The University of Colorado’s governing regents were still engaged in their process of selecting a new president during a closed meeting Thursday and declined to reveal names and demographic information on candidates and five finalists.
Then, in their regularly scheduled public meeting, the regents voted to raise undergraduate tuition by 2% — well below the rate of inflation — for newcomers on CU’s four campuses.
They approved this tuition hike, and 3% raises for faculty and staff, after factoring in Colorado lawmakers’ plan for how much tax money will be devoted to higher education at the state’s public post-secondary schools next year — about $1.03 billion overall, up 11% from $927 million this year.
Tuition revenues cover the bulk of public university budgets (81% at CU Boulder) because government funding provides a relatively small portion (10%).
On the presidential front, CU Board of Regents chairman Jack Kroll heard concerns of a Latino advocacy group and invited members to participate in a campus dialogue following the announcement of a finalist or finalists.
The Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization has declared “outrage” at “conflicts of interest and abuse of the process,” calling for an attorney general investigation into CU’s search process. Kroll told CLLARO leaders at the meeting Thursday “the door is open” for talking with those seeking the job.
“We must do more for our Latino students, staff and faculty,” Kroll said. “We all benefit when we work together.”
A 19-member search team first narrowed a pool of more than 100 candidates to serve as CU’s president to about 30 and then interviewed about 10. Following those interviews, the team sent names of at least five candidates to the regents, CU officials said. The regents have interviewed them and are mulling who to name as a finalist or finalists.
After a 14-day period for the finalist or finalists to meet students and faculty on campuses, the regents will vote for the new president.
One candidate is interim president Todd Saliman, who has run CU’s four-campus system since former president Mark Kennedy resigned last year after the faculty censured him for “failure to lead” on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion.
It was unclear Thursday whether regents have made a decision. CU spokesman Michael Sandler said he did not know and declined to provide a demographics breakdown of candidate pools and finalists.
The regents’ closed executive session, according to an agenda document, dealt with legal advice on an unspecified matter and included an update on the presidential search.
Search team efforts also drew praise for fairly representing a diversity of community interests in the selection process.
“We have confidence in the wonderfully diverse committee you have selected,” lawyer Arturo Jimenez, a CU graduate who formerly served on the Denver School Board, told the regents.
“Please do not be dissuaded by nay-sayers,” Jimenez said. “The best candidates for the future may come from our backyard. However, they may come from out of state. I look forward to hearing from the five candidates you have selected.”