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CU to pay Mark Kennedy $1.3M in departure deal as Republican regents decry removal of president

Former GOP congressman will step down from CU presidency by July 1 after 2 years on job
Mark Kennedy_University of North Dakota president.jpg
Posted at 9:37 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 23:37:03-04

BOULDER, Colo. — University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy will receive a $1.3 million lump-sum payment when he departs his role as leader of the four-campus system by July 1, according to an agreement approved by the CU Board of Regents on Wednesday.

The deal outlining the details of Kennedy’s departure after two years on the job passed on an 8-1 vote, with Regent Heidi Ganahl, an at-large Republican, voting no. The regents are expected to name an interim president soon and initiate a search process for a permanent successor.

Despite the near-unanimous vote, Wednesday’s virtual meeting laid bare the stark partisan division of CU’s elected Board of Regents, which earlier this year came under a Democratic majority for the first time in four decades.

The university had insisted the departure of Kennedy, a former Republican congressman hired in a contentious party-line vote in 2019, was neither a resignation nor a termination, while Board Chair Glen Gallegos, R-Grand Junction, previously told The Denver Post he believed the president’s stepping down “may be a mutual thing.”

But on Wednesday, Ganahl characterized Kennedy’s departure as a firing, and Regent Chance Hill, R-Colorado Springs, described the separation as a Democratic power-grab.

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.