CMC president leaving with $500K severance

Colorado Mountain College and its president are parting ways, at a half-million-dollar cost to the school.

CMC’s board Thursday accepted Stan Jensen’s resignation and approved a $500,000 separation payment to him under an agreement that otherwise is confidential. The board tapped its reserve account for the money.

Only four board members — barely a quorum — participated in a brief teleconference to carry out the separation agreement. However, the board has held several recent closed-door meetings to consider personnel matters.

One board member, Pat Chlouber of Leadville, said during the teleconference, “I’m really sad to be here when it appears that we’re going to be separating Dr. Stan Jensen from CMC and I hereby regretfully accept his resignation in order that he receive the compensation that I believe he’s accepted.”

Jensen listened in on the call but did not speak. He could not be reached for comment.

Jensen joined CMC in 2008 after previously running an executive leadership firm in Iowa. The taxpayer-supported school has campuses in 11 communities.

Board president Glenn Davis said under the confidentiality terms of the separation agreement he could not speak to the circumstances behind Jensen’s resignation.

Jensen’s contract was set to expire June 30, 2014. Davis said Jensen initially was hired under a $185,000 salary, but he wasn’t certain of Jensen’s current salary.

Davis praised Jensen’s leadership in winning approvals for the previously two-year college to be able to begin offering some four-year degree programs. He also was instrumental in establishing the (Walter) Isaacson School for New Media, Davis said.

“I think Dr. Jensen brought a different way of looking at what the true potential of a community college could be. … The college really appreciates the new directions that Dr. Jensen kind of encouraged us all to think were actually possible,” he said.

One of the biggest controversies during Jensen’s tenure came when the college administration signed a lease with SourceGas to locate a compressor station on the Spring Valley campus outside Glenwood Springs. The CMC board in May voted not to honor the lease after questions arose about its potential impacts on the campus and neighboring landowners.

Davis said that issue “really did not play a role in where we are today.”

Board member Ken Brenner declined to comment, other than to say, “He announced his resignation. We reimbursed him fairly for the many, many good things that he’s done for the Colorado Mountain College school system and we’re sad to see him leave but he’s made that decision.”

Jill Boyle, the college’s senior vice president, will be in charge of the college until an interim president is named.


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