News Organizations Battle CSU Over Closed-Door Selection for Chancellor Finalist

May 21 2009, 11:15 AM

In a 50-minute tape of a closed-door session by Colorado State University's Board of Governors on May 5, members "violated the state's open meeting law" when they voted to make fellow board member Joe Blake the sole finalist for the position of chancellor. That's according to the Pueblo Chieftain, which reports the public has the right to attend such votes under Colorado law. A day after the vote, the Chieftain joined the Fort Collins Coloradoan and Colorado Independent in a lawsuit against the board, a move that apparently forced the release of the tape. Board members, who never publicly explained why they selected Blake, worried on tape that the public might conclude they were hiring a "good old boy," reports the Coloradoan. Blake, who is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, dismissed the concerns, saying his good reputation would trump any criticism. The board only interviewed one other candidate, Dennis Brimhall, the former CEO of the University of Colorado's hospital, notes the Independent. Initial arguments in the lawsuit are scheduled for this morning in a Fort Collins courtroom. In a statement, Coloradoan editor Bob Moore says the release of the recording was only a "first step" toward getting to the bottom of the matter.