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Faculty Senate update

Davidson shares updates on enrollment and budget; caucus chairs and committee selections among highlights.

By Cory Phare

September 3, 2019

Faculty Senate meeting in progress.Metropolitan State University of Denver Faculty Senate President Katia Campbell kicked off the first meeting of the 2019-20 academic year with a warm welcome to senators – and President Janine Davidson, who took questions from the floor.

Davidson discussed priorities of retention and transfer success, as discussed in the recent President’s Cabinet, and updated senators on the positive efforts to drive enrollment to a budgeted range that would still allow for a proposed 3% salary increase.

“The bad news is that we’re still stretched pretty thin, but the good news is that it’s better than we thought, thanks to everyone’s efforts,” Davidson said. “We’re working hard to think about how we do contingency planning and thrive in a countercyclical reality.

“This has really been an example of getting us on one side and the problem on the other.”

Davidson also thanked Provost Vicki Golich, who recently announced her retirement; Campbell echoed these sentiments as well.

“It’s wonderful to get someone who listens when issues arise and is truly on the side of the faculty,” Campbell said.

Sen. Craig Svonkin (English) took time at the beginning of the meeting to acknowledge the passing of longtime MSU Denver faculty members and advocates Gene Saxe (English) and Ellen Slatkin (History) with a moment of silence.

“We’ve lost two giants recently; they took communal action to gain the tenure rights we all benefit from today,” Svonkin said.

Bill Carnes (Management) led the first reading of a proposed bylaw change to appoint a Faculty Senate Executive Committee seat to the Graduate Council. Feedback is being solicited, and a subsequent second reading will take place at a future Senate meeting.

Faculty Trustee Christopher Harder (Mathematics and Computer Science) provided an update on the University’s Health Institute; this included discussion among the Board of Trustees on a potential new building site and the OK to begin seeking funding sources.

Other items of business:

  • Maggie Thulson, assistant to Faculty Senate and assistant to the vice provost for Faculty Affairs, outlined the Faculty Senate SharePoint site as a central repository for business documents, including agendas, minutes and committee work.
  • Bill Henry, Ph.D., vice provost for Faculty Affairs, is putting together cohorts to look at Post-Tenure Review and Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion processes; additionally, the Strategic Enrollment Management task forces on Recruitment and Retention are each looking for faculty representation. Those interested should contact Campbell or Thulson.
  • At-large committee nominations and selections, including:
    • Diversity Committee – Di Jia (Criminal Justice and Criminology)
    • General Studies – Christopher Meloche (Biology)
  • Unfilled at-large committee seats still in need of representatives include General Studies (2) and Rules; business and social sciences members are also needed for the Curriculum Committee. Those interested should contact Campbell or Thulson.
  • Azure Avery (Physics) also made the pitch for a Faculty Welfare Committee chair.
  • Caucus chairs introduced themselves to the group, including Lisa Suter (English) for Arts and Humanities, Daphne Simmonds (Computer Information Systems) for Business, Chalane Lechuga (Chicana/o Studies) for Social Sciences, Rollie Schendel for the School of Education and Michael Jacobs (Chemistry) for Physical Sciences.

Topics: Faculty Senate

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