Last updated 12:42PM ET
December 17, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
CU President Visits Southwest Colorado
(2008-06-17)
(ksut) - 06.17.08.CUPresident

HOST LEAD: University of Colorado's 22nd President visited southwest Colorado yesterday to talk about challenges and successes in higher education. One of them is that Colorado ranks 48th in the country for state funding.

KSUT's Sarah Baumgartner reports.

SARAH: Bruce Benson is University of Colorado at Boulder's new president. He's visiting 20 different areas across Colorado.

La Plata County alone has 900 alums and roughly 400 some students who currently attend the university. Benson feels that Southwest Colorado is a pivotal target area for CU Boulder. Benson's 9th and 10th stop yesterday were in Cortez and Durango.

Benson talked to a crowd of an estimated 50 people about some of the challenges higher education faces, primarily dealing with finances and lack of promotion in higher education.

BRUCE BENSON: PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF COLORADO DO NOT HOLD HIGHER EDUCATION IN THIS HIGH ESTEAM, IT'S DOWN HERE SOMEWHERE. AND I THINK IT'S DUE TO LEADERSHIP IN THE STATE OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS OR SO. AND WE'VE GOT TO GET OUT AND WE'VE GOT TELL EVERYBODY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

CU currently has 24000 employees and 54 thousand students.

Jo Carole is one of the 900 alums in the area and received a Bachelor's degree from CU in '67 and a Masters degree in '72. Carole attended the introductory meeting because she's a long time financial supporter of the University.

JO CAROLE: I REALLY APPRECIATE MEETING OUR NEW PRESIDENT, I THINK IT'S WONDERFUL. I THINK HE'S GOING TO DO OK.

Benson hopes to do more than ok when it comes to improving his campuses. Be it CU or any other university Benson says more important to invest in higher education any way you can.

BENSON: IT'S NOT JUST UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, LET'S WORRY ABOUT ALL OF HIGHER EDUCATION. AND AS I SAY A LOT OF TIMES COME TO CU, WE WANT YOU AT CU. IF YOU CAN'T BE AT CU, GO TO FORT LEWIS, GO TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, GO WHEREVER BUT GO. AND THAT IS WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT. RISING TIDE, ALL SHIPS COME UP. AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN.

Colorado ranks 48th in the country for state funding in higher education. Benson's ultimate goal in office is to increase that funding and the number of people receiving degrees in higher education.

Benson's next stop will be in Montrose and Gunnison.

From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Sarah Baumgartner.
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