Brown to step down at CU

AP PHOTO/MARK LEFFINGWELL

University of Colorado President Hank Brown announces he is resigning from his post effective February 2008 during a CU Regents meeting Thursday in Boulder.

By STEVEN K. PAULSON

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER – University of Colorado President Hank Brown said Thursday he will resign early next year, 30 months after he took over the state’s flagship school at a time when it was beset by scandals and criticism.

Calling the job “a wonderful privilege,” Brown said he had accomplished almost all of his goals and would step down Feb. 1, 2008.

He said enrollment and donations were surging and the university has “a new culture” of openness, an apparent reference to complaints about previous secrecy in fundraising.

Brown said he announced his resignation a year ahead to give the university time to find a successor.

A former U.S. senator, Brown took charge of the university in August 2005, replacing Elizabeth Hoffman, who stepped down after a series of scandals shook the school.

The university had endured a sexual assault scandal in the football program and a professor was fiercely criticized for likening some victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to a Nazi bureaucrat.

The school’s independent fundraising arm was criticized for not opening its books and had been accused of skirting state spending rules.

“I hope we have made a change in the university’s climate with regard to openness and transparency, and put in place a new culture that is open, and a commitment to understanding the public’s business is done in public,” Brown said.

State lawmakers praised Brown’s work at the university and said they would be sorry to see him go.

“I think he has given CU some great stability and set them on a course to achieve great things,” said Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, D-Golden.

House Majority Leader Alice Madden, D-Boulder, said Brown was a statesman who rescued the university from its scandals and gave it a moral compass.

“He came in at literally a time of crisis for the university. He was truly the right person at the right time,” she said.

Brown served in the U.S. Senate from 1991 to 1997 and was elected to five terms in the U.S. House before that.

He was president of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley from 1998 to 2002.

Associated Press Writer Jon Sarche in Boulder contributed to this report.

HANK BROWN AT CU

A timeline of events surrounding University of Colorado President Hank Brown s tenure:

2005

March 7, 2005: CU President Elizabeth Hoffman announces she will resign, saying she wanted to defuse questions about her leadership so the university could focus on resolving a football recruiting scandal and a controversy surrounding professor Ward Churchill, who compared Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi.

April 15: The governing Board of Regents unanimously appoints Brown as interim president effective Aug. 1.

Aug. 2: Brown bans the university from using state money for alcohol purchases.

Aug. 3: Brown says he will form a committee to recommend ways to increase diversity after several racial incidents and a decline in Hispanic and black enrollment on the Boulder campus.

Oct. 17: Brown says the school will revise its contract with its independent fundraiser, the CU Foundation, to bring it under the state spending rules.

Nov. 8: A legislative audit says the CU Foundation paid more than $700,000 in questionable expenses and finds other problems. Brown and the foundation s president accept all the audit recommendations.

Dec. 8: Football coach Gary Barnett accepts a $3 million buyout and steps down after the team loses three straight games.

Dec. 16: Dan Hawkins is hired to replace Barnett.

Dec. 22: CU announces plans to establish a $7.5 million scholarship endowment to boost diversity.

2006

Jan. 3: Black community leaders urge CU to protect minority students from harassment on the Boulder campus after a string of racially tinged incidents.

April 5: A search committee names Brown as sole finalist for the president s job.

May 3: CU releases its plan to increase diversity that includes more outreach in Colorado public schools, more diversity scholarships and diversity training for students, faculty and administration.

May 11: Board of Regents choose Brown as the school s 21st president.

June 26: Interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano recommends firing Churchill over allegations of academic misconduct. Churchill denies wrongdoing.

Aug. 21: Brown agrees to meet privately with Lisa Simpson, who unsuccessfully sued the university alleging she was raped by football players and recruits.

Sept. 25: Brown says minority enrollment has increased at CU s three campuses.

2007

Jan. 3: CU announces it has received $54.1 million in donations in the first half of the fiscal year, more than triple the amount from a year earlier.

Jan. 18: Brown announces his resignation as of Feb. 1, 2008.

-The Associated Press