives on what the university needs in terms of its leader. So, having a broad cross section of university constituents makes sure that we have a variety of voices in the process.”

According to McConnellogue, the regents are trying to be as objective as possible during this search. “The board of regents believes the university needs the best person possible to be its next leader so taking politics out of [the search] and just determining what’s best for the University of Colorado is how the regents have determined they want to proceed.”

Students have varying opinions when it comes to the attempted depoliticized search. “In regard to depoliticizing, it honestly seems like a 50/50 chance of being beneficial. In one aspect, it can be beneficial because we get a different view from the new president and on the other hand it may not benefit CU Denver in the long run if they are not educated in political aspects,” Heaven Javalera, a pre-business sophomore student, said.

For anyone who would like to be a part of the committee, they can nominate themselves or have someone nominate them through the Board of Regents website before the deadline on Oct. 8. At that point, the committee can start its search and start narrowing down candidates. Once the candidates are chosen, the full committee will be appointed Oct. 24.

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