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Faculty Senate update

The Oct. 3 meeting featured guest speakers, Teaching Excellence Award winners and policy updates.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 11, 2018

Faculty Senate meetingDuring the Oct. 3 meeting of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Faculty Senate, guest Rhonda Eaker, Ph.D., director of the Center for Applied Learning, posed a compelling question: What is the role of career preparation at an institution such as MSU Denver?

Eaker visited the Senate to provide more information on the center, which will soon become part of the new Classroom to Career, or C2, Hub. She invited Faculty Senate members to explore that question and a number of others as part of a soon-to-be-developed Faculty Learning Committee. The committee, which is seeking volunteer members as well as a chair and a co-chair, will explore the intersection of career preparation and curriculum.

Faculty members also are invited to share their knowledge and perspectives as part of a new Center for Applied Learning Faculty Advisory Council. Those interested in joining the Faculty Learning Committee or Faculty Advisory Council can contact Eaker.

Nick Stancil, deputy general counsel and co-chair of the President’s Policy Advisory Council, took the floor next to discuss the Handbook for Professional Personnel. Stancil explained that the handbook is being separated into two parts so that the faculty will have its own handbook, which will make it easier to navigate.

Stancil also announced the formation of a new handbook committee. The new committee will have the same constituent members, with the exception that the faculty trustee has been added to the roster. The proposal for the new handbook-committee roster went before the President’s Cabinet on Wednesday. The Senate conducted a straw poll following Stancil’s presentation, and the Senate voted in favor of the proposed changes.

Stancil also touched on the status of the policy on academic policy proposal, which the Senate has already approved. More information on these proposed changes is available through Sharepoint on the Policy Advisory Council page.

Next, Teaching Excellence Award winners Ali O’Brien, lecturer of Literacy, Site Coordinator for Elementary Education Residency; Sue Barnd, Ph.D, Ed.D., professor in the Department of Secondary/K-12 Education and Educational Technology, and Corey Sell, Ed.D., professor in the Department of Secondary/K-12 Education and Educational Technology, shared teaching tips, philosophies and effective practices. TEA winner Chris Keelan, affiliate faculty member of music theory, was not able to attend.

During a brief Q&A with President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., Liz Goodnick, associate professor of philosophy, asked about the C2 Hub in relation to the president’s expressed support for the humanities.

Davidson referenced her Inaugural address and panels on workforce development and the future of higher education, and also noted her recent reframing of humanities and liberal arts as “essential skills,” recognizing that the humanities teach critical thinking, global awareness, creativity and teamwork.

“We are not going to water down our curriculum into STEM-only or business-only,” Davidson said. “Employers know students need those essential skills.”

Other updates include:

  • The President’s Policy Advisory Council is seeking a Faculty Senate or Executive Council representative for the policy advisory steering committee.
  • Nominations for the 2019 TEA are due Jan. 21.
  • The proposed policy on administration promotion passed a Senate vote and was brought to the President’s Cabinet on Wednesday.
  • Professor Susan Schelble, chemistry, is the new faculty volunteer on the Housing Committee.
  • A volunteer is needed for the Activity-based Costing Steering Group.
  • General Studies Renovation Task Force meeting dates were announced.
  • Faculty members are reminded to take the Faculty Equity Survey.
  • Policy on Academic Policies will go to the President’s Cabinet and the Board of Trustees at the end of the month.
  • Senate members voted in favor of the proposed Academic Exceptions Policy changes.
  • Proposed changes to the Bylaws for the Academic Policy Committee include changing some language to match that in the Policy on Academic Policies, and adding one nonvoting representative from Curriculum Administration, Erika Buckland, and two nonvoting positions to represent the Council of Deans and the Council of Chairs.
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