The Laws of the Regents, "Principles of Participation" state:
Yet during the presidential search of 2008, the regents conspicuously ignored the recommendations of many university faculty and student groups, as well as the extraordinary motions of the Boulder Faculty Assembly.
As was the case in the 2005 search, in 2008 only a single finalist was brought forward by the regent search committee.
In both 2005 and 2008, the single finalist selected was a prominent member of the Colorado Republican Party, without advanced academic qualifications.
In 2008 the Boulder Faculty Assembly unanimously voted no confidence in the search process which produced only a single finalist:
Motion on Presidential Search Procedure BFA-X-M2-020408
Recent searches for the President of the University of Colorado
have arrived at a single finalist; and
A single finalist diminishes the opportunity for significant
University of Colorado stakeholders to participate in the
Let it be moved
That the Boulder Faculty Assembly has no confidence in the
current process of selecting a new President; and
That the Regents change policies under Regent Policy 3-E
(Searches for Administrators and Guidelines for the Appointment
of Chief Officers of the University) to ensure that:
(1) the search committee is more representative of campus student,
staff, faculty, and administrative governance bodies;
(2) the Regents engage in direct consultation with faculty governance
groups on each of the system's campuses before the announcement of a
final nominee or nominees; and
(3) the search committee bring forward more than one finalist.
BFA Motion on Presidential Search Procedure, February 14, 2008
We respectfully request that the president search be continued
and that one or more additional finalists be brought forward in
complete fulfillment of the charge to the search committee and
the laws of the Regents.
BFA Motion on CU President Search, February 14, 2008
In addition, the Boulder Faculty Assembly voted 40 - 4 against the single finalist brought forward by the presidential search committee:
Boulder Faculty Assembly Executive Committee Motion
on Support for Presidential Candidate Finalist Bruce Benson
C. Motion - "Support for Presidential Candidate Finalist Bruce Benson"
The Boulder Faculty Assembly supports the nomination of Bruce Benson
as President of CU.
This motion failed with 40 nays, 4 yeas, and 2 abstentions.
BFA Minutes, February 14, 2008, page 3
Although the 40 to 4 vote against the single finalist represented an extraordinarily unified and emphatic vote by the BFA, the regents as a body did not offer any substantive response to Boulder faculty concerns about either the nominee or the search process.
At the final regent meeting held to discuss and vote on the single finalist for president, February 20, 2008, just 6 days after BFA vote, only 2 of the 9 regents made reference to the BFA votes, and the board voted to deny - without discussion - a motion to reopen the search process and bring forward three to five finalists.
From the minutes of the meeting:
Regent Carlisle: Given the comments made by faculty, students, staff, and the wider university community around the state and the nation, I move that the Regents of the University of Colorado re-open the search process bringing forward three to five finalists with Mr. Benson counted among them, if so desired, in a public process.
Regent Carrigan: I second the motion.
Chair Hayes: Discussion? [No discussion] All in favor of the motion signal by aye. Opposed, same sign. Motion fails.
Comments of the Board of Regents prior to the vote, February 20, 2008, page 1
. . .
Regent Carrigan: Never in CU's history has a presidential nominee received [such] broad-based opposition. Of course, it is true this is the public's university as well but our faculty, staff and students are the life and blood of this school and they have overwhelmingly opposed Mr. Benson. Among the groups that have taken that position, the Boulder Faculty Assembly voted 10-1 and the Boulder Student Government voted overwhelmingly against as well. But this is more than just Boulder. The downtown Denver faculty was surveyed and voted 2-1 to oppose him and the Intercampus Student Forum representing all 50,000 students opposed his nomination. In contrast, I am unaware of a single formal group that endorsed the search committee's choice of Mr. Benson.
Comments of the Board of Regents prior to the vote, February 20, 2008, page 9
The regents then voted 5 to 3 to confirm the single finalist as the next president of the university.
Minutes for Regent Special Meeting February 20, 2008