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Hank Brown
United States Senator
from Colorado

In office
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by William L. Armstrong
Succeeded by Wayne Allard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 4th district

In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1991
Preceded by James P. Johnson
Succeeded by Wayne Allard
Member of the Colorado Senate

In office
Personal details
Born February 12, 1940(1940-02-12) (age 82)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Colorado
George Washington University

George Hanks "Hank" Brown (born February 12, 1940) is a former Republican politician and U.S. Senator from Colorado who served as president of the University of Colorado system from April 2005 to January 2008.


Brown was born in Denver in 1940, and graduated from college in 1961 and from law school in 1969, both from the University of Colorado. Brown also has a master of law degree from George Washington University. At the former, he became a member of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.[1]



Brown served in the United States Navy from 1962 to 1966. He was an aviator and volunteered for service in Vietnam. He was decorated for his combat service as a forward air controller.


He served in the Colorado Senate from 1972 to 1976, and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1980, serving until 1991. In 1990, he was elected to the United States Senate, where he served one term, not running again in the 1996 election. From 1998 to 2002, he was president of the University of Northern Colorado. Brown and his wife, Nan, live in Denver.

In 1995, Brown was involved with the Airstan Incident, where he mediated efforts for a prisoner exchange between Russia and the Taliban, which ultimately broke down. However, his efforts did set up an escape by the Russian prisoners.[2]

CU President

In April 2005, Brown was named to succeed Elizabeth Hoffman, as the president of the University of Colorado on an interim basis. Brown took office on August 1, 2005. Upon taking this role, he inherited a system weakened by sharply decreasing state appropriations, and scandals that included allegations of misuse of foundation funds, instances of sexual assault by members of the football team, waning public confidence, and sharp criticism in the state newspapers. He was later praised for the effective remedies he implemented for aggressively attacking these issues.[3]

During his interim tenure, Brown also led the university through the controversy surrounding Ethnic Studies professor Ward Churchill. An investigation of Churchill for academic misconduct which had been supported by American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an organization that Brown had co-founded in 1995, identified seven separate instances of misconduct and referred the matter to the university administration.[4] Brown urged the Board of Regents to dismiss Churchill, which it did in March 2006, overriding a tenure committee recommendation for one-year suspension. The decision was met with mixed opinion. Those in favor applauded the decision based on the findings of academic fraud, while those opposed believe the firing was simply a smokescreen to silence his views.[5][6] In a July 2007 Wall Street Journal op-ed on the Churchill affair, Brown wrote: "Controversy -- especially self-sought controversy -- doesn't immunize a faculty member from adhering to professional standards."[7]

In May 2006, the regents appointed Brown permanently. Later that year, he announced an initiative to add class rankings to student transcripts as a counterweight to grade inflation.[8]

In 2007, CU set a fundraising record of $133 million, with some donors "credit[ing] Brown with restoring their confidence in the university." [9] Brown tendered his resignation January 18, 2007 and left his post effective March 10, 2008.[10]

Other positions

Brown is a member of the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, a non profit which supports international elections.[11]


  • Hank Brown, John B. Cooney, and Michael B. Poliakoff, 'Openness, Transparency, and Accountability: Fostering Public Trust in Higher Education', in The Politically Correct University: Problems, Scope, and Reforms, Robert Maranto (ed.), Richard E. Redding (ed.), Frederick M. Hess (ed.), Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press, 2009


  1. The Rainbow, vol. 130, no. 2, p. 21
  2. Associated Press (August 19, 1996). "Daredevil airmen receive warm homecoming". The Register-Guard. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  3. Karin Fischer (November 11, 2015). "The Rescuer". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  4. John Gravois (July 25, 2007). "University of Colorado Board of Regents Fires Ward Churchill, Who Vows to Sue". American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
  5. American Council of Trustees and Alumni (July 24, 2007). "ACLU Wrong on Ward Churchill, ACTA Says."
  6. Colorado Committee to Protect Faculty Rights. (2012). "Report on the Termination of Ward Churchill" American Association of University Professors.
  7. Hank Brown (July 26, 2007). "Why I Fired Professor Churchill" The Wall Street Journal.
  8. The Chronicle of Higher Education (August 31, 2006). "Grade Inflation Tops Hank Brown's Agenda at U. of Colorado".
  9. Christine Tatum (January 7, 2008). "Hank Brown, Citizen of the West." The Denver Post.
  10. Kerri Rebresh (January 18, 2007). "Hank Brown Resigns as CU President". The Colorado Independent.
  11. "Board". IFES. 2009. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Paul Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 4th congressional district

January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1991
Succeeded by
Wayne Allard
United States Senate
Preceded by
William L. Armstrong
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Colorado
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1997
Served alongside: Tim Wirth, Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Succeeded by
Wayne Allard
Party political offices
Preceded by
William L. Armstrong
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Colorado (Class 2)
Succeeded by
Wayne Allard
Academic offices
Preceded by
Elizabeth Hoffman
President of the University of Colorado
August 1, 2005 – March 10, 2008
Succeeded by
Bruce D. Benson
Academic offices
Preceded by
Howard Skinner
President of the University of Northern Colorado
July 1998 – June 2002
Succeeded by
Kay Norton

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