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 Tuesday, March 11, 2008 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


The Boulder Faculty Assembly looks to the future
Uriel Nauenberg, chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly, professor of physics

I have been asked to give a report on the character and recent activities of the Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA) and I am delighted to do so. The BFA is a representative body of the full faculty. Our members are so selected that they can easily contact the faculty they represent to get their opinion on issues affecting our academia. Hence, we reflect the opinions of the full faculty on our campus. The BFA has become a very active body, interacting in a collaborative manner with Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson and Phil DiStefano, provost and executive vice chancellor. This collaboration has gone both ways and we are delighted with this turn of events. The concept of "shared governance" is working quite well.

We have a number of committees that span the full range of activities on campus. They work with their counterpart in the administration to solve issues as we improve the academic and physical life of this campus. We have provided much needed input on various issues that have come to our attention, and similarly have received input. We are working on the issue of grievances and proper resolution. We presently have a joint committee with the administration to provide proper structure to grievance procedures. Faculty now will have channels that will address their objections to various decisions directly affecting them. We have helped the provost institute a committee to provide new, more appropriate guidelines for instructor privileges that recognizes the superb academic support they provide.

We are now fully participating in the Flagship 2030 planning process. This is a remarkable long-range initiative of our chancellor, provost, vice-chancellor for finance and for others in the administration, faculty and community. We are now very active in understanding what is required to achieve the strategic plan goals. This activity involves many in the faculty. Flagship 2030 aims to meet the future challenges that we perceive in order to continue our course to make CU-Boulder an outstanding, even better university than it presently is. The faculty input is crucial and they have met the challenge. About 250 faculty have answered the BFA and administration call to work on the planning and implementation of this remarkable initiative. We are active in the nine taskforces in which memberships are still being augmented. The taskforces will work intensely during this semester and throughout the summer with the intent of providing reports in September 2008. This input will provide the blueprint for the road that the members of this university will follow to augment a premier educational and research institution.

We have recently been involved in the ensuing discussion resulting from the candidacy of Bruce Benson as the sole finalist to become president of the CU System. The BFA and faculty at large were disappointed that Benson had not risen through the halls of academia, although it recognized that he was a great friend of academia and a very successful fundraiser: a very important need at this time in the history of the university and the State of Colorado. He has now been elected by the CU Board of Regents to be our president and the BFA plans to work with him to the best of our abilities to move our campus forward. The BFA Executive Committee will meet with him very soon to discuss how we can help him achieve his stated goal of obtaining the funds that are appropriate for our excellent institution. He has stated that it is important to involve the faculty in his efforts and we welcome this statement.

It is quite important for the BFA to participate with our academic and administrative leaders in our drive toward academic excellence to the levels that will help our students become the best they can possibly be and to serve as an example of what can be achieved in spite of the present funding levels appropriated by the state. The BFA is delighted to be working jointly with the leaders of our campus to achieve these goals.

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