The Arts and Sciences Council, October 17, 2013, 3:30-5:00, UMC 247

Meeting Minutes

Representatives present: Michela Ardizzoni, FRIT; Reece Auguiste, FILM; Daniel Barth, PSYC;  Paul Beale, PHYS; Deane Bowers, EBIO; Cynthia Carey, IPHY; Cathy Comstock, RAPS; Bert Covert, ANTH; Damian Doyle, PWR; Vanja Dukic, APPM; Francoise Duresse, AAH; Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, THDN; Jon Hughes, ECON; Catherine Labio, ENGL; Bhuvana Narasimhan, LING; Greg Odorizzi, MCDB; Mark Pittenger, HIST; Mike Radelet, SOCY; Matthias Richter, ALC; Elisabeth Root, GEOG; Greg Tucker, GEOL

Representatives not present: Giulia Bernardini, HUMN; Jack Burns, APS; Brian Catlos, RLST; Diane Conlin, CLAS; David Grant, MATH; Weiqing Han, ATOC; Asunción Horno-Degado, SPAN; Alison Jaggar, WMST; David Jonas, CHEM; Chris Kopff, HNRS; Susan Moore, SLHS;  Alastair Norcross, PHIL; Beverly Weber, GSLL; Bianca Williams, ETHN

Also in attendance: Christopher BraiderSteven Leigh; Merrill Lessley

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 PM.

Catherine Labio welcomed and thanked Merrill Lessley and Christopher Braider who were invited to this ASC meeting to give an update on the state of implementation of the new College of Media, Communication and Information.

Implementation of the Proposed College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI), Christopher Braider, Director, Media, Communication and Information and Merrill Lessley, Chair, Implementation Committee

Christopher Braider passed out a copy of the Mission Statement for the proposed College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) that will be given to the Board of Regents in the spring for approval. The new College would include seven academic units, mostly departments with a couple of graduate programs. These would include the programs that are currently in the Journalism and Mass Communication Program, A&S’s Department of Communication and three new departments: Information; Intermedia Arts, Writing and Performance; and Media Production. The College would be a point of convergence for all the arts. Given the growing role of digital media, students need a place not only to learn how to participate in it but how to think critically and historically about it.

It is hoped that the CMCI will constitute a new, interdisciplinary model. Students would be able to take classes in any department, while a collaborative atmosphere between departments would avoid inefficiencies. The goal is a “porousness” that would enable faculty, student and resources to move freely between the various units without insisting on the autonomy of the units.

The new college should be a campus resource. Professor Braider has visited every chair, director and dean in any area that is relevant to the college with a view to deciding how to develop collaborations. The Implementation Committee has members from all over the campus, with a majority from A&S.

Professor Lessley’s involvement began as chair of a group convened by Russell Moore to consider the first iteration of an information program on campus. He was motivated, in part, by watching his students struggle with the tremendous output of information coming at them concerning world events and realizing that CU offered no program to help our students gain some fluency in the media world and to determine what is good or bad information.

Professor Lessley is convinced that an interdisciplinary approach is the way to offer students this education. There has often been talk on campus about the benefits of interdisciplinary work but little seems to happen. Interdisciplinary work is often marginalized when professor come up for promotion and tenure. Professor Lessley is working on CMCI’s bylaws with John Frazee with a view to include standards and criteria for interdisciplinary efforts and to reward faculty members who choose that path. They are trying to create a model for collaborative, interdisciplinary work for the entire campus.

All the curriculum, bylaws, proposals, college documents, internal governance documents, mission statements for each department, certificates, and administrative structure need to be completed by the end of the semester. The proposal will be written in January and February in order to be ready to go to the Regents in spring 2014. There are 11 subcommittees putting in a lot of work. The website has recently come online; all documents will be posted as they become available.

Professors Lessley and Merrill took questions from the representatives. Among the issues discussed were the advantages of having a separate college rather than an interdisciplinary program inside Arts and Sciences. One advantage is having a dean that meets with the Provost. Another is the issue of scale; the size of the proposed college is too big to be subsumed in a pre-existing structure. Dean Leigh mentioned that journalism programs need certification that A&S isn’t in a position to provide. He also feels that starting from scratch, the university has an opportunity to do something differently and right; if it doesn’t work, it can be changed. There are aspects of the new college that will positively affect A&S as well. Dean Leigh encouraged the representatives to look at the documents on the website and note any redundancies they see.

Other advantages of the new college include: increasing the number of Technology, Arts and Media courses and creating an atmosphere where each college can be involved.

The new college is not approved; it still must receive approval from the Regents.

The only department that is moving in is Communication. The new college is about electronic media so there is no need for a department like Art and Art History to move into the college and bring faculty and students who are not interested in electronic media. There will be collaborations between the A&S departments and the new college. Appropriate A&S faculty and faculty from around the campus would be able to roster temporarily in the new college for work on projects.

It was asked how the new college would affect ATLAS. ATLAS is now officially an Institute focusing on research. The two degree programs it has are administered by the College of Engineering and will probably stay there. ATLAS will retain its autonomy; the interim director is interested in collaborating.

Dean’s Remarks, Steven Leigh

In his latest address the Chancellor adopted the target 6-year graduation rate of 80 percent proposed in the Undergraduate Quality Initiative drafted last year by the Planning Committee and approved by the ASC. Dean Leigh and Professor Labio have been discussing the Core Review Committee; this committee will decide if the core needs revising and will also recommend a core review cycle. Norman Pace (MCDB) has agreed to chair the committee and a list has been drafted of possible members, including ASC members and senior as well as emerging scholars. The ASC will look at the report this committee generates and accept/reject or modify it. If the recommendation is to revise the core, a new committee will be formed. Dean Leigh will send out a charge letter soon.

Dean Leigh recently spoke with the ROTC Commander Bradley Thompson and received a glowing review of CU’s faculty and their work with ROTC students. 

Minutes of the September 19, 2013 meeting

Minutes were approved, 20 yes, 0 no, and 1 abstention. In the future, a draft of the minutes will go out for a vote by e-mail within a week. If they are approved, they will be accepted and posted on the ASC website. This will allow representatives to take approved minutes to their departments in a more timely fashion. Should it not be possible to approve any particular minutes via e-mail, the vote will be postponed until the next meeting of the ASC.

Chairs Remarks, Catherine Labio

Professor Labio thanked the members of the standing committees, most of which have met and selected a chair. She asked ASC representatives to suggest speakers and subjects to discuss at regular ASC meetings. This can be done throughout the year, either on an individual basis or through a sub-committee. Professor Labio suggested inviting a library representative to the next ASC meeting to discuss the state of the Universities and current plans, especially since the University Libraries are currently undergoing an internal review. Representatives agreed. Representatives also agreed that, as per the Academic Quality Initiative, the ASC Chair should contact Campus Communications to discuss the desirability of having faculty input as to what goes out about the campus. Professor Labio would like to see a full weekly list of all academic activities (lectures, conferences, exhibits, performances…) included in a weekly CU Boulder Today, not just a chosen few. There was no objection. She will therefore also take up this  matter with Campus Communications. Kelly Fox, Sr. Vice Chancellor and CFO of the university will be invited to speak to the ASC after she meets with the Budget Committee.

Committee Reports

Budget Committee, Vanja Dukic, chair

The Budget Committee will meet with Kelly Fox to discuss the dynamic budgeting model, which should give the departments more certainty in budgeting. They plan on looking into hidden costs in the college for instance, the number of similar courses.

Diversity Committee, Damien Doyle

Jack Burns has been elected chair. This year the Diversity Committee will be working on the retention rate of underrepresented students, special opportunity hires and framing diversity. Chris Pacheco will come to the next meeting to discuss the Pre-Collegiate Outreach program.

The Grievance Committee hasn’t met. Asunción Horno-Delgado has been elected chair.

Online Instruction, Dan Barth

David Jonas is acting chair. They met once, prior to the last ASC meeting and have nothing new to report.

Planning Committee, Greg Odorizzi, chair

The committee has begun brainstorming about retention and graduation rates. They met with Shelly Bacon and Peter Freitag who are acting together as the Interim Dean of Academic Advising. 800-900 students are put on academic probation yearly; of those, about 50 percent are expelled for their grades. The overwhelming majority of these are first-year students. There are ways to stay in school after an academic expulsion that are not well publicized. The committee wants more data; trying to find out who gets expelled for disciplinary reasons; when do students leave for financial reasons, are they mostly in-state or out-of-state, and so on? Once the data are gathered, they will work on proposing solutions and plan to issue a report in the spring.

In the discussion that followed, it was noted that the campus wants to grow by 500 students a year; wouldn’t it be just as good to retain 500 students a year?

There doesn’t appear to be any problem with the availability of classes needed for graduation; the 4-year graduation guarantee instituted by Dean Gleeson appears to have been working well.

Christina Gonzales, the Dean of Students, has asked faculty members to accommodate students who reach out to faculty for help with their coursework because they have been affected by the floods. Professor Labio suggested that faculty members may want to consider being more proactive and try to identify and reach out to students who may have dropped out or are (or will be ) experiencing difficulties because of last month’s flood. At the Planning Committee’s meeting with Academic Affairs, Peter Freitag mentioned a well-known study by Vincent Tinto according to which the single best predictor of retention/graduation is whether or not a student feels there is one person in a position of authority on campus who cares about the student’s presence.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:51pm.

Minutes submitted by Janice Jeffryes