Regents reaffirm nondiscrimination policy

Resolution stops short of changing university law

Responding to University of Colorado community members who say they've experienced or witnessed discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, the Board of Regents on Thursday, June 24, passed a resolution restating its commitment to prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

About 45 people attended the meeting to show support. Many had been urging the regents to add language to their laws that would specify gender identity and gender expression as traits subject to group protection.

"This resolution is not everything you've asked for," said Regent Michael Carrigan, D-Denver. "(But) this is an important affirmation of our commitment to your community and the entire community."

Carrigan said the regents won't pursue an amendment to their laws after heeding the advice of the CU legal team.

"The closer our laws track to the state of Colorado's laws, the better off we are," Carrigan said.

The resolution stresses that gender identity and gender expression are considered covered by "sexual orientation" as written in Article 10 of the regent laws. Last month, President Bruce D. Benson sent a memo stressing the same point to chancellors and human resources representatives.

The regents voted 8-1 to pass the resolution; Regent Tom Lucero, R-Berthoud, dissented.

The board met on the CU-Boulder East Campus Thursday and Friday. In other action, the regents:

  • Voted to fight the court decision that allows concealed weapons on CU campuses. See story here.
  • Heard annual diversity reports from campus representatives. See story here.
  • Passed an operating budget of $2.76 billion for the CU system, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. See story here.
  • Approved minor changes to language in the regents' Guiding Principles, but postponed a vote on a passage about intellectual and philosophical diversity among faculty. Regent Jim Geddes, R-Sedalia, who has advocated the new language, said he first wants to meet with more faculty members – most likely at an upcoming Faculty Council meeting – before a vote by the board.
  • Approved a new formula for composing future presidential search committees. The 14-member group would consist of four faculty members (one from each campus), four community members, two alumni, a dean, a regent, a staff member and a student. An amendment proposed at the meeting to add a second student and staff member failed.
  • Recognized Jean Stewart with a resolution of appreciation. The director of internal audit is retiring after a 13-year career at CU.
  • Heard proposals for new degree programs at CU-Boulder (master of science in information and communication technology for development) and UCCS (bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in biochemistry). The board is expected to vote on the proposals at the July meeting.
  • Elected new officers for the coming year. Regent Kyle Hybl, R-Colorado Springs, is the new chair, taking over for Regent Steve Bosley, R-Broomfield. Regent Stephen Ludwig, D-Lone Tree, is the new vice chair, following Regent Tilman "Tillie" Bishop, R-Grand Junction.