• July 24th, 2024
  • Wednesday, 10:23:47 PM

An Inherent Conflict of Interest




The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents announced on April 12th that current Interim President Todd Saliman is the sole finalist for the university’s next president. CLLARO (Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization) and our partners in the Latino Action Council are not surprised by this decision and concerned about what this may mean for the university’s future and its commitment to Latino students.


“There is no better term that defines this process than one we are very familiar with, “rigged”. This was a rigged appointment from the beginning. The public should be seriously concerned with a Board that is willing to carry on with a process that was biased and unfair,” said Mario M. Carrera, President/CEO of CLLARO. The Regents’ decision to select Todd Saliman was preordained months ago and the so-called “open and fair search process” was a charade.


“The public should be seriously concerned with a Board that is willing to carry on with a process that was biased and unfair.”
Mario M. Carrera, President/CEO, CLLARO


Last June, the Regents appointed Mr. Saliman as interim president and his contract stated that, “Todd will not apply for the position of president, but will aid the search process for the next president and the transition process”. (Section 2. B) Mr. Saliman further agreed to return to his position as Vice President for Budget and Finance. Mr. Saliman, as per his contract, began the search process which included the review of national search firms and assisted the regents in selecting the 17 member search committee. Eight of the 17 members of the search committee were CU employees and Mr. Saliman knew, or should have known them, given his years at CU and his oversight of the university’s budget.


For reasons which have never been made public, the regents and Mr. Saliman amended his contract in September, 2021 to allow Mr. Saliman to apply for the presidential position.


Mr. Saliman, with the full knowledge and agreement of the regents (several of whom are also CU employees) had been and continued to be engaged in the search process for several months.


Only after the search firm Storbeck Search had been hired, and the search committee had its first meeting in mid-December, did Mr. Saliman formally state he would apply for the position. He thus knew the members of the search committee, the search firm itself, before formally submitting his name. No other candidate had such an advantage in the search process making the search process biased and unfair in favor of one individual. No other candidate has “oversight” of CU employees who were members of the search committee or the board of regents.


Further, we believe that state funds have been used to further the application of Mr. Saliman.


CLLARO stands by the official citizen complaint filed with Attorney General Phil Weiser alleging abuse of government resources and a pattern and practice of discrimination by the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents. We also submitted a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request for email and other communications since June 1, 2021, between former University President Bruce Benson and the search committee and CU Regents; any and all communications between current Interim President Todd Saliman and the search committee, CU Regents, and the search firm; and the demographics for all CU presidential candidates interviewed but not chosen as a finalist. This CORA request has not been fulfilled in violation of state law.


CLLARO believes today’s [April 12] decision to nominate Todd Saliman as the sole candidate for the university’s next president is yet another display of an inherent conflict of interest and potential unethical behavior by the CU Board of Regents. Our request for a new search process with a qualified Colorado search firm and a diverse and representative search committee has been ignored, and CLLARO and members of the Latino Action Council will continue to employ all legal avenues to hold the Board of Regents and Mr. Saliman accountable for their conduct.


Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO).


Read More Commentary: ELSEMANARIO.US