Quick discussions and huge decisions have been had and made for all of us. We as students are represented by few on the hill in the state capitol, and the man making the decisions for us most often seems to think our input is not important.
What does this mean? What am I talking about?
I am talking about the retirement of our university president, the search for his replacement and who makes this decision. The State Board of Agriculture makes this decisions for CSU. Colorado’s governor appoints the governors of this board. Just this last week Gov. Owens appointed two members to serve on the board.
So as you can see, the governor of the state has a huge impact on our school. The governor has endorsed one of his own, Marc Holtzman, for the job. Holtzman, 42, does not work in higher education and has a bachelor’s degree in business. Holtzman has served on Owens’ cabinet and is an investment banker, worth millions. Owens says his choice would help CSU in fundraising. Critics of the candidate say that he lacks experience and academic credibility, and his candidacy being endorsed by Owens has scared away many potential candidates better fit for the position.
So what is the problem for me? The fact that the people up north who will suffer the consequences of these discussions being made down south, are silent or lost in this discussion.
The faculty is in a precarious situation, for good reason. For example, Gov. Owens has made statements about the political science faculties at Colorado’s universities. He accuses them of being liberal and mostly Democrat, with only one Republican per school. Therefore, according to Owens, the department is bias and is the bastion of liberal thought that spreads through the student body.
Funny thing – Colorado State University seems to have its fair share of conservative and liberal discussions within the faculty and student body. (Look at ASCSU). Also, Gov. Owens failed to mention the number of Independents and Democrats on each of the political science faculties. According to the Denver Post only 10 of the 16 faculty are registered Democrats. Does this discussion matter? Should party be something that professors are judged, hired and fired by? I thought that was a decision left to the individual.
But CSU’s faculty is in a position of being attacked if it voices opposition to Owens’ appointment. It becomes the enemy of the leading party and the target of attack to fix the higher education system.
So what do you think as students? Do you like the mission of Colorado State University? Why did you decide to come here? Who do you think should represent you?
I chose CSU because of the people on the campus. These people are both conservative and liberal (even on the faculty). These people are studying subjects ranging from forestry to history to engineering. I liked that people at CSU have the opportunity and the ability to voice their opinions.
I chose CSU because the mission included all of the university. It allows students to explore education, as well as consider and create their own opinions. I also knew that CSU was getting better every year, moving from a school with a third tier ranking in academics to a second tier school.
Al Yates has played a big role in all of this. He has chosen to not focus on one specific area of the school and not put all money and efforts toward it, like Hank Brown did at UNC with his focus on business. He has kept the focus of the benefits for CSU as a whole, rather than being influenced by the politics down south. (Of course CSU has its own politics and problems, don’t get me wrong.)
I do not think that we as students and faculty at CSU can be ignored in this discussion.
Remember you have the right to have a voice. You pay the costs of getting a higher education. It is not a decision that you should be left out of. You or me. Our president represents us, not the interests of a political party. Or at least he or she shouldn’t.