Regent committees discuss presidential search process, construction projects

Full board to review issues at February meeting in Colorado Springs
By Staff

Laws and policies guiding University of Colorado presidential searches and employee ethics, and future construction projects on all four campuses are among the recommended issues the CU Board of Regents will discuss at its regular meeting next month.

The regents' laws and policies and capital construction committees met today in Denver, and agreed to forward several items for the board's full review and discussion during its Feb. 10 meeting at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Major agenda items from the laws and policies committee included a review of the university's presidential search process; the adoption of nine ethical principles for CU employees; a policy revision that would give the president greater flexibility in delegating nontenure hiring decisions; and an analysis of the impact of providing in-state tuition status to the dependents of honorably discharged military veterans.

During a discussion about the process that guides how CU chooses its top executive and whether changes should be adopted, laws and policies committee members asked for input from governance groups, and decided to send the issue to the full Board of Regents for discussion next month. Governance leaders have been a significant part of the discussion thus far.

In recent years, members of the CU community have challenged the presidential search process, questioning whether the regents should present more than one finalist before making a decision to hire a new president. Each of the options presented to the committee presents a different scenario for the level of regent involvement in the selection of the CU president.

"The regents are expected to stake out some parameters, even if they don't finalize the policy at their next meeting," said Dan Wilkerson, vice president, university counsel and secretary of the Board of Regents.

Laws and policies committee members also discussed at length the regents' guiding principles, which were distributed to governance groups for review, and the university's proposed mission statement. The regents are expected to take a final vote on the mission statement next month, and hope to finalize the guiding principles as well.

Also on the agenda was an overview of the university's nine proposed Principles of Ethical Behavior, which committee members agreed to send to the full board for final adoption at the February meeting. To read a list of the principles, click here.

The committee also received an analysis of creating a policy to offer resident tuition to spouses and dependents of persons honorably discharged from the military. CU Chief Financial Officer Kelly Fox guided the committee through an analysis of the financial impact, and the committee asked for some additional analysis that would further refine the policy.

In the capital construction committee meeting, the CU Budget Office provided committee members with an update on recommended state funding from the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, which has been submitted to the legislature for consideration.

CU's projects in fiscal year 2011 will include $13 million to meet annual COP payments at the Anschutz Medical Campus; a portion of the $8.3 million in annual federal mineral lease payments for the COP funding that financed the renovation of the UCCS and UC Denver science buildings; and $1 million for controlled maintenance projects.

Controlled maintenance projects recommended to be completed next fiscal year include an upgrade to the fire sprinkler system at University Hall at UCCS and fire safety upgrades at CU-Boulder, according to Teresa Osborne, the office's director of capital assets.

Capital construction committee members also received overviews on several construction projects each campus would like to move through the funding process, including a bid to expand the prestigious JILA joint research institute at CU-Boulder; another to retrofit the AMC research towers to attain greater energy savings; and three UCCS projects, including one that would enable nursing students to train in a clinical setting in a building funded by Peak Vista in Colorado Springs.

The capital construction committee voted unanimously to send all of the construction projects to the full Board of Regents for further review and spending authorization.

By Deborah Méndez-Wilson