Q: Who chooses the president of the University of Colorado?
A: As noted in the guiding principles for the search the board has articulated, the poplularly elected Board of Regents of the University of Colorado, who are directly accountable to the voters of the State of Colorado, has the statutory authority and responsibility to elect the institution’s president (Colorado Revised Statutes 23-20-106) through a formal public action of the board. Before doing so, the board has also stated in its guiding principles for the search that it intends to engage the university community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors) and the general public in the process. The engagement often takes the form of outreach/listening sessions, as well as a form for constituents to provide feedback about the job or the process. The board typically appoints a search committee as defined in Regent Policy 3-C (although the board has the authority to deviate from that policy).
Q: Who is serving as president during the search?
A: In early June 2021, the Board of Regents voted unanimously to select Todd Saliman (CU’s vice president for strategy, government relations and chief financial officer) to serve as president. He will do so until the search is successfully completed.
Q: What steps have the Board of Regents taken regarding the search to this point?
A: In addition to appointing Todd Saliman to serve as president in the interim, the board has had several discussions about the search and the job/qualities of the president. At the board’s annual retreat July 12-14, it broadly discussed the search, the desired qualities of a president, how to engage the university community and public in the search, administrative support for the search and the use of a search firm. The board approved changes to Regent Policy 3-C and its revision. The regents invited comment on the presidency from the four campus chancellors, presidents of other Colorado universities and the CU Foundation. The Regents have started listening sessions with key constituent groups on CU’s campuses about the next president and are scheduling sessions with external groups. The board also considered lessons learned from its most recent presidential search. The university has issued an RFP to select a firm to assist with the search.
Q: How long does a presidential search take?
A: A search typically takes nine months to a year, but the board will take the time necessary to find the right person for the position.
Q: Who serves on the search committee?
A: Regent Policy 3-C articulates the typical composition of a search committee, including at least two regents; one dean of a school, college, or library; four faculty who are members of the Faculty Senate, one representing each campus; two students, one undergraduate and one graduate; two staff; two alumni/ae; one member of the University of Colorado Foundation Board of Directors; and four community members. The policy notes that “the board may also appoint additional members if deemed appropriate.”
Q: Is Regent Policy 3-C undergoing revisions?
A: Yes. The board approved changes at the September 10 board meeting, and the updated policy is on the website: https://www.cu.edu/regents/policy/3
Q: How can someone apply to be on the search committee?
A: The Board of Regents will issue a call for nominations at a special board meeting on September 21. While the board considers nominations from any source, it typically engages shared governance groups (students, faculty and staff) to request nominations.
Q: When will the search committee be formed?
A: The Board of Regents is expected to select members of the search committee some time during fall semester 2021. It does so in a formal public action.
Q: Who chairs the search committee?
A: One or more members of the Board of Regents chairs the search committee.
Q: Will the search be national in scope?
A: When the Board of Regents empanels a search committee, it provides it with a charge, which includes the scope of the search.
Q: What else does the charge to the search committee include?
A: The charge to the committee typically will include the search’s scope, target dates for completing each stage of the search process, any affirmative action requirements, arrangements for campus visits, provisions by which the committee handles communications, and the procedures for the committee to follow in the use of a search firm.
Q: Will the Board of Regents use a search firm?
A: The board has indicated it intends to use a search firm and the university has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for search firms to provide details on how they intend to work with the university to find a president. That firm will be selected some time during fall semester.
Q: Who selects the search firm?
A: After a team of university administrative and procurement personnel, using the standard university procurement procedures, reviews proposals and provides the Board of Regents with a short list of possible firms. After the board interviews potential firms, it provides feedback to the procurement team, which selects a firm based on standard procurement procedures.
Q: When does the search begin in earnest?
A: The search begins after the board makes its decision on the search committee, issues a charge to the committee, selects a search firm, finalizes a job description and advertises the position. The search is likely to begin during late fall or early spring semester.
Q: How will the Board of Regents keep people informed of progress on the search?
A: As noted in its guiding principles for the search, it “will proceed with transparency while also honoring candidate confidentiality, as determined by state law. The board will regularly communicate progress.” The board will use this web site as its primary communication vehicle for search updates, but will supplement them with additional communications as needed.
Q: How many finalists will the board bring forward?
A: By Colorado law, the board can bring forward one or more finalists. At a point in the search, it will declare one of more candidates as finalist(s). Once that happens, the board will make the application material submitted by the candidate(s) public.
Q: Why doesn’t the Board of Regents bring forward several finalists so the university community can have a voice in the selection?
A: The board has the option to bring more than one finalist forward. It will ensure the university community has a voice in the process by engaging them in deliberate ways while also carefully considering input/feedback provided electronically. The Board will also empanel a search committee whose membership includes representation from a diverse cross section of the CU community.
Q: What happens after the board names a finalist or finalists?
A: The final candidate(s) must have their application materials made public for at least two weeks before the Board of Regents can take formal action to select a candidate. During that time, the candidate(s) typically visit each of CU’s campuses and engage in public forums.
Q: Will candidates’ names and application materials be made public during the search?
A: Under Colorado’s Open Meetings Act and Open Records Act, the majority of the search process is not a public process and the records are not subject to public disclosure [Colorado Revised Statutes 24-6-402 (3) (d) (3.5); 24-72-204 (3) (a) (XI)]. However, the university has determined it will make certain demographic information for candidates available while not revealing names.
Q: How will the board ensure an inclusive search that strongly considers diverse candidates?
A: The board has stated in its guiding principles for the search that it “is committed to an inclusive and diverse search, with the candidates it recruits, the individuals appointed to the search committee, and in the communities and individuals it engages through listening tours.” Additionally, the search follows university procedures to ensure a diverse pool of candidates.
Q: How can people provide input into the search process, search committee and/or desired qualities in a president?
A: People can engage through participating in the listening sessions/outreach meetings the board will host on CU campuses and in selected communities around the state. The board will also engage a number of groups and organizations that have a relationship with CU, including diversity-based organizations, business groups and regional affinity groups. Additionally, any person or group can provide input by submitting a web form.
Q: When will the search be complete?
A: When the Board of Regents votes to name the next president in a public action and the parties agree to a contract.