Boulder Faculty Assembly: October message from the Chair

October 25, 2013

The Boulder Faculty Assembly has been a fixture on the CU-Boulder campus for over two decades. Many of you are familiar with the BFA through the annual BFA Faculty Excellence Awards. With committees addressing issues as diverse as athletics, diversity, and campus budgeting, the BFA is actively working on topics affecting many areas of campus. However, as the new Chair of the BFA, the most frequent question I hear from faculty members is, “What does BFA actually accomplish?” To help answer this question, this column will be a monthly message updating the campus on what activities the BFA is currently undertaking. And this year, the BFA has a new look, new initiatives, and a renewed focus on building faculty engagement.

My philosophy on stepping into the BFA Chair position is that every person on the CU-Boulder campus is a critical component of the CU community. Our campus is facing both challenges and opportunities as we work together to address issues such as budgets, on-line education, enrollment management, and reductions in available grant money. However, these issues should be looked at by the community as opportunities for examining where our campus is moving over the next decade. This will require broad input and engagement. Building, promoting, and fostering engagement in the CU community as a whole is my underlying focus and philosophy as BFA Chair.

To promote engagement, the BFA has initiated a group of activities designed to both bring faculty together and address emerging campus opportunities. For the students, we have initiated the Faculty-Student Mentor program where 130 faculty from around campus are volunteering to mentor 1,000 first-year students. I believe as a faculty we should be able to grow this program over the next two years to cover every incoming first-year student. For mid-career faculty, we have initiated the BFA Leadership institute where the first group of 16 faculty are working with senior administrators to learn the issues around running the CU-Boulder campus. I look forward to receiving nominations for the 2014-2015 class in the Spring. For every faculty member, we have initiated the BFA Faculty Recognition Program where every week we will be recognizing in collaboration with the Provost’s office faculty who are performing excellent service to the university. I encourage every faculty member to take 5 minutes and nominate one of your peers.

These are just a few of the initiatives that are now in place. I encourage you to visit the BFA Web page at http://www.colorado.edu/FacultyGovernance/index.html to learn about the full range of initiatives being put in place this year. The BFA is in a position to build engagement through innovative initiatives that both recognize faculty as well as serve as platforms for faculty to engage in the university community. I believe that BFA should be a forum where every faculty member can find an opportunity to participate. I will continue to introduce initiatives to provide faculty with these opportunities. My goal is to change the question I hear from “What does BFA actually accomplish,” to “How can I get involved in a BFA initiative and become more engaged on the CU-Boulder campus?”

If you have an idea for a new initiative for BFA to explore – contact me at paul.chinowsky@colorado.edu. Every idea is worth considering – ideas build engagement. 

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