Election Guide 2012: CU Board of Regents has 2 seats on the ballot

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At-large seat

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Stephen Ludwig

Stephen Ludwig, Democrat (incumbent)

Age: 45

City of residence: Denver

Ludwig is a marketing and communications manager with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. He was elected to the Board of Regents’ at-large seat in a narrow victory against Brian Davidson in 2006.

Ludwig says the biggest issue facing higher education in Colorado is state funding. If there are no changes to the state’s budget situation, he warns higher education funding could disappear by 2023. Without voter support for increased funding for higher education, Ludwig argues that tuition costs will continue to skyrocket and college programs will be gutted. While he says the CU system must operate more efficiently and increase its online offerings, such cuts and efficiencies can’t replace the need for additional funding in the form of state support.

Ludwig supports ASSET legislation that would provide undocumented college students with a tuition rate below what is charged to out-of-state students but above what is charged to in-state students. Ludwig says the tuition for undocumented students would be reflective of the actual cost of their higher education, meaning they wouldn’t receive taxpayer subsidies. Ludwig says undocumented students shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their parents and that Colorado will continue to need an educated, trained workforce.

Ludwig also says he supports an effort to ban guns from being allowed on campus at the University of Colorado and thinks the state Legislature should give the authority to the Board of Regents to determine whether guns belong on campuses.

Finally, Ludwig says he initiated and led the successful campaign for the guaranteed admissions program that promises CU admission to all Colorado community college students who have completed 30 transferable credit hours with a GPA of 2.7 or higher.

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Brian Davidson

Brian Davidson, Republican

Age: 35

City of residence: Arvada

Davidson, a physician and faculty anesthesiologist at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, is a CU Medical School graduate who also has an executive MBA in health care administration from CU-Denver. He unsuccessfully ran for the Board of Regents’ at-large seat in 2006.

Davidson’s three top priorities if elected to the Board of Regents:

■ Ensuring the CU system provides affordable education opportunities by reducing costs, identifying “valueless” spending and “developing innovative and alternative funding sources.” He said he would encourage continued commitments to public funding of higher education, and he supports increased use of online classes as a form of affordable higher education.

■ Increasing support of the Anschutz Medical Campus, which Davidson says will be essential to health care services across the state. Davidson says 40 percent of CU’s total system revenue comes from health care services and medical research on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and that approximately 80 percent of Colorado residents receive medical care from a CU graduate. “The Board of Regents must be committed to protecting Colorado’s pipeline for professional health care education, training and research,” Davidson states on his website.

■ Providing quality education programs to support American economic competitiveness. Davidson argues that the U.S. risks falling behind other nations in regards to producing a competitive workforce. He says universities must prepare students for real-world jobs. Finally, he argues that education is a “strategic national security issue.”

Davidson says he thinks the state Legislature should be the body that determines tuition classifications, including whether undocumented students should receive special tuition rates. He told the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent that “offering a new tuition rate for undocumented individuals has far-reaching and potentially unintended consequences, both positive and negative.”

3rd Congressional District seat

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Jessica Garrow

Jessica Garrow, Democrat

Age: 30

City of residence: Carbondale

Garrow, the long-range planner for the city of Aspen, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a master’s in city and regional planning from Ohio State University. She has served on the board of Roaring Fork Leadership and the Aspen Young Professionals Association, and she sits on the Carbondale Historic Preservation Commission. She is a 2011 graduate of the Colorado Institute of Leadership Training.

Garrows says the escalating cost of tuition — which she says has tripled since she earned her degree in 2004 — motivated her entry in the Board of Regents race. She advocates for short-term solutions like guaranteed four-year tuition rates for in-state students and increased partnerships with other colleges and universities in the 3rd Congressional District. She said she supports the Board of Regents’ work to guarantee CU admission to students who complete 30 credit hours with a 2.7 or higher GPA at Colorado community colleges.

Garrows proposes long-term funding solutions that involve continued public funding of higher education. She supports an “all-of-the-above” approach that includes finding efficiencies, increasing partnerships and seeking new funding sources, which could mean going to voters for increased taxpayer support.

Her professional experience as a long-range planner prepares her for the challenges of making forward-thinking decisions and considering their impact decades down the road, Garrows said. She said providing affordable higher education for Coloradans is essential to ensuring an educated workforce.

Garrows supports the proposed Colorado ASSET bill that would allow undocumented students to pay a tuition rate lower than that paid by out-of-state students but more than what is paid by in-state students.

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Glenn Gallegos

Glenn Gallegos, Republican

Age: 62

City of residence: Grand Junction

Gallegos, a former public school district teacher, coach and administrator, is head of operations for his family-run Gallegos Corp. construction company. He received a bachelor’s degree from Western State College and a master’s from the University of Northern Colorado. He has completed pre-doctoral work at the University of Denver. Gallegos has served on the Colorado Mesa University (formerly Mesa State) Board of Trustees. He currently serves on the Governor’s Education Leadership Council.

Gallegos said affordability and accessibility is one of the biggest issues facing the CU system. To address the funding gaps, Gallegos points to re-examining the troubles caused by TABOR and the Gallagher Amendment as one possible solution. He also advocates for streamlining the budget by cutting bureaucracy, eliminating unnecessary rules and regulations and funding solely based on results. He supports collaboration among higher education institutions, including automatic admission to Colorado community college students who meet certain thresholds.

Gallegos doesn’t think undocumented immigrant students should have to pay out-of-state tuition rates, but he doesn’t believe CU should be the one to tackle the issue. He instead advocates for immigration reform at the state and federal levels. He said he would not support CU making a policy decision of its own on discounted tuition for illegal immigrants.

He said his lengthy experience in public education and the private sector make him the best candidate for the job. He believes the role of a regent is to set policy and govern by setting clear, measurable goals.

CU Board of Regents

The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents is a nine-member board of elected representatives from each of the state’s seven U.S. congressional districts as well as two at-large positions. The board is given the authority by the state constitution for the general supervision of the university system as well as exclusive control of the university’s budgeting. The University of Colorado is classified as an institution of the state. The regents serve staggered six-year terms, and they appoint their own chairperson and vice chairperson.

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