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BFA Election Spring, 2013

Statement of Mike Klymkowsky, Candidate for BFA Vice-Chair

My basic working premise is that the faculty is, in an important sense, the University.  At all levels, it is our role to help students master existing knowledge and learn to use that knowledge in their careers and their lives.  As a research University, this often means guiding students in ways that helps them generate new knowledge and economic opportunities for themselves and our society. 

At the same time we as faculty and as an institution are living through what promises to be a changing and challenging time. Rising costs, the increasingly competitive research funding climate, as well as potential competition from alternative “educational enterprises” (including those offered by companies such as Coursera, Udacity, and EdX) will necessarily impact us and our students.  In this environment, there will be change and it is critical that the ideas, concerns, and proposals of faculty be taken seriously.  This means more than having the faculty be informed of decisions after the fact. Faculty must be formally included from the outset when it comes to important policy and practical decisions. 

I am in agreement with Paul Chinowsky as to the approach he has proposed. In particular I believe that as faculty we must work actively with administration to ensure the effectiveness of our educational programs (our largest source of revenue). This means that faculty must be included in discussions of how tuition-derived funds and other resources are allocated to programs so as to foster the development of the most inclusive, relevant, rigorous, effective and efficient educational programs possible for our students. This includes policy changes to eliminate barriers so that our students have access to coherent educational programs that foster both the opportunity to explore alternatives as well as timely graduation (clearly a challenging balancing act to pull off). 

I will support Paul in his agenda, with particular focus on the concerns and proposals of the faculty related to educational issues, opportunities, and challenges.  

Mike Klymkowsky, Professor, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology,
Co-Director, CU Teach, Founding Fellow, Center for STEM Learning


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