Published: Feb. 17, 2017

At its regular meeting on Thursday and Friday at the Boulder campus, the University of Colorado Board of Regents heard from numerous students asking for the board’s support of DACA students in maintaining the confidentiality of FERPA records and the recent CUSG resolution of support for DACA. Two faculty and one student also spoke on other issues, including supporting opposition to the Presidential Executive Order on Immigration restrictions, on urging divestiture of fossil fuel companies from university investments and on increasing graduate student pay. The regents thanked the presenters, with some members of the board providing their personal perspective related to DACA students. The board also approved a new MA degree in higher education and heard a report on the progress of CU’s online effort.

2017-18 budget proposal
The board heard a 2017-18 budget proposal from Vice President of Budget and Finance Todd Saliman. The budget projects a modest increase in state funding as well as enrollment growth, and it proposes a 2.5-percent merit pool increase for all campuses and all employee groups. Per the board’s vote last April to approve a tuition guarantee for CU Boulder students, this year’s budget includes a 4.91-percent tuition increase for freshman and transfer students and a 0-percent increase for returning students. The board is expected to vote on tuition and compensation in April and on the full budget in June after the state long bill is passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

New MA in higher education
The board voted 7 to 0 to approve a new professional graduate degree program in higher education in the CU Boulder School of Education. The program is designed to prepare students to work in several areas, including Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs.

Ann Schmiesing, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for Graduate Affairs, says the MA in higher education is an exciting collaboration between the School of Education and the Division of Student Affairs.

“This degree combines the established teaching and research strengths of [the School of] Education with the professional expertise of Student Affairs and responds to strong student and employer demand for master’s-level higher education programs in Colorado and beyond.”

Kathy Schultz, dean of the School of Education, says the program will provide students opportunities to participate in two practice-based experiences in higher education institutions in their areas of interest.

“We are particularly pleased that this program fills an important need in our region for higher education professionals,” Schultz said. “The program is designed for working professionals and will include online and hybrid courses.”

Schultz said the college will reach out to people on campus who are currently working in positions without a master’s degree and to potential students throughout Colorado and across the country who seek to learn with and from the talented faculty in the School of Education.

“Our commitment as a school to justice, equity and diversity will be the cornerstone of this program.”

CU online education update
CU Boulder Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives William Kuskin provided a short report on the progress of CU’s online effort and reviewed the strategy going forward with Online Education.

Kuskin said the regents have challenged but also inspired the campuses to explore online education.

“It is my belief that the campuses have responded to the regents’ charge boldly, strengthening our online offerings, increasing both course number and student credit hours, and developing cutting-edge massive online courses on the Coursera platform,” Kuskin said.

“The results, in a word, are a threefold network: We have better networked the campuses in a newfound collaboration, we have built an online interdisciplinary degree that networks together our faculty and our course offerings and, finally, we are using this degree to network our online platform.”

Kuskin added that online education both challenges us to reform our teaching but also to revolutionize aspects of our delivery system.

In other board news
Vice President of Employee and Information Services Kathy Nesbitt presented to the board on progress toward hiring a VP of Diversity to serve the CU system and all campuses. Nesbitt has been working with a consultant to learn more about what is needed from a new VP for Diversity, and the board will receive a report on that work March 3. The board debated a resolution expanding the scope of the consultant’s work, but the vote failed on a 5-3 vote (Regent Carson absent).

In the board chair’s report, Regent Irene Griego reported the university has hired the law firm of Cozen O’Connor and its attorneys Leslie Gomez and Gina Maisto-Smith to assist the university with an independent inquiry into events around the eventual resignation of assistant coach Joe Tumpkin. The inquiry will look into what occurred and when, if university policies were violated and whether those policies should be modified to better explain requirements on reporting.

While this inquiry is pending, Chancellor DiStefano believed it was appropriate to delay voting on Coach MacIntyre’s contract extension. Chair Griego added: in no way should the chancellor’s decision to wait be viewed as an indication that the Board of Regents has determined that policy was violated or any disciplinary action is warranted.

The board authorized Chancellor DiStefano to execute a multi-year employment agreement for Darin Eliot as defensive coordinator of the CU football team. The contract extends through December 31, 2019.

All presentations, which contain details about the budget proposal, the new master’s degree and more, are available on Board Docs.