CU prez warns of ‘ghettoizing’ colleges
DENVER” University of Colorado President Hank Brown warned Friday that the way the state allocates college and university funding could “ghettoize” some programs, upsetting the only black member of the Higher Education Commission.
Brown said inadequate funding for expensive research institutions like CU could mean that only rich families and low-income students who qualify for grants and scholarships can afford them.
“You ghettoize them in effect, because you make it impossible for middle-income kids to make it,” Brown told the commission.
Commission member Jim Stewart said he was offended by the remark and followed Brown out of the state Capitol hearing room, where they had words behind a coat closet.
“I will only say that I approached him about that subject,” Stewart said. He refused to discuss what he said to Brown, but he said he was “upset” by the remarks.
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Brown’s spokesman, Ken McConnellogue, said Brown was referring to the middle class students who were left out and not the low-income students who were left in the programs.
Brown’s remarks came at a meeting among the commission and college and university presidents intended to end squabbling over funding as Gov. Bill Ritter prepares a budget he will present to state lawmakers on Nov. 1.
Ritter met with the panel later in the day and told members that higher-education funding problems have been difficult to resolve.
He said it will take time to keep his campaign promises, including a pledge to double the number of college degrees and certificates the state awards by 2016.
“We talk about the budget as a place where vision meets reality. It’s kind of interesting to come out of a campaign where you have a vision and you articulate that vision, and then you have to have that vision happen within a fairly restricted budget,” Ritter said.
“There may not be any area in the state budget that knows that better than people in higher education,” he said.