Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Joe Blake steps up to statewide impact

And yet another!

... Republican-inspired headline I can be happy about, I mean.

... Following on my last post, about Bruce Benson's budget cuts for the University of Colorado.

This new headline, again from The Post, which is the only major newspaper in town anymore, was about Joe Blake, president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, taking the post of chancellor of Colorado State University.

Congratulations, Joe.

That's two Republican Denver businessmen now holding the reins of two of the state's leading public universities. Who's next?

Colorado School of Mines is the only major public institution left to be led. Stan Kroenke? He holds his politics pretty close to the vest, but Wal-Mart execs are generally Republican, at least they run their stores that way, and Kroenke is married to a Walton.

Or how about Don Elliman, a former Kroenke exec who now is director of Gov. Bill Ritter's Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Elliman is part of a Democratic administration and has contributed to both Mark Udall's and Ken Salazar's U.S. Senate campaigns; but he has also worked for Kroenke, has been a big-time magazine publisher (who mostly are Republican), and has contributed to Pete Coors' failed Senate campaign as well.

Either Kroenke or Elliman, although not engineers, could easily be good candidates for running the School of Mines like a business. Of course, there are probably any number of Republican engineers who would be just as qualified, if not more so.

Anyway, it's good to know Joe Blake is moving up to a position with more of a statewide impact. His good cheer and business smarts will be well applied to running a university.

Colorado's institutions of public higher education have to be a priority of state government now.

The economics of the higher-ed industry -- and don't mistake me, everything has been turned into an industry in America these days, from poetry to education to sport -- are working against the best interests of all Coloradans right now, and must be corrected for the greater good.

Joe Blake is a great candidate for helping to make things right. I wish him the best of luck.

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