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Inside the President's Cabinet

Emergency Preparedness Committee recommendations, commencement update and more in the April 9 meeting recap.

By Dan Vaccaro

April 10, 2018

Outside of SSBCouldn’t make it to the April 9 President’s Cabinet meeting? The Early Bird has you covered. Here are the highlights.

With President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., away from the office, Provost Vicki Golich, Ph.D., facilitated the conversation around several important topics.

Recommended in case of emergencies

Per President Davidson’s request, the Emergency Preparedness Committee presented its research and recommendations to the Cabinet.

In a recent survey, 84 percent of campus community members reported feeling safe or very safe on campus. But 82 percent cited an “act of violence on campus” as their greatest concern.

In response to its findings, the committee made several recommendations, including:  

  • Hire an objective threat-assessment organization to conduct an institutionwide analysis on areas of strength, potential challenges and the efficient use of resources.
  • Allocate funds for a full-time position dedicated to emergency preparedness. Ideally, adding an FTE would be the first step in developing a fully staffed office of emergency management.
  • Expand current services, growing the CARE team’s practice and scope as well as providing more MSU Denver-specific trainings.
  • Make emergency-preparation tools and resources more available across campus. One initiative already underway is a regular feature in the Early Bird.
  • Require all departments to create and revise emergency-procedure plans.
  • Require all faculty to include emergency-prep tools in their syllabi.

President Davidson will review these recommendations and decide on next steps. Stay tuned to the Early Bird for the latest updates on one of the president’s top initiatives.

What to expect, when you’re expecting Commencement

Tiffany Snell, university and events protocol manager, shared details on the May 11 Commencement ceremonies. The morning ceremony kicks off at 9 a.m. and features graduates from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and the School of Education. The afternoon ceremony starts at 3 p.m. and highlights grads from the colleges of Business and Professional Studies. All told, Snell expects about 1,500 students to walk that day.

Snell reported that 120 faculty and staff volunteered to serve as Commencement marshals, a higher number than usual. She also advised attendees to plan for traffic delays because of ongoing construction.

Required qualifications

Provost Golich gave a brief update on the Policy for Minimum Qualifications for Instructional Personnel. Essentially, the “degree-plus-one” policy ensures that instructors at the University have the proper qualifications for the student level they are teaching. Instructors teaching bachelor’s-degree students must have at least a master’s degree. Instructors teaching master’s courses must have a terminal degree, such as a doctorate.

Golich said there are some disciplines, such as art, where an instructor might have “tested experience” in place of a level-appropriate degree, meaning that the instructor may have achieved a high level of accomplishment in their field.

And other updates 

  • The University Policy Advisory Council’s first task will be updating the Board of Trustees manual. The council’s goal is to have the task complete by fall 2018.
  • Human Resources reports that the University will not be switching to a biweekly payroll despite the recent adoption of that system by the State of Colorado.
  • The Professional Development Conference will be held May 17.
  • Sign up for Roadrunners Give Back Day. The University’s annual day of service will be April 26.
  • MSU Denver’s Day of Giving will take place April 25. The 24-hour online giving campaign aims to raise $50,000.
  • The University successfully refinanced the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center, a move that could save the institution more than $7 million.
  • The President’s Advisory Council on Built Environment and Infrastructure has upcoming forums April 23 at 2 p.m. and May 1 at 2 p.m. Both meetings will take place in the AES Building forum. All are invited to participate.
  • The search for a director of Equal Opportunity enters the homestretch with three finalists being brought to campus for interviews in the coming weeks.
  • Last weekend’s Open House drew more than 400 students and nearly 900 guests, surpassing last year’s totals.
  • Information Technology Services asks employees to forward all suspicious emails to If ITS determines that the email is malicious, it will block the address and ensure that others on campus are not affected.

For those who can’t attend Cabinet meetings, you can always listen online. The next meeting is scheduled for May 7 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in SSB 400. All members of the campus community are welcome.

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