Nov 032010
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday he will be working with Republicans in appointing the heads of major state agencies through a newly-created transition team called “Partners for Colorado.”

John Huggins, who reigned as director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development from 2004 to 2007, and Lt. Gov.-elect Joe Garcia will chair Hickenlooper’s team.

The purpose of the team is to recruit candidates to head major state departments. Democratic and Republican state citizens will staff partners for Colorado, he said.

Hickenlooper assured Coloradans his administration would focus primarily on economic development, saying he wants to brand the state “as a center for innovation.”

The election of Hickenlooper bears special consequence to CSU-Pueblo. His running mate, Lt. Gov.-elect Joe Garcia, is currently president of the school –– a position he will leave after taking the gubernatorial oath of office on Jan. 11, 2011.

Michele McKinney, spokeswoman for the CSU System Board of Governors, said the university will use the Registry of College & University Presidents to find an individual qualified to run CSU-Pueblo while it conducts a national search for a permanent president. The registry’s purpose, McKinney said, is to help universities find interim leaders in situations like this.

CSU President Tony Frank has agreed to serve as interim-president until a full-time interim-president arrives on campus said CSU System Chancellor Joe Blake, in a Wednesday press release.

Garcia came into power at CSU-Pueblo in 2006, and his contract was slated to end in 2014.

“He has been a respected voice,” Blake said. “His academic and personal qualities as the acting president have continuously demonstrated the commitment of the board to continue the positive momentum at CSU-Pueblo.”
Staff writer Andrew Carrera can be reached at

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