Choice of University President Draws Criticism

Students wave placards and an oil barrel in protest as the board of regents meets to decide whether to name Bruce Benson as the new president of the University of Colorado system in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. The University of Colorado regents faced a touchy decision on whether to appoint Benson, an oilman and former Republican fundraiser, as president of the CU system. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Denver (AP) An oilman and a former republican fundraiser gets
the board of regents' thumbs-up as the new president of the University of Colorado.

Critics are against the move, noting Bruce Benson has no advanced academic degree. He has a bachelor's degree in geology and was pursing a master's when he left school to form his own company, the Benson Mineral Group.

Supporters say Benson will bring the University of Colorado something it desperately needs: big donations and government funding.

After a public hearing, the regents voted 6-3 in favor of Benson, the lone finalist. All six republican regents backed him. The three democrats voted against him.

One regent who supports Benson says the lack of an advanced degree doesn't matter because Benson isn't going to be teaching anybody.