Gun vote troubles regent candidate

A CU Board of Regents candidate assailed her opponent’s vote against appealing a court ruling that allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed firearms.

Melissa Hart, a Democrat, said the vote by Republican incumbent Steve Bosley marks a troubling ideological trend on the board.

Hart, who is director of the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado, said that CU campuses other than Boulder allow holders of concealed-carry permits to carry firearms on campus.

Bosley’s vote was unnecessary, Hart said. Even with it, his side lost 5-4 and an appeal is pending before the Colorado Supreme Court.

Regent Tillie Bishop of Grand Junction cast the deciding fifth vote, saying the regents should maintain their authority to set rules for the university campuses.

Bosley “made the choice to make a political statement with his vote,” Hart said, calling it “problematic.”

Bosley has been a proponent of encouraging conservative thought on campus, which Hart called a red herring that diverts attention from the need for the university to provide a good and complete education.

The woes of Ward Churchill, the fired CU ethnic-studies professor were “so unfair to the thousands of professors not engaging in academic misconduct,” Hart said.

CU’s cooperative agreement with Mesa State College for an engineering program in western Colorado is an example of cooperation that should be expanded to the rest of the state, Hart said.

“We are the state’s university,” Hart said, “not Boulder’s, not Denver’s.”

Such efforts also hold the promise of reduced costs and offer inspiration to many who can’t afford rising tuition rates, Hart said.

The regents should be more creative about providing education, including online and distance education, but should be careful not to “go too far too fast,” Hart said. As a teacher, “I do think there is value to the classroom.”

Professors who never have pursued grants before, such as those on the law school faculty, can shore up the flagging finances of the university by seeking grants for research, Hart said.

Efforts to recruit out-of-state and international students also have to be handled judiciously lest they undermine CU’s main mission, she said.

“To maintain the commitment to Colorado families, we have to be committed to being a state university,” Hart said.

Hart, who lives in Denver with her husband and two children, is seeking a six-year term for an at-large seat on the board.


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