CU regents blowing smoke, too |

CU regents blowing smoke, too

Don Rogers

So, the nation’s dopiest party school has a party board to match.Will this drumbeat never cease?Saturday it was a piece in the Rocky Mountain News about the University of Colorado regents’ awfully rich tastes in hotels, trips, jewelry and parties – all pretty much dismissed as the cost of doing business.Really? And is that the same for soaring tuitions for our children? A what, 28 percent on tap for next year? For that?Their sense of tightening the ol’ belt in the face of mounting TABOR pressure is rather interesting. For the regents, much like the Buffaloes football squad, the partying appears to have pretty much rolled right along through the lean years for the rest of the program.A change in leadership for this system can’t come soon enough. The myriad scandals have a silver lining in sending CU President Betsy Hoffman on her way, along with some other top administrators. The house cleaning shouldn’t stop with the administration and the athletic department, though.The regents appear to be very much part of the problem, too. Their sense of entitlement pervades the Rocky Mountain News story Saturday about their excesses. Basically, their rationale is that they are doing important work, for no pay. So they just have to stay in the best places, buy lots of expensive stuff, and fly off on junkets – er, attend road football games. Their business demands it. Sounds faintly like the rationale for Tyco, WorldCom and Enron executives as they took advantage of their positions. And smells like more than a whiff of that wacky weed so popular in Boulder, too. Only Bostonians smoke more of the stuff, a survey this week asserted. That explains Ted Kennedy and John Kerry as well as anything. It’s hard to tell reading cold print if these folks managed to keep straight faces while explaining themselves to the reporters.The story also provides more insight on how nuts like Ward Churchill survive so long on campus. His goofy essay about “little Eichmanns” and pretending to be an Indian with no more than a bare trace of the bloodline at best merely show a predictable collegial eccentricity, proof that morons can turn up anywhere. More serious are the questions about his scholarship. Cub reporters at the dinky Vail Daily show a lot more care and knowledge on that account than this fellow. How he managed to worm his way to tenure on this campus is a scandal of its own. I don’t think CMC would have accepted this guy, never mind Colorado’s supposed flagship university.Former Sen. Hank Brown has a big, big job when he takes over Aug. 1. From kids turning up dead from drinking and helping lead the nation in dope smoking, to teachers out there all on their own, to administrators trying to PR themselves along, and finally to regents who have deluded themselves into truly believing their excesses are essential.That’s one hell of an image, with way too much truth behind it. The thing has rotten wood throughout. Good luck, Hank.Meantime, I’m on-my-knees thankful that neither of my teenagers has any interest in the CU system.However innocently misguided they are in their youth, they are looking at college as that hallowed place of … education. Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or editor@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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