Q&A with Richard Murray, candidate for University of Colorado Board of Regents, 6th District

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Party: Republican

Residence: Highlands Ranch

Campaign website: www.murrayforcuregent.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

Experience at CU and devotion to my alma mater — I am a two-time alumnus of CU Boulder (undergraduate and law degrees). While at CU, I served as student body president (a “tri-executive" in student government), working closely with the university system on key issues facing students, and served on the Chancellor's Executive Committee and Boulder Campus Planning Commission. I have kept strong ties to CU over the past 20 years and recently served as the chair of the CU Law Alumni Board, working on issues of tuition costs, diversity, scholarships and job placement. I understand the importance of affordable, high-quality and accessible public education.

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

The number one long-term issue that must be addressed is the rising cost of attendance for our students. Recent generations are being crushed by an ever-increasing student loan burden. As a millennial who attended CU in the 2000s, I know this firsthand. We must find ways to make the in-state cost of obtaining a degree from CU sustainable for our students. This issue is multiplied by the COVID-19 pandemic as revenue sources become more limited. I will work closely with the administration on solutions so CU comes out of the pandemic more innovative, more cost-efficient and stronger.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

CU provided me with the foundation for everything I am today. But it came with a significant price tag. Although tuition did not increase this year, it will naturally need to be adjusted as time passes if measures are not taken to address budget shortfalls. As a regent, I will roll up my sleeves and work to identify areas where savings can be made to ease the financial burden on the next generation of our students. Also, as a longtime athletics supporter, the Buffs winning the Rose Bowl is an achievement I want to see happen.

CU Boulder has promised reforms on campus diversity for years, but plans have appeared to be delayed since 2017. What role do regents play in such plans?

We must foster an environment of belonging, where all students are safe and able to learn, grow and become our next generation of leaders. The regents are in a position to adopt policies and provide the guidance from the top down to address diversity, inclusivity and equity. As a student body president, one of our student government's biggest agenda items was diversity. During my time as chair of the CU Law Alumni Board, I continued to work on these issues, and the most recent entering class is the most diverse in the history of the law school.

In light of the pandemic's effect on tax revenue, how will you address budget shortages on CU campuses?

The budget shortages are here and will likely continue if enrollment goes down, state funding continues to decrease, self-generated revenue drops and so on. I will work tirelessly with the university system administration and each campus to identify how best to offset shortfalls and will work to identify areas where consolidation or reorganization are appropriate. This includes a detailed analysis of the budget, working with the Legislature and Joint Budget Committee for more state funding, and increasing our advancement efforts with donors and the business community to raise the necessary funds to provide a world-class education at an affordable price.

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