University of Colorado

The University of Colorado Board of Regents approved its presidential search committee Thursday and announced the search firm that will assist in the process. 

Sixteen members were approved to be on the committee out of a pool of 110 nominees. The members of the search committee are made up of university faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as community members from across Colorado, according to a news release from the university. 

Regent Sue Sharkey was also named vice chair of the search committee and will join fellow Regent Lesley Smith, who was voted as the chair of the committee earlier this year. 

"Today's actions move us into the next phase of the presidential search and position the university for a successful search," Smith said in a release. "The board is committed to creating an inclusive process that will attract the best talent and deliver the next president who will lead our university forward."

The members of the search committee are:

  • University faculty representatives: Emily Yeh (CU Boulder); Cindy O’Bryant (CU Anschutz); Maryam Darbeheshti (CU Denver); Mary Coussons-Read (UCCS)
  • Dean representative: Paul Teske (CU Denver)
  • Staff representatives: Jasmine Evans (CU Boulder); Darren Chavez (CU Boulder)
  • Student representatives: Christopher Hilton, undergraduate (CU Denver); William Mundo, graduate (CU Denver and CU Anschutz)
  • Alumni representative: David Foster; Velveta Golightly-Howell
  • Community representatives: Javier Soto; La Titia Taylor; Sara Blackhurt; Nadine Bridges
  • CU Foundation Board of Directors representative: Nan Joesten

In addition to approving the search committee's members, the regents named Pennsylvania-based Storbeck Search as the firm that will assist with the search. 

Storbeck Search was chosen over a dozen national search firms and is led by Shelly Weiss Storbeck, who has conducted more than 500 searches for higher-education establishments and nonprofit organizations, according to the release.

The announcement comes just over four months after Mark Kennedy, the university's former president, resigned after being censured by CU Boulder's teaching staff on April 29 for actions and comments he made regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.

Kennedy was given a $1.36 million severance that was approved by the board of regents. 

Since Kennedy's resignation, the regents said they've conducted "months-long outreach" to hear perspectives from various internal and external stakeholders on what they'd like to see in the next president.

Additionally, the regents participated in forums on all four of the university's campuses with the system administration to gather additional input from faculty, staff and students. 

"The board has spent many hours over the past few months listening to our stakeholders from across Colorado," board chairman Jack Kroll said in a release. "All of us share a commitment to finding the best president for the University of Colorado. Ultimately, when the board makes its decision, it will be greatly influenced by the input we have received."

The next steps in the search process are expected to occur on Dec. 8, when the regents are scheduled to finalize the search committee's description and duties. Then in January, the search committee will begin meeting regularly with Storbeck to begin the search. 

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