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Sole finalist nominated for CU president

Interim President Todd Saliman, who replaced Mark Kennedy in July, received a unanimous nomination from the Board of Regents.

BOULDER, Colo. — University of Colorado Interim President Todd Saliman is the sole finalist for the permanent job.

The CU Board of Regents unanimously voted to name Saliman the finalist after an executive session Tuesday morning.

He was the only candidate selected from the original pool of 39 candidates, which included 13 woman and 26 men and 13 Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) candidates, according to the university.

Of those candidates, 10 were selected for interviews -- seven women and three men, including two BIPOC candidates, CU said.

“I was impressed with everyone we met. But one candidate stood out for me," Board Vice Chair Sue Sharkey said. "Throughout the process, Todd Saliman demonstrated tremendous experience and proven leadership. This is true in his time as the budget director for the State of Colorado, as a member of the Colorado legislature, as a CFO for the University of Colorado and as our interim president for the last nine months.”

Saliman became the 24th president of the university in July, when Mark Kennedy left the position.

"Mr. Saliman demonstrated his ability to work well with the board and bridge the gap between elected officials and the broader university community," Sharkey said. “Finally, Mr. Saliman spoke highly of his love for CU. He has spent his whole life around the university and that came through in his interview.”

According to CU, Saliman will visit each campus and system office over the next two weeks and answer questions in an open forum. He also will meet with leadership teams, governance groups and community stakeholders.

“Voting for a university president is each regent’s constitutional duty. At the same time, the board has leaned heavily on public input throughout the process and will continue to do so until the process is complete,"  Board Chair Jack Kroll said.

CU community members will then have an opportunity to provide feedback that the Board of Regents will consider before meeting in the last week of April for the final vote.

“The importance of this stage of the process cannot be overstated,” Kroll said. “The board will not vote on the next CU president until considering all public input, which the board welcomes. We encourage everyone in the community to take part.”

The Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO) said they were disappointed and not surprised about the decision to advance Saliman.

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“In June, Todd Saliman was appointed interim president, contractually obligated not to apply and to assist in the search process. In September, that changes," CLLARO CEO and President Mario Carrera said. "After a search firm is retained, after a search committee is put in place, he puts his candidacy in the hat and the regents relent and they allow him to be a candidate. That is a biased process, a rigged process, because he has been lobbying. He has been talking to people and trying to get this support from the internal. No other candidate has gotten that kind of support or that kind of vantage point."

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Saliman was born and raised in Littleton. He attended CU Boulder and graduated with a degree in political science, according to the university's website.

His resume includes serving in the state legislature, working for two Colorado governors and overseeing CU's budget operations for more than a decade, the website says.

Before being named interim president, Saliman served as CU's senior vice president for strategy, government relations and chief financial officer, according to the university's website.

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