In 2008, ProgressNow Colorado led a campaign opposing former Republican gubernatorial candidate Benson’s appointment as President of the University of Colorado. We were worried about Benson’s ability to work with all stakeholders to meet CU’s needs, and whether Benson would misuse the presidency of Colorado’s flagship educational institution to further his ideological and political agenda.
Well, it’s been four years. And here are the results of Benson’s tenure:
- The University of Colorado has continued to raise tuition far in excess of the rate of inflation.
- A major scandal has erupted over huge raises given to top university executives under Benson’s leadership, including a massive $49,000 raise for CU Chancellor Phil DiStefano.
- The scandal over raises for top school executives has invited media scrutiny after it was revealed in the Boulder Daily Camera that a large percentage of last year’s nearly 10% tuition hike on in-state students paid for them.
- Despite all of these problems, Benson managed to raise $1 million to fund a “conservative affirmative action” program—setting up a special program to bring right-wing “scholars” to the University of Colorado campus.
When you combine these events—skyrocketing tuition, huge raises for Benson’s top assistants, dwindling support for CU from the state, and now a million-dollar “guest scholar” program for right-wing ideologues to teach at CU—you see that Benson is fulfilling our worst fears when we opposed his appointment in 2008.
Click here to sign our petition calling for the same thing we demanded four years ago: a better candidate to serve as President of the University of Colorado. It’s time for Bruce Benson to stop mismanaging the University of Colorado, to stop rewarding cronies, and to stop using the University to elevate his personal politics. It’s time for Bruce Benson to resign.
An earlier version of this message stated that CU raised tuition by 15%. The actual tuition increase was 9.3%, still well in excess of the rate of inflation. ProgressNow Colorado nevertheless regrets the error.