Vail Daily letter: Asking for your vote | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Asking for your vote

I am running for the statewide seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents. It is not always apparent but CU leadership matters to our entire state. CU employs over 30,000 people across its four campuses, making it our third largest employer; CU educates over 65,000 students per year; and, the CU system annually pumps $7 billion into the Colorado economy. We are one of only four states that elect the governing board of its state university. There are nine regents; seven are elected by congressional direct and two are elected statewide.

So here are a few reasons why everyone should be interested in this race: If we don't fix our state budget issues, all of Colorado's colleges will continue to lag in resources. Colorado is ranked 48th in funding its higher education system, which does not seem to reflect our citizens' values and interests. I support the bipartisan effort to designate the "hospital provider fee" as an enterprise fund. This measure would free up about $350 million for critical state needs, such as education, without raising taxes. My opponent opposes this effort, a position which harms all of our other state colleges that depend even more on their state contributions. The only entity to oppose this 2016 bipartisan bill was the Koch brothers funded "Americans for Prosperity."

My other priorities as regent would be:

• Containing tuition costs and reducing the backbreaking debt on the next generation.

• Critically analyzing costs, including non-teaching professional staff to ensure that salaries and numbers are appropriate.

• Increasing diversity on all four campuses for students and faculty and increasing graduation rates, particularly among minority students.

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• Addressing the high rate of sexual assault on campus. (My opponent supports Trump, whose remarks are only doing further harm to young women.)

• Ensuring all credits transfer from community colleges.

CU has played a pivotal role in my life and I want to give back the university and the people it serves. I received my undergraduate and JD degrees at CU, and I have worked at both CU Denver and CU Law School. My diverse experience in high-tech, as a business attorney, House majority leader, instructor and convener built my record as a problem solver who can work across the aisle. I am proud to have broad-based bipartisan support from Republicans like former Minority Leader Mike May and Roy Palmer, former chief of staff to Gov. Bill Owens.

The succession planning for CU President Bruce Benson offers a chance to reset priorities over the next few years. I love CU and could go on and on about the many things it does well. But that does not mean I cannot look at it with a critical eye to make sure it better serves our students and our state. The board is facing many challenges, and I think I have the skill sets needed to ensure that higher education is an affordable option for all Colorado kids who choose it. Go to Vote.Madden4CU.com for more information. Thank you!

Alice Madden

CU regent at large candidate