The Arts and Sciences Council, September 18, 2014, 3:30-5:00, UMC

Meeting Minutes

Representatives present: David Atherton, ALC; Reece Auguiste, FILM; Dan Barth, PSYCPaul Beale, PHYS; Brian Catlos, RLST; Cathy Comstock, RAPS; James Cordova, AAH; Bert Covert, ANTH; Vanja Dukic, APPM; Valerio Ferme, FRIT; Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, THDN; Weiqing Han, ATOC; Daniel Kaffine, ECON; Moonhawk Kim, PSCI; E. Christian Kopff, HNRS; Catherine Labio, ENGL; Andrew Martin, EBIO; Greg Odorizzi, MCDB; Lonni Pearce, PWR; Mark Pittenger, HIST; SOCY; Elisabeth Root, GEOG; Rob Rupert, PHIL; Neeraja Sadagopan, SLHS; Christina Sue, SOCY; Greg Tucker, GEOL

Representatives not present:  Julio Baena, SPAN; Giulia Bernardini, HUMN; Andrew Cain, CLAS; Cynthia Carey, IPHY; Erica Ellingson, APS; Alison Jaggar, WMST;  David Jonas, CHEM; Bhuvana Narasimhan, LING; Markus Pflaum, MATH; Beverly Weber, GSLL; Bianca Williams, ETHN

Also present:  Doug Bamforth; Steven Leigh

Catherine Labio welcomed the new members.

Dean’s Remarks, Steven Leigh

Dean Leigh thanked representatives for the work they do. He then reviewed enrollment figures. Overall numbers improved over the summer, to the point where he does not anticipate any major problem. He did note that the proportion of international students is higher than expected, which could affect retention.

The incoming class is more diverse. The Esteemed Scholars program has brought a better quality of students to the university, but has had a higher positive effect on Engineering than on A&S. Numbers in the humanities continue to decline. They are higher in the natural sciences and flat in the social sciences. Very few of the students in the Esteemed Scholars Program choose to major in the humanities. We need to be more strategic in our recruiting efforts to recruit more students who are gifted in the humanities and the arts.

In the Q&A that followed, Dean Leigh said he would provide Esteemed Scholars Program data broken by division. He speculated that the lower humanities numbers are not just a function of the economy, but also of the attractiveness of our very strong science programs. He noted that the STEM education initiative is remarkable and addressed the possibility of creating a separate Esteemed Scholars program aimed at students with strong potential in the humanities and the arts. Dean Leigh added that creating a new business minor may help recruit more humanities students and asked representatives to share any ideas they may have.

The graduate program will be the focus of a financial review this year. A committee of associate chairs of graduate studies will consider ways of moving away from the current funding model, which is driven by historical precedent rather than a specific strategy. This committee has only been tasked with reviewing the existing financial model. Questions pertaining to quality and size of master’s and doctoral programs would be dealt with later.

The renovation of Ketchum will begin soon. Faculty members should be able to return to their offices in summer 2016. The state has provided money for this particular project. A fund raising effort, with naming opportunities, is also under way. It is hoped this will provide a blueprint for the renovation of Hellems.

CU Boulder is participating in post doctoral diversity program with the University of California and Michigan. Cost will be shared across campus.

Guidelines for Service Learning Courses, Rob Rupert, Doug Bamforth

The sub-committee on Service Learning Courses of the Curriculum Committee revised its guidelines in late spring, taking into account input provided last spring by ASC representatives. On April 20, 2014, the Curriculum Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Arts and Sciences Council adopt these as College policy.

Doug Bamforth noted that courses with service learning components vary enormously as to contact hours and academic rigor. The guidelines apply only to “dedicated service learning courses.”

The revised guidelines were discussed. Their adoption was moved and seconded, with no further discussion. Following the request of a new representative, the chair announced that the vote would take place in the October meeting of the ASC.

Chair’s Remarks, Catherine Labio

Catherine Labio asked any representative interested in serving on the Budget or Grievance Committee or on the Campus Ethics Committee (CEC) to get in touch with her. The CEC is one of three Student Affairs Committees on which an ASC representative sits. It is the oversight and consultative body on the by-laws of the Honor Code and its operations. It does not hear individual honor code violation cases, unless there is an appeal, in which case one faculty member sits on a student-run, staffed appeals committee. Serving on the CEC represents a commitment of about two hours a month.

Professor Labio followed up on a number of issues left pending at the time of the last meeting of the ASC:

  1. She thanked the members of the ad hoc committee on reviewing the core for their service in 2013-14. As agreed last spring, the ASC will vote in October whether to approve their report, i.e., thank the committee and enter its report into the record (without consideration as to the arguments put forward in the report). If a majority of representatives vote to approve the report, representatives will then vote on whether to ask the Executive Committee to appoint an ad hoc committee tasked with making a proposal to revise the core curriculum. If ASC representatives vote against the appointment of such a committee, the ASC would then have to discuss whether it wishes to adopt a system for regular core review. As requested, both votes will be by secret ballot.
  2. Catherine Labio thanked Markus Pflaum for his service as the ASC representative on the BFA committee that reviewed whether policies and procedures had been observed in the “Patti Adler case.” Per his request, Catherine Labio indicated that the full report as well as its appendices and executive summary are available on the main page of the BFA website, underscored the importance of following existing policies, and urged everyone to familiarize themselves with the “Professional Rights and Duties of Faculty Members” adopted by the BFA in 2010.
  3. The BFA “ODH committee” has issued its report. BFA representatives should have a copy.
  4. Two news articles regarding the Department of Philosophy came out on the day of the April 2014 meeting of the ASC. As promised, the  Executive Committee did discuss what steps, if any, the ASC should take in response to these news items. The Executive Committee did not choose to take any specific action, in part because the situation was in constant flux.

Professor Labio mentioned and Dean Leigh confirmed that a faculty advisory board has been formed to help guide changes in the department.

Catherine Labio then turned her attention to goals for the 2014-15 academic year. First, she expressed the view that we need to clarify the role of the ASC. On the one hand, the ASC is an advisory body, designed to give feedback to the dean. On the other it represents the view and the interests of the faculty. In order to fulfil this dual role, we need to abide by our existing bylaws (by making sure, e.g., that representatives are elected rather than appointed) and update them as needed. The Executive Committee will be reviewing the bylaws and will bring proposals for revision to the ASC. The FAS as a whole must vote to approve any change to the bylaws.

Catherine Labio asked that each standing committee consider its own role, review the way it is described in the bylaws and on the committees webpage and, where applicable, propose new language. In addition, she asked each committee to set specific goals for the year and put these in writing.

The ASC website will be revised to contain more information.

The creation of the new College of Media, Communications and Information will probably be another key issue this coming year, particularly with respect to curricular matters. If so, Catherine Labio may ask Chris Braider, the transitional dean of the CMCI, to return to the ASC with an update. Other possible guests include a representative from the new Students of Concern team; Title IX coordinator Valerie Simons; CFO Kelly Fox; Charles V. “Charlie” Sweet, the new  senior associate university counsel for the CU-Boulder campus; and John Stevenson, the dean of the graduate school.

Catherine Labio concluded her remarks by inviting ASC representatives to contact her with any questions/concerns.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00

Respectfully submitted,

Janice Jeffryes and Catherine Labio