Faculty Council takes stock of presidential attributes

Governance group compiling input on document to be forwarded to regents

The Faculty Council continues to articulate what its members would like to see exemplified in the next president of the University of Colorado.

At the governance group’s Sept. 27 meeting at 1800 Grant St., Chair Joanne Addison shared an early draft of a document that lists attributes that should guide the selection of the next CU president. The current draft, which is based on input from the four campus Faculty Assemblies, is incomplete, but a starting point for what will eventually be offered to the Board of Regents. The text follows:

“As we all know, funding for higher education is a critical issue in Colorado that requires overcoming difficult political and social challenges. The CU Faculty Council wishes to see a president who possesses the ability to work with the state legislature, federal government, donors, CU Foundation, and other relevant bodies to secure the financial growth and security of the University.

“The Faculty Council believes that teaching and research are at the heart of any University. Therefore, we hope to see a president with a demonstrated commitment to teaching and research by way of previous experience in a university system, if not through the expression of the president’s own teaching and research, then through work as a member of a University board, service to a state department of higher education, or other significant form of engagement.

“We hope to find a president who can lead faculty, staff, administrators, and regents toward a coherent, shared vision for the future of CU. At the same time, the president must recognize and respect the independence of the four campuses and their separate roles and missions, acknowledging that this diversity enables us to best serve the state of Colorado and a wide range of students.

“We seek a president who fully supports the processes and outcomes of a robust system of shared governance. In doing so, the president should support the central role of faculty in the work of a public university and the value of collaboration with multiple stakeholders in setting policy and making decisions.

Policy 10P of the University describes diversity as “a natural and enriching hallmark of life. A climate of healthy diversity is one in which people value a rich panoply of diverse ideas, perspectives and backgrounds, individual and group differences, and communicate openly.” The CU Faculty Council affirms the importance of this statement. We encourage the Regents to seek a candidate for the President’s Office who has demonstrated support for diversity and inclusion as core values of the president’s work and who is committed to inclusive leadership practices.”

Addison said she also would like the eventual list of attributes be provided to whomever is named as a finalist for the post, which President Bruce Benson has said he will retire from in July.

The Board of Regents currently is in the process of naming the members of a presidential search committee. Each campus Faculty Assembly is nominating two faculty members for consideration by the board.

A slate of town hall meetings to be held on the four campuses gets underway Oct. 11 at UCCS.

Also at the Sept. 27 meeting, the Faculty Council voted to send a letter from the council’s Ethnic and Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC) to the Board of Regents; it encourages the inclusion of one of CU’s Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) on the presidential search committee. The text of that letter follows:

“Dear CU Presidential Search Member Selection Committee,

“We, the CU Faculty Council Ethnic and Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC), are writing to encourage the Regents to consider the importance of including one of CU’s Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) on the Presidential Search Committee in order to practice Regent Law Article 10: Nondiscrimination. The CU system has committed itself to diversity and each CU campus has incorporated inclusivity and diversity in its strategic plan in some form. Including a CDO on the Presidential Search Committee would help ensure that this commitment to diversity and inclusion be communicated to candidates as well as the larger CU Community. 

“We have contacted the CDO of each campus and there is strong support for Dr. Brenda J. Allen, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion on the Downtown and Anschutz Medical Campuses. CU’s CDOs bring a tremendous body of research and expertise in diversity and inclusivity in higher education, and as such can help ensure that our Presidential search is not only equitable, but also that the candidates selected can demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion. We respectfully ask that the leadership at CU show us that they are also committed to this work with the inclusion of Dr. Brenda J. Allen on the Presidential Search Committee.

“In addition, we ask that the Board of Regents make the inclusion of a CDO from one of the four CU campuses on the Presidential Search Committee a standard procedure, per the Board of Regents Policy 3E: Searches for Administrators and Guidelines for the Appointment of Chief Officers of the University, section 1:b.


“The Ethnic and Minority Affairs Committee for Faculty Council

“Tina Moser, Co-Chair                                    CU Anschutz

“Lindsay Roberts, Co-Chair                           CU Boulder

“Debbie Carter, Secretary                             CU Anschutz

“Damian Doyle                                                  CU Boulder

“Mark Knowles                                                 CU Boulder

“Cerian Gibbes                                                  CU Colorado Springs

“Kathy Prue-Owens                                        CU Colorado Springs

“Lei "Frank" Zhang                                           CU Colorado Springs

“Cheryl Matias                                                  CU Denver

“Naomi Nishi                                                      CU Denver”