Meeting Minutes, April 13, 2021
The Arts and Sciences Council (ASC), 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Zoom

Representatives Present: Mithi Mukherjee (HIST), Sebastian Casalaina-Martin (MATH), Juan Herrero-Senés (SPAN), Angelica Lawson (ETHN), Mike Zerella (RAPS), Robert Rupert (PHIL), Rebecca Wartell (JWST), David Stock (EBIO), Michela Ardizzoni (FRIT), Cecilia Pang (THDN), Leslie Irvine (SOCY), Julie Lundquist (ATOC), Jennifer Schwartz (HONR), William Taylor (ANTH), Mara Jill Goldman (GEOG), Lorraine M. Bayard de Volo (WGST), Beverly Weber (GSLL), Annje Wiese (HUMN), Zachary Kilpatrick (APPM), Robert Kuchta (BCHM), Matthias Richter (ALC), Carol Shiue (ECON), Deborah Whitehead (RLST), Christina Meyers-Denman (SLHS), John Keller (APS), Lewis Harvey (PSYC), Shelley Copley (MCDB), Robert Parson (BCHEM), Christopher Osborn (CINE), Francoise Duressé (AAH), Elspeth Dusinberre (CLAS), Colleen Lyons (ENVS), Paul Romatschke (PHYS), Shemin Ge (GEOL), John Stevenson (ENGL), Andrew Cowell (LING), Dale Miller (ENVS)

Representatives not present: Janet Casagrand (IPHY), Anthony Abiragi (PWR),

Also in attendance: James White (Interim Dean), Anna Jensen (Dean’s office), Bob Ferry (BFA), Stephanie Barnhizer (RAP), Jim Goodrich (BCHM), Lucy Chester (HIST), Julie Graf (MCDB), Claire Figel (RAP), Matthew Gerber (HIST), Jeffrey Weiss (ATOC), Irene Blair (PSYC), Patrick Greaney (GSLL), Danielle Salaz (CAS), Bud Coleman (Associate Dean), Paul Sutter (HIST), Ernesto Acevedo-Munoz (CINE), Nicole Jobin (RAP), David Cook-Martin (SOCY), Garrett Bredeson (PHIL), Keith Julian (APPM), Maria Moreno (SPAN), Erika Randall (THDN), Max Boykoff (ENVS), Cosetta Seno (FRIT), Jennifer Fluri (GEOG), Sarah Morehead (MCDB), Ken Bickers (PSCI), Ryan Rich (BCHM), Jennifer Klein (ECON), Christine Brennan (SLHS), David S. Brown (Associate Dean), Emily Yeh (GEOG), Nils Halverson (APS), Michael Ritzwoller (PHYS), Diana Wilson (ANTH), Oliver Gerland (THDN), Amy Lavens (Dean’s office)

Meeting is called to order at 3:31 PM.

Dean’s Remarks

During the provost’s Arts & Sciences discussion, he indicated that he wants to move forward with the reorganization. White anticipates movement on that this summer and fall and suggests all stay tuned and be aware.

Chair’s Remarks

Rupert thanks everyone for their work this past academic year. He acknowledges Leslie Irvine and David Stock, who are finishing up their second term of service to the ASC and have both been very active members.

The search committee for a transitional dean of arts & humanities has been initiated. Please contact Marysia Lopez and Rupert if you are interested in serving on the search committee.

Rupert reminds all that this is a joint meeting of the ASC and Faculty of Arts & Sciences (FAS). White is meant to be chair of FAS, so White and Rupert are technically co-chairs today. The business of the meeting is ASC business and the actions taken will represent the will of the ASC. They would love to hear input from FAS, but making of motions and voting is limited to ASC members only.

Chair Reports

Cowell, Budget Committee

The Budget Committee had a lot of things to do this semester and academic year. They met over the summer, provided recommendations to the dean for temporary budget cuts for the fall, discussed ways to handle the potential permanent budget cuts, and produced a budget education document that went to all A&S faculty.

At the dean’s request, they focused on grad student spending and support, doing a re-evaluation of the base budget for that category. They established new allocations for each division, and also shared recommendations for each department with the divisional deans.

During the spring semester, they focused on the reorganization, in particular how the budget should be handled in a new model with three autonomous divisions. They also addressed how faculty governance should interact with this.

They will be making suggestions on reducing the rigidity of the budget in the divisions and college, allowing more flexibility to deal with future budget cuts. With more money moving around, the more crucial decisions and faculty governance become. They will be meeting soon with divisional deans to discuss these recommendations, and then will send them to the Provost, along with general recommendations on College structure and governance related to budget.

They are currently looking at the dean’s proposal for a change in tenure track to instructor ratios. This is what they will be focusing on for the remainder of their meetings and hope to get a statement out by the summer.

Herrero-Senés, Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee held 11 meetings over the academic year. There is one more scheduled before the summer. They have reviewed more than 70 proposals. They have made revisions to degrees, minors and certificates and reviewed more than 30 nominations for the diversity requirement. In addition, they have had discussions about foreign language policy, the consideration of different modes of instruction in departmental planning and possible changes to the nomination forms for the diversity requirement.

Pang, Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee recently announced their inaugural ASCEND Award winners, totaling 13 students, staff and faculty. Pang says this would not have been possible without the support of White and Associate Dean Hillary Potter.

Because of their budget, the committee was slated to give out only four awards, but was so impressed by the nominations and their endeavors, they recognized 13 in total.

Pang says the committee owes its success to the dedication and collaboration of the ASC Diversity Committee members.

Ge, Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee received no grievance cases this year, so it was an exceptionally smooth year.

Irvine, Online Education Committee

Irvine explains that the Online Education Committee essentially put itself out of existence when they encouraged the ASC to endorse Boulder Faculty Assembly’s (BFA) resolution of faculty control over the curriculum. Going forward, the committee will be dissolved and taken over by either the curriculum or planning committees.

Shiue, Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee reviewed a total of 48 dossiers this year. Overall, the work reviewed was incredible to see.

At the request of White, the committee has discussed the difficult question of the potential impact of COVID on faculty, particularly the disproportionate affects it may have.  They plan to draft a proposal to address this issue.

Stock, Planning Committee

In the fall, the Planning Committee prepared a motion for the hiring of deans in A&S with the reorganization, which was passed by the ASC and has been shared with the Provost.

In the spring, the Planning Committee dealt with issues surrounding the ratio of tenure track professors to instructors and produced a motion that might be considered at the end of this meeting as new business.

Rupert, Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is made up of the chairs of each standing committee and the ASC chair. This year, they worked through standard business, planning agendas and Rupert turned to them often for advice.

Rupert, ad hoc Faculty Affairs Committee

The ad hoc Faculty Affairs Committee focused on writing a faculty governance bylaws proposal, which the ASC will be reviewing today.

Chair nomination

Irvine announces that they have received one nomination for ASC chair, Robert Rupert. Irvine asks if there are any further nominations from the floor and there is no reply. Irvine moves to close the nominations. A representative seconds the motion. No one registered opposition.

Irvine asks Rupert to say a few words about his goals and plans for the ASC in the coming year.

His primary, overarching goal will be to lead the ASC’s participation in the college reorganization, on initiatives having to do with the bylaws, structure and budget. There will be a significant amount of work to be done and implementation efforts may well take up a lot of the ASC’s efforts.

With regard to structure, Rupert wants the ASC to be directly involved in the hiring of academic administrators and the implementation of the structures working group document, including the creation of the Stewardship Council.

With regard to budget, the issues are complex and ongoing. Much of that work will be done by the Budget Committee, but Rupert would like to see the ASC involved at the more general level, working with the Budget Committee and with academic administration as issues arise.

Rupert would also like to strengthen the role of the Planning Committee and highlight their work. The work of the Planning Committee can focus on large scale initiatives that change the structure, nature or identity of the college. Rupert thinks it is important for the ASC and the college to have those issues on their agenda and under discussion.

Irvine asks for questions. There are none.

ASC administrator puts Rupert in a virtual waiting room.

Irvine reminds all that this vote is limited to ASC members. ASC administrator distributes the poll.

33 vote in favor of electing Rupert as chair of the ASC. There are zero no votes and zero abstentions.

Rupert returns and thanks all for their support.

Consideration of Bylaws

Rupert says the Budget Committee decided to withdraw their motion discussed last meeting. The floor is now open to new motions.

A representative from ALC speaks up to present a new motion. He is presenting this motion on behalf of the AHUM Chairs and Directors to insert the wording that appears in brackets below into Article VI (Divisional Councils), item 2a titled “Departmental Members.” The motion reads as follows: “The four departmental members serve one-year terms and are elected by individual departments and programs, chosen by a system of turns, beginning with the first four departments or programs as they appear alphabetically on the College’s list of departments and programs (currently at https://www.colorado.edu/asfacultystaff/departmental-listing ), followed by the next four, and so on, [or by a similar system that includes all programs and departments equitably and is agreed to by the chairs and directors of the division in question]. Departmental members may be of either Professorial or Instructor rank.”

The representative explains that this would allow for more flexibility instead of a purely mechanical process that might exclude other considerations like who is available or the best to represent. It is not meant to give more representation to larger departments than smaller ones.

SOCY’s representative seconds this motion.

Rupert says his understanding of this motion is that AHUM chairs want the ability to make sure each subgroup of AHUM is represented.

Rupert opens the floor for debate. There are no comments or questions. Rupert asks all to use the “raised hand” feature to cast their vote.

31 vote in favor, with zero no votes and zero abstentions. The motion passes.

Motion from the Faculty Affairs Committee: New faculty governance bylaws to be put to a vote of the FAS

Before opening for a vote, Rupert asks if there is any further debate or motions. There are no comments or questions. The poll is launched for voting.

  1. vote in favor, 1 opposed, 2 abstain. The motion passes.

Rupert explains that the vote of the FAS will presumably take place by Qualtrics. Everyone should keep an eye out for a link to a ballot coming to their inbox in the next few weeks.

Rupert says part of the Executive Committee’s role is to determine the length of the voting period. The idea is to have it run well past finals to make sure everyone has time to sit down with the bylaws and read them. May 15th is the date currently being proposed.

Motion concerning the hiring of faculty in non-tenure homes

Rupert explains that there has been significant concern over exact wording and unintended consequences. A fair amount of work was done to put together alternative text. The motion currently on the table is still the original text. Alternative text has been widely circulated on the assumption that someone will want to move to replace the original text.

Rob shares screen to share the possible alternative wording.

SOCY’s representative moves to substitute the new wording for the original text. A representative from CLAS seconds. Rupert opens the floor up for debate.

APPM’s representative says they currently have a situation where an instructor hired by the graduate school is not rostered in any department for a new master’s program. Does this motion apply to this situation, even though the graduate school is outside of A&S?

Rupert says it has to do with who is paying the salary. If the graduate school is paying this person’s salary, it is not covered by this policy.

White says that this discussion is currently being had among the deans to address this particular circumstance. White does not think this is a situation that should exist. It seems as though this situation is not consistent with the idea that the faculty own the curriculum.

BFA’s representative asks if this policy includes online courses.

Rupert says one important aspect of the motion is the indexing as to what a department would do if it were hiring someone of that sort. It may be that when a department hires lecturers, it takes only a small subset of the department to look over the CV. If the department decides that this is an appropriate way to hire lecturers in their own department, then that would be an appropriate way to review lecturers that, for example, are hired to teach an online class for continuing education. If a department is giving rigorous review to lecturers, then a lecturer who is hired to teach their courses should be given the same kind of review. Whether this policy technically applies would depend on where that lecturer is housed.

Rupert asks for any other comments or questions. There are none.

The poll is launched for voting.

26 vote in favor, with 1 opposed and 2 abstentions.

The motion passes.

 

New Business

Stock, chair of the Planning Committee, is putting forth a motion out of the Planning Committee. Rupert reminds all that this motion does not require a second.

Rupert shares his screen with the motion on it. Stock reads the motion aloud.

Stock says this is a response to White’s December proposal of replacing 50 tenure track faculty with 25 instructors. The Planning Committee is suggesting that they would prefer to replace those 50 faculty with tenure track faculty. Stock explains that the Planning Committee had the freedom to express the potential harm of this proposal without focusing on the budget aspect.

CINE’s representative expresses concern over the way the motion is worded. He is worried this would force departments to go with tenure track hires. He wants to know they can offer flexibility.

Stock says this is not a subject that came up for the Planning Committee.

A member of the Planning Committee says the intention is not to say that all hiring should be tenure track. In terms of the loss of 50 positions, they are hoping to eventually replace that tenure track loss rather than having one blanket approach. She suggests adding wording to specify that this does not have to do with all forms of hiring.

SOCY’s representative asks White if this plan is still his intention. She believes there is a lot of confusion among faculty.

White says that the proposal put forth in December was a proposal for budget resiliency. The college is currently obligated to cut about $10M from the budget and only time will tell how much can be put back over the next few years. If none of it comes back, they cannot hire anyone back. The Budget Committee will take a hard look at how possible it is to hire back tenure track faculty.

White explains that he still thinks the college needs budget resiliency and it would be unwise to pass on to the future a situation where they would have to shut down departments.

Rupert asks about the campus budget exercise. He wonders where that stands now and how it would affect A&S.

White says they are currently in the middle of a strategic budget discussion. They are looking at allocating budget based on students, teaching and other metrics. In the past, budget allocation has been historic, which is not strategic. White thinks A&S stands to benefit from this new analysis. He explains that A&S is a teaching machine for CU and would do well under this scenario. This could make it possible to hire back tenure track faculty. Nonetheless, White says there must be conversations on what to do if this does not happen.

MCDB’s representative asks White what other colleges are doing to make their 5% cuts. She is concerned that other colleges are not having to cut tenure track faculty. If A&S is the core of the university, why are they having to cut faculty?

White says he is familiar with Leeds School of Business. They have invested heavily in staff and instructors in the past years, not tenure track faculty. Over the last decades, A&S has focused on hiring tenure track faculty and graduate students while remaining very understaffed relative to peer institutions. A&S’s approach feeds research and teaching. But Leeds found themselves in a better position than A&S after COVID.

White says that one of the lessons A&S has learned is when bad times happen, the college is not in a good position to handle them. White is not sure about how the College of Engineering is dealing with this, but they have been the growth center for CU in the last decade, so he believes it is a very different situation. While he does not believe they are cutting tenure track faculty, he is unsure.

Rupert asks for clarification on what is a growth mode in Engineering. He wonders if revenue generated in A&S is going to Engineering.

White says that in the strategic budget analysis project, they are looking at where the dollars flow and who generated those dollars. Engineering has doubled their number of students in 10 years and have a higher tuition.

White says he wants a pathway that keeps A&S away from having to cut departments.

Rupert asks White for the number of tenure track faculty in A&S right now. White says he believes it is around 750. Rupert says it was 629 in 1995, which shows growth.

White says to keep in mind that for 10 years, A&S has not grown its total number of students. White believes this is an important discussion. White believes A&S should have growth, but there are breaks in the system. A&S cannot grow their freshman class size beyond the number of dorm beds. If the university is growing in engineering and business, then A&S is going to be either flat or shrinking.

White says this is why A&S got into the business of student recruiting. They want to recruit students to the college and ensure they get a robust student body.

White is sympathetic to the idea that CU is a research university and cutting tenure track faculty is not something he says with any kind of excitement or pleasure. However, White believes A&S needs to have a budget that can withstand the future budget cuts.

CINE’s representative says he would like to include language in the Planning Committee’s motion that makes the department’s flexibility explicit.

Rupert suggests adding the following sentence between the last two sentences of the motion: “Departments reserve the right to prioritize the hiring of instructor-rank faculty.”

CINE’s representative moves to amend the motion with the added sentence. PSYC’s representative seconds. Rupert asks for a vote using the “raised hand” feature.

29 vote in favor, the motion carries by acclamation.

Rupert asks the members of the ASC if they support the motion from the Planning Committee, as amended.

29 vote in favor, the motion carries by acclamation.

Rupert asks if there is any other new business to address. There are no comments. Rupert thanks all for their work.

The meeting is adjourned at 4:59 pm.