CU Regent Michael Carrigan, D-Denver
CU Regent Michael Carrigan, D-Denver (University of Colorado)

In an unprecedented and persistent deadlock that, in the end, pitted Democrat Michael Carrigan against Republican Steve Bosley, the University of Colorado's Board of Regents failed to elect a new board chairman Friday.

The nine-member board, during its meeting on the Boulder campus, voted 14 times over the course of about 90 minutes before ultimately deciding to adjourn. The process included three breaks -- including one to allow staff members to make more photocopies because they ran out of paper ballots for the secret vote.

Patrick O'Rourke, CU's chief counsel, admitted that Friday's stalemate presented a somewhat gray area under university law. However, the board's current chairman -- Carrigan, D-Denver -- will remain in the position until a new chairperson is elected.

CU Regent Steve Bosley, R-Broomfield
CU Regent Steve Bosley, R-Broomfield (University of Colorado)

The board could either hold a special meeting or wait until its retreat in July to once again attempt to elect a chairperson.

The chair of Board of Regents is in charge of setting the agenda, being a spokesperson for the board and resolving disputes. The chairperson also is responsible for assigning board members to committees. That task is supposed to happen between prior to the board's retreat in July.

Early nominations indicated a split amongst the Republicans on the board. Republican Kyle Hybl, of Colorado Springs, nominated Bosley, R-Broomfield. But Sue Sharkey, R-Windsor, nominated her Republican colleague Jim Geddes, R-Sedalia, calling him a "bold leader.


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Carrigan represented the Democrats and was nominated by Stephen Ludwig, D-Denver. Ludwig, in his nomination, said Carrigan has improved how the meetings are run and ensures everybody on the board gets a voice.

Geddes withdrew from the early three-way race after earning two votes. He then nominated Sharkey, who also withdrew after earning two votes.

When the vote pitted Carrigan and Bosley against one another, there were several rounds of 4-4 votes, with one abstention during the secret balloting.

Sharkey then left the meeting early for an appointment and the votes deadlocked at 4-4. However, sources said Sharkey may not have been the regent abstaining from the earlier votes.

Regents expressed disappointment that they weren't able to appoint a new chairperson.

"It was unfortunate that we couldn't come to a decision about the leadership of the board today," Geddes said in an interview after the meeting. "Despite that occurring, I would like to make it clear that I feel Regent Carrigan has done a superb job chairing the Board of Regents. This should be no reflection upon his performance."

Carrigan, during his tenure as chairman, consistently has chosen to abstain from voting on resolutions and the consent agenda unless he's needed to break a tie.

He said if he's re-elected as chairman, he likely would continue to do so.

However, earlier in the day Friday, Carrigan did vote in favor of approving the university's 2013-2014 budget. Asked why he chose to vote, he said passing the budget and hiring a president are the board's most important duties.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com.