CU spends big bucks on Benson
Aside from other controversial issues surrounding presidential nominee Bruce Benson, CU students have been raising eyebrows about the money that was spent to find Benson and make him the finalist for the CU presidency.
“I think the money could’ve been better spent,” said Josh Marskman, a sophomore aerospace engineering major.
Check out our 11-part Benson series
CU spokesman Ken McConnellogue, whose office handles the president’s office, the Board of Regents and the search committee, said he disagrees.
“Having attended all the meetings, I think the search committee proceeded with the search plan that was laid out and approved by the Regents,” McConnellogue said. “I think it followed all state and university laws, and proceeded as you would expect.”
The cost of the presidential search to date is $163,501.
Most of the expenditure went to hiring a national search firm to generate candidates, a procedure that McConnellogue defends.
“I would suggest that if we didn’t use (a national search firm), people would complain that we didn’t cast a wide enough net,” he said.
The process of hiring current CU President Hank Brown was cheaper, which serves as an additional source of contention. Reasons for this include inflation, charging less money by the firm and the fact that Brown was an interim president.
Interim presidents hold a temporary presidency until a successor is named, as was the case when Brown took former President Elizabeth Hoffman’s position upon her resignation in 2005. Brown’s temporary position and “internal candidacy” spared the university some of the expenses with which it is now faced.
Despite Benson being the sole finalist for the presidency, the process of finding candidates was actually more extensive, with more candidates being interviewed and the involvement of a larger committee adding to the cost. The other candidates have not been revealed.
CU students have voiced their opinions on the process over the past weeks.
“I don’t really know how else they could’ve gone about it,” said Tara Buchalter, a senior economics major.
Other said they felt uninformed of the specifics of the process.
Matt Hong, a sophomore Germanic studies major, said that “(The financial aspect) hasn’t been circulated well in the news, especially among students.”
Marskman added that he would’ve appreciated more insight into the financial situation surrounding the nomination.
“It would definitely put things in a better perspective,” Marskman said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Spencer Everett at firstname.lastname@example.org.