Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Shining Example of Liberal Tolerance

We all know the University of Colorado at Boulder is heavily populated by moonbats of all stripes, and for the longest time even had that fraud Ward Churchill on the payroll.

So it comes as no surprise the nomination of Bruce Benson to head up the state university is being met with condescending sneers and juvenile intolerance.

Why? Because (gasp!) he's an oilman, that most loathsome of all known creatures, and even worse, he's a rabid right-winger!

Oh, the horrors.
The man nominated to lead the state's flagship university is an oilman, not an academic. In a sea of Ph.Ds, he has only a bachelor's degree. But he does offer this: A reputation as a formidable fundraiser.

Bruce Benson's nomination may be bitterly dividing this 52,000-student, three-campus institution, but it is a sign that dollars, not degrees, are playing a bigger role in choosing college presidents. Though Benson would be one of only a fraction of college presidents without an advanced degree, he says he's not worried about doing the job.

"People say, 'What are the most important issues?' I say, funding, funding, funding," Benson said. "I don't think you need to have a Ph.D. in anything to talk to legislators and raise money. We have highly educated chancellors. I will work closely with them."

Campus observers have fiercely protested the selection, which has yet to be approved by regents. A "Boycott Benson" Web site questions the selection process and criticizes his background as a conservative Republican activist. The student government has voiced complaints, and a campus portrait of Benson was defaced with graffiti that said, "I've given CU enough $ for an individual right-wing nut like me to be CU's president."

State House Majority Leader Alice Madden, a Democrat and CU law school graduate, declared that Benson would be "the least educated president ever considered in modern history."

Benson is the sole finalist for the job overseeing three campuses in Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs. In recent years, CU's president has been more of a chief executive officer, with chancellors leading individual campuses.

He would join a small club of college leaders without advanced credentials. A 2005 Chronicle of Higher Education survey of 764 presidents and chancellors found fewer than 1 percent held only a bachelor's degree. More than 83 percent held a doctorate, while most others held master's or professional degrees.

"Generally speaking, for major research universities and colleges and liberal arts colleges, it would be indeed rare to appoint somebody to such a high position with no more than a bachelor's degree," said Jonathan Knight, associate secretary of the Washington-based American Association of University Professors.

Benson, 69, insists his professional experience gives him an edge. He has chaired a $1 billion fundraising campaign for the school, successfully lobbied for a state law to give universities more money, and served on several education boards.

After earning his B.A. from CU in geology, he abandoned a master's degree to pursue a lucrative career in oil and gas. He went on to become owner and president of Benson Mineral Group, Inc., a Denver-based oil and gas exploration firm, and was CEO and President of United States Exploration Inc., a Montana-based oil and gas producer. He has served on numerous corporate boards.

He recently was national co-chair of Mitt Romney's recently suspended presidential campaign. That qualification, combined with his background in oil, has rankled many students and faculty at Boulder, whose climate researchers shared a Nobel Prize with Al Gore last year. Benson, however, says he quit politics after being named a finalist for president.
Sounds like a good enough resume to me.

Also seems to me for all the black eyes the university has had these past years, these professors ought to start worrying about what's best financially for the university's future and stop pushing their agenda so much.

Update: Instapundit links. Thanks!

More from the The Campus Press.

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