Regent Carlisle to run for Senate seat
An open regent position may welcome one of the youngest candidates in years – a current CU student.
Twenty-three-year-old law student Joe Neguse is running for the regent position being vacated, due to term limits, by Regent Cindy Carlisle. Carlisle has announced her candidacy for state senate.
“At 23, I’m pretty young, but it is work ethic and experience that matter, not age,” Neguse said.
The CU Board of Regents has historically been made up of politicians with years of experience. A majority of the nine current regents are 45 years or older.
As a student and community worker, Neguse has worked on behalf of CU fighting for broader access to quality higher education. He hopes to continue to make an impact as a CU regent.
Neguse said the fact that he is the son of immigrants makes him truly appreciate the opportunities provided by higher education. He also relates to the lack of accessibility of such an education.
Increasing financial aid and making CU more affordable for all Coloradoans will be Neguse’s top priorities if he is elected, he said.
“I want to get the things done that need to be done,” he said. “Higher education and financial aid are so personally important to me.”
Neguse’s resume includes being a former UCSU Tri-executive and working on various projects with the CU Alumni Board, the regents and Boulder City Council. Neguse is currently a second-year law student and serves as the president of his class.
Neguse is confident that his politically active background has prepared him for the regent position.
“What I hope to bring to the board is energy,” Neguse said. “I know from my experience with student government that I have a different type of energy and am always ready to tackle obstacles head on.”
Some people are concerned about whether Neguse would be able to handle both the duties of the regent position and his graduate level education, if he were to be elected. Regents serve a six-year term in which they provide administrative leadership for the institution.
In addition to required class and lecture time, Neguse also intends to continue spending long hours studying law. He is confident that he can be a successful regent and student.
“The thought of meeting the demands of both is a little bit daunting,” he said. “But I have learned how to budget my time and prioritize. I know that if you care enough about something, you learn how to sacrifice time for it.”
Carlisle questions the possibility of someone seeking a law degree while working on behalf of an entire university system.
“It is hard for me to imagine how someone could manage both, but I suppose (Neguse) is the appropriate judge of that,” Carlisle said.
Neguse has gained the support of various politicians and administrators. Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, Vice Chair Regent Thomas Lucero, and Regents Michael Carrigan and Patricia Hayes, have all had a positive response to Neguse’s candidacy.
“One thing about Joe is that he is certainly mature,” Lucero said. “I had the opportunity to work with him, and it is obvious that he is thoughtful, articulate and intelligent.”
Lucero, a Republican, thinks Neguse had a good chance of being elected in the Second Congressional District where he is running.
“The Second Congressional District is historically democratic, so if Joe wins the democratic primary, then more than likely voters will fill the seat with another democrat,” Lucero said.
Carlisle acknowledged that Neguse has competition in his pursuit of the position.
Curt Williams, a Boulder native and CU Library staff member, is also a democratic primary candidate. Williams currently holds an elected position on the Library Advisory Board.
Carlisle said that she believes both Williams and Neguse would be valuable to the Board of Regents.
“I have stayed as neutral as possible because I think they are both great candidates,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle’s six-year regent term ends in November 2008. In turn, Carlisle has announced her candidacy as a democrat for the Colorado Senate District 18 seat.
“I have enjoyed my time on the board, it’s been a great learning curve,” she said.
Carlisle said that she hopes to affect the larger community by carrying bills that affect the environmental economy, healthcare and education. She would be representing Eagle County, Boulder County, Summit and Broomfield, among other areas in the Second Congressional District.
“The role of regent is focused on the CU institution, as a Senate representative I would be working on statewide matters other than the university’s mission,” Carlisle said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Sarah Ruybalid at email@example.com