Regents disagree on whether students were fairly represented on PSC
Although some students are saying that more of their peers should have been on the Presidential Search Committee, those who served on it are saying that student interests were taken into account as they looked for a new president.
“I saw it as part of my responsibility to consider what I know to be student concerns,” said David Getches, dean of the CU Law School, who served on the 17-person committee that eventually nominated Bruce Benson to succeed current President Hank Brown.
Regent Steve Bosley, who chaired the PSC, said that those on the committee took the job of searching for a new president very seriously, and that people from all different backgrounds were brought in.
“The regents’ number one job is to pick a president,” Bosley said, adding that the original committee would have only been composed of one Regent, three faculty members, one dean and one student.
The final committee had five faculty members and two deans, as well as one campus staff member, one student, three alumni and four community members.
Bosley said the Regents considered a variety of qualities when they picked the PSC members. He listed geographic representation, diverse backgrounds and experience as some of the things he found important in order for the PSC to “help identify leadership.”
Bosley also said that the idea of increasing the number of students simply never came up. While he said he disagrees with the notion that students were not represented fairly on the committee, he also said that the regents might want to think about revising the presidential selection process.
“It’s probably time to take a look at the whole process,” Bosley said.
The single student on the search committee, Rebekah Griffith, is a student at CU-Denver. To see the other members of the committee, click here.
CU regent Cindy Carlisle, who recently came out against Benson after initially voting for him, said she was looking for people with more of a background in academics to be on the PSC.
She said she voted against including community members and alumni on the committee because she did want them to outnumber the faculty on the committee. She also said that would have liked to see another regent on the committee, possibly herself.
“[The committee] used to be predominantly faculty,” Carlisle said. “I hoped there would be another regent.I wanted to be on the committee.”
As far as student representation is concerned, Carlisle said she would be in favor of increasing the number of students on future search committees, as well as the number of staff. She said she came to that conclusion after attending a meeting where Benson met with student leaders at CU on Feb. 11.
One of the students at that meeting voiced their concern regarding the make-up of the PSC, and Carlisle said that having more students on the committee struck her as a good idea.
“It’s a perfectly valid position,” Carlisle said.
Dustin Farivar, a junior political science major and UCSU Legislative Council vice president, said he wanted to be on the committee and has been a frequent critic of the presidential search process.
“From a student perspective, I know that not only is each student experience different, but also each student has a different interaction with the CU community based on their respective school for (any) of the four campuses,” Farivar wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday. “As a top tier research institution composed of primarily students we need to keep their interests at heart just as much as faculty, staff, community, alumni and administration leadership.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Rob Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.