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CU Board Of Regents Agrees To $1.3 Million Departure Deal For Mark Kennedy

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - Outgoing President of the University of Colorado system Mark Kennedy will get $1.3 million. The CU Board of Regents voted 8-1 on the deal on Wednesday.

Kennedy announced his decision to leave earlier this month due to a change "in focus and philosophy" with the current CU Board of Regents.

Mark Kennedy (2)
Mark Kennedy (credit: CBS)

The move follows a vote by the University of Colorado Boulder's faculty last month to censure him over his ideals on diversity, equity and inclusion.

During the virtual meeting on Wednesday, the division of political beliefs was at the forefront of the discussion.

The decision to choose Kennedy, a former Republican congressman, as the system's next leader in 2019 has been surrounded by controversy. At that time, CU's system faculty council issued a report stating Kennedy may have misled the regents about his qualifications.

Many felt Kennedy did not fully support the LGBTQ community or communities of color.

Republican members of the board say the decision to release Kennedy is not about diversity.

"Mark Kennedy is being fired for the high crime of not being a Democrat or left wing academic to a new board majority, who often forget they're serving the students of CU and not the DNC," said Heidi Ganahl, a Republican member of the CU Board of Regents.

Ganahal was the sole dissenting vote.

For the first time since the 1970s, Democrats gained majority rule over the board earlier this year.

"As we move forward I hope, I'm extending you my aspirations that we come together around a future president that's not simply installed on party line votes," said Jack Kroll, a Democratic member of the CU Board of Regents.

Kennedy is scheduled to officially leave his post on July 1. An interim president will be named in the near future.

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