The Info List - Bruce D. Benson

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Bruce Davey Benson (born July 4, 1938) became president of the University of Colorado
University of Colorado
(CU) in March 2008. The CU university system encompasses four campuses: CU Boulder, CU Denver, CU Colorado Springs and University of Colorado
University of Colorado
Anschutz Medical Campus
Anschutz Medical Campus
in Aurora, Colorado.


1 Early career 2 Tenure 3 Education 4 Controversies 5 Political life 6 Personal life 7 References 8 External links

Early career[edit] Benson was a successful businessman who was active in a variety of educational, civic and political activities at the state and national levels. In 1965, he founded Benson Mineral Group, an oil and gas exploration and production company. Since then, his business interests have expanded to include banking, mortgage servicing, real estate development and management, geothermal power, manufacturing, trucking, restaurants and cable television. In 2009 he was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. Benson has sat on boards of directors of dozens of companies, including United States
United States
Exploration, American Land Lease Corporation, Western Capital Investment Corporation and First Interstate Bank of Denver. Three different Colorado governors have named Benson to educational initiatives and governing boards, all of which he chaired: the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (1985–89), Metropolitan State College Board of Trustees (2003–07), P-20 Education Coordinating Council (2007–08) and the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Higher Education (2001–03). Outside Colorado, he was board chair of the Berkshire School
Berkshire School
in Massachusetts (1984–94) and also served on the board of Smith College
Smith College
(1988–95). Nationally, Benson was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Park Service
National Park Service
and was confirmed by the US Senate
US Senate
as a member of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Tenure[edit] CU President Bruce D. Benson
Bruce D. Benson
celebrated his 10th anniversary in March 2018, becoming the longest serving CU president in the past 65 years. During Benson’s tenure, CU’s research funding has reached record levels in each of the past several years (including topping $1 billion in 2016-17), supporting the university’s research strengths in biotechnology, health care, renewable and sustainable energy, and aerospace engineering, among others. He has led efforts to promote cross-campus collaboration that have resulted in cooperative academic programs and research initiatives, most notably CU’s Biofrontiers Institute, led by Nobel laureate Tom Cech. Benson and his wife, Marcy Head Benson, chaired CU’s $1.5 billion Creating Futures fundraising campaign, which was publicly announced in April 2011 and concluded in November 2013 with $1.53 billion in donations to support scholarships, academic enhancements (endowed faculty positions, programs), research projects and capital improvements across CU’s campuses. Education[edit] Benson earned his bachelor's degree in geology from CU in 1964. Benson received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from CU in 2004. Controversies[edit] Benson was selected as CU president amid concerns among the CU faculty and community members about his lack of academic pedigree and for climate change denial, close connection to partisan politics (Benson unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Colorado
Governor of Colorado
as the Republican nominee in 1994), and close ties to the oil and gas industry.[1] However, Benson—the longest sitting president in the past 65 years—has since won over several of his detractors and has become notable for his philanthropy, not accepting salary increases and essentially working as the university's "volunteer" president [2]. In 2012 after the State of Colorado passed Colorado Amendment 64 legalizing the use of recreational marijuana, Benson sent an email to constituents decrying the passage of the amendment, commenting on his personal disapproval of the amendment and erroneously suggesting that the CU system would lose federal funding because of its passage.[3] Political life[edit] Benson was the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party
Colorado Republican Party
from 1987 to 1993 and was the Republican nominee for Colorado governor in an unsuccessful 1994 bid. Personal life[edit] In addition to his wife, Marcy, he has three children and 10 grandchildren. References[edit]

^ Martin, Jim. "CU can do better than Bruce Benson". Denver Post.  ^ Anas, Brittany. "Bruce Benson: CU's 'volunteer' president". Daily Camera.  ^ Rubino, Joe (December 8, 2012). "Jared Polis blasts Bruce Benson for claims CU could lose $1B over Amendment 64". Boulder Daily Camera. 

University Relations, Office of the President, University of Colorado External links[edit]

University of Colorado
University of Colorado
System 10 years in at CU Bruce Benson still the right choice Ten years of Benson takes CU to pinnacle CV Benson speaks his mind Commentary: Conference realignment is all about the money Republicans Name Donors of $7.1 Million to Party Leaders stress ties that bind at announcement of $1.5 billion campaign

Party political offices

Preceded by John Andrews Republican nominee for Governor of Colorado 1994 Succeeded by Bill Owens

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University of Colorado


Boulder Colorado Springs

Heller Center


Auraria Campus Anschutz Medical Campus University of Colorado
University of Colorado

University of Colorado
University of Colorado
South Denver


Boulder School of Law CU Online Denver Business School Denver School of Public Affairs


Center for Integrated Plasma Studies Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics National Snow and Ice Data Center


Board of Regents President: Bruce D. Benson Chancellors: Phil DiStefano Pamela Shockley-Zalabak Don Elliman Dorothy Horrell

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Presidents of the University of Colorado
University of Colorado

Rautenstraus (1974–1980) Weber (1980–1985) Baughn (1985) Gee (1985–1990) Baughn (1990–1991) Albino (1991–1995) Buechner (1995–2000) Bracken (2000) Hoffman (2000–2005) Brown (2005–2008)