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Boulder Weekly Vote Guide 2018

By Boulder Weekly Staff - October 11, 2018

The CU Board of Regents has been on a sort of conservative crusade over the last several years, calling for measurements of the political climate on campus, creation of programs centered on conservative thought and hiring faculty to teach conservative thought. Board Chair Sue Sharkey even made the unsavory and uncultivated comparison between being conservative on campus and being gay.

Now, with CU President Bruce Benson set to retire next year, the Board of Regents will be tasked with finding his successor. Benson, for the record, was an oil man with no experience in education. He was also the only candidate the Board considered.

We need a Board of Regents that prioritizes academic achievement over political agendas, and that casts a reasonably wide net in its search for a qualified candidate for CU’s new president. We believe Lesley Smith has the skills and values to help with that. Lesley spent 30 years as a scientist and educator at CU, and served on the Boulder Valley School Board for eight years. She is currently on the Colorado Science Education Network steering committee.

Smith champions online degree programs through the CU system so that people living in rural areas or who have full-time jobs and families can obtain degrees from CU schools without having to come to campus. She supports a CU system wide guaranteed tuition, like the one implemented on the Boulder campus, that locks students into a tuition rate without increases across their college career. She hopes to bring student and faculty pay up to rates equivalent to other PAC 12 schools, an issue she believes is making it difficult for the CU system to attract staff and students.