Adams State Trustees authorize policy review


At the conclusion of its regular meeting Aug. 29, the Board of Trustees for Adams State University voted unanimously to retain retired Judge O. John Kuenhold to head a process to review university policies, according to Board Chair Arnold Salazar.

The review will focus on assessing whether the policies adequately ensure the following:

  1. Student safety
  2. Fair treatment of students
  3. Fostering a campus culture of open communication and transparency

Arnold Salazar
Chair, Board of Trustees for Adams State University

The measure was taken as part of the process of addressing a personnel matter concerning former Adams State Chief of Police Joel Shults. Noting the board is required to maintain confidentiality regarding specific details, Salazar said, "Allegations have been made regarding the safety of our students, fair treatment of students, and open and transparent communication. We take these allegations seriously and believe and trust they are only allegations. But, in the spirit of intellectual honesty and openness, we want to put a process in place that is an independent evaluation of these concerns."

The board will approve a process once a recommendation is made, with a target of Nov. 1 for a final report.

"We chose Judge Kuenhold based on his long legal career, experience with the community and the university, and his work as a mediator," noted Board Vice Chair Tim Walters.

Kuenhold retired as Chief Judge for the 12th Judicial District and Water Judge for Water Division 3 (Rio Grande Basin) in 2011. He served on the bench since 1981 and was named Chief Judge in 2004.

By Julie Waechter