This November, the entire state of Colorado will have the opportunity to vote for CU’s Regent at-large, and though the election is over nine months away, candidates have started campaigning for incumbent Stephen Ludwig’s position on the board.
The Board of Regents consists of nine men and women who serve six-year terms and oversee almost every aspect of the University of Colorado system, which includes four campuses and 59,000 students. Colorado is just one of four states that allows the public to elect new board members.
Stephen Ludwig has been on the board since his term began in 2007; he was elected in 2006. The Democrat hopes to continue serving as a regent and later in the year will be up against the Republican candidate, who has yet to be determined.
The CU Independent is profiling Ludwig in the second of a series of interviews with the regent candidates.
Name: Stephen Ludwig
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Profession: Corporate marketing and communications manager for CH2M HILL
CU Connection: Degrees in philosophy, marketing and communications from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
What sort of experience have you had with the Board of Regents in the past?
Other than being elected in 2006, I’ve been vice chair of the board, the chair of the academic affairs committee three times, and the chair of the strategic planning committee.
What do you feel is the primary concern for the board right now?
We need to constantly be thinking about what it means to be a public institution with very little money. [Colorado is one of the lowest-ranked states in terms of providing funding for education.] We need to examine how to deliver higher education. We have also looked into how to increase effectiveness of teaching on campus and measuring student outcomes—how much more they learn, for example. And if you look at how many staff and faculty we have with comparable universities, our ratio of staff to faculty is the lowest. It implies that we’re doing more with less people, and that’s something that needs to be maintained.
What about the issue of tuition?
It’s always a challenge. I put myself through college, so I’m very sensitive about tuition increases. I think people think that we can wave a magic wand and we won’t have these increases. But we are the most efficient university system in the country. We’ve increased our fundraising, and our financial aid has gone up substantially, so we’ll continue to cost-cut where we can. There’s still pressure. But, you know, there is no magic wand. There is no silver bullet.
How important is this election to the CU campuses and student body?
There are 59,000 students at our four campuses. They are the most impacted directly by what the board does. How much loan debt they’ll have, financial aid access, class options, the board influences all of that.
There is no experience like being on the board. It’s a highly complex organization that I’ve spent the past six years learning about. Because we’re going into a new era of higher education due to bad funding, experience is really important in this race.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Annie Melton at Anne.firstname.lastname@example.org.