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University of Colorado

Student Bar Association

DRAFT- A Resolution

Whereas the President of the University of Colorado System is the “principal executive officer” of the
university, “responsible for providing academic leadership,” serving as the “[primary] spokesperson
for the university and interpreter of university policy,” who is tasked with representing and
interpreting “the roles, goals, and needs of the university throughout the state of Colorado, throughout
the United States, and elsewhere,”1 and

Whereas the mission of the University of Colorado as a public research university is


“advancing research and knowledge, and state-of-the-art health care,” and

Whereas the Guiding Principles of the University require our school to:
“Promote and uphold the principles of ethics, integrity, transparency, and accountability,” and
“Promote faculty, student, and staff diversity to ensure the rich interchange of ideas in the
pursuit of truth and learning, including diversity of political, geographic, cultural, intellectual,
and philosophical perspectives,” and
“Ensure that the university is an economic, social, and cultural catalyst,” and

Whereas the Vision Statement of the university sees CU as “a premier, accessible and transformative
public university that provides a quality and affordable education with outstanding teaching, learning,
research, service, and health care,” which should “expand student success, diversity and the economic
foundation of the State of Colorado,” and

Whereas Mr. Mark R. Kennedy has been named as the sole finalist for president of the university
system by a unanimous recommendation of the Board of Regents, and will be automatically confirmed
May 1st, 2019, and

1
https://www.cu.edu/presidential-search/search-committee/charge-presidential-search-committee
Whereas Mr. Kennedy spent six years in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing views and
pushing nationwide policy that we find disturbing and offensive,2 including cosponsoring 3 resolutions
which proposed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one
woman at the federal, state and local levels,3 usurping the rights of states to govern matters of family
law in order to facilitate a policy which would deny fundamental rights to LGBT people, and

Whereas queer and trans students make up 11% of the graduate student body at CU- Boulder,4 with
similar numbers probable across the university system, and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy also voted for a number of measures which would deny reproductive justice by:
Restricting access to and funding for reproductive healthcare,
And which would equate the rights of fetuses with the rights of the people who
carry them,
And which would deny US foreign aid for family planning abroad,
And which would criminalize doctors for performing certain kinds of abortions; and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy also voted against the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, and

Whereas the University of Colorado, particularly at the Anschutz campus, uses stem cells to research
cancer treatments, diabetes treatments, and

Whereas the University of Colorado system encompasses more than 100 researchers who focus on
stem cell biology,5 and

Whereas Mr. Kenned earned a 17% rating from the National Education Association by voting against
providing grants to predominantly Hispanic and Black colleges, while repeatedly introducing
resolutions honoring Catholic educational institutions, and

Whereas 25% of undergraduate students and approximately 20% of graduate students enrolled in the
University of Colorado system in 2017-2018 were students of color,6 and

2
http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Mark_Kennedy.htm;
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/mark_kennedy/400214
3
The text of the proposed amendment read, “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a
woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal
incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.” H.J.Res. 56 (108th Congress,
2004); H.J.Res. 106 (108th Congress, 2004); H.J.Res. 88 (109th Congress, 2006).
4
Graduate Student Social Climate Survey, Appendix D: Summary for Master’s Sutdents: Sexual Orientation
https://www.colorado.edu/oda/sites/default/files/attached-files/appendixe_0.pdf; and Appendix E: Summary for PhD
Students: Sexual Orientation https://www.colorado.edu/oda/sites/default/files/attached-files/appendixd.pdf (2014).
5
http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/centers/StemCell/research/researchprograms/Pages/researchp
rograms.aspx?&&p_Last_x0020_Name=Yi&&PageFirstRow=1&&View={C04CF99B-91CE-4F16-8D9C-
B574B0F6E94B}
6
https://www.cu.edu/doc/2017-18-cu-diversity-reportpdf
Whereas during his tenure as president of the University of North Dakota:
Mr. Kennedy cut the law school’s budget by 12%,7 putting the clinical program on hiatus and
“forcing law students down other routes to get the six experiential courses required for their
degree,”8 and

Mr. Kennedy proposed eliminating the summer term, eliminating courses with fewer than 8
students, freezing below market law faculty salaries, and a 9% tuition hike, and

Mr. Kennedy received feedback in 2019 from his supervisors at UND that he needs to improve
his “abilit[ies] to connect with, communicate and take input from stakeholders,”9 and

Whereas in February of 2018, Mr. Kennedy applied to become president of the University of Central
Florida, just 20 months into his tenure at the University of North Dakota, demonstrating a lack of
commitment to that campus, and

Whereas in March of 2018, the University of Central Florida’s Board of Trustees chose not to hire Mr.
Kennedy for the president position, citing his divisive political career as an unnecessary level of risk
and what has been described as a “funding disaster” at the University of North Dakota,10 and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy has spent eight years in academia of his 32-year career, and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy appears to have no ties to the Colorado community and has shown no previous
interest in living or working here, and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy’s most comparable employment experience has been president for 2 years and
10 months at a university with under 16,000 students enrolled and whereas the University of
Colorado System has more than 68,000 students enrolled and four separate campuses, and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy is not scheduled to visit the Boulder campus until the 13th day of the 14-day
waiting period which the Regents must observe before voting on his nomination, and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy is scheduled to visit each campus over the course of one hour,

LET IT THEREFORE BE RESOLVED THAT:

We reject the nomination of Mark R. Kennedy as the “sole finalist” for the president of the university
system without further action from the Administration, and

7
https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/4232511-und-releases-budget-cut-proposals
8
https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/4257379-case-education-und-school-law-mulls-tuition-hikes-light-budget-cuts;
https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/4215118-und-school-law-looks-tuition-increase-puts-pro-bono-clinic-hiatus
9
https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/education/4577201-kennedy-receives-midyear-review-chancellor; Though the
views in his review were generally positive, UND Chancellor Hagerott admitted he was not candid about concerns or
issues about Mr. Kennedy’s performance.
10
https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/education/4415499-mark-kennedy-not-chosen-central-florida-president
We request the following concerns be addressed directly by the Board of Regents, Presidential Search
Committee and/ or Mr. Mark R. Kennedy, appropriately:

Whether Mr. Kennedy personally holds the beliefs he expressed about reproductive rights,
queer individuals, and research and education, as characterized above, on the House floor and
through his voting record as a member of the House of Representatives now, and

If so, why the Board of Regents believes those views are in line with our University’s
mission, guiding principles, and vision; and

If not, why the Board of Regents believes Mr. Kennedy will authentically and
passionately represent CU students and researchers, given his vehement and continued
expressions of views which oppose those interests and repeated failure to publicly
rebuke his past views; and

Whether Mr. Kennedy’s cuts to legal and graduate education were recommended or mandated
by a committee, commission, or evidence-based procedure, since these cuts were made through
an opaque procedure, and

Why Mr. Kennedy’s Congressional history was excluded from presentations to the Board of
Regents before voting on his nomination,11 and

If the feedback form available made online for faculty, staff, students, and community
members will be formally considered as part of the confirmation process, and

If the Board plans on letting the clock run out, automatically accepting his nomination on April
1st, or if the Board of Regents plans on voting on his confirmation, and

When and where the Board of Regents plans to meet to vote on Mr. Kennedy’s nomination,
and

Whether a public session of that board meeting will convene before or after the executive
session.

Signed…

11
https://www.denverpost.com/2019/04/10/university-colorado-cu-president-mark-kennedy/