Faculty Council expected to make statement on legal matter involving regent

Carson denies claims by plaintiff in discrimination suit

Regent John Carson, involved in a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination by the mortgage company for whom he provides legal counsel, provided a statement to Faculty Council in which he denies having expressed any personal or religious opinions in the matter. Carson also reaffirmed his support for nondiscrimination policies at CU, including those relevant to benefits.

Pat O’Rourke, vice president, University Counsel, provided the statement to the council during its Aug. 31 meeting at 1800 Grant St.

The council said it plans to make its own statement on the matter during Chair Ravinder Singh’s report to the regents at today’s board meeting at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

Recent media reports detailed a lawsuit against Cherry Creek Mortgage and UnitedHealthcare, filed by a California-based employee who was told her same-sex spouse was not eligible for health benefits, based on company policy. Cherry Creek Mortgage has since revised its policy and its former board chair has stepped down.

Carson acknowledges having previously sent a letter to the employee informing her of the company’s position, but denies having expressed any personal or religious opinion on same-sex marriage.

Some council members said they still have concerns about the matter, given the discrepancy between the regent’s statement and the claims made by the mortgage company employee. O’Rourke said the council is free to make a statement at the board meeting, and that individuals, as always, are free to make comments during the public comment portion of Board of Regents meetings.

In other business at the Faculty Council’s Aug. 31 meeting:

  • In an update from Human Resources, the council was told that interest in the tuition waiver benefit has been very high, and credited the pilot program that allows dependents of employees to benefit from discounts at any CU campus, not just the employee’s home campus. About 1,200 applications have been received, up from the typical 1,000 at this time of year.