Monisha Merchant has resigned her seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents to become senior advisor for business affairs for Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.
Merchant, a Lakewood Democrat whose six-year term began in January 2009 after she won election in November 2008, resigned effective Sept. 25. Under state law, the governor appoints a successor to serve until the next general election, set for November 2012. That election will determine who holds the seat for the final two years of the term. The governor’s appointee must reside in the 7th congressional district.
“This was not an easy decision,” Merchant said. “It has been an honor to be on the University of Colorado Board of Regents. CU is an incredible institution – with strong academics, faculty and research.
“I look forward to working with people across Colorado in my new position.”
Regent Kyle Hybl (R-Colorado Springs), chair of the CU Board of Regents, said the board “appreciates Regent Merchant’s service to the university and all its constituents. She brought clear thinking and important perspective to all of our discussions.”
Regent Michael Carrigan (D-Denver), vice chair of the board, said Merchant “has a passion for the power and possibilities of higher education and in her work on the board, she brought a commitment to ensuring that the opportunity of a college education remains available to all Coloradans.”
The Board of Regents last had a vacancy in 1976, when Jim Carrigan (father of Regent Michael Carrigan) was named to the Colorado Supreme Court. Gov. Dick Lamm appointed Rachel Noel to finish out the term; she was sworn in on Oct. 21, 1976, then two years later won election to a full, six-year term.
CU President Bruce Benson said the CU community wishes Merchant the best in her new endeavor.
“We appreciate Monisha Merchant’s dedicated service to the people of the state and to the University of Colorado’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends,” Benson said. “She has been a diligent board member who thoughtfully addressed critical issues facing the university and has also been a staunch advocate for ensuring that CU continues its place as one of the top public universities in the world.”