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CU regent faces censure following probe of mistreatment allegations, vows he’ll continue

A University of Colorado governing regent representing western and southern Colorado faces a censure, which would be unprecedented, for violating policies barring mistreatment of school employees.

University of Colorado Regent Glen Gallegos (Photo courtesy of University of Colorado)

CU’s politically divided board of regents is scheduled to vote Wednesday at a special meeting on a resolution that would censure Glen Gallegos, 72, a Republican from Grand Junction, according to university documents and officials who spoke with The Denver Post on condition of anonymity.

The officials said Gallegos repeatedly engaged in hostile and abusive verbal behavior toward women, a pattern they said culminated this year with a problematic incident, which they declined to disclose, citing personnel rules.

A censure by fellow regents would bar Gallegos, who previously chaired the board, from leadership positions and remove privileges, such as invitations and complimentary tickets to CU events including sports. But censure cannot remove a regent from the nine-member board, which is charged with running CU’s four campuses. Voters in Colorado elect CU regents – the system also used in Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada.

Gallegos has served as a regent since 2012 and was re-elected in 2018 for a second, six-year term that runs through 2025.

“A censure, it’s not good. But I don’t believe a censure is going to get in the way of how I continue to represent the 3rd Congressional District, the University of Colorado, and opportunities for kids,” Gallegos said in an interview Tuesday night.

“I can burn a little hot at times, and I think I can come across a little rough and tumble. I think I have. But what I have done is ask questions about accountability, about opportunities for students, about how our money is spent,” he said.

“I have two years left and I intend to continue. … If they feel they want to censure me, that’s the board’s right. I’m sure they’ll have enough votes to do it. Call out the problem. Let’s get it taken care of. And let’s move on. I feel I can work with the board and work with the university, and do the things I need to do to move forward. I’ve been a good regent. If there are things I need to do to improve how I come across to people, I am willing to do them.”

A former educator and retired operations president for a family-owned construction company, Gallegos has played an active role as a regent familiar with CU’s system and core challenges and opportunities at CU’s four campuses — in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and Aurora. He also has served on the Colorado Mesa University board as well as other organizations in the state’s 3rd Congressional District, including Club 20 and Action 22.

CU regents for months have been considering a possible censure under their policy that allows a reprimand or censure when board members find a regent violated duties. The regents’ policy says regents must find “by a preponderance of evidence” that a violation of a specific rule occurred. The policy allows censure only after an investigation and making sure the regent knows about the specific allegations and has an opportunity to review evidence and respond. Any censure must occur at a public meeting.

CU spokesman Ken McConnellogue declined to comment. Voters elect the nine regents to serve staggered six-year terms with one representing each of Colorado’s congressional districts and two at large.

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