At least two regents pushing for extension

Updated: June 27, 2004, 11:52 PM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- At least two University of Colorado regents advocate giving a multiyear contract to President Betsy Hoffman, despite controversies swirling around the football program and her own comments in a deposition.

"Would I be in favor of golden handcuffs for President Hoffman? You bet I would," said Pete Steinhauer, chairman of the regents, an elected board that oversees the university.

"Golden handcuff" contracts are designed to discourage key employees from leaving.

Currently, Hoffman serves at the pleasure of the regents, earning $400,000 a year.

Regent Susan Kirk also supported a long-term contract and said it has been discussed informally for a long time.

"I feel we have the strongest university leadership in the country," she said Wednesday.

The regents have not scheduled formal talks on the idea.

Hoffman was criticized last week for refusing to condemn a vulgar anatomical reference allegedly used to describe a female football player who says she was raped by a teammate.

Hoffman's comments came in a deposition in a lawsuit filed by three women who say they were sexually assaulted by football athletes.

Hoffman said the term was a "swear word" and that its meaning depended on the circumstances in which it was used.

The lawsuit triggered a scandal over CU football recruiting practices, including allegations that football athletes assaulted nine women during drunken parties. No criminal charges have been filed, but the school made sweeping changes to its athletics program.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press