The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents on Monday disclosed a demographic breakdown of candidates they have considered in their search that began last September to select a new president but did not name any of the candidates.
Hundreds of people expressed interest in the job, the regents said, and they relied on a Pennsylvania-based firm, Storbeck Search, which presented a 19-member search team with a pool of 39 candidates.
The governing regents announced that these included “13 women and 26 men – 13 candidates from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) groups – from 20 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and international candidates.”
Search team members then interviewed 10 candidates: seven women and three men – two BIPOC candidates – from seven states, the regents said. The search team then picked five highly qualified candidates, and sent these names – unranked – to the regents for interviews. Those five candidates included three women and two men, and one BIPOC candidate, from five states.
The regents are expected to announce “a finalist or finalists” after a vote on Tuesday, and select a president by the end of this month after the finalist or finalists tour CU campuses. “We look forward to receiving significant public input after Tuesday’s vote,” the regents wrote in a statement issued Monday morning from board chair Jack Kroll, vice chair Sue Sharkey and search team leader Lesley Smith.
CU’s previous president Mark Kennedy resigned last June after a two-year tenure strained by controversy over his conservative political positions. The CU faculty censured Kennedy for “failure to lead” on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion.
One of the candidates to be president is CU’s interim president Todd Saliman, who last December revealed he would seek the job. The initial interim presidency contract for Saliman stipulated that he wouldn’t apply for the permanent position, and CU officials last year issued a statement saying “Saliman has said he will not apply for the permanent position.” The regents in September modified the contract to allow Saliman to seek the job.
Courts have backed up CU’s position that it does not have to name finalists. CU administrators contend they cannot attract strong candidates if names are made public because that could hurt candidates in their current jobs.
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