The Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA) closed out the 2022–23 academic year exchanging with Provost Russell Moore on the challenges of implementing the new budget model and with a polite disagreement on whether a new campus curriculum committee should report to Moore or have independent authority.
Moore reviewed the year’s achievements within his priorities, including the approval of the common curriculum; progress on implementing the Academic Futures report recommendations; receiving the report of the Faculty Salary Procedures Working Group; progress in diverse faculty hiring and in diversity, equity and inclusion; and commitments for consecutive 4% raises for faculty, graduate students on appointment and staff during the next two years.
In a question-and-answer exchange afterward, Moore said he was supportive of converting “longtime repeated lecturers” to “the teaching [professor] ranks,” acknowledging that decision lies “at the college and school level.”
Another question centered on reduced salaries for tenured and tenure-track faculty for teaching Augmester and Maymester courses in the College of Arts and Sciences and whether or not the reductions were a campus policy.
Moore said that was “not a campus policy—those are local and school policies.”
Jennifer Hendricks of Colorado Law asked a pointed question on what she termed the “moral question” of why the law school’s heavily subsidized budget under the new budget model should come at the expense of budget cuts in Arts and Sciences.
“I want to know, what is the justification? How does it align with our highest priorities?” Hendricks said.
Moore said under the model campuses will have to make “local decisions” and in some cases make use of budgets rolled forward as cash reserves.
“We’re not in an environment of scarcity,” Moore said. “The focus should not be on supplemental but core funding—that’s where the biggest changes can occur.”
To close out the meeting, the BFA approved a resolution to support the creation of a campus curriculum committee of faculty members representing the schools and colleges—including the three divisions of Arts and Sciences—as well as the University Libraries. The resolution expressed BFA’s preference that committee members should be appointed by these units’ faculty governance groups and be independent—not merely advisory to the provost—in deciding and enacting matters centered in duplicative curricula, as well as interdisciplinary opportunities across colleges, schools and departments.
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment Katherine Eggert reminded the group that the written policy was “a draft” and any resolution the body would craft would serve as “your review and opinion.”
“The deans also review—your review is important; the deans’ review is important; and the policy belongs to the provost,” she said, referring to the Academic Affairs policy proposal and adoption process.
The BFA took a different tack in amending amending its resolution, citing Article 5 of the Laws of the Regents, which holds that faculty have the principal responsibility for decisions concerning curriculum, and adding specific language to the resolution to bind the provost to decisions made by the committee.
The binding recommendation, one BFA member noted, raised “the old question”—how would it be enforced?
Beechy said, “We’d have to develop this in our framework...that the provost is bound to enforce the decisions of the committee.”
In other action at the meeting
- Moore opened the session by giving 50-year service awards to CU Professor Wayne Boss (organizational development and management), Distinguished Professor Marv Caruthers (biochemistry), and Distinguished Professor Steven Maier (psychology and neuroscience).
- Eggert and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Joe Thomas outlined the year’s progress on the Buff Undergraduate Success (BUS) initiative, pointing out 12 priority projects the initiative will seek to implement as of the fall 2023 semester.
- University Libraries officials presented on the libraries’ new service platform, FOLIO.
- The assembly passed passed a motion sending the BFA constitution, drafted by the BFA Bylaws Committee, to a vote of the Faculty Senate (all faculty with 50% or higher appointment).
- The assembly thanked Tiffany Beechy of English for her two years’ service as BFA chair and announced the election of Shelly Miller of Environmental Engineering as new chair.
For more information on the meeting, visit the BFA’s website.