Regents’ civics initiative set to advance at UCCS

Board approves first of three expected campus proposals

A slate of civics education initiatives is moving forward at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs following approval by the Board of Regents.

UCCS Provost Tom Christensen presented details of the campus proposal during the board’s meeting June 14 at CU Boulder.

The UCCS proposal – which includes offerings of certificates by way of current courses, as well as the expansion of existing efforts and future additions – was the first to be voted on by the board, which also has requested proposals from CU Boulder and CU Denver. Leadership at those two campuses last month brought proposals to the board’s University Affairs committee, which asked that the efforts be further developed before advancing to the full board for votes.

As presented, the UCCS proposal would cost $2 million over the first five years. Todd Saliman, vice president of budget and finance and chief financial officer, told the board that a funding source for the initiative has yet to be determined.

Regents approved the proposal 6-3, with Regents Irene Griego, Linda Shoemaker and Lesley Smith voting against. Griego said it’s not the board’s job “to dictate curriculum.” Smith questioned student demand for such offerings. Shoemaker said she was uncomfortable with the estimated cost.

Regent John Carson, who began advocating for improved civics education over two years ago, stressed what he said is “a crisis in civics literacy in this country among college graduates and student in college. I believe it’s absolutely critical that universities take a lead … and I want the University of Colorado to be a leader in this.”