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Education

CU President Mark Kennedy Announces He Is Stepping Down

Mark Kennedy
Amanda Andrews
/
KUNC
File photo of Mark Kennedy speaking at a forum on the CU Boulder campus as a University of Colorado presidential finalist in April 2019.

University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy announced Monday he would be stepping down from his position.

“The Board of Regents has a new makeup this year, which has led to changes in its focus and philosophy,” Kennedy said in a statement.

The announcement comes nearly two weeks after University of Colorado Boulder faculty and students voted to censure Kennedy for his actions and comments surrounding diversity. The Boulder Faculty Assembly approved a motion that cited “failure of leadership with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The CU Board of Regents switched from a Republican to a Democratic majority for the first time in nearly 40 years after its November election, The Denver Post reported.

Kennedy was hired as CU’s system president in May 2019.

Kennedy is a former Republican congressman who served Minnesota House districts before he was defeated by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the state’s 2006 Senate election.

When Kennedy was selected to be the sole finalist in April 2019, the decision quickly became controversial due to his congressional voting record that opposed same-sex marriage and increased restrictions on abortion. As the finalist, he visited all four campuses where hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni protested his selection.

An interim president has not been selected. The board will conduct a national search for the next permanent president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.