Published: May 3, 2024

Provost Russ Moore updated the Boulder Faculty Assembly at its final monthly meeting Thursday, telling the assembly that next week he would make a decision on a path forward for restructuring the leadership of the College of Arts and Sciences, but first needed further conversations with Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate Chair Andy Cowell. 

“My highest priority is to make sure the College of Arts and Sciences is healthy and vibrant, because as goes A&S, so goes the campus,” Moore said. 

Moore also recognized Chancellor Philip DiStefano, professor of education, and Martin Bickman, professor of English, for their respective 50 years of service to the university as faculty and honored Rolf Norgaard and Andrea Feldman, both teaching professors of distinction in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, upon their imminent retirements. Norgaard and Feldman were applauded for their long service to the BFA and key leadership on, respectively, instructor rights and diversity, equity and inclusion. 

In other updates, Moore told the assembly: 

  • Incoming Chancellor Justin Schwartz, who arrives on July 1, is “looking forward to meeting with shared governance.” 
  • A search committee has been formed to seek a new dean of the School of Education, and the school has “capable leadership in (interim dean) Fernando Rosario-Ortiz,” who is “working well to make sure the school is on good footing.” 
  • Work continues via a provost-appointed working group on achieving “more equitable salaries and stability” for lecturers, while job codes are now in place for new teaching faculty classifications and offer letters are being readied. “The BFA pushed for this for a long time and it is a deserved recognition,” Moore said.
  • Learning outcomes for the new common curriculum, approved last year, have “created excitement about its core tenets among students—especially those that apply to sustainability.”’ 
  • In year four of its 10-year accreditation cycle, the campus is hitting its benchmarks and demonstrating to the Higher Learning Commission that progress is being made on the common curriculum. Moore credited the work of Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning and Assessment Katherine Eggert in charting the campus’s progress and reporting it to the commission.
  • The campus continues important work on transformation and fiscal resilience, which Moore emphasized is not rooted in dramatic budget cutting like that plaguing peers such as the University of Arizona, but rather is centered on  “opportunities we have to modestly adjust how we do our business on campus.” 

In other BFA action 

The assembly passed a resolution to create a BFA campus operations committee (PDF) that would work with campus operational leaders. “We want a more collaborative pathway on the operations side of the university so that they (operational leaders) come to us early in changing policy—asking our input ahead of time,” said BFA Chair Shelly Miller.

BFA voted for new officers for academic year 2024–25 that include Vicki Grove (secretary), Alastair Norcross (vice chair) and Adam Norris (Executive Committee At-Large representative).

The assembly withdrew a resolution on the open comment section (PDF) of the faculty course questionnaires (FCQs) that was introduced in the April assembly meeting and replaced it with a new, more comprehensive resolution that recommends a review of the full FCQ process (PDF). Miller said the assembly will vote at its September meeting on the new resolution, which contains action items for a committee—to be formed by the Office of Academic Affairs and composed of faculty and students—to review FCQs. 

Questions considered by the resolution include: 

  • What processes do AAU peer universities utilize for student course evaluations and for course improvement based on student course evaluations?
  • Do AAU peer universities utilize student course evaluations as part of faculty merit review and/or reappointment, promotion and tenure review? If so, how?
  • Are there academic units on campus that have enhanced their course evaluation processes based on recommended practices?
  • Should information be added to the FCQ instrument to provide students with a better understanding about how academic units utilize FCQ results, why student feedback matters, and how to provide constructive feedback, in particular for open comment sections?
  • How can the university better provide students with guidance on reporting inappropriate faculty behavior and on available campus support services? 

Lastly, the group weighed in on proposed changes to APS 1022 at the request of the faculty council EPUS committee.

For more information on BFA actions and to learn more about the assembly’s May 2 meeting, visit the BFA’s website.