- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - The University of Colorado is asking to split the cost of its annual Conference on World Affairs evenly between the university and the community, create a $5 million endowment for the program and attract more diverse viewpoints over the next five years.

Currently the school pays 61 percent of the costs and the plan is to have outside support increase, not for the university to spend less. The university hopes to split the cost of the conference evenly with the community.

“No one is at all contemplating that we’ll reach that division of support by reducing the university’s contribution,” said John Griffin, CWA’s director. “I’m not aware of any short-term or long-term plans to reduce university support.”

The conference outlined its goals in a strategic plan developed this summer, the Daily Camera reports (https://goo.gl/QBKU5B). The plan also outlines a new governance structure that includes a permanent board of the faculty director, appointees from the chancellor’s office, one student, four community members and three CU faculty or staff members.

According to the plan, the governing board will have no authority over personnel or budgetary matters, but will help with issues of strategy and policy.

After the most recent week-long event of panels, participants and volunteers rescinded their support of the program due to Griffin’s leadership style. Boulder philanthropist and longtime CWA volunteer Jane Butcher also took back an offer for a $1 million donation to spearhead an endowment campaign to raise $5 million for the conference because of Griffin.

Griffin said he plans to look forward after the difficult 2015 conference.

He said a $5 million endowment within five years is still doable and the longer timeline will help with the goal.

“That gives us adequate time to assess our potential sources for that and to do it in a very thoughtful way,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be rushed and I’ve been really encouraged with some of the early conversations I’ve had with people that are highly committed to the conference and want to secure its financial future.”

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Information from: Daily Camera, https://www.dailycamera.com/

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