Sharkey takes helm of board

Regents also elect Shoemaker vice chair

Board of Regents Chair Sue Sharkey
Board of Regents Chair Sue Sharkey

Regent Sue Sharkey, R-Castle Rock, on Friday was elected chair of the CU Board of Regents.

Sharkey succeeds Regent Irene Griego, D-Lakewood, who also was nominated for chair. In a secret ballot vote, Sharkey won 5-4. Republicans hold a 5-4 majority on the board.

After the vote, Griego called her year as chair “a great experience and an honor to me.”

“I want to personally thank everybody,” she said. “I really have appreciated this opportunity, which has helped me grow as a regent, helped me understand the complexities of the Board of Regents, and get to know our president better.”

The chair leads the board’s meetings and often speaks on behalf of the board.

In recent years, the board has traditionally re-elected the sitting chair to a second consecutive one-year term. However, as Griego noted, chair elections in 2013 and 2016 required multiple votes and stretched over meetings held months apart.

Griego said she believes past regents who decided to hold a chair election annually were doing so with the idea of “building a capacity of leadership.”

“My hope is that every board member will have the opportunity to have at least one year to take on this leadership role,” she said. “I hope we continue the tradition.”

Regent Linda Shoemaker, D-Boulder, was elected vice chair, succeeding Regent Glen Gallegos, R-Grand Junction. Shoemaker was the only nominee, as Regent Stephen Ludwig, D-Denver, “respectfully declined” nomination by Regent Heidi Ganahl, R-Superior.