CU president resigns

Camera staff and wire

Originally published 10:25 a.m., January 18, 2007

Updated 11:51 a.m., January 18, 2007

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CU President Hank Brown

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University of Colorado President Hank Brown announced this morning that he will step down from his post in one year.

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, a former U.S. senator, 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.

During his tenure at CU, the former congressman launched a commission to improve diversity, implemented a policy that prevents employees from using state money to buy alcohol; and campaigned for openness and accountability as a way to regain the public’s trust.

Brown also has appointed two chancellors, Roy M. Wilson on the Denver and Health Sciences campus and Bud Peterson on the Boulder campus.

Student enrollment and fundraising have made strong rebounds since he began as president.

He also took personal leave to campaign for Referendum C, which allows the state to spend about $4 billion in tax surplus revenues over five years, and provides temporary relief for higher education, officials say.