Browns departure raises questions for administration and students
Higher costs and new priorities may be unavoidable as the Board of Regents searches for CU’s next president after current President Hank Brown tendered his pending resignation Jan. 18.
Brown announced that he would step down as president of CU effective Feb. 1, 2008. With the departure of such a high-ranking executive like Brown comes a search for potential candidates that is both costly and time consuming. As the governing body of the CU system, the regents will conduct and finance this search during the next year.
According to their official Web site, some of the duties of the regents are determining curriculum, responsibility for endowments and finances, the employment and retention of staff, and the purchase and sale of lands. This information and more can be seen at https://www.cu.edu/regents.
However, some of these responsibilities may lose priority during the regents’ search for a new candidate. This rearrangement of priorities could impact faculty members, students and the regents themselves.
Kevin MacLennan has been the director of CU’s Office of Admissions since 1992. During this time, there have been four turnovers in CU’s presidency.
“The board will not handle this at the expense of the student body,” MacLennan said when asked how the search for Brown’s replacement would affect CU.
As far as costs go, MacLennan said he does not see the search impacting his office’s budget in any way. He also said that in their pursuit of candidates for president, the regents should emphasize transparency, accountability and other characteristics Brown embodied.
Brown’s departure will likely affect students as well. As the institutional relations assistant in the office of the president, Lee Sullivan has an opinion as both a student and as one of Brown’s co-workers.
“I liked how he changed policies and set a new direction for the university,” said Sullivan, a sophomore political science major.
Michele McKinney is the spokeswoman for the CU system, which encompasses all four of the CU campuses. She said the interviewing process for the next president would not cause other matters to lose priority. But monetary impacts are yet to be seen.
“It’s hard to say if costs will go up,” McKinney said.
McKinney said past costs for finding a new president have individually cost as much as $300,000, but that others have cost nearly half that much.
With three transitions in the office of president during the past decade, a considerable amount of funds have been spent. A board meeting next month will begin the process of finding a new candidate, along with determining a budget for the search.