CU system regents to discuss student-athlete safety, budgets

The regents will also elect a chair and vice chair for the board

In the day since Mark Kennedy was announced as the sole finalist in the University of Colorado System presidential search, students have organized a rally in opposition to the choice, faculty have expressed concern and an open letter against Kennedy has begun circulating.
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The University of Colorado system Board of Regents will discuss student-athlete safety and campus economic impacts, and it will elect the board chair and vice chair at its June meeting at Williams Village at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The meeting, which will be outgoing President Bruce Benson’s last, will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. through noon Friday. It includes a panel at 4 p.m. Thursday on health and wellness in intercollegiate athletics, which will feature Athletic Director Rick George; Associate Athletic Director Miguel Rueda; Matt McQueen and Theresa Hernandez, both research professors; Joseph Jupille, a faculty athletic representative and professor; and Dr. Eric McCarty, the head team physician.

The panel is expected to discuss concussions in student athletes, as well as legislation supporting student athletes and their roles within the athletic department.

Regent Linda Shoemaker, D-Boulder, has publicly criticized the football program, highlighting the physical risks with the sport as well as the moral issues of making money off of student athletes.

The board will begin the meeting with three executive sessions, the first of which entails personnel matters and legal issues. Public comment is scheduled shortly after 1 p.m.

The Committee on Rights and Compensation, a group of CU Boulder graduate student workers advocating for better working conditions and pay, plans to rally outside the meeting from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday as well as have speakers during the public comment period.

“We must continue to apply grassroots pressure to the Board of Regents to ensure a full fee waiver for graduate workers,” the event’s Facebook page says.

Regents will consider the CU system capital construction budget and operating budget, which won’t be posted online until it’s presented at the meeting. The board also will consider approving several new degrees, as well as renovation plans for buildings across the system. CU Boulder is proposing renovations for the Hellems Arts and Sciences building, the Guggenheim Geography building, the Henderson Building and Macky Auditorium.

The University Affairs Committee will present two potential voting items on Friday. One is a proposed letter on freedom of expression that would be sent to incoming freshmen, and the other is a report on the campuses’ proposed civics programs. The committee only approved the proposal from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, which has a price tag of just under $500,000, to move forward for board approval.

Before the meeting adjourns on Friday, the regents will elect a chair and vice chair. Sue Sharkey, R-Castle Rock, currently is chair of the board, and Jack Kroll, D-Denver, is vice chair. System spokesman Ken McConnellogue said candidates will be nominated at the meeting. The positions must be split between parties, but the chair could be a Democrat, even though the board majority is Republican.

The regents won’t meet again until August, as they have a retreat scheduled in July.

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