News and notes from the June 26-27 meeting of the CU Board of Regents at CU Denver on the Auraria Campus:
New CU-Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information approved: The vote marks the first creation of a new college at CU-Boulder in more than 50 years. It moves forward the reorganization of the Department of Communication and the Program in Journalism and Mass Communication into one college. See full story here.
Capital construction projects advance: The board gave unanimous approval (8-0; Regent James Geddes absent) to a slate of capital construction projects, including CU-Boulder’s underground parking garage near Folsom Field and a new dining and community commons center at Williams Village, taking the place of the 48-year-old Darley Dining Hall. Before voting, Regents Kyle Hybl and Joe Neguse said they had concerns about new construction possibly taking precedence over deferred maintenance for older buildings in need or repairs or renovation. However, they said their concerns were alleviated by CU-Boulder’s intention of aggressively pursuing deferred maintenance in a slate of proposed projects expected to be presented to the board at its September meeting.
Vice president of advancement named: The board voted to give President Bruce Benson permission to deviate from the standard search process and name Johnnie Ray the university’s vice president of advancement, effective July 14. The vote was 6-2 (Regent Geddes absent). Regents Neguse and Michael Carrigan said the voted no not as a reflection on Ray, but because they were ill at ease with repeated requests for waivers from the standard search process. Ray has been with CU since last fall and began serving as acting vice president of advancement after the departure of Kelly Cronin.
New board chair and vice chair elected: Regent Kyle Hybl, R-Colorado Springs, was elected chair in a 6-1 secret ballot vote. Regent Geddes was absent and Regent Stephen Ludwig had left the meeting shortly before the vote. Ludwig, D-Denver, had received four votes for chair on the one round of balloting prior to the deciding tally. Hybl, who previously served as chair from 2010 to 2012, also received four votes during the first ballot. Regent Irene Griego, D-Lakewood, was elected vice chair by acclamation.
Carrigan and Sharkey honored: Outgoing Chair Carrigan, D-Denver, was presented with a gavel from the rest of the board in recognition of his two years as chair; outgoing Vice Chair Sue Sharkey, R-Castle Rock, also was honored for her two years in the role. Carrigan briefly spoke of a recent trip to Beijing, where the 20th anniversary of CU’s connection to the International College of Beijing was being observed. He said he was delighted to see a sign at the college with the famous Norlin Charge. “You can imagine how much it made my heart stir to see that,” Carrigan said. “It was a reminder that our reach is not only across the state, it is truly across the world.”
Change to presidential succession process: The board voted 8-0 (Regent Geddes absent) to change the process for appointing an interim university president in the event the current president is unable to perform the office’s duties. In such instances, the board chair now will choose a temporary president from among current vice presidents and chancellors, to be followed by the full board convening to choose an interim president. Previously, the vice president of academic affairs was immediately named the interim president until the board could convene to choose an interim president.
Brian Burnett resolution: “We are in an entirely different place than when he came to us – and it’s a good place,” said UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak in recognizing Brian Burnett, senior executive vice chancellor, Administration and Finance. Next month, he’ll begin his new role as vice president for finance and chief financial officer for the University of Missouri System. He received a resolution of appreciation and was wished well by regents and university leaders at the meeting. “It has been my privilege and pleasure to serve this university for the past 11 years,” said Burnett, who added, “There is a piece of my heart being left here.”