Hank Brown, Mike Rosen to help lead CU-Boulder's search for visiting conservative scholar
July 3--The University of Colorado's Boulder campus -- which long has been perceived as a liberal hotbed -- on Tuesday tapped former CU President Hank Brown and Denver talk-show host Mike Rosen to help lead a nationwide search for a visiting scholar of conservative thought.
CU already has raised $1 million in donations to fund its Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy, a position that is funded for at least three years. The scholar doesn't necessarily need to be right-leaning, but must be an expert in conservative thought and policy.
"This recognizes that mainstream, conservative viewpoints are underrepresented at CU and at most colleges in the country," said Rosen, who hosts a morning talk show weekdays on 850 KOA and
writes a column for The Denver Post. "We're looking for somebody who will be an effective proponent of conservative ideas."
And, Rosen said, he thinks there are plenty of eager candidates who want to teach in Boulder.
"I think a lot of philosophical conservatives are more than willing and anxious to do battle in the war of ideas," he said.
CU administrators expect to have their first scholar on campus by next year.
Boulder campus Chancellor Phil DiStefano said he is intrigued by the possibilities and supports the position, adding that applicants could come from military, media, policy or academic backgrounds.
"The position will add a fresh dimension to CU-Boulder's long tradition of debate and discussion, and encourages our students to engage in critical thinking and civic discourse," DiStefano said in a statement.
Plans scaled back
CU originally unveiled plans in 2007 to establish a Visiting Chair in Conservative Thought and Policy, which would have required $7 million to $9 million to fund. But school officials have said the sluggish economy caused them to scale back plans and instead run a pilot program to bring visiting scholars to Boulder.
To fill that
position, the search committee of CU faculty and community members will recommend a sole nominee by a majority vote.
Keith Maskus, associate dean of social sciences and professor of economics, will chair the committee, but will not vote.
The committee's recommendation will need the approval of the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, DiStefano and ultimately the CU Board of Regents.
"The country is really in need of vibrant debate between both sides of the aisle," said Democratic Regent Stephen Ludwig. "And if the chair of conservative thought can help facilitate that intellectual debate, then great."
But Ludwig questions whether raising money for a conservative scholar is the best use of the university's resources at a time when higher education funding is in dire straits.
Board of Regents chairman Michael Carrigan, D-Denver, said he thinks the university creates a better learning environment when there are diverse perspectives.
"Although this position is symbolic, it's an important indication of CU-Boulder's commitment to intellectual diversity," Carrigan said.
Other search committee members from outside the university include David Pyle, founder and CEO of American Career College; Bob Greenlee, former Boulder City Council member and mayor and president of Centennial Investment and Management Company Inc.; and Earl Wright, CEO of AMG National Trust Bank.
CU faculty members on the committee include: Vanessa Baird, associate professor of political science; David S. Brown, professor and chair of political science; Bradley Monton, associate professor of philosophy; Murat Iyigun, professor of economics; and Susan K. Kent, professor and chair of history.
The visiting scholar will be expected to teach at least one course per semester and offer public lectures, public seminars and informal discussions with students and the public.
"The visiting scholar will do what we expect our regular faculty to do: present issues and problems in all their complexity and allow students to use their critical-thinking skills to arrive at their own judgments," Kent said in a news release.
Kent said a candidate need not necessarily have a Ph.D., but is expected to have a publication record equivalent to that of a tenured CU professor, or, in the case of a practitioner, a body of knowledge and experience that positions that person as an expert.
More than 20 donors have committed to the program.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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