LETTER: Ilana Spiegel should represent CD6 on CU Board of Regents

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Editor: With ballots mailed in less than two weeks, there are a number of races locally that are of critical importance. Specifically, I’d like to address the race for Regent of the University of Colorado from Congressional District 6.

The right person for this job is long-time education champion, Ilana Spiegel. With her award-winning work as an educator and advocate, Ilana Spiegel’s plan is the best to advance the University of Colorado in the areas of access, affordability, opportunity, and inclusivity. She has the most holistic vision and approach not only for the students who drive the university but also for the faculty and staff who are integral to the operations of the four campuses across the Front Range.

The Republican candidate in this race has bemoaned the increasing tuition as a barrier for students. On one hand, this is indeed a valid concern. But a concern that has not been appropriately addressed by his Republican counterparts who have controlled the board for the past 40 years. That is, any tuition increase in the past four decades has come about by a Republican-controlled board. That needs to change in order to create a more accessible, affordable, and perhaps most importantly, a more inclusive CU.

While the Republican candidate’s affiliation with one of the campuses as a student leader and two-time graduate might be impressive and endearing to some, that alone does not reflect the deeper knowledge needed to advance the needs of the four-campus multibillion-dollar enterprise that is a cornerstone of Colorado’s economy. Ilana Speigel, for quite some time now, has been deep in the study of the governance of the university, engaging stakeholders and university leaders, and has a solid plan to work with her future board colleagues to address the challenges the university faces now and in the future.

As a CU faculty member—an educator of public servants, a teacher of leadership and ethics, and a researcher whose focus has been on innovation in public organizations and social equity—I have a high bar to clear in terms of the candidates and elected officials I’m willing to publicly support. Ilana Spiegel clears that bar with plenty of room to spare. She is the best choice to represent Colorado’s 6th Congressional District on the University of Colorado Board of Regents.

— John C. Ronquillo, via [email protected]