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),

Representatives not present: Janet Casagrand (IPHY), Andrew Cowell (LING), Anthony Abiragi (PWR), Paul Romatschke (PHYS), Dale Miller (ENVS)

Also in attendance: James White (Interim Dean), Anna Jensen (Dean’s office), Theresa Hernández (A&S)


The meeting is called to order at 3:35 pm.

Dean’s Remarks

The campus has instructed all schools and colleges to plan for continuing budget cuts of 3% to 5%.  Last year’s budget cuts were considered temporary, but it was treated as a continuing cut, which it turns out it is. There was a lower first year class this academic year, which will affect the university for a while. In addition, White is anticipating that the state budget will not be back to full force next academic year.
The College of Arts & Sciences has already taken close to a 5% cut, so depending on what campus instructs the college to do, Arts & Sciences may actually get some money back if the cut is less than 5%.

On February 17th, students are not attending class. All faculty are encouraged to not give them an exam the next day. The college will put out a message in the next few days encouraging everyone to slow down on that day and not be in Zoom meetings.

CU’s chancellors met with the Governor’s team to pitch them the idea that CU’s educators are frontline educators. The Governor’s team listened and did not immediately say no, but they have not said yes yet.
White’s hope is that this will translate into a better ranking in vaccination prioritization for university faculty and staff that are on campus and interacting with students.

MCDB’s representative asks if this will include those who are off campus but would like to come back.
White says there are a number of people on campus who interact with others that are essential and they would prioritize those right now. There is a campus committee advising the provost and chancellor about who should get the vaccination first. White believes getting our faculty back in the classroom will make for a much better experience for the students.

The Online Committee’s chair asks about the return to class next week and voices concerns over faculty feeling inadequately prepared. This representative is trying to create a set of guidelines for their department, which is challenging.

White suggests looking at the website In addition, he suggests going to the Center for Teaching & Learning as they have collected a lot of information surrounding COVID and teaching.

A representative from HUMN asks if White has spoken to students about how they feel about going back to campus next week.

White says he meets with student groups every other week or so. Overall, they seem excited to be back, but there is some hesitation. The good news is that this is no longer a complete unknown to them because they went through this in the fall. The challenge is that people are relaxing on the rules as vaccines role out. White fears a repeat of what happened last fall and he would prefer to avoid that.

Chair’s Remarks

Meeting with the Provost

There is a meeting being planned with the Provost in connection with the recently passed motion on the hiring of deans and the re-organization. This may take place in conjunction with the chairs & directors meeting for the college. Rupert will keep the ASC posted on this.

Rupert indicated to the Provost an interest in a smaller meeting with him. The provost agreed to the idea in principle, but would like the large meeting first. Any thoughts about the proposal and moving forward with the hiring of deans should be kept at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Bylaws proposal

An issue has come up in connection with the bylaws proposal and the question of the strength or power of ASC decisions. It was recommended by the Provost’s committee that ASC clarify when faculty governance makes a determinative decision or when motions are merely advisory.

The Faculty Affairs Committee has made a gesture towards this in their current draft of the bylaws, but will take a larger effort to address it. Issues to think about include how to implement regent law and what neutral party will ultimately make the call. Currently, there is no mechanism in place for these kinds of questions. Rupert would like everyone to think about these ideas.

Hiring of faculty in non-departmental units

There are questions that have arisen since the pending motion on the hiring of faculty in non-departmental units was sent out. Rupert shares his screen with the group and reads the motion aloud.

One issue that arose had to do with the idea of non-departmental entities. There are some units which are tenure homes but are programs, not departments.

Another issue has to do with the Centers. Rupert has asked Associate Dean Theresa Hernández, to whom the centers report, to this meeting in order to discuss the nature of Centers.

Another issue that was brought up has to do with other types of non-faculty members participating as non-voting members in the hiring of faculty, such as graduate students and staff members. Rupert has some ideas for wording to address this issue.

PWR’s representative speaks up to say they want to make sure the ASC is including programs in this statement. This representative’s department had no objection to consulting with an academic department, but felt like programs were not being included in the process.

Another representative from ATOC suggests changing the language around donors. Faculty members are sometimes donors to the university and there should be some clarification that this does not apply to faculty donors.

GSLL’s representative says their department felt like the resolution was worded in a confusing way because it was a direct response to a recent situation. They believe it should be made clear that this has to do with faculty hiring faculty and donor influence.

A representative from ALC says they would like to avoid any appearance that the ASC is singling out the Benson Center. This representative also wonders how many centers also house an academic degree and is curious to see if they can find out which centers have degrees that can be associated with specific disciplines. This representative believes that any scholar hired should have an identified discipline that corresponds to a specific department, and that department should have word in ascertaining their qualifications.

White speaks up to clarify that it is college policy that faculty do the hiring of visiting professors and this is true in the Benson Center as well. He cannot find the policy and it probably is not written down anywhere. It is regent law that only faculty members can vote on the hiring of faculty. White suggests taking a step back and focusing on the college’s core values and how to best reflect those in the statement.

Associate Dean Theresa Hernández

Associate Dean Hernández brings up the Center for Asian Studies (CAS), which doesn’t fit neatly into ASC’s statement on hiring faculty in non-departmental units. CAS is degree-granting and hire faculty across different departments, but those faculty teach for CAS.

Hernández mentions that centers can also hire based on federally funded grants and the ASC should be careful to not interfere with that.

Hernández explains that centers are not brought into existence at the college level, but at the campus level through the Research and Innovation Office (RIO). There is a center authorization process that RIO oversees, and this is reviewed by legal and budget offices. After all that, the college or school gets to review it.

By definition, centers are similar to programs. It is a collection of interdisciplinary faculty from across colleges and schools who work together towards this interdisciplinary area of study.

Rupert asks if Hernández knows where visiting faculty to a center are housed. Hernández says that if the faculty is hired via a grant, they are housed within the center. White clarifies that visiting professors are employees of the university, but do not count as faculty members.

Rupert points out that it is his understanding that visiting scholars are automatically members of the Boulder Faculty Assembly. This sounds like 2 different messages to him.

White says that visiting faculty have a different set of HR rules to abide by and also points out that scholars in residence are different from visiting scholars, so it is important to keep that in mind.

A representative says it should be made clear whether the focus of their statement is on visiting professors or visiting scholars.

Rupert says this has been a complicated issue for several reasons, mostly having to do with the heterogeneous nature of the college. Rupert says he wants this to be articulated in a general, policy-oriented way.

Rupert would like to push a little on the issue of having non-voting members on a committee. He believes that putting donors or donors’ representatives on a hiring committee, even if they are non-voting, can direct the flow of the decision making process.

White speaks up to say that his policy has been that only faculty vote and he has always pushed back on any appearance that non-faculty are directing the process. The issue is not just around donors. White says there are advisory boards with members that like to express their opinions. In general, this is not a problem. White believes faculty have enough sense of autonomy and responsibility in their vote that they do not allow themselves to be directed by non-voting members.

APS’s representative says that their previous institution had a lot of federal law around conflict of interest in hiring faculty. They wonder if there is some sort of federal conflict of interest law that would help them resolve these issues.

Rupert says he believes what they need to do is set guidelines to remind people of how important the autonomy of faculty voting is. Perhaps this means requiring executive or closed sessions when votes are taken.

Rupert explains that when a motion comes out of committee, it does not require a second. The ASC can vote on it, vote it down, vote to “kill it” (this means it would not resurface later), or vote to postpone and come back to it at the next meeting. Rupert suggests the possibility of a motion to postpone this pending motion definitely.

A representative asks if it is possible to send it back to the executive committee for new language. Rupert says yes, that is what would happen with postponing definitely.

The chair of the online committee motions to postpone definitely to the March meeting. A representative from CHEM seconds the motion.

Rupert asks members to use the “raise hand” function in Zoom if they are in favor of this motion. The motion passes by acclamation.


Update on Proposal for New Faculty Governance Bylaws

Rupert sent out most recent draft on the proposal for new faculty governance bylaws, which was just approved this past Sunday by the Faculty Affairs Committee. The ASC will not be voting on this today.

Rupert would like to discuss the most recent major changes. The 11th article on amending the bylaws has been made more complicated by being split into two cases. There is a way to amend the bylaws in a general aspect. There is a separate way to amend articles six and seven in particular, which pertain specifically to the divisional councils and divisional committees. Each division is now given the authority to make proposals and hold divisional vote of their faculty on amendments six and seven. It has been important in the discussions with chairs and directors that divisional autonomy be protected and supported.

There is also more flexibility with regard to the structure of divisional councils and frequency of meetings. It has been recommended that there be curriculum and budget committees in each division, but these functions could be carried out by the committee as a whole, meaning the divisional council itself without forming separate committees.

There have been issues raised having to do with the nature of the meetings. Some of the information for chairs and directors from a divisional dean might look to others like boring, operational issues. Do we want the full divisional council to meet for the operational issues? We want to give the divisional councils latitude with regard to how often they meet as a whole.

The Planning Committee has been retained despite the Provost’s committee recommendation to get rid of it.  There is a lot of talk around changes in the function and nature of the college, so a Planning Committee would be helpful. Its charge has been changed slightly, as its original charge was too open ended.

The Online Education Committee has been eliminated and its responsibilities will be split between Curriculum and Planning Committees.

Rupert points out that if the ASC dissolves, its ad hoc committees will also dissolve.

The Grievance Committee will have its purview expanded to deal with professionalism, faculty rights, faculty/staff relations, etc.

The issue of unintended consequences on staff will be addressed by Grievance and at the Executive Committee level.

There has also been a bit added about caucuses. These will be groups of faculty with shared interests or identity. They will not be a part of the official faculty governance structure, but faculty governance will ask caucuses for input and support caucuses logistically if they have the resources to do so.

Regent law says that the dean of Arts & Sciences is the chair of any meeting of the A&S faculty. Typically, the faculty of Arts & Sciences meets only when the ASC organizes a joint meeting of the ASC and the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at the end of each semester. The proposed new bylaws added that the dean will co-chair this meeting and chair any meeting that is involving only the faculty of A&S.

If the ASC and faculty vote in a positive way on this proposal, there may be a need to form an ad hoc committee to implement it.

New Business

A representative asks if they should they send the proposal on new faculty governance bylaws to the faculty in their department for their feedback. Rupert says yes. If feedback comes to ASC quickly, the FAC can incorporate it into the motion. If feedback comes later, the ASC can incorporate it through an amendment during the ASC’s process of discussing and voting on the FAC’s motion. The FAC will probably be meeting a week from tomorrow, so feedback before then would be good, but feedback after that will also be considered.

There are no other questions or new business from the representatives.

The meeting is adjourned at 4:43 pm.