The Arts and Sciences Council, November 13, 2014, 3:30-5:00, UMC 415/417

Meeting Minutes

 Representatives present: David Atherton, ALC; Reece Auguiste, FILM; Daniel Barth, PSYC; David Bortz, APPM; Andrew Cain, CLAS; James Cordova, AAH; Brian Catlos, RLST; Bert Covert, ANTH Valerio Ferme, FRIT; Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, THDN; Weiqing Han, ATOC; David Jonas, CHEM; Daniel Kaffine, ECON; Moonhawk Kim, PSCI; Catherine Labio, ENGL; Lonni Pearce, PWR; Markus Pflaum, MATH; Greg Odorizzi, MCDB; Mark Pittenger, HIST; Neeraja Sadagopan, SLHS; Christina Sue, SOCY; Greg Tucker, GEOL; Beverly Weber, GSLL

Representatives not present: Julio Baena, SPAN; Paul Beale, PHYS; Giulia Bernardini, HUMN; Cathy Comstock, RAPS; Erica Ellingson, APS; Ruth Heisler, IPHY; Alison Jaggar, WMST; E. Christian Kopff, HNRS; Andrew Martin, EBIO; Bhuvana Narasimhan, LING; Elizabeth Root, GEOG; Rob Rupert, PHIL; Bianca Williams, ETHN

Also in attendance: Christopher Braider; Katherine Erwin; Valerie Simons

The chair called the meeting to order at 3:37 pm.

The College of Media, Communication and Information, Chris Braider

The creation of a new College of Media, Communication and Information was approved by the Regents in summer 2014. Christopher Braider, Transitional Dean of the College of Media, Communication and Information, announced some of the initiative currently under way ahead of the fall 2015 opening of the new college.

Departments are being created and a Council of Chairs and Directors has been formed. CMCI also has a curriculum committee, tasked in part with keeping track of what is and is not working and with protecting the interdisciplinary mission of the College. The curriculum committee is currently identifying existing gaps as well as cross-college opportunities and will be going over all the campus curricula.

The College will have a set of common requirements. They will be similar to but not as extensive as the A&S core curriculum. They will include a first-year introductory course in digital literacy and two area courses. Natural science requirements will be lower than they are in A&S: 7 rather than 13 credit hours. The College is also working with natural science department to foster the creation of science courses geared towards the curricular needs of students who are not planning to become scientists. Students will be able to satisfy some requirements by taking courses in other colleges, including A&S.

Journalism is now one department within CMCI. The curriculum will underscore the importance of the type of critical skills associated with a liberal arts curriculum (beyond writing and fact-checking skills).

The creation of CMCI is already attracting a lot of attention. Companies and media outlets, such as PBS, are taking notice and have signaled their interest in collaborating with CMCI. PBS, in particular, is interested in joining forces as it creates a network of news and media groups at the regional level. CMCI is planning to hire prominent visiting professors whose name recognition will also draw attention to the program.

The Provost sent out a call to faculty to all campus faculty interested in collaborating with CMCI. Conversations with individual faculty members and department chairs have begun. Three kinds of opportunities exist: 1) faculty can request that their line be moved to CMCI; 2) faculty can request joint appointments; 3) faculty can apply for affiliate status. Most requests involve the creation of joint appointments. So far only two faculty members have requested to have their tenure line moved to CMCI. Modalities for department/college compensations are being explored. Affiliate status is often too amorphous to be very productive; affiliate faculty often are not able to teach outside their home department.

Most CMCI faculty will be new hires. Hiring is currently under way. The creation of CMCI may lead to the creation of faculty lines for the Technology, Arts and Media Program (TAM).

Some departments have contacted CMCI to create joint ventures. Examples include: Anthropology in relation to documentary production; Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures in relation to cross-teaching opportunities for existing courses, including their course on rumor and urban legends (relevant to the “going viral” concept).

Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin (THDN) asked about the possible “poaching” of faculty by CMCI and noted that some faculty have expressed concerns about the confidentiality of the process. Chris Braider answered that faculty requests to join CMCI are treated as confidentially as possible until the deal is made and noted that most faculty are interested in joint appointments, not leaving their departments. The majority of line transfers involves the migration of entire departments such as Communication.

The Chair asked if colleges lose a line whenever a faculty moves to CMCI. Chris Braider answered the issue would presumably have to be settled by the provost. It is possible that the model adopted by CAS, in which lines are no longer tied to a department but to the College, could become campus policy, in which case each college would need to make a case for a replacement line.

Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin asked the Chair to contact the Dean and invite him to share his perspective on the CMCI call to faculty, particularly the possibility of faculty moving tenure lines, etc.

Following another question from the Chair, Chris Braider noted that departments and colleges do not have the power to prevent a faculty member from joining CMCI. One department appears to have made a retention offer to one of its members, but CMCI does not wish to be involved in retention issues. CMCI salaries are on a par with A&S salaries.

Preliminary admissions numbers are exceeding expectations and do not appear to be from applicants who would otherwise have considered applying to CAS.

A search is currently under way to hire an inaugural dean.

Dean’s Report

Dean Leigh was unable to attend the meeting because of an emergency. He asked Professor Labio to let representatives know the search for the new associate dean for arts and the humanities is on. If there are more than three candidates, a search committee will be formed. The ASC will be involved in the hiring process either way.

 Chair’s report

Like all standing committees the Grievance Committee has met to review its description and clarify its scope. If asked to do so by the Dean, the Grievance Committee makes recommendations to the A&S dean in the case of career salary grievances and of salary and non-salary grievances stemming from annual merit evaluations. Some years ago the Grievance Committee urged that departments adopt written procedures for annual merit evaluations. The number of grievances has declined significantly as a result.

Following last month’s vote the Executive Committee has begun to work on the appointment of an ad hoc core revision committee. Catherine Labio hopes to be able to announce the composition of the committee at the December meeting. ASC representatives interested in serving on the committee are asked to notify Janice Jeffryes and Catherine Labio.

Greg Odorizzi (MCDB), chair of the Planning committee, said committee members have begun looking at the pros and cons of creating schools. The topic, he added, probably does not lend itself to the creation of a detailed report along the lines of the reports issued by the committee in the past two years.

Dan Barth (PSYC) wondered if schools might want to develop their own cores and noted that the simplified CMCI requirements provide an added incentive for A&S to review its core. A&S students may well find CMCI more attractive.

Restructuring of Equity and Compliance Offices at CU Boulder, Valerie Simons, Director of Institutional Equity and Compliance & Title IX Coordinator, and Katherine Erwin, Director, Office of Discrimination and Harassment

Following an investigation into a Title IX complaint by the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the campus leadership hired the law firm of Pepper Hamilton to assess Title IX enforcement at CU Boulder. They issued a report in January 2014.

Title IX is not simply about access to sports, but to all educational opportunities. It consists of a single sentence that reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Pepper Hamilton recommended that the University designate one individual to serve as Title IX coordinator (instead of splitting responsibilities between staff and student-related complaints). Valerie Simons was hired as a result. She has an extensive background in Title IX complaints: she has worked as an attorney for the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section and has provided legal representation to students who have filed Title IX complaints.

Valerie Simons and her staff are looking to combine efforts of various groups on campus with respect to all matters pertaining to the civil rights of all protected classes. The newly restructured office focuses on three components: 1) investigating complaints; 2) providing accommodations and remedies for complainants and respondents; and 3) improving education and prevention. Most of the growth will involve prevention and education, including improvements in bystander training. The overall goal is to address climate and cultural issues that do not necessarily involve behaviors that rise to the level of a violation. Better bystander training will play an important role in meeting that goal.

David Jonas (CHEM) voiced the concern that the existing online training may have the unintended consequence of showing some people how to push the limit without going over the line. Valerie Simons and Katherine Erwin are planning to review and improve the current model.

Following a question from the Chair, Valerie Simons and Katherine Erwin clarified that all teachers, including graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants, are considered supervisors and are, as such, mandated reporters who must report any suspected abuse or harassment to ODH. Trained investigators can then determine if a violation has occurred. 80 percent of reported instances do not reach that threshold; education can nonetheless be provided that can be beneficial to the parties involved.

In conclusion Valerie Simons and Katherine Erwin noted that as has been reported in the news sexual assaults on university campuses are a very real and serious nation-wide problem that is being addressed at various levels, starting with the White House, and must be addressed by every institution of higher education.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:04 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Janice Jeffryes and Catherine Labio