ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

What Doesn’t Kill a University ...

August 5, 2005 by ACTA

... makes it stronger. Or that's what the University of Colorado at Boulder would have the public believe. Boulder's interim president, Hank Brown, announced Tuesday that the university is entering a new era of accountability. Rocked by recent scandals centered on athletic recruiting violations and ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill, UC is eager to prove that it is a responsible and respectable institution--or, at least, that it is doing what it needs to do to become one. State money will no longer be used to serve alcohol at official functions, Brown announced. Ten jobs will be cut from the office of the president, which will save the school upwards of one million dollars a year. The charges against Ward Churchill are being taken seriously, and he is the subject of a detailed review to determine whether he has indeed committed academic fraud. The football recruiting program has been overhauled to ensure that alcohol and sex are no longer used to attract prospective athletes. The university, which is presently undergoing a number of policy audits, will work more closely with state offices to build better relationships. Brown even surrendered his private campus parking space.

Brown is replacing former Boulder president Elizabeth Hoffman, who resigned last March in a storm of bad publicity. He aims to inspire confidence and a positive outlook on the institution's future: "This is a renewal," he said at Tuesday's staff convocation. "2005, for all of us, will be a renewal." So far, he has people convinced: Rod Muth, Faculty Council chairman at CU-Denver, told the Post that "People will be inspired by his resoluteness;" regent Cindy Carlisle praised Brown because he "recognizes the problems and has a desire for accountability and transparency."

Time will tell, and how the university handles the results of the Ward Churchill investigation, which should be drawing to a close any time, will be a real test. But things look good so far. Brown announced plans for a new "open university" policy yesterday; the policy would enable members of the public to gather information about the university without having to resort to the Colorado Open Records Act.

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