Boulder Faculty Assembly:
An Overview of Shared Governance at CU Boulder

Table of Contents

BFA Homepage
Executive Committee | Resources
Introduction | Bylaws | Standing Committees | Executive Committee
BFA Minutes | Mission Statement | Motions and Resolutions | Elections

CU Boulder Homepage | CU Search | CU Help | CU Infocenter


The BFA is the representative body of faculty on the Boulder Campus, which is empowered by the Regents to set academic policy and advise administration on other policy for the Boulder Campus.

The BFA is comprised of:

  1. A plenary group of 49 faculty representing every college and school on the Boulder Campus.
  2. A series of committees and subcommittees comprised of a combination of BFA members and members of the regular faculty.
  3. An Executive Committee comprised of 3 officers and 2 at-large representatives who are regular BFA members, plus the chairs of each of the BFA committees.

The official avenue by which the BFA expresses itself to the University is via motions and resolutions. In general, motions originate in BFA committees, are passed through the Executive Committee, and are then presented to the BFA plenary group for a vote. In general, by the time a motion appears on a BFA agenda it has been subject to multiple reviews by the originating committee and by the Executive Committee. Another avenue by which the BFA expresses itself is through consultation and discussion with various administrators who attend BFA meetings and speak on matters of concern to the campus. These discussions, as well as BFA motions, are recorded in the minutes of Executive Committee meetings and the minutes of meetings of the full BFA.

When motions are approved by the BFA they are forwarded to the appropriate CU administrators, depending on their subject matter. For instance, a motion addressing faculty salaries would be forwarded to a list of people that includes the Chief Financial Officer. A motion addressing the CU Libraries would be forwarded to a list that includes the Dean of Libraries. A motion that would impact all four campuses would be forwarded to a list that includes the Faculty Council, the faculty governance group at the system level.

The committees are empowered to investigate, examine, and propose changes or endorsements to matters of concern to faculty, and to call upon the expertise and assistance of any campus office in examining those matters.

The Executive Committee also serves as the primary consultative faculty body to the Chancellor.

Each BFA member is expected to:

  1. Attend every meeting of the BFA, held on the first Thursday of each month in the spring and fall semesters from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. to participate in discussion, review of motions, and voting.
  2. Be a member of and participate in at least one BFA committee.
  3. Keep faculty in their departments apprised of issues that are being addressed by the BFA.

Other important work conducted by the BFA includes the awarding of up twelve $3000 awards annually for faculty excellence on the Boulder Campus.

Faculty Government

Faculty have the principal responsibility for originating policy, under administrative supervision, in accordance with the Laws of the Regents and the laws of the State of Colorado:

  • Academic Policy, including initial authorization and direction of all courses, curricula, and degrees offered;
  • Scholastic Policy, including scholastic standards for admission, grading, continuation, graduation, and honors; and
  • Academic Ethics, including development of policies and procedures.

The faculty shall act jointly with the administration to make recommendations to the Board of Regents in the areas of:

  • Polices and procedures for faculty appointment, promotion and tenure review;
  • Student conduct and activities;
  • Budgetary review and strategic planning;
  • Selection of academic administrators;
  • Making of policy concerning the general academic welfare of the University.

BFA Mission and Roles

The BFA's mission is to represent the Boulder Campus Faculty Senate in its role as a participant in the shaping of the structure and development of the University of Colorado at Boulder, in keeping with the ideals set forth in the mission and role statements of the University of Colorado at Boulder, reproduced below.

The Boulder Faculty Assembly initiates, advises and recommends action to the Chancellor and administrative officials on matters related to educational policy and operations of the Boulder campus. The BFA provides an opportunity for Boulder Faculty to participate in shared governance activity.

In addition to addressing issues of educational policy on CU's Boulder campus, BFA Committees are responsible for conducting the Boulder Campus Administrator Appraisal Program and producing CU-Boulder's Professional Rights and Duties of Faculty Members and Roles and Professional Duties of Department Chairs document.



According to State statute, the Boulder Campus of the University of Colorado is mandated to be "a comprehensive graduate research university with high admission standards which offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate programs." In keeping with this mandate, the University of Colorado at Boulder is herein defined as a diverse community of advanced learning with the highest standards of scholarship, in which research and creative work enrich the teaching of students who thrive in an academic environment. The community consists of five complementary and cooperative groups: students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni.

Mission Statement for the University of Colorado at Boulder


Role Statements for the University of Colorado Community at Boulder

LEARN the essential art and science of your disciplines of study, steadily refining your cognitive and communication skills,
PURSUE ideas and activities for personal growth in the rich culture of the university,
SEIZE the opportunities for research and creative work that are offered to you, and
PREPARE for productive work, responsible citizenship and continued learning.

TEACH the art and science of your disciplines, engaging and equipping your students,
CREATE with your students new art and science through research and creative work, securing resources and communicating results,
SHAPE the structure and development of the university, diligently participating in support activities, and
SERVE external communities as contributors from the university.

FURNISH expertise and services to the university community, giving special attention to student needs
IMPLEMENT the processes necessary for efficient university operation,
AID improvement of the university and its functioning, and
SUSTAIN the infrastructure needed to support the work of the university.

INSPIRE the university community to put forth their best efforts through effective communication and leadership,
FACILITATE improvement by forging consensus and managing resources,
ORGANIZE the activities of the university community for greatest service and effectiveness, and
REPRESENT the university to its local, state and national constituencies.

COUNSEL the university community through advisory channels,
RECRUIT qualified students to enrich the academic and cultural life of the university,
ADVOCATE for the university in local communities and with the State Legislature, and
CONTRIBUTE time, talent and treasure to promote the well being of your university.

Faculty Organizations

There are three types of faculty governance organizations at the University of Colorado, Boulder:

  • Each campus has a Faculty Senate, composed of all Faculty on campus.
  • Faculty Council is a group of representatives from each of CUís four campuses.
  • Each campus has a Faculty Assembly, composed of Representatives from each department on campus.

University Organization

BFA Membership

The Boulder Faculty Assembly consists of 49 elected members as follows:

  • 8 at-large representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences
  • 14 representatives from the large departments of Arts and Sciences
  • 6 representatives from a pool of small Arts and Sciences Departments
  • 4 representatives from the School of Engineering
  • 8 representatives from schools and colleges other than Arts and Sciences
  • 5 at-large representatives from schools and colleges other than Arts and Sciences
  • 2 non-tenured at-large representatives
  • 2 retired faculty members selected by the Retired Faculty Association
  • and ex-officio voting members:


BFA Committees

  • Executive
  • Budget and Planning
    • Faculty Compensation and Benefits
  • Academic Affairs
  • Faculty Affairs
  • Student Affairs
    • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Diversity
    • Committee on Women
    • Minority Affairs
    • Gay, Lesbian and Bi-sexual Affairs
  • Infrastructure
    • Libraries
    • Academic Technology
    • Administrative Services
  • Nominating Committee
  • Bylaws Committee

Regular Events

  • Executive Committee Meetings - Weekly (M 3:30-5:00)
  • Assembly Meetings - Monthly (1st Thursday 4:00-5:30)
  • Annual Fall Breakfast - 1st Week of classes
  • Annual Presentation of BFA Excellence Awards
  • Annual Faculty / Athletics Luncheon
  • Committee Meetings - please contact the BFA Office at 303-492-6271

BFA Contact Information

BFA Administrator:
Martha Shernick, Campus Box 46, 492-6271,

BFA Executive Committee contact information.