The Colorado Independent is reporting they received a leaked list of applicants for the now filled CU president position. According to Susan Greene, editor of the Colorado Independent and author of the exposé, the list includes names calling the school’s controversial selection of lone finalist Mark Kennedy into question.
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Leaked List Shows CU Regents Picked New President Over Applicants With More Esteem and Experience KGNU News
“[The list] shows that they passed over really prominent university presidents with much more experience running universities than Mark Kennedy, bigger universities, far more complex than where he came from, the University of North Dakota,” says Greene.
The list shows CU passed over esteemed political leaders like former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter and retired Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne. “[Lynn] has a bunch of academic experience at Columbia University where she’s been teaching for about 15 years,” said Greene.
Business leaders like former DaVita CEO Kent Thiry, retired president of CoBank Robert Engel and Joseph Swedish, former CEO of Anthem, were also passed up for the job.
Each time the CU Regents narrowed the list of applicants a large majority of those remaining were current or former Republicans, leading some to question possible political motivations behind the search.
“When they whittled the 30 people on the list that was leaked to me down to eleven, I think eight of them at least were Republicans. And then when they whittled that list down to six, I believe five either were Republicans or had been Republicans until they took over jobs leading universities and they became unaffiliated. I think the readers can deduce when they need to from those numbers.” – Colorado Independent Author Susan Greene
Last April when CU announced Mark Kennedy, a conservative former Minnesota Congressman and then president of the much smaller University of South Dakota, as the lone finalist for the CU president position their decision was met with backlash from students, faculty and community members.
Much of the backlash stemmed from Kenney’s conservative voting record including his multiple attempts to gain support for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Kennedy also voted to roll back abortion rights, allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant and remove environmental protections for endangered species.
CU Regents told the Colorado Independent they are now looking for the individual who leaked the list of applicant names. Greene feels, “at least the four Republican Regents who are calling for that investigations seem less concerned about whether politics influenced this prosses or whether the public is able to scrutinize their decision and more interested in the leak of the actual document.”