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Faculty Senate update

President Davidson visits, affiliate faculty nominations open and curriculum-process manual reports.

By Cory Phare

April 9, 2018

President Davidson with Faculty Senate President Matthew MakleyMatt Makley, Faculty Senate president, welcomed Metropolitan State University of Denver President Janine Davidson to the April 4 Senate meeting.

She detailed her recent visit to the Colorado Business Roundtable discussion on the state of higher education.

“What we need to do is help students from the day they walk in the door so they find their path and ideally incorporate experiential learning like internships, apprenticeships and co-op programs,” Davidson said.

She also noted eight things that employers say they want from new hires: cyber skills, data analytics, critical thinking, design thinking, innovation and creativity, global perspective, cognitive thinking and cross-discipline ability. And she discussed how six of those are directly tied to liberal arts and humanities.

“(By focusing on the private sector) we sometimes hear, ‘You’re going to bake all the vegetables out of the lasagna,’ but really the opposite is true,” Davidson said. “We should have that robust dialogue with society and the business community to where people are singing our tune. If they hear the great things happening at MSU Denver from others, that’s when we’re really cooking with gas.”

Makley followed up by noting the work of Davidson constantly advocating for the University internally and externally.

“Thinking of our institutional history, our time in this body is short,” he said. “Our colleagues who come after us will pick up the work we’ve done, so we should leave a clear and operable agenda for the benefit of our students – and our community. The only way that’s going to happen is by working together, and I’m hopeful for the dialogue we’re having.”

Wilton Flemon then led the group in a moment of silence in remembrance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination. Flemon and Chris Harder then provided a first reading of the election of affiliate faculty as Category 3 to be codified in the Senate bylaws.

Affiliate faculty nominations to serve on the Faculty Senate are open until April 16; if there are more than three nominees, an election will open April 20 and close April 27 to afford the chance to run for at-large positions with the new term starting May 2.

Other items included:

  • The MSU Denver Professional Development Conference takes place May 17; Makley encouraged faculty to attend and support colleagues.
  • David Kottenstette reminded senators to apply to the Faculty Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board. The nonvoting member of the tri-institutional group provides insight into such efforts as forming architectural standards and receives a free parking pass; those interested should email Kottenstette.
  • Jessica Weiss provided a first reading of the Academic Policies Committee’s work with the General Studies Committee, Curriculum Committee and Multicultural Review Committee; individual departments will determine whether a transfer course carries a multicultural designation (the GS committee will determine if there is no apparent home department).
  • Weiss also led a second reading on the policy for a “degree-plus-one” ideal distinction for instructional qualification (along with empowering individual departments to situationally determine relevant criteria); this was voted on and approved with 85 percent in favor. The policy now moves on to the Provost’s Office for consideration.
  • Jean-Francois Duclos noted the course prefix changes to Masters of Health Administration courses and the modification to placement for two math courses: Students will now be able to use high school GPA as an alternative placement into Math 1080 and Math 1210.
  • Duclos also noted the work on the curriculum-policy manual (the “purple book”), specifically major changes including the notification and letters of support for course creation outside of home departments, dispute processes not resolved at the school or college level, clarification on internship designation and curriculum-manual review process. The Faculty Senate will vote next session on whether or not to approve the proposed changes to the curriculum manual.

Makley reminded everyone to follow up as soon as possible if departments have not elected or appointed senators for the next academic year.

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