GLENWOOD SPRINGS — In a narrowly split decision, the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Board of Trustees on Tuesday voted to offer Carrie Hauser, currently senior fellow at a Missouri foundation, the job as CMC’s ninth president.
The board was split, 3-3, on a motion to offer Hauser the job, when board chair Glenn Davis cast the tie-breaking vote in Hauser’s favor.
Voting in favor of Hauser were trustees Pat Chlouber, Bob Taylor and Charles Cunniffe. Voting against the motion were trustees Mary Ellen Denomy, Ken Brenner and Kathy Goudy.
Hauser was competing with one other candidate for the job, Alan Walker, after another three candidates either dropped out of contention or were dismissed by the trustees for one reason or another.
At a meeting in mid-September, following CMC Vice President Jill Boyle’s decision to pull out from the presidential search process, the board voted to bring back Hauser and Walker for secondary interviews, which took place on Wednesday morning before the regular board meeting.
After the interviews and a short executive session to talk about the presidential search process, the board went into open session to chat about the earlier interviews.
Davis, after saying he had initial doubts about Hauser’s administrative experience, said he was swayed by her “engaging personality” and felt she would be able to successfully establish good relations with other executives, administrators, the faculty and the students of the six-county, 11-campus CMC district.
Davis also noted that a list of “key constituents” who had been asked by the trustees to provide input about the candidates came out in favor of Hauser.
“I don’t think it needs to drive our decision making, but we asked these people to give input,” he told his fellow trustees.
Brenner, however, offered up his support for Walker.
“Personally, I’m much more comfortable” with Walker, he said. “He seems the one, to me, to be more capable.” Brenner, from Steamboat Springs, said Walker seemed better suited to handling internal friction and controversies that occasionally arise within the district.
Cunniffe, of Aspen, said he felt Walker showed “a big disconnect” in his encounters with the college’s internal staff, while Hauser seemed to enjoy a better connection.
“And those are the people we’re trying to...,” he began, finishing with a remark about seeking “a way that they (the staff and the new president) can work together.”
Goudy said Walker seemed to have a more appropriate “background in community colleges” than Hauser, which Goudy felt would equip Walker to come into the job and start working effectively immediately.
But Chlouber, who earlier had called both Hauser and Walker “outstanding candidates,” apparently concluded that Hauser was the better of the two, saying, “I think she could fill the bill.”
According to a statement by CMC, Hauser is currently senior fellow at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., and is a past president and CEO of Kauffman Scholars in the same city. Prior to that, she served as vice president for institutional advancement and external relations at Metropolitan State College of Denver. She earned a BA in interdisciplinary studies (business administration, political science and communications) from the University of Arizona, and a PhD in higher education policy from the University of California - Los Angeles.