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Regents satisfied with consolidation assessment, halt study

The University of Colorado Board of Regents on Monday unanimously passed a resolution that reaffirmed the consolidation of the University of Colorado Denver's Downtown Campus and Anschutz Medical Campus, halting a comprehensive assessment that was scheduled to proceed through the fall.

The resolution also directed CU President Bruce D. Benson to give the board recommendations for naming and branding the campuses.

Carried by Regent Michael Carrigan, D-Denver, the resolution states that "no further review is necessary" and affirmed the board's 2004 decision to consolidate the campuses and its 2007 decision to name it the University of Colorado Denver. Board members said they were satisfied with the assessment done jointly by Benson, UC Denver Chancellor M. Roy Wilson, and their senior staffs.

The regents first called for a study to assess the effectiveness of consolidation in January and passed a resolution in March, directing the president and chancellor to collaborate on a review and evaluation of the effort. Benson and Wilson told the board they had worked with their senior staffs in recent months to assess the issue and had reached the conclusion that consolidation is working, effectively halting what was expected to be a lengthy study.

Some regents, as well as members of the UC Denver community, had questioned conducting a study in the face of a difficult economy and an approaching accreditation visit in 2011.

Benson said the review of the operations and budget of the institution not only showed that deconsolidation would be expensive, but also that the benefits of consolidation are ahead of the curve in terms of where the CU system is heading.

"We're looking at areas where we can share services across the university, and in many ways that's exactly what's happening at UC Denver," he said. "Some of its operations can serve as a model for where we need to go with all our campuses and system administration."

For his part, Wilson said, "We're pleased President Benson and the entire Board of Regents affirmed that our consolidation is bringing both educational and administrative benefits to the entire university system and our two campuses specifically. We look forward to working with the president and regents on the next steps toward branding and marketing our great institution."

Carrigan asked that the board get a presentation from Landor, the branding firm working with the university, so that the regents can get a better sense of the work the firm has been doing and its recommendations.

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