Experts: CU, others violating ‘spirit of the law’ with sole finalists

Daily Camera: The University of Colorado system has named a single finalist in its past four presidential searches, but some question whether doing so follows the spirit of the law.

University officials say naming sole finalists is necessary to ensure they get the best applicants, but others who study the issue say whether a search is secret or open doesn’t affect the quality of applicants.

The recent selection of Mark Kennedy to replace President Bruce Benson has ignited criticism of CU’s process yet again. Kennedy, who is leaving his post as president of the University of North Dakota, faced backlash for his lack of direct answers during open forums, his conservative congressional voting record and controversies during his time in higher education.

But some also took issue with the search process, calling for more finalists to be named or considered. The search committee sent six candidates for consideration to the Board of Regents, which initially voted unanimously to name Kennedy as the sole finalist. After Kennedy was publicly named for 14 days, as legally required, the regents voted 5-4, along party lines, to name Kennedy the CU system’s next president.

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