February 21, 2008

Bruce Benson Elected CU President On Party Line Vote

For the first time since the early 1970s, a CU president is elected without a unanimous vote:
Bruce Benson was named the 22nd president of the University of Colorado tonight, despite criticism from some faculty, students and staff that the millionaire oilman doesn't have the academic credentials and is too tied to Republican politics.

The CU Board of Regents voted 6 to 3, on a party-line vote, to hire Benson to replace Hank Brown.

It marks the first time since 1974 that a CU president has been hired without a unanimous vote.

Regents Tillie Bishop, Steve Bosley, Pat Hayes, Kyle Hybl, Tom Lucero and Paul Schauer — all Republicans — voted yes, saying Benson's qualifications are unmatched.

"No one in Colorado today has a higher understanding of higher education in Colorado as Mr. Benson," Bosley said.
And the sticks in the mud:
The three no votes came from the board's three Democrats — Cindy Carlisle, Michael Carrigan and Steve Ludwig.

Ludwig insisted the vote was not a true party-line vote, saying politics had nothing to do with his decision.

"We need great relations with Colorado state lawmakers," he said. "Another controversy or controversial figure sucks all the oxygen out of the room."

Carrigan said Benson had been too polarizing a choice, while Carlisle took exception with the board bringing forward only one finalist.
The Drunkablog was following earlier faculty and student reactions to Benson's nomination.

Bruce Benson's election as CU president illustrates the immense importance of down ticket elections; in this case, the 6-3 GOP advantage in CU Regents. Benson's party line election, following a nomination process full of partisan rancor couched in questions over his qualifications, demonstrated the seething intolerance emitted by the moonbats in the faculty and the students themselves throughout the CU system. Democrats Sen. Ken Salazar and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper were among a handful of Dems who saw through the partisanship and believed that Benson was eminently qualified to lead CU as an institution, and not some GOP hack.

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