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Faculty Senate update

A brand audit update, reassigned time policy discussion and a lip-synch hype video kicked off the first meeting of the semester.

By Cory Phare

January 30, 2019

Podium in faculty senate meeting

Matt Makley, Faculty Senate president and professor of history, opened the first Faculty Senate meeting of 2019 with a note of gratitude and a reading of Shel Silverstein’s “Invitation.”

“We’re in line for a busy semester, and I couldn’t imagine a better group of folks to work with,” he said.

Cathy Lucas, vice president of strategy, and Stacy Lewis of Sector Brands visited as guests of the Senate to discuss the University’s recent brand audit. Conducted every three years, the effort measures perceptions of Metropolitan State University of Denver over time among students, faculty, staff, alumni and area business leaders.

Lewis highlighted key takeaways, including the positive brand growth (84 percent of respondents rating MSU Denver as “good” to “excellent”), employment-ready graduates as a differentiator and the need for liberal arts/humanities for cultivation of well-rounded, critical-thinking individuals.

“MSU Denver went through a phase of transformation; now we’re in a critical time for demonstration,” she said. “This is a straight-up world-class place.” 

Stay tuned for a more in-depth brand-audit story in tomorrow's Early Bird.

A large portion of the meeting was then spent discussing draft policies on reassigned time for faculty members returning to teaching roles after serving as department chairs or administrators for at least six years. Makley noted how there is no policy and that it’s being dealt with on an ad-hoc basis. Whatever the Senate decides will be taken to the President’s Cabinet for consideration along with input from deans, chairs, students, staff and administration.   

Discussion followed on how best to reacclimate to teaching and the distinction between this and a sabbatical, the latter of which several senators noted suggests a time away from departments.

“We’ve had some great champions for how we can improve teaching,” Makley said. “We’re smart people – if we can get together collectively, hopefully good things will happen.”

Further conversation on reassigned-time policy is slated for the next Senate meeting Feb. 6.

“A senator’s work is never done, and I’m grateful for all you do,” Makley said. “It’s all worth it; to see our students’ joy and growth – it’s the best job in the world.”

Other items of business included:

  • Homecoming takes place Feb. 11-16; senators took part in filming a raucous promotional video filming of a lip-synced version of “We Got the Beat.”
  • Roadrunners Give Back Day 2019 will take place April 11; the focus this year will be on the quality of volunteer experiences and how the service event can align with course applicability. For more information, contact Julie Lucas.
  • Makley thanked Ann Sanders and Kami Phillips for their ongoing support as the Faculty Senate is finalizing its search for an administrative assistant.
  • Vice president Bill Carnes announced that at-large senator seats need to be filled; more information will be sent out.
  • Azure Avery (physics) was elected chair of the Welfare Committee.
  • Open forums were conducted recently for the two finalists for the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs.
  • Teaching Excellence Award nominations are open. “Take time to nominate – there’s someone near you who deserves $1,500,” said Rolly Schendel (education).
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