Published: March 12, 2024

CU Campus Spring SnowThe Boulder Faculty Assembly held the annual meeting of the Boulder Faculty Senate on Thursday, March 7, 2024. This meeting occurs once a year during any spring Assembly meeting and is open to the full Boulder Faculty Senate. BFA Vice Chair and CU Faculty Council Chair Alastair Norcross presided. Members heard various updates from campus on the following items:

I. Buff Undergraduate Success (BUS) Update – Katherine Eggert, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment along with Joe Thomas, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs provided members with updates to this project which includes a revised charge as of February 2024. It specifies a focus on "cross-functional and cross-campus collaboration that results in policy and process improvement for all undergraduate students and particularly for underrepresented students from historically marginalized groups from their first day on campus through the fourth semester."  The group will work in concert with the Provost's and COO's priority projects to ensure there is not a duplication of efforts or multiple directions on the same project. The group has also added some new members including Jess Doty, Chief Wellness Officer, Amy Hutton, Chief Enrollment Officers, and Daryl Maeda, Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Eggert noted some improvements in CU Boulder's 6-year graduation rates up by 4% but still lagging AAU peers. A full list of current projects can be found on the March 7 Assembly BUS Update Slides. Eggert also noted ways faculty can help in this effort which included:

  • Please use course alerts!
  • Use Canvas to keep students apprised of grades and performance
  • Keep abreast of forthcoming Canvas course guidance and templates for faculty
  • Be aware of "high impact" courses that can stall students in academic careers. Examples include those courses that:
    • are taken by a large percentage of first-year students
    • have DFW rates of greater than 15%
    • have equity gaps of greater than 10%
    • Specific departments will be contacted
  • Check out Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) offerings

II. IT Decision Framework Model – Vice Chancellor of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Marin Stanek introduced a new IT decision framework model (also known as an IT governance model). The model will provide a more effective decision-making process, increased transparency, and to align IT strategies with overall institution academic and research goals. Currently CU Boulder uses a highly decentralized process that increases duplicative efforts and increases costs. CU lags behind most R1 peers in not having this type of model in place. Page eight (8) of the IT Decision Framework BFA 03.07.24 slides gives an overview of the framework. Faculty representation in the process comes in several areas including BFA representation on the Student & Academic Technology Committee by Janet Casagrand, the chair of the BFA Academic Technologies & Services (ATSC) committee. Additionally, Elizabeth Romero Fuerte, Asst. Vice Provost and AVC for Academic Technology and Student Success sits on both the ATSC and on the BFA Executive Committee. Faculty participating on departmental IT committees will also be called on for input and feedback. 

III. APS 5060 Faculty Appointments – Alastair Norcross, BFA Vice Chair & CU Faculty Council Chair

Changes to this system administrative policy statement went into effect on July 1, 2023 and included making Teaching Professor titles an official option for campuses. Boulder currently uses these titles instead of Instructor, however final changes need to be made in HCM (HR management software) by system HR which is expected to happen sometime late spring or summer. Due to updates in this policy, CU Faculty Council is updating the CU Faculty Senate Constitution. Faculty are asked to be aware of the following:

  • Although the appendix of APS5060 outlines faculty titles, membership in the CU Faculty Senate* is defined by the Faculty Senate Constitution. 
  • Faculty Council has completed revisions for the constitution, however approval of the revised document requires a 2/3 majority approval by all University of Colorado faculty senate members. 
  • Faculty who are eligible to vote will receive the emailed ballot prior to April 1. 
  • Faculty are asked to ensure your colleagues are aware of this process and encourage them to vote. 

Additionally Norcross updated members on a current situation related to Lecturers hired at CU Boulder related to APS 5060 which defines Lecturers as temporary employees with less than a 50% appointment (which is generally one course). Instead most Lecturers on campus are hired to teach more than one course and have appointments of greater than 50%. System has asked Boulder to resolve this issue by fall. Provost Moore formed a task force to work on solutions and guidelines for this issue. Members include Katherine Eggert, Robyn Fergus, Shelly Miller, and Ann Schmiesing. Miller asked reps to contact her at if they (or a colleague) has ideas/experience in this kind of problem-solving. 

IV. BFA Campus Updates

  • Climate Action Plan (CAP) feedback review – the comment/feedback period closed on March 5th.
  • Western District Energy Plant – The BFA has convened a shared governance team along with staff from Infrastructure and Sustainability to review the decision to upgrade this plant on main campus and determine if there is a better solution or additional recommendations to be made. 
  • Chancellor Candidate Visits – Per two e-memos (March 1 and March 6) the CU Boulder Chancellor Search Committee has asked campus members to save the date for open forum(s) with candidate(s) the week of March 18. Miller has asked representatives to encourage their colleagues to attend to ensure there is faculty feedback on the candidate(s). At this time it has not been determined if there will be more than one, but if there are those sessions will be on different days next week at the times listed below. There should also be a virtual option for the faculty session(s). Final date details are expected soon.
    • Faculty – 8:00 a.m., UMC Ballroom
    • Staff – 9:15 a.m., UMC Ballroom
    • Students – 5:00 p.m., Location on campus, TBD

V. Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) Resources for Open Access Changes – Steve Vanderheiden, BFA Faculty Affairs Committee Chair and committee member Melissa Cantrell, Ctr for Research Data/Digital Scholarship reviewed a resource document the FAC has created for faculty regarding recent changes in Open Access (OA) guidelines. Please share widely with your colleagues. 

VI. BFA Announcements – Vicki Grove, BFA Secretary reminded members on two current BFA business items:

  • The 2024 Excellence Award winners have been announced and to save the date for the ceremony on Thursday, April 18 in the UMC from 4:30-7pm. 
  • BFA At-Large Representative Elections are still underway and all eligible campus faculty are able to vote. Representatives are asked to remind their colleagues to vote prior to the election end date on Friday, March 15.

Please also see the CU Boulder Today article on the March Assembly meeting as well.


*At the University of Colorado, the “faculty senate” refers to all faculty who are eligible to vote and take part in shared faculty governance processes. The CU Faculty Council is the elected system-wide faculty governance body, and the Boulder Faculty Assembly is the campus faculty governance body. At most other institutions the “faculty senate” refers to the elected university faculty governance body. See the Boulder Faculty Senate page for more information.