COLORADO SPRINGS–Chance Hill, Regent of the University of Colorado representing the 5th Congressional district published a long Facebook post Monday excoriating intolerance from campus activists over the Regents’ unanimous nomination of Mark Kennedy as finalist for the position of president of CU.
Speaking with Complete Colorado Tuesday Hill said, “I believe that Mark Kennedy has a tremendous and broad background and that the skills he developed in politics and academia will translate well into his role as CU president. In our original vote as the Board of Regents all nine of us agreed on that.”
“But for the past two weeks, Mr. Kennedy has endured a terrible gauntlet of unreasonable attacks, inaccurate news headlines, and slanderous smears along with a fixation over a few votes he cast—out of more than 4,000—during his six years in Congress,” Hill writes on Facebook.
He criticized other Regents for “frantically looking for any possible way to backpedal at the first sign of opposition from their liberal base” after the furor erupted on the announcement of Kennedy as the finalist.
Kennedy, 62, was most recently president at the University of North Dakota, serving from 2016-2019. From 2001-2007 he was a U.S. Congressman serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for Minnesota. He was director of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. He has a long resume in business as well.
Activists objected to Kennedy’s votes and positions on gun rights, embryonic stem cell research, abortion and immigration among other complaints.
Why, asks Hill?
“Because he is a Republican. It’s that simple. Don’t let the radical Leftists pretend otherwise,” he writes.
It’s “token criticism…raised only to lend a patina of reasonableness to what is transparently ideological and political opposition,” Hill says.
In 2001, says Hill, Kennedy voted against same-sex marriage, along with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But, says Hill, “He adjusted his stance on gay marriage before Obama did.”
“The Leftist hypocrisy is staggering,” writes Hill. “Colleges are supposed to be places that foster the exploration of different worldviews where students learn how to challenge others and are exposed to a range of opinions across a broad menu of intellectual options.”
Hill points out that the CU president has little impact on educational policy or curricula and is mostly involved in strategic planning and fundraising.
“Because of teacher tenure and already existing policies rightfully protecting academic freedom, the CU President has minimal-to-no impact on curriculum development or faculty hiring,” Hill writes. “Mark Kennedy has publicly and repeatedly reaffirmed that he would not infringe on those decisions.”
Citing “nasty, hateful emails” he received over the last two weeks, Hill unapologetically called out “ill-informed liberals” and “Far Leftists…not all Democrats” for their “shameful tactics” and “bullying.”
Hill promised not to be swayed by these tactics and said he is going to vote for Kennedy “come hell or high water.”
“I will not reward a small, well-orchestrated Far Leftist mob—who in my opinion represents a mentality as dangerous to this nation’s future as any foreign threat we face,” he continued.
“I’m hoping that he’s appointed this Thursday afternoon. I think he will make a good strong CU president,” Hill told Complete Colorado.
A special board meeting to appoint the president will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday in Krugman Hall on the CU Anschutz Campus, 12700 East 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045.
The meeting is open to the public and the vote will be taken in public session.