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A strong candidate and an incumbent emerge in races for CU Board of Regents

Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 7:03 AM

Regents at-largeBoth major-party candidates for an at-large seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents this year are well qualified for the post.

We had the pleasure of interviewing the Republican, Ken Montera, a retired business executive, and the Democrat, Lesley Smith, a scientist and an educator.

We wish the Regents did not have a partisan cast. We don’t really see what party politics has to do with oversight of a big and laudable university system. We asked both Montera and Smith about this, and both convinced us that their aims were purely to see CU be the best it can be.

However, partisan politics have encroached on the CU Regents as they are now composed. President Donald Trump recently tweeted that he thought Google’s search engine was unfair to conservatives. A majority of the nine regents are conservatives who lately have been concerned that not enough is being done to ensure there are conservative voices and faculty on campus.

We get it. We’re just not sure it’s their job. If the regents are going to crusade, we want them to crusade for higher education and access to it.

Smith, a longtime Boulder resident, would be the only regent who has faculty experience. She is concerned with ways to make a CU education more affordable, which we think is terribly important. She is a “pragmatic Democrat,” she told us. If the board is truly concerned with diversity, she is just the leavening it needs. We like Lesley Smith for CU Board of Regents.