Boulder Faculty Assembly Meeting
December 4, 2003
Barbara Bintliff, BFA Chair
Stein Sture, Vice Chair
Jerry Peterson, At-Large Board Member
Cathy Comstock, BFA AAP Committee Chair
Andy Cowell, Academic Technology Committee Chair
Bill Waite, Academic Affairs Committee
Greg Carey, Secretary
Uriel Nauenberg, Former BFA Chair
Martin Walter, BFA Student Affairs Committee Chair
Erik Monsen, UGGS
Jeff Dodge, Silver and Gold Record
Kate Larsen, Boulder Daily Camera
Guests: Dennis Maloney, Paula Vaughan
Mel Branch, Faculty Affairs Committee
Mark Dubin, BFA Libraries Committee Chair
David Guenther, Administrative Services Chair
Paul Kroll Terry Sawchuk
Richard Laver Rodney Taylor
Tom Mayer Ted Snow
A meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly was held on Thursday, December 4, 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 by Nauenberg and seconded by Sture that the minutes of November 6, 2003 be approved as amended. There being no further comments or changes to the minutes, the motion to approve the minutes carried.
B. Chair’s Announcements
Chair Bintliff welcomed everyone to this last BFA Assembly meeting of the year.
C. Special Reports
The Chair introduced Dennis Maloney and Paula Vaughan of Information Technology Services. Maloney described the Student Portal Project as a student driven transactional and informational portal. Vaughan opened the portal to demonstrate and describe the information categories available to students, beginning with announcements, a CU search box, student profiles, and the academic calendar. Additional links would direct students to information on courses and grades, the CU PLUS system, financial data, and WebCal. ITS has been working with the Graduate School in order to add content specifically useful to graduate students. Working with students directly to determine specifically the kinds of features to add to the site, Maloney stated that January 2004 is the “go live” date for the portal.
Ramsberger stated that there are multiple ways to access information across campus and asked how it would be possible to ensure that all the information is accurate and current. Vaughan replied that all information comes from the systems of record and that academic links are read nightly to ensure that portal links are still accurate. Maloney stated that a Faculty/Staff Portal is being discussed but funding is still an issue. Bliss asked how the student portal could be accessed by impaired persons, and Maloney replied that it is accessible for persons with low vision and no vision. Walker asked where the funding for the project came from and how much would be needed to fund a similar portal for faculty and staff. Maloney stated that the money did not come from the general fund but from student technology fees and that approximately $500,000 would be required to create a portal site for faculty and staff.
The Chair thanked Maloney and Vaughan for their presentation.
Bintliff introduced Dave Cook, Campus Transportation Modes Coordinator, to the assembly. Cook presented a proposal to change faculty and staff members' retirement transportation access options. Currently faculty and staff holding the Ecopass must give it up when retiring and are offered a free, lifetime retiree parking permit for use in two specific campus parking lots: lot 205 which is the Euclid AutoPark; and lot 436 which is the structure adjacent to the Police Building. The Ecopass costs $1,620 per year if purchased by a private individual as a regional monthly pass, and a parking permit for campus costs about $438 per year. Cook's proposal would include extending eligibility for Ecopass privileges to 'working' or active retired faculty and staff with current active appointments as reflected in PeopleSoft. This proposal would be coupled with a modification to the current retired parking permit, adding three more lots: 308 at Regent Hall, 282 on-street parking at Grandview and 560 on the east campus, giving additional flexibility to move around campus while taking away the free parking at the Euclid AutoPark, which would become half-price to new retirees. This half-price charge for Euclid would help defray the cost of providing Ecopasses to activeretirees and would help spread parking demand across campus. The proposal also would create more varied parking options for retirees and would help forestall the need to build more parking structures by better utilizing existing parking and by encouraging retirees to make more trips using transit. Added revenues from others paying full price to park in Euclid spaces vacated by retires using transit and parking elsewhere would also serve to offset the cost of Ecopasses for active retirees. According to state fiscal policy, the cost of employee parking facilities may not be paid out of state funds; therefore new parking facilities result in higher parking fees. Current retirees would be grandfathered under the new proposal but could elect to switch from the two-lot permit with free Euclid parking to the five-lot permit with half-price Euclid parking.
Bintliff asked for thoughts and comments. Carey asked if the Euclid lot could accommodate faculty with disabilities. Cook replied that special needs could be worked out. Sture asked if retirees could exchange the parking permit for the Ecopass at any time. Cook replied that the Ecopass program is an annual program and not subject to that kind of flexibility.
The Chair asked the group to provide feedback to Cook based on the proposal presented. Nauenberg proposed that the question be put into the “Question of the Month” format so that all campus faculty could respond. Cook stated that the retired faculty and staff would like to see a proposal put into place as soon as possible and at Tabolt’s request he has been meeting with various groups on campus to obtain input, so input received by the end of January would be helpful. Bintliff stated that there would not be sufficient time to post a new Question of the Month by January. Walker asked if the possible negative aspects to this proposal have also been considered. Cook realized that some faculty would only be eligible for the parking permit under this policy but that to some extent reduce congestion on the campus core area by spreading parking out among different lots. Bintliff pointed out that one negative aspect to the proposal means retired faculty would no longer have free access to the Euclid autopark but could park there for half the hourly rate. Nauenberg asked if monthly or temporary passes could be purchased for the autopark, and Cook offered to look into that possibility.
After considerable discussion of concerns related to the proposal, Bintliff concluded that the BFA needed to send the question through the committee process and debate the issues as no consensus could be reached at today’s meeting. She recommended that the Faculty Affairs Committee take up the discussion in-depth. The Chair then thanked Cook for his presentation.
D. Committee Reports
Taylor reported on the results to the Question of the Month regarding faculty housing, which elicited 18 responses, all of which were unanimously in favor of some form of rental housing for faculty. In reference to the low number of responses collected from this survey, Taylor asked whether better ways to collect faculty input on critical issues of this nature. Bintliff confirmed that the response rate to the Question of the Month is usually low unless the issue presented strikes a nerve, and while we might think of better ways to disseminate these survey questions, the responses to this question are not out of line with those collected previously. She added that these collected responses would now be forwarded to Paul Tabolt.
Nauenberg briefly described the purpose of the report generated by the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Expectations of Students, which consisted of a series of statements for the purpose of providing guidance to students as to their rights and responsibilities. Bintliff asked that the assembly review these statements and provide input and that the final document will be forwarded on to the administration. Waite recommended that the organization of the report be changed. Norgaard pointed out that academic expectations were dropped from the document and Nauenberg suggested that anyone could submit items for consideration to the list of expectations. Schulzinger added that the committee brainstormed over the length of the document and determined that choosing a wide scope in terms of expectations of students was preferable, and that every aspect of student life was considered. Bintliff recommended that the report be reintroduced at the February 5 meeting.
Bintliff presented the report on behalf of Chair Melinda Barlow of the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Teaching Excellence. The concern was how to make the faculty award to include any faculty person teaching any of the four terms during the year. There is no longer an administrative requirement in the nominating criteria for a visit to the classroom to observe instruction. Comstock asked whether these visits should be reinstated. Bintliff replied that none of the committee members, all recipients of this award, had ever had classroom visits.
E. Chair’s Report
Bintliff reported that the December 3 Holiday Celebration was a success. She reminded everyone that the current meeting schedules were posted on the BFA website for both the Assembly and Executive Committee, and that on Monday, December 8 President Hoffman would be the guest and on December 15 Chancellor Byyny would present. Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings.
The Graduate School has been very responsive on the question of CRCW Grants and is working on assembling statistics on when and how the guidelines for applicants changed.
Chancellor Byyny has formed a committee to focus on changing the FCQ instrument and changes to the questionnaire may be possible this year.
Discussions about the lack of student attendance during the Thanksgiving holiday and whether or not to alter Fall Break have intensified across campus. Fall Break was originally introduced to decrease student stress and the suicide rate on campus and Wardenburg will assist in compiling data in this area. The Chair reminded everyone that departmental faculty and instructors are not to cancel classes and that all absences must be covered.
Schulzinger remarked that the Executive Committee should take up the issue of health care benefit containment as CU is spending roughly $100 more than its institutional peers and this trend is likely to continue. Bintliff replied that the Executive Committee has discussed this with Professor Sanjai Bhagat and that committee questions raised at that meeting have yet to be addressed.
F. Next Meeting
The next regular meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly will be on Thursday, February 5, from 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.