Hank Brown retires after a year and a half
President Hank Brown announced his retirement today, effective Feb. 1, 2008, after only being in office for a year and a half.
The 66-year-old alum of CU took the interim president position in April 2005 after former President Elizabeth Hoffman resigned due to the criticism of her role in the football scandal at the university.
“I will forever be grateful to this board (of Regents) for this chance to do it,” Brown said at a press conference this morning.
Although Brown has dug the university out of a 16-month football scandal, experienced the largest freshman class to enter the university in 2006 and even took criticism for job cuts that saved $800,000, he still had one thing left on the agenda.
“I find only one area that has not been accomplished and that is the total demolition of the engineering building,” Brown said sarcastically as laughs filtered through the room.
The Board of Regents reluctantly accepted Brown’s announcement and made sure that he gave them ample time to find a replacement.
“We were obviously disappointed to hear President Brown was going to step down,” Regent Chair Pat Hayes said at the press conference. “He was the right man at the right time and still is the right man. He has brought substantial change to this university.”
Hayes said the Board will meet sometime in February to search for the next president.
“We are lucky to have him for one more year,” Hayes said.
The surprising announcement not only hit the university hard, but Senate leaders across the state were also stunned.
“I am sorry to see Hank Brown go,” Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald (D-Coal Creek Canyon) said in a press release. “I understand the time commitment it takes and that he did say that this was not going to be a long career at CU. I think he has given CU some great stability and set them on a course to achieve great things. Certainly the legislature wants to do all it can to bolster higher education.”
Brown was not an unfamiliar face to the Senate and House offices. He served five years in the U.S. House and one in the U.S. Senate before leaving Congress in 1997. Brown was president of the University of Northern Colorado from 1998-2002.
Brown led 49,000 students as president of the four-university system.