Steve Bosley: Experience matters for regents

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Steve Bosley

I am frequently asked why, with the financial crisis at the University of Colorado, I would choose to serve another six years.

My honest and heartfelt response — people who truly care and have the real life background and the proven experience to help are needed now more than ever to address CU’s No. 1 priority, the most challenging budget crisis in our 134-year history. It is imperative that the right decisions are made to assure the quality of CU’s future. I am the board member with the most extensive strategic business, finance and leadership background.

People who know me say that I excel at collaborative leadership and possess the toughness, determination, fairness and hopefully the wisdom to help make the right things happen. I am passionate about and faithful to this responsibility.

I have worked in independent community banks in Colorado for more than 30 years, and retired as president of The Bank of Boulder after 24 years. While there, I created and founded the Bolder Boulder 10K running race. My sole purpose in creating and running the Bolder Boulder was, and is, to serve the community. As a CU Regent, I have continued with that same purpose, passion and spirit.

As a proactive regent: I chaired the past two presidential searches, which resulted in the successful presidencies of Sen. Hank Brown and Bruce Benson; I led the faculty, administration, and the board’s joint review of CU’s tenure process and reforms; I was unwilling to allow a faculty member to sully or tarnish CU’s reputation, the reputation of our outstanding faculty, or to be involved with our students — I sponsored the resolution to terminate Ward Churchill’s employment.

I think we have the moral commitment to provide affordable access to qualified Colorado students. I will never balance the budget on the backs of students and taxpayers.

This period in our economy is an opportunity for us to create the most efficient and intelligent operation possible to carefully invest tax and tuition dollars. While we already have made substantial changes, we must persist to realize savings from greatly improved operations; to execute wisely planned strategic cuts; to reorganize, merge, or eliminate inefficient, redundant or unnecessary programs; simultaneously emphasizing income sources: the continuing pursuit of outside research funding and focusing on private funders’ support. Plus technology, transfer of inventions and patents to the marketplace, and aggressive continuation of startup companies that directly reward the faculty, CU and the Colorado economy. These programs have generated more than $121 million for CU, and we are tied for 10th among all public universities for the most startup companies.

However, measures implemented must be evaluated in the context of upholding our pledge to Colorado of a world-class education. At the very core of our success of providing a world-class education is the quality of our outstanding faculty on every one of our campuses. They are committed professional educators who truly care about educating Colorado’s students and the discovery and exploration of new knowledge. I join the faculty with a commitment to prepare our students to be successful, productive members of society and to a classroom environment that respects, actively promotes and protects a free exchange of all ideas.

Being a CU regent in these incredibly tough economic times requires a proven record of leadership, financial sophistication and real world experience. My 30-plus years as an experienced-toughened entrepreneurial-minded businessman prepared me to understand large operations, complex budgets and budgeting processes, and organizations. With my current hands-on CU Board experience, I am already intimately involved in working on CU’s budgeting process.

My opponent is a CU-Boul­der law school professor with a background focused on employment discrimination law and class action lawsuits. These qualifications are neither substantive enough nor relevant to dealing with the direst financial crisis in CU’s history. CU cannot afford the time for on-the-job training. Nor is this a time or place for political positioning.

My background and experience are not theoretical. They have stood the tests of real life and give me a unique perspective into these unprecedented economic issues facing CU.

I am not a politician and have no intention of seeking other public office. I love CU and care about our students and the future of higher education in Colorado. My interest is to help CU continue as a world-class public university.

I respectfully ask you for your vote for CU Regent.

Steve Bosley is a Republican running for re-election to an at-large seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents.

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