Published: Oct. 4, 2018

Norlin Library buildingThe Boulder Faculty Assembly thanks the Board of Regents for inviting comment about the “leadership/professional attributes [we] believe our next president should possess.”  In offering our comments below, we also wish to thank President Benson for his years of dedicated service.

The Boulder Faculty Assembly, drawing on broad discussions over the last year regarding the future of our campus and the university, supports the selection of a President who:

  • Fights for public education.

We seek a CU president who unabashedly fights for “the public good” in public higher education.  Such a fight begins but by no means ends with securing state funding and with good ongoing relations with the governor and state legislature.  Fighting for the public good requires that the president take an active public-facing role in communicating with our citizens, helping them recognize both the value to our civil society of a liberal education and the contributions that CU-Boulder extends to Colorado, and the world.

  • Seeks affordability for all students.

We seek a president who, as leader of a public university, is committed to affordability and access.  These values require the president to seek public support for public funding, even as he or she works diligently to raise funds from supporters of the university who are themselves agents of the public good. To be a great public university, we must welcome and serve the public.

  • Emphasizes the valuable impact of public engagement and scholarship.

We seek a president who not only supports cutting-edge research and engaged teaching, but also advocates that the fruits of discovery should have a considerable impact on public understanding and civic engagement.  Public-facing scholarship enhances mutual understanding and trust, constantly renewing the reservoirs of citizen support for the work of public higher education. 

  • Supports and has common bonds with the faculty, who, through their inquiry, teaching, and service, express core academic values and function as the engine driving the university.

We seek a president who understands the faculty and their commitments to core academic values, and in turn motivates the faculty to greater excellence.  Although the regents, the president, and administrative leaders can help chart the way, the faculty are the true engines of our collective success, and they deserve a president who honors their work.

  • Endorses and respects the outcomes of a robust system of shared faculty governance. 

We seek a president who supports the important role of faculty in the work of a public university, and who commits to and respects a robust system of shared faculty governance (at various levels) that ensures the collaborative role of faculty in setting policy and making decisions.

  • Encourages campus efforts to explore and offer new educational models, as appropriate to each campus’s mission.

We seek a president who appreciates how new educational models can build on and invigorate the existing strengths of the university.  Such new models include a strong commitment to interdisciplinarity and the appropriate use of technologies—in and beyond our current classrooms—to better reach students. 

  • Commits to transparency and effective communication and collaboration with faculty and other stakeholders, both in and beyond the university community.

We seek a president who appreciates that trust is born of transparency, and who endeavors to communicate clearly and honestly with all stakeholders.  The trust that follows from these efforts is what forges the collaboration necessary to achieve the university’s mission.

  • Supports and enacts a commitment to inclusive excellence as a core value that undergirds all that we do.

We seek a president who understands that our diversity is our strength, and that inclusion provides a path to true excellence.Such an understanding needs to be wed to a commitment to act on such values.

  • Works as a visionary who can bring stakeholders together in common cause, drawing on the distinctive strengths and missions of the various campuses and their constituencies.

We seek a president who can communicate and realize a vision born of the aspirations of those in our university community.  Such a leader brings people together precisely because he or she is a listener, and can tap into and leverage our collective and often diverse ideas, talents, and experiences. 


See the complete statement here