Published: Dec. 8, 2023

Snow on FlatironsThe BFA closed out fall semester with a final meeting on Thursday, December 7, 2023. Provost Russell Moore updated faculty on priority projects that Chancellor DiStefano had assigned Academic Affairs and Strategic Resources and COO to oversee. Academic Affairs priorities include:

  • reviewing the alternative college option (ACO) and Program for Exploratory Studies (PES) - current data is showing that these academically prepared undergraduate students who did not get into the college/school of their choice don't persist at CU Boulder.
  • improving academic support for students - ensuring that all first year students have access to equal programming. This includes:
    • the best practices from Residential Academic Programs(RAPs) and Living & Learning Communities (LLCs) and
    • wrap-around programming for students including things such as: tutoring, advising, and academic enrichment programs.

Additionally, the Provost spoke about how recent changes to two CU System Administrative Policy statements related to teaching faculty will impact campus this year. APS 5060 Faculty Appointments and APS 5053 Multi-year Contracts for Instructional, Research, and Clinical (IRC) faculty were reviewed by the BFA and Faculty Council EPUS committee over the last year, and were recently approved. APS 5060 will end use of the "instructor" title on the Boulder campus, and instead utilize a teaching faculty series (Teaching Professor; Assoc. Teaching Professor; and Asst. Teaching Professor). The necessary job code changes must be added and implemented at a System HR level. APS 5053 allows campus to offer 5-year contracts for teaching and clinical faculty. Deans will now have the option of awarding 5-year contracts at the time of reappointment or promotion. Faculty are asked to email the Office of Faculty Affairs for questions:

Provost Moore thanked the BFA Administrator Appraisal Committee along with the BFA Executive Committee for working with him on his recent appraisal. Related to improved communication, Moore is now meeting each semester with the BFA ExCom and noted that a new communication from his office called "The Provost's Posts" will have updates from his office each semester. Questions from representatives included a call from the BFA CSEC  asking Academic Affairs to take actions related to the climate crisis. Moore noted that one area being discussed is how faculty might develop curriculum for first year students in LLC's and RAPS about the Climate Action Plan (CAPS) and how it undergirds campus sustainability initiatives. Other discussion included encouraging academic units to utilize teaching faculty hires which allow for career path opportunities instead of multiple lecturer hires; the use of High Impact Practices (HIPS) related to the new budget model; and lastly how some deferred maintenance for classroom improvements needs to be systematically brought up to date. 

Katherine Eggert, Sr. Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment and Kristi Wold-McCormick, Campus Registrar spoke to representatives about a draft academic policy on Credit for Prior Learning. The Colorado Department of Higher Education(CDHE) has recently updated their policy on prior learning assessment. Combined with these changes, campus units have new curricular offerings that can work with industry and would like to offer related credit in those areas and lastly campus needs a way to check for competencies from non-traditional learning experiences. There are three categories of higher learning that will be considered (see presentation slides) including credit from: standardized exams; course challenge; and learning experiences outside of higher education. The policy spells out how departments and units will handle processes related to all three areas. The BFA Academic Affairs committee reviewed the draft policy with Eggert and Wold-McCormick and overall felt that the policy responds to the new state requirements and campus needs but still allows for department level autonomy. The BFA resolution is required per the policy on policies, and the AAC submits BFA-R-1-112823 Credit for Prior Learning to Assembly for consideration. Representatives will have until the end of January to review and share the draft policy with constituents and provide feedback. The resolution will be voted on at the February 1, 2024 Assembly meeting, and the policy will then be reviewed by Deans Council prior to going to the Provost for approval. 

BFA Chair Shelly Miller discussed the BFA representative poll data on the Academic Calendar reform options that had been presented to members this fall. Miller sent a summary of the poll results to Chancellor DiStefano, Provost Moore, and COO O'Rourke earlier that day, which was forwarded to Assembly members. The data showed overall support for most elements of the two proposals, with the exception of two areas (mid-semester reading day & reduction from 72-70 instructional hours). Those two areas were more problematic for faculty and Miller recommended that Academic Affairs work with units offering lab classes to ensure a smooth transition since they will likely need to create alternate scheduling mechanisms compared to what has been offered in the past. Katherine Eggert noted that her understanding was that the Chancellor would be making a decision on this before the end of the semester. Please see the BFA Academic Calendar story for links to the poll results and FAQs on the two models. Miller also updated members on the two groups she represents faculty on: the Boulder Chancellor Search Committee process, and the Campus Sustainability Executive Council. Additionally, there is a Sustainability communications & engagement committee which has three BFA-nominated faculty members: Shideh Dashti, CVEN; Rebecca Dickson, PWR; and Irina Overeem, GEOS. 

Assembly members then considered three previous resolutions introduced at November Assembly, and a new resolution introduced to representatives earlier in the week. See details below:

The next Assembly meeting is on February 1, 2024.