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Friday Churn: New face at UCD

What’s churning:

Don Elliman, an executive at the Anschutz Medical Campus and a top advisor to former Gov. Bill Ritter, has been named interim chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver and the Anschutz campus.

CU President Bruce Benson said there’s no timetable for finding a permanent chancellor.

Elliman succeeds Jerry Wartgow, who’s retiring next month. Wartgow was pretty much of an interim himself, having been appointed in March 2010. Wartgow’s long resume includes stints as acting dean of the DU education school, DPS superintendent, head of the state community college system and director of the Auraria Higher Education Center.

Elliman, currently director of a stem cell center at Anschutz, was Ritter’s chief operating officer and also was a key advisor to the citizen group that crafted a higher education strategic plan in 2010. A former Time Inc. executive, Elliman also served as president of Ascent Sports. See CU news release

A bill designed to improve third-grade literacy is expected to finally surface in the legislature next week. Ahead of that, the Bell Policy Institute has released a report breaking down some of the data on the issue, concluding there are large gaps in the reading abilities of Colorado third-graders. Report

Those who’d hoped sale of state-chartered Pinnacol Assurance, the big workers’ comp insurance company, would provide a cash infusion for state higher ed scholarships will have to wait. Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office announced Thursday that he is slowing work on a possible restructuring of the company and won’t make any proposals to the legislature this year.

The governor has mentioned college financial aid as one possible use for the proceeds of a Pinnacol sale. State financial aid and work-study funding totals about $100 million this year, and the administration is proposing the same amount in 2012-13.

What’s not on tap:

Blizzard forecasts prompted the legislature to cancel Friday sessions and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to scratch its afternoon meeting at the Capitol.

If you’re curious about school district plans, check the closures list maintained by our partners at

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at

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