Meeting Minutes, March 16, 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)

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

Also in attendance: James White (Interim Dean), Anna Jensen (Dean’s office), Bob Ferry (BFA), Mary K. Long (SPAN), Tammy Frederickson (SLHS)

Meeting is called to order at 3:31 PM.

Dean’s Remarks

Concerning fall 2021 classes, the dean’s office is working with the registrar’s office to understand how rooming is going to work. The issue is that students are registering, but they do not know what rooms classes will be in.

They are using a 3 foot bubble for their rooming model right now. Dean White suspects that probably 90% of classes will be in-person and large lecture halls will not be used.

There have been 10 arrests now for the riot on The Hill that took place on March 6th. There were some Arts & Sciences students involved.

White reminds all that next Thursday the 25th is a wellness day for CU students. He is insisting that employees stay off of Zoom meetings that day. Friday the 26th is a day off for staff. There are plans in place for how to deal with advising as students will be in class.

White opens the floor up for questions, but there are none.

Chair’s Remarks

Rupert says that the ASC bylaws specify that the term of the ASC chair is one year. This means the election for next year’s chair will occur at the next meeting in April. Leslie Irvine, chair of the online education committee, will be overseeing the election. Irvine says that if anyone wants to run for chair, they should e-mail Irvine their nomination and be prepared to speak at the next meeting. The deadline for receiving nominations is any time before the April meeting.

Rupert explains that the ASC passed the motion concerning the hiring of deans in connection with reorganization. This has since been passed on to the Provost. This was discussed at the February 23rd meeting with chairs and directors. Rupert has asked for an update from the provost, but has none yet. The terms of the divisional deans was left open at the February 23rd meeting. There was no clarity on whether the current associate deans would be elevated to divisional deans on an interim basis, or non-interim with a specific time period.  

White’s proposal to move to a lower ratio of tenure track faculty to instructors is being looked at by the planning committee and the ASC will hear more about this at the April meeting.

Rupert would like to remind all that ASC representatives are encouraged to communicate with faculty in their home unit in order to get their unit’s feedback on issues. It is also good for ASC representatives to know who the Boulder Faculty Assembly representative in their unit is and talk to them regularly.

The postponed motion on hiring of non-departmental faculty

Rupert reads the original motion on the hiring of non-departmental faculty aloud. The February meeting brought up several points of disagreement. Since then, Rupert has met with center directors, program directors and administrators to get a sense of how this motion would affect activities in the college. Rupert and the executive committee have been working to generate alternative text, which was sent out to the ASC on Saturday.

Rupert says he is hoping for more departmental input and opens the floor up for discussion.

White says that when this was last discussed, the feeling was that it cast too wide of a net. He believes semantics are important and it is important to keep in mind that some departments allow non-voting representatives on their committees. White feels the faculty are responsible for and own the curriculum, so they should be responsible for who is teaching the curriculum. As long as there is close coordination between centers and units, he believes this should work. The bigger question to keep in mind is, do the faculty believe they have adequate oversight over who is teaching the curriculum? A policy would be helpful in this case.

A representative from MCDB says she is not sure she knows what procedure was being followed with the Benson Center’s hire that sparked the creation of this policy. Rupert says there was input from the political science department with the hiring of Eastman. The amendment as it is written encourages departments to do more with respect for local autonomy.

The same representative asks if these new guidelines would have a preventative measure. Rupert says it is impossible to know for sure, but it is plausible that as much as Political Science did, they could have done more if following these guidelines.

White says that the Benson Center has a more robust hiring structure than other visiting scholar hires, which is ironic. He does not believe this policy would change much in the Benson Center’s process, but White wonders if enough is being done to make sure the college has robust hiring practices for everyone in the classroom.

Rupert says that this motion actually would change what the Benson Center does. Right now, there are non-voting members on their hiring committee. This policy would prohibit them from participating in the hiring process.

MCDB’s representative asks if anyone has talked to the faculty from Political Science who were on the hiring committee for Eastman. Rupert says that when he talked with the Benson Center director, he focused more on moving forward rather than coming across as though the ASC was holding an inquiry into their past practice.

ALC’s representative says his department was fine with the new text that was recently sent out. He also says he agrees with Jim in that there are no guarantees with whoever is hired. However, he believes that maximizing faculty input and minimizing donor input is a good policy to have.

Rupert says that, in light of the input received from center and program directors, he thinks it would risk creating problems if the ASC were to vote on the motion as it was written originally.

A representative from CINE asks about what would happen if they were to do nothing with the motion. He is unsure of what the policy is trying to address. He wonders if it would make more sense to step back and instead ask centers hiring someone to submit the requirements they have in place to the departments. Rob says that one option is to postpone indefinitely, which would essentially kill the motion.

A representative from HUMN speaks up, but her audio is broken up. She places the following text in the chat: “On behalf of the Humanities Program: we do have concerns about the wording of the original motion and its possible unforeseen consequences. I think that the new wording helps address some of these problems.”

The chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly says that the BFA had a hand in getting the ball rolling on this. They are waiting for A&S to do something, so they can then suggest that other colleges follow suit.

ANTH’s representative says that in its early throes, there was high engagement with this policy among his home department and everyone wanted action to be taken. With the last few circulations, there has been lower engagement. He suggests postponing this to next month but in the meantime, circulating a more simplified document and pushing for more feedback. The representative presents a motion to do this. The motion is seconded by the representative from SOCY. 26 vote in favor of the motion, with 0 opposed and 0 abstentions.

Rupert says he will go forward with the plan to send out a more streamlined version of the revised motion and there will be a vote at the April meeting.

Motion, New Faculty Governance Bylaws

Rupert clarifies that the ASC’s vote is to put this to a faculty vote of A&S as a whole. The vote of the ASC requires only majority, but the vote of the full A&S Faculty would require 2/3 votes cast in favor to pass the new bylaws, as long as there is a quorum.

Rupert says he would like to move this to the stage of amendment or debate, unless there is a specific motion to consider.

Rupert asks for a motion that page numbers be inserted into the document. SOCY representative moves to add page numbers. ETHN representative seconds. 22 vote in favor, with 0 opposed and 0 abstentions.

There is a typo in article 4, paragraph 4. “Division” should read “divisional.” CLAS representative moves to correct this. HONR representative seconds. 23 vote in favor, with 0 opposed and 0 abstentions.

Rupert brings up two requests from the Staff Advisory Committee. In the document’s mention of a program assistant, SAC takes issue with the language of the college agreeing to “provide” a program assistant. After some discussion, it is decided that the wording should instead read “College agrees to allocate an appropriate amount of a program assistant’s work duties to support the operations of faculty governance.” SOCY representative moves to adopt the new language. CINE representative seconds. 27 vote in favor of adopting the new language.

Secondly, SAC took issue with the document’s mention of the ASC’s executive committee needing to approve the program assistant providing administrative support. White says he is not sure the document needs to get that granular. If the person performing administrative work for the ASC is not working out, the ASC would come to the dean and they would work it out. SOCY’s representative moves to delete the sentence that references the executive committee’s approval of the program assistant. SPAN’s representative seconds. 24 vote in favor of deleting this language.

A representative from APPM speaks on behalf of the budget committee, which he is a member of. The budget committee has concerns that over the next few years, the college’s budget will get more complex. They want the bylaws to include requirements for the governance within budget committees.

This representative reads a statement from ASC’s budget committee aloud. They are proposing two things. One is for each division to have a dedicated budget committee. The second is for these divisional budget committees to have 3 members who will serve on the ASFC budget committee, in order to maintain continuity. This would allow for better communication between divisions and the college. They believe this would go into section 7 of the bylaws, under item 3.

Rupert believes it may be better to look at paragraph 1 of section 7, and shares his screen with the bylaws. Rupert believes the motion should include rewriting the second sentence of the section to remove mention of the budget committee and adding: “Each Divisional Budget Committee shall include three members each who will also serve on the ASFC (ASC) College-level Budget Committee, to maintain continuity and expertise between the College and the Divisions.”

There is some discussion involving the correct wording of the added sentence. The iteration that is ultimately landed on reads: “Each Divisional Budget Committee shall include, but not be limited to, the three members from the corresponding division who sit on the ASFS Budget Committee, to maintain continuity and expertise between the College and the Divisions.”

There is a motion to amend article 7, paragraph 1 with this new language from APPM’s representative. A representative from CLAS seconds the motion.

Rupert says he would like to take a few minutes to speak against the motion, not in his capacity as ASC chair but rather as chair of the FAC. He explains that the process of writing these bylaws has been difficult and involved a lot of collaboration. There are some chairs and directors that want divisional autonomy and a lot has been changed to accommodate this. Because of this, Rupert is hesitant to tell chairs and directors that they are going to take a step back from autonomy. He believes this motion could possibly put the proposal at risk when it goes to the faculty as a whole for a vote.

Rupert believes that a lot can be done with a set of implementation recommendations and an option would be to include some of the budget committee’s ideas in that document. However, he does not think it is a good idea to tell divisional councils how to make up their budget committees.

A representative from PHYS speaks out to say that he is on the budget committee, and is also a part of the natural sciences division. He supports the motion’s amendment, despite the natural science division in particular pushing for greater autonomy. He wonders if there is a way to allow for both of these approaches to be in one document.

Rupert says he has had a discussion about tailoring the bylaws to the three divisions, but ultimately settled on a one-size-fits-all approach. However, the document allows for divisions to amend the parts of the bylaws pertaining specifically to divisional councils, leaving open the possibility for three different versions of those portions of the bylaws.

APPM’s representative expresses the budget committee’s concern that divisions will form budget committees that will keep them in the dark about what is happening at the college level.

A representative from ALC and member of the budget committee suggests doing what makes the most sense to the ASC, even if there is a risk it will be voted down, then making changes accordingly.

A representative from CLAS suggests instead requiring each divisional budget committee to include at least one member, instead of three, from the corresponding college budget committee. She believes requiring one representative would be better than nothing and may get less resistance. A representative from the budget committee says he believes three representatives would be more effective.

Rupert points out that they are running low on time.

CHEM’s representative moves to postpone this and pick it up again at the next meeting. ETHN’s representative seconds. There are 30 votes in favor of postponing this to the next meeting in April.

Rupert says he will work more with the budget committee to try to ensure they have a motion they can be happy with and that chairs and directors will support.

The meeting is adjourned at 5:01 pm.