A Weld County resident and University of Colorado Boulder alumnus is seeking a seat on a statewide board that governs his alma mater in hopes of helping the system maintain competitive tuition rates while also expanding the tuition guarantee offered at CU Boulder to other campuses.
Eric Rinard is one of two Republican candidates hoping to be nominated during this month’s primary election in order to secure a place on the November general election ballot for the CU Board of Regents’ 8th Congressional District.
Rinard, a Denver native, graduated from CU Boulder in 1985 with a degree in electrical engineering. After that, he went on to work in Texas but moved back to Colorado not long after and has been working at various technology companies since, he said.
When Colorado created the 8th Congressional District, a friend approached Rinard and encouraged him to run. Rinard, who also sits on the board of directors at Aspen Ridge Preparatory School and is the secretary for the Weld Republican Party, decided to give the idea some thought. He eventually decided to throw his hat in the ring and begin his candidacy for the 8th Congressional District.
“Before I started looking into the current situation, I thought (tuition) costs needed to be brought way down,” he said. “I realized that CU’s tuition costs are among the lowest in the country. The costs are still high, but they are very competitive with other universities. I would work to keep tuition low and to maintain the four-year fixed tuition for other campuses.”
CU Boulder’s tuition guarantee program ensures incoming students will pay the same tuition rate for four years.
An incoming CU Boulder student in the College of Arts and Sciences will pay about $13,106 per year for in-state tuition and fees, according to the Bursar’s Office website. The average cost of tuition and fees for U.S. public universities is about $9,349, according to information from EducationData.org.
If elected to the board, Rinard said he would make it a priority to help students learn about grants and scholarships to help keep their college debt low.
Rinard said another priority he would promote are CU’s four strategic planning pillars: affordability and student success; discovery and impact; diversity, inclusion, equity and access; and fiscal strength.
“I think those are very well done,” he said. “I think over the long term, they will continue to serve the university well.”
Rinard said he believes the CU system, particularly the Boulder campus, has done a great job of protecting freedom of speech for students. As a regent, he would continue to promote that work to ensure students feel respected sharing their thoughts and values.
“Going to CU was one of the most fulfilling, transformative events of my life, and I am proud of my university and I want to do whatever I can do to continue to keep it the exemplary institution that it is,” he said.