Once rivals, now partners

Regents Smith, Montera take on leadership roles for Board of Regents
By Staff

Regents Lesley Smith and Ken Montera competed against each other for the statewide at-large seat on CU’s Board of Regents during the 2018 election, but now they look forward to collaborating in leading the board as the recently elected chair and vice chair.

Board of Regents Chair Lesley Smith
Board of Regents Chair Lesley Smith

Smith, who won the 2018 election, and Montera both ran positive campaigns that focused on moving the university forward, so there was none of the lingering animosity that is often part and parcel of political campaigns. That focus will help them work together as leaders of the board, they said.

“I’m honored to serve as board chair of the CU system. Since my tenure on the board, CU has been unsettled with COVID and presidential transitions,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to working with President Saliman, Regent Montera and our colleagues on the Board of Regents over the next year to keep our focus on the three priorities we discussed at our recent retreat – outreach; retention and graduation; and CU reflecting the state’s diversity. I see smoother seas as we navigate to strengthen the CU system.”

Board of Regents Vice Chair Ken Montera
Board of Regents Vice Chair Ken Montera

Montera was appointed to the board by Gov. Jared Polis in 2021 to fill the vacancy left when Regent Chance Hill resigned his 5th Congressional District seat to move out of state. Montera will run for re-election in November after winning the Republican primary in June.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to have been elected vice chair of this critical board that plays such an important role in guiding the future of our state by educating and preparing so many individuals for their careers, helping them establish the foundation for their lives,” Montera said. “This board truly understands that responsibility and works daily to ensure that it is accomplished.”

At the Board of Regents retreat last week, the regents had the traditional “Passing the Gavel” ceremony in which previous Chair Jack Kroll and Vice Chair Sue Sharkey handed over responsibility for leadership of the board to Smith and Montera. They will serve through the 2022-23 academic year.

The board also announced leadership and assignments for its working committees for the new fiscal year:

Governance: Regent Glen Gallegos, Chair; Regent Ilana Spiegel, Vice Chair; Regent Callie Rennison; Regent Sue Sharkey.

University Affairs: Regent Rennison, Chair; Regent Sharkey, Vice Chair; Regent Ken Montera; Regent Jack Kroll.

Finance: Regent Nolbert Chavez, Chair; Regent Montera, Vice Chair; Regent Heidi Ganahl; Regent Kroll.

Audit: Regent Spiegel, Chair; Regent Gallegos, Vice Chair; Regent Chavez; Regent Ganahl.

Other committees with Board of Regents representation:

Foundation: Regent Spiegel

AHEC: Regent Chavez

Investment: Regent Montera

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