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Latino Advocates File Complaint Alleging Discrimination In Search For Next CU President

DENVER (CBS4) - As the search for the University of Colorado's next president narrows, criticism about the process is growing.

Carrera is the CEO of CLLARO, the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Organization. He is raising concerns, particularly after former Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia did not make it into the top five finalists.

"We are not going to let up," Carrera said. "We are going to stay on track and make sure that the people of Colorado understand what's at stake."

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Garcia, who is not part of the complaint, Carrera says, has an impressive resume. Garcia is a graduate of both CU and Harvard Law, and has more than 20 years working in higher education in Colorado, including while he was lieutenant governor.

"We are looking at it and saying 'What is it that you need to be president of CU?' If you have all the credentials, what is it that actually eliminated this particular candidate?" Carrera said.

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They filed a formal complaint with the Colorado Attorney General's office claiming, among other things, that the "University of Colorado Board of Regents and its search committee have engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination in its leadership selection."

"It's not that you want to create an adversarial situation," Carrera said. "It's that you want to make sure you are doing everything possible to represent our community."

In response to a request for comment, a CU spokesperson sent CBS4 a statement that went out to the CU community from the Board of Regents.

(credit: CBS)

In it, they say they're aware some would like the opportunity to view more than one candidate and provide input, but that it is common practice to only release the name of the finalist, and that "many candidates believe they could lose their current job if they were publicly announced for this one but not selected."

They go on to say they're carefully weighing those dynamics.

When asked for a comment on the specific allegations of discrimination, a spokesperson said, "We don't agree with that."

Carrera says their concerns follow a turbulent previous search and that its time to start asking questions.

"It's not about Joe Garcia," Carrera said. "It's about the process."

While the group specifically references Joe Garcia, he is not part of the complaint and is not commenting on it at this time.

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