Mark Kennedy’s Slow-Motion CU Train Wreck Nears End

UPDATE #2: Congressman Joe Neguse, whose district includes CU-Boulder (Neguse is a former CU Regent) joins the chorus:

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UPDATE: Denver Post editorial board weighs in strongly against Mark Kennedy:

We didn’t expect the Republican-led Board of Regents to choose a president who the Boulder campus would welcome with open arms. But we did expect them to select a finalist who could bring together the board and the diverse elements that comprise CU with a collective sense of confidence in the new president’s ability to lead.

Unfortunately, Mark Kennedy has shown over the past two weeks that he is not that individual. We urge the regents to not force a vote Thursday on Kennedy, which is certain to be split after two regents — Irene Griego and Linda Shoemaker — have publicly said they will not support Kennedy. If a vote must take place now, we have no option but to urge the nine regents not to support Kennedy and to begin the search for president anew.

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As the Colorado Independent’s Susan Greene reports, despite the near-universal negative response to the “sole finalist” for the next President of the University of Colorado, former Minnesota Republican congressman Mark Kennedy, the one-seat GOP majority on the CU Board of Regents means the vote tomorrow could still defy the consensus from faculty and students that Kennedy isn’t fit for the job:

CU scholars, researchers, adjunct professors, other faculty members and staffers, students and alumni immediately started voicing concerns about Kennedy on social media, on campus, in class, and on a portal the university created for public input. As of Monday morning, there were 2,812 submissions…Overall, 129 commenters gave Kennedy an “Outstanding” ranking, while 1,035 said he would have “Difficulty in most areas.”

Regent Chance Hill, a Republican from the 5th Congressional District, has dismissed Kennedy’s detractors, whom he refers to as Far Leftists, and decried what he calls a “gauntlet of unreasonable attacks, inaccurate news headlines, and slanderous smears along with a fixation over a few votes (Kennedy) cast — out of more than 4,000 — during his six years in Congress.”

“With all of their purported progressive enlightenment and so-called open-mindedness, they cannot tolerate the notion of a Republican occasionally challenging their liberal college fiefdoms where people suffer real negative consequences if they dare challenge the Leftist orthodoxy that dominates campus culture,” Hill wrote on Monday.

As of now, two of the four Democratic members of the Board of Regents, Irene Griego and Linda Shoemaker, and announced they will vote against Kennedy’s nomination. Former Senator Mark Udall called for the search to be re-opened this week, after Gov. Jared Polis made a similar call the week prior.

Although the Republican majority on the Board has been downright bellicose (see above) in their dismissal of concerns raised and not properly addressed during Kennedy’s tour, it’s not yet a foregone conclusion that Kennedy will be approved. Resistance to Kennedy is significantly greater than the opposition to outgoing President Bruce Benson, who despite his conservative political record had deep local ties. Kennedy has nothing to offer except a promise to do better than his record tells us he will.

And with that, we’ll have to wait and see how insulated the Regents are from the community they serve.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PodestaEmails says:

    In two years they'll be talking about how great Mark Kennedy is and how the hippies lost their shit for no good reason.

    • unnamed says:

      Oh hey Poddy Mouth.  Did you just get back from the parallel universe where Cynthia Coffman is Governor of Colorado and Mike Coffman is still in congress?

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      What exactly happened to you? What became of that brain-dead shill named Moderatus who cheerfully parroted the party line but managed to avoid profanity? Now you are stupid, angry and vulgar.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Ah, the optimistic voice from Southern Colorado opines.

      Just curious — how many years have you been in higher ed?  How many university presidents or state-wide higher ed executives have you worked with? Can you tell us anything about the experience of Hank Brown or Bruce Benson as higher ed leaders? 

    • spaceman65 says:

      Poddy, apparently the University of North Dakota faculty largely agree that he's a disaster as their president, based on his actual performance.  Call it what you want, but he's unqualified and has no place at Colorado's flagship University (that's CU, not the joke that is CCU).

  2. unnamed says:

    R and R.  What happened to him?  His party got it's ass kicked last fall.  He then fell into perpetual butthurt sore loser mode.  He refuses to take his own advice:

    Fuck off sore losers!!

  3. Davie says:

    If we don't take Kennedy, UND is going to be really pissed!  They couldn't unload the job-hopper once before to Central Florida, so no wonder they eagerly took the news of his shopping CU as a defacto resignation!

  4. The realist says:

    Pols duplicated my comment.

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