Boulder Faculty Assembly Meeting
October 9, 2003
Barbara Bintliff, BFA Chair
Stein Sture, Vice Chair
Bill Waite, Academic Affairs Committee
Greg Carey, Secretary
Jerry Peterson, At-Large Board Member
Cathy Comstock, BFA AAP Committee Chair
Andy Cowell, Academic Technology Committee Chair
Mel Branch, Faculty Affairs Committee
Martin Walter, BFA Student Affairs Committee Chair
Ted Snow, BFA Academic Affairs Committee Chair
Uriel Nauenberg, Former BFA Chair
Erik Monsen, UGGS
Jeff Dodge, Silver and Gold Record
Kate Larsen, Boulder Daily Camera
Guests: Mark Nelson, Assistant Athletic Director
Mark Dubin, BFA Libraries Committee Chair Roberta Flexer
David Guenther, Administrative Services Chair Phillip Graves
Francis Beer David Guenther
Peter Boag Rob Guralnick
Bud Coleman Lakshman Guruswamy
Kim Dickey Natalie Hedberg
David Kassoy Peter Molnar
Robert Kuchta Marguerite Moritz
Roger King Gail Ramsberger
Paul Kroll Terry Sawchuk
Richard Laver Rodney Taylor
Tom Mayer Deward Walker
A meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly was held on Thursday, October 9, 2003 in the Fleming Law Building, Room 156. Chair Barbara Bintliff presided. The meeting convened at 4:00 p.m. and adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
A. Approval of Minutes
MOVED and seconded that the minutes of September 4, 2003 be approved as amended. There being no further comments or changes to the minutes, the motion to approve the minutes carried.
B. Special Report
Chair Bintliff introduced guest speaker Mark Nelson, Assistant Athletic Director in the Department of Athletics and Director of Academic Services for athletics. She thanked Nelson for accepting the invitation to speak to the Assembly so that the group could better understand this campus resource.
Nelson began with an overview of his responsibilities which include sending progress reports on student athletes out to departmental faculty and maintaining the Herbst Academic Center for Student Athletes, which now reports directly to the office of Student Affairs. Three hundred sixty athletes are divided into groups which receive specific attention from a staff person under Mark’s supervision. The NCAA rules require student athletes be certified as eligible for college through examination of transcripts and test scores, and the Big 12 conference does not accept non-qualified students who do not have course requirements and test scores. Nelson also told the group that student athletes must meet continual eligibility standards in order to be able to continue to compete in their sport.
In addition to seventy hours of available study hall time in Dal Ward there are tutoring sessions available to student athletes designed to emphasize good study habits, note taking skills, and time management. The midterm grade checks allow Nelson’s staff to get feedback from faculty which provide helpful “snapshots” of student performance. Nelson’s department also provides support to students when they must deal with personal problems during the year.
Snow asked Nelson if the transition in reporting structure from athletics to student affairs has affected his program. Nelson replied that the transition has built beneficial relationships and added that grade requirements have changed with the academic reform package translating into more stringent and higher GPA requirements for student athletes.
The Chair thanked Mark Nelson for taking the time to come to speak to the Assembly.
Snow was asked to include questions as to what the student athletic fee pays for on the next Intercollegiate Athletics Committee agenda.
C. Chair's Report
Bintliff made several announcements:
-The BFA should send its congratulations to Deborah Jin, recently awarded the MacArthur Fellowship.
- The Junior Faculty Mixer on October 8 was attended by about 40 newly hired or recently hired faculty. Provost DiStefano and Associate Vice Chancellor Susan Kent each spoke about the tenure and promotion process and their respective roles in that process and Bintliff encouraged attendees to commit to networking with new colleagues and participation in campus events. Bintliff thanked Martha Shernick for organizing the reception. It is hoped that the mixer will become an annual event.
-President Hoffman’s Fall Forum will take place on Monday, October 13 from 3-5:00 p.m. in UMC 235. The Executive Committee meeting for that date will be cancelled; everyone present was encouraged to bring good questions to the forum.
- Open enrollment for faculty health plans begins on Monday, October 13 up to November 21. This year there is no default coverage which means everyone must choose and register a plan, and this year sabbaticals count as qualifying events which will allow changes in coverage. A return from sabbatical does not, however, count as a qualifying event. [N.B. Subsequent to this announcement, PBA announced that there will be default coverage, which will be the “catastrophic” coverage plan.]
- There is a new Regents Awards policy in effect for the purpose of recognizing outstanding faculty on each of CU’s campuses. Individual faculty, deans and administrators can all bring nominations; in the past the Boulder campus has been under represented in these honors and Bintliff urged the assembly to consider who would meet the awards criteria for this recognition.
- There are plans to convert the University Club into a welcome center for CU Boulder by July of 2004. The re-use of the Koenig Alumni Center has not yet been planned; several members of the Boulder Campus Planning Commission are urging re-use of the space for academic purposes. Several faculty expressed concern about the loss of a faculty club, the hotel space and food service due to the planned renovation of the club as well as how Koenig could be effectively converted into academic space.
- The Chancellor’s State of the Campus address on September 23 brought the idea of a “capstone project” to the attention of faculty. Now the questions are what is the feasibility of this idea and how to implement it, and what are the resources needed and how would implementation affect graduation requirements? Bintliff anticipates a request for committee members sometime soon.
D. Committee Reports
FCQ Ad Hoc Committee
The results of the ad hoc FCQ committee were presented by Lori Seward, who began with the history behind the formation of the committee. The FCQ currently used on the Boulder campus has two flaws: the rating scale looks like the grading scale, the too few questions are vague, and faculty have received abusive comments of a sexual or racial nature that are very disturbing. The policy of the Regents does not mandate the form of the FCQ; therefore the faculty have the ability to change it. Over three hundred replies were logged last spring for the Question of the Month on FCQ’s, and respondents said the instrument did not meet its goals. Sixty percent of the respondents stated they had received abusive comments from students which the committee felt was sufficient reason to go to the chancellor and ask for a redesign of the form. The perception that FCQ’s can lead to grade inflation and the fact that faculty tend to ignore FCQ’s due to the inflammatory comments they receive also contributed to the decision to request the instrument be redesigned.
Resolutions in the form of motions are now before the BFA Assembly :
- Shall the BFA ask the chancellor to use the form as a starting point?
- Shall the chancellor clarify how the information contained in the FCQ is to be used, e.g., who owns the narrative portion of the questionnaire? Shall we ask that it be clearly stated that the form is confidential to the instructor? How can abusive comments be eliminated if the narrative portion of the instrument is not dropped?
- Shall the BFA ask how to use the summative results?
This was the preliminary discussion on the motions which will be brought
forward next month for a vote. Bintliff thanked
Seward for her presentation and asked her to extend thanks to Martha Hanna
, now on sabbatical in
Uniform Grading Policy/ Academic Affairs Committee
Chair Bintliff requested that as the issues were addressed the assembly consider waiving the rules that require two meetings prior to a vote on an item: a notice of motion meeting and then a meeting where the vote is taken. The chair explained that programs across various campuses are awaiting changes to the grading policies, and that at the end of the discussion a motion to suspend the usual rules in order to vote today to endorse the draft Uniform Grading Policy and the recommendations brought by the executive committee would be welcome.
Everyone had a copy of the new proposed Uniform Grading Policy (UGP) coming from the EPUS (Educational Policies and University Standards) Committee, part of Faculty Council. As stated in the proposal, there are a number of purposes for a uniform grading policy, including creating consistency in grading policy across all academic units of the system, and to maintain faculty control over grading and grading policy. This is one of those areas in which faculty have been given primary responsibility for the development of educational policy and it is very important to have faculty policies formalized and memorialized. During the past year the EPUS committee has been revising the UGP with the most significant changes being proposed are those that first of all allow each campus to develop a course forgiveness policy if it wished, and second, change the manner in which the Uniform Grading Policy itself is amended. At the request of the provost, the BFA was given a copy of the proposed UGP document which then was reviewed at great length by the Academic Affairs Committee. The Chair thanked the Academic Affairs Committee because their report was the focus of extensive discussion at the Executive Committee meeting on Monday, October 6. As a result of this discussion, the Executive Committee recommends to the BFA that the proposed changes to the Uniform Grading Policy be endorsed with two exceptions:
The BFA Executive Committee recommends that the EPUS Committee reexamine the percentage of schools and colleges required to change the Uniform Grading Policy, and recommends especially that EPUS change the percentage necessary to amend the policy from fifty percent plus one to a two-thirds majority.
The second recommendation from the Executive Committee was that EPUS clarify that the UGP may only be changed through a vote by the voting faculty. The phrase, “faculty vote” was omitted from the revision and the Executive Committee thought it important that this be included in the final document.
The Chair took comments from the assembly. Barker stated that Elizabeth Guertin of Arts and Sciences Academic Advising is particularly concerned over the rule that courses may be dropped after the 10th week after petitioning the dean’s office for approval and asked whether this concern merits more study and possible input from advising personnel before a vote is taken. Waite reminded the group that the more changes added will make it more difficult for the document to pass. The Chair agreed that all requests for change to the document at this point in time will indeed slow down the process. Barker again stated that to suspend the rules to vote on the amendments to the policy without input from Advising would be premature. Nauenberg concurred with Waite that the more changes made to the policy, then returning it to EPUS, would make implementation of the course forgiveness section more difficult. Bintliff reminded the group that if the new policy is not passed, there is no authority to continue our course forgiveness policy past this year. Schulzinger was concerned that there was no role for campuses in determining amendments and asked what proportion of schools and colleges are on the Boulder campus for this purpose. Bintliff replied that there appear to be seven schools and colleges on the Boulder campus with twenty-two across the four-campus system. A vote of fifty percent plus one as a requirement was regarded as “too easy” and that people would think that going from eighty percent of schools and colleges down to fifty would vote against it for that reason. Barker recommended a vote be postponed. Nauenberg stated that if the UGP does not appear on the chancellor’s desk by the end of the academic year that course forgiveness may not be continued. The Chair asked the group to seriously consider postponement of a decision to vote on the two amendments to the proposed policy and that there were programs across campus waiting for the finalization of this policy.
The Chair took a straw poll: the majority of faculty were not in favor of suspending the rules and the discussion ended. The Chair will communicate the assembly’s decision to EPUS along with the recommendations of the Executive Committee as such and ask that EPUS take them into consideration for their next meeting.
E. Next Meeting
The next regular meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly will be the Senate meeting on Thursday, November 6, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Fleming Law Building, room 156.
The Chair thanked everyone for attending and the meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted by Martha Shernick, BFA Administrator
BFA Executive Committee Minutes Archive | BFA