Published: July 1, 2020

Dear faculty community,

It has been a long and difficult few months. Just as we were beginning to lean in to the new realities of working, teaching, learning, and living amidst a global pandemic, we were tragically, painfully, and humbly reminded that there is much work to be done against racism and for equality on our campus, in Colorado, and across our nation. Indeed, denial, ignorance, or indifference about racism is not acceptable.

We know that the senseless, brutal murders of Black people across the United States particularly affect our Black faculty in devastating ways. It is not easy to go on with the business of research, art, teaching, and learning. We also know that just another statement, however deeply felt, is not going to do enough to foster the change in the campus culture that we need to see.

Creating a campus that welcomes and supports minoritized faculty, affirms their diverse identities, and promotes just and equitable institutional structures are central to our office's campus role. Our work on behalf of our faculty is grounded in our office’s primary purposes: to support faculty members from “hiring to retiring” and to help nurture a vibrant and diverse faculty member community. Our mission statement speaks to the breadth of these critical interests:

The Office of Faculty Affairs supports faculty growth, development, excellence, equity, community, and success from recruitment to retirement. Through our work we advocate for, collaborate with, assist, advise, mentor, respect, value, promote, and celebrate the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder.

Most importantly, our actions support our mission. The Office of Faculty Affairs has taken and will continue to take the lead on campus to advance diversity and equity for our faculty through specific actions, such as the following:

  1. Hiring and Welcoming
    • Reconceptualizing the campus STAR program to recruit and hire more faculty of color (in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE))
    • Centering issues of race, diversity, and inclusion during New Faculty Orientation and the extended New Faculty Series
       
  2. Supporting and Mentoring
    • Co-sponsoring CU Boulder’s institutional membership and privileges with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (in partnership with ODECE)
    • Supporting and retaining faculty of color through sponsoring and organizing faculty mentoring and development programs such as the Excellence in Leadership Program, Leadership Education to Advance Promotion (LEAP) Program, Faculty Success Grants, Faculty Growth Grants, Peer Mentoring Program, Academic Leadership Institute (ALI), the OpEd Project’s Write to Change the World Workshop (in partnership with the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) and ODECE)
    • Collaborating with the Faculty of Color and Friends group on an annual event honoring significant career milestones and achievements of faculty of color on campus
       
  3. Communication and Data
    • Establishing an online community through the Faculty Diversity and Inclusion mailing list so faculty can be kept apprised of campus and community events focusing on racial issues, LGBTQ+ topics, gender issues, and other important aspects of diversity and equity
    • Expanding data collection regarding faculty diversity activities related to teaching to give work that promotes diversity the emphasis it deserves. We are continuing updates to the Faculty Report of Professional Activities (FRPA) to allow our faculty to more easily highlight their research, creative work, leadership, and outreach in the service of a diverse and equitable democratic community, so that such work is not invisible, uncredited labor
       
  4. Tenure, Promotion, and Program Reviews
    • Championing an automatic one-year stoppage of the tenure clock for all pre-tenure faculty during this COVID-19 crisis
    • Diversifying the shared governance committees run and coordinated by the Office of Faculty Affairs:
      • Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee (VCAC)
      • Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee (ARPAC)
    • Expanding academic units’ self-study questions for the ARPAC process, specifically related to their definition, vision, and actions related to diversity and inclusive excellence, as well as unit climate, culture, and civility

Even when racial justice headlines no longer dominate the news, we must continue to do the work. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on actions we can take as a unit dedicated to the support and development of our faculty and of CU Boulder as a public university dedicated to the public good.

Michele Moses
Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs
Professor of Education