RESOLVED that in accordance with Regent Policy 3E, the Board of Regents expresses its appreciation to the search committee for its service and charges it with the tasks of considering candidates for the position of president of the University of Colorado and recommending qualified candidates for the Board of Regents ultimate consideration. In making those recommendations, the Board of Regents instructs the search committee to consider candidates in a non-partisan and inclusive manner and recommend those candidates who demonstrate the ability to perform the functions of the president as described in Colorado law, regent policy, and this charge; FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Regents approves this charge as stated in the resolution.

Role as Described in Colorado Law and Regent Policy

As described in Colorado law and Regent Policy 3A, the President of the University of Colorado directly reports to the Board of Regents, is the principal executive officer of the university, is a member of the faculty, and carries out the policies and programs of the Regents of the University of Colorado.

As the principal executive officer, the president shall be responsible for the academic, administrative, and fiscal matters of the university and for compliance of all university matters with applicable regent Laws and policies and state and federal constitutions, laws, and regulations. The president shall be the arbiter in case of intra-university conflicts. The president may delegate the responsibility of university academic, administrative, and fiscal operations, so long as the delegation is consistent with other federal and state law and university laws and policies.

The president shall be the chief academic officer of the university and a member of its faculty. As chief academic officer, the president shall be responsible for providing academic leadership for the university in meeting the needs of the state. The president shall maintain and advance the academic policies of the university.

The president shall be the chief spokesperson for the university and interpreter of university policy and shall represent and interpret the roles, goals, and needs of the university throughout the state of Colorado, throughout the United States, and elsewhere.

The president shall be an ex officio member of the Faculty Council. The president is the president of the Faculty Senate.

The president is authorized: (1) to approve appointments and any subsequent related changes, including salaries, in accordance with the delegation of personnel authority approved by the Board of Regents; and (2) to accept, on behalf of the Board of Regents, resignations of all university employees, except the university counsel, and secretary of the Board of Regents, treasurer, and associate vice president of internal audit.

The president is authorized to make and execute contracts on behalf of the university without the prior approval of the Board of Regents, except as may be limited by law, or when the Board of Regents has expressly provided otherwise for a specific contract or category of contracts.

The president shall advise the Board of Regents of matters that the Board of Regents should consider in meeting its policy-making responsibilities.


To perform the duties of the president, a candidate must be able to serve as the chief executive officer of a diverse and complex organization and possess the skills necessary to oversee a system of four campuses, serving more 60,000 students and more than with 30,000 employees. The combined budget of the University of Colorado system is more than $4.5 billion, and CU conducts high-level research across many disciplines.  The president will need to work proactively and collaboratively with the Regents of the University of Colorado, increase CU’s resources, build collaborative partnerships with public and private sector entities, and assist CU in navigating a changing higher education environment. The University of Colorado is more than an institution of higher education. For almost 150 years, CU has served the people of the State of Colorado and contributed to its successes. CU generates an economic impact of more than $12 billion each year in Colorado, and the president serves as CU’s chief ambassador to the local, regional, national, and international communities.

As such, the Board of Regents believes that candidates for the presidency must demonstrate the ability to perform the following functions:

  • The president directly reports to the Regents of the University of Colorado, an elected governing board that the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the university fulfills its mission and advances the interests of the State of Colorado. The president must be a collaborative leader with the Board of Regents and other university leaders to develop and implement both short-term goals and long-term, system-wide strategic initiatives for the University of Colorado.
  • The president is responsible for carrying out board-approved policies and initiatives. As such, the president is responsible for advancing the board’s policies promoting a broad range of diversity, creating financial accountability, protecting freedom of expression and academic freedom, and ensuring access and equality of educational opportunity.
  • The president sets the direction for the CU system and its campuses and is responsible for creating a culture of ethics, accountability, transparency, and integrity. In an era where some question the value of higher education and whether colleges and universities are serving their missions, the president must lead the way, create a community that fosters diversity while confronting society’s hardest questions, place ethics at the forefront of CU’s culture, promote research, teaching, service, and intellectual integrity, fix problems when they arise, and above all earn the trust of those whom CU educates, employs, and serves.
  • The chancellors of the four CU campuses report to the president and serve as the chief executive and academic officers of their campuses. Working in concert with the regents, the president is responsible for defining and implementing the vision and goals for the university system and overseeing the chancellors’ performance in working towards those goals. The Board of Regents envisions that the president will identify the areas where opportunities exist for collaboration between the campuses and foster those opportunities.
  • The president leads a team of university vice presidents who oversee system-level functions. These functions include: academic affairs, advancement, budget and finance, the CU Health Plan, employee services, governmental relations, information security, policy and efficiency, procurement services, controller, university counsel, university services, university relations, and university risk management. The Board of Regents envisions that the president will define the goals and expectations for the vice presidents’ performance and oversee their work in service of the vision and goals of the university system.
  • The president’s role is akin to the chief executive of complex enterprise with several interrelated divisions. The chancellors serve as the chief executive and academic officers of a single campus, and the role of the president is not limited to oversight of the campuses. The president must oversee the entire system, identify major system-level opportunities and risks, and coordinate CU’s efforts to serve the State of Colorado and beyond.
  • The president serves as the chief academic officer of the university. Teaching and research are critical functions of higher education, and the president must advance the academic interests of the university, promote CU’s role as a leading research university, and serve as an advocate for higher education. The president’s experience should lend themselves towards understanding the unique issues of higher education and a commitment to maintaining a culture of free inquiry and academic discourse.
  • The president must be capable of overseeing the operation of a system of differentiated campuses and have a demonstrated record of leading complex organizations, whether public or private, and balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders.
  • The president must be able to adapt to a higher education environment that is rapidly changing, becoming more globalized, and increasingly using technology, including online and digital education, to expand educational opportunities. The president must be able to lead change and innovation both in Colorado and in the national and global communities. The president must be able to challenge the university to consider new models for how it conducts its operations, delivers education, and advances knowledge. The regents anticipate that the president will position CU to lead innovation in higher education.
  • The president is CU’s chief spokesperson and represents the university to constituents within the university, as well as in Colorado, the United States, and the international community.
  • The president engages with elected officials and policymakers at both the state and federal level in a nonpartisan manner, engages with the private sector, and interacts with CU’s alumni, partners, and affiliates. The president must be able to facilitate collaboration and partnerships between public and private entities, serve as a leader across the state’s educational community, and assist in solving the challenges that our communities face.
  • The president must be prepared to confront the financial challenges facing all of higher education. Despite the fact that the State of Colorado lacks the resources that enable other states to provide a higher level of state funding, CU has constrained tuition increases and sought out efficiencies. As higher education evolves, the president must effectively communicate CU’s mission, build and strengthen relationships both within CU and with our strategic partners, generate public support for higher education, and advance CU’s research and philanthropic efforts.
  • The president heads major fundraising initiatives for the university and fosters relationships with the philanthropic community. Fundraising enables CU to fulfill its mission, invest in key initiatives, and provide opportunities to students and faculty.
  • The president serves as a key stakeholder in the shared governance processes that are a guiding principle of the university. Recognizing that our people are our most valuable asset and the university cannot advance research and knowledge without their contributions, the president serves as the conduit between the governance groups and the Board of Regents on matters of interest to the university community.

Scope of Search

The Board of Regents anticipates that the presidential search will be national in scope. The Board of Regents welcomes candidates from within the university and the State of Colorado.

Search Firm

The Board of Regents has retained Wheless Partners to serve as its executive search consultant in the presidential search. The Board of Regents anticipates that the presidential search committee will work closely with Wheless Partners as it identifies and solicits nominations for the presidency. Any person who wishes to nominate a person for the presidency may submit a nomination at

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy. The Board of Regents welcomes candidates of diverse perspective, experiences, and backgrounds for the presidency.

Target Dates and Coordination with the Board of Regents

The Board of Regents anticipates that it will receive regular reporting from presidential search committee on the status of the search. As required by regent policy, the search committee should review the qualification of the candidates with the Board of Regents before inviting candidates for initial interviews, consult with the Board of Regents on the qualification of candidates that it recommends to the Board of Regents, and advise it of all pertinent developments as the search progresses. The Board of Regents anticipates that the presidential search will formally commence in November 2018, that the search committee will meet with the Board of Regents to review candidates in early 2019, and that the search committee will recommend candidates to the Board of Regents by April 2019 so that the Board of Regents can appoint a president by July 2019.

Number of Candidates to Be Recommended to Board of Regents

The Board of Regents charges the presidential search committee to recommend a minimum of five unranked candidates.

Arrangements for University Visits

Candidate travel related to the search shall be coordinated through the Board of Regents’ office.


The Board of Regents charges the search committee with maintaining confidentiality of candidates during the course of its activities.