Provost Russell Moore told the Boulder Faculty Assembly Thursday he would support the possibility of CU instructors having the option to move their contracts to 12 months instead of 9 months as a win-win for both instructors and students.
In his regular end-of-semester update to the BFA, Moore said he was initiating a discussion among the deans on a unified approach to instructor promotion raises. He also outlined a set of measures to support Iranian faculty, staff and students impacted by the Iranian government’s crackdown on protesters.
“I’m supportive of state legislation to offer up to five-year contracts for instructors,” said Moore in response to a question by BFA member Alastair Norcross. He said CU President Saliman in a recent systemwide shared governance meeting had expressed confidence that legislation enabling the longer contracts could soon be introduced in the Colorado state legislature.
Moore also observed, “We have north of 300 teaching professor-ranked faculty and most, though not all, are on nine-month contracts.”
Moving to a 12-month contract would be beneficial to the university in two ways: “If you had an instructor who made $60,000 on a nine-month contract, they’d make around $80,000 on a 12-month (contract). It’s an opportunity for extra income, and we wouldn’t have to pay more on benefits because nine-month instructors already receive 12-month benefits.”
Moore said the effect of such a move would also increase the importance of summer terms, resulting in “the benefit of enhancing student persistence and retention.”
On other salary matters, Moore told the assembly he has asked the Council of Deans to begin the work of taking “a unified approach to instructor promotion raises.” He said the Academic Resource Management Advisory Committee, which comprises faculty members from across campus as well as BFA representation, is working with institutional research “to gather information on what other public institutions are doing,” and that models will be brought to the deans in the spring to help the campus decide whether colleges and schools should set promotion rates for instructors or whether the rates should be set centrally.
“I’m agnostic, but it needs to be equitable and fair,” Moore said.
Moore also outlined a series of measures to support CU’s Iranian students, faculty and staff. The measures include:
Working to bring in Farsi-speaking mental health professionals to serve faculty, staff and students.
Working with the Office of Government and Community Engagement to seek an exception to federal prohibitions on offering online courses to learners in Iran.
Working with graduate school admissions to continue to waive admission fees and other document requirements that are difficult for Iranian students to meet—a standard practice the university can take for any international students who are in the midst of a crisis.
Directing Iranian students to International Student & Scholar Services and finding ways to merge emergency funds to create more resources for undergraduates.
Examining how CU might participate in a scholars-at-risk program.
Offering more faculty-led academic events and symposia centered on the situation in Iran or other troubled spots around the globe, similar to Wednesday night’s “Woman, Life, Freedom” campus panel discussion.
Moore said the stakes for international students and faculty were high when such unrest occurs. “Students, faculty and staff are participating [in public events and rallies] at great personal risk and may not be able to go to their home countries again,” Moore said.
Other BFA action
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment Katherine Eggert, joined by Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Joe Thomas, updated the BFA on the major points of progress made by the Buff Undergraduate Success initiative, including:
Successfully achieving eight of 10 BUS commitments for the fall semester, ranging from a revision of the campus’s grade replacement policy to creating the new Basic Needs Center within the Division of Student Affairs to unify currently scattered efforts and resources.
Implemented campus-funded projects such as expanded intra-university transfer classes for alternative college option students; launching the Innovating Large Courses Initiative through the Center for Teaching and Learning and creating a new student communication model that consolidates student support and resource information on the CU Boulder student webpage and lets students set their preferences for non-mandatory campus communications.
Created a prototype first-year student success dashboard; finished an assessment of needs, challenges and opportunities with CU Boulder tutoring; launched a more personalized tutoring experience in Buff Portal; identified affinity spaces on campus; made progress on streamlining the review and approval process for late course withdrawals.
Eggert and Thomas also updated the group on an additional 11 BUS projects that are on track for completion by the end of January 2023 and 12 BUS commitments for fall 2023 completion.
For information on BFA resolutions introduced at the meeting or the progress of other resolutions and BFA business, visit the BFA’s meeting summary page.