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Faculty Senate update

Topics include general-studies update and feedback request, review of Robert’s Rules of Order, resolution to support student access to vote on Election Day.

By Cory Phare

October 19, 2020

Fall colors on campusDegree policy and meeting processes led the topics of conversation in the Metropolitan State University of Denver Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday.

Faculty Senate Vice President Liz Goodnick, Ph.D. (philosophy) updated the Senate on groundwork being laid to come into compliance with the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Student Bill of Rights, which articulates that general-studies courses have to count toward degree requirements. Currently, MSU Denver has certain degree programs that dictate specific general-studies courses and that courses with the same prefix as students’ majors do not count toward general-studies requirements.

Goodnick discussed two proposed approaches to close the gap. The first would allow across-the-board “double dipping” that would meet degree requirements (while counting credit hours once), and the second as only counting toward a single degree requirement; e.g., Intro to Biology would meet either a Science general- studies or major requirement, but not both.

The Academic Policy Committee is requesting feedback by midnight Oct. 20.

Kelly Evans, Ph.D. (human performance and sport), on behalf of the Rules Committee, provided an overview of Robert’s Rules of Order to help keep meetings on track. Specific topics included motions (main and subsidiary) and clarification around vote-counting as it relates to abstentions, which count against the majority-affirmative requirements of a measure to pass.

This built off the procedural announcements made by Faculty Senate President Katia Campbell, Ph.D. (communication studies), to open the meeting, establishing a 30-second window for voting and a three-minute limit to discussion.

The Resolution on MSU Denver Faculty United in Support of Students and Democracy on Election Day, which encourages faculty members to suspend major exams/projects and attendance requirements Nov. 3, also passed after a second read with no changes to the measure.

Other business included:

  • The Curriculum Committee provided an update on course modifications and redesignations to seven general-studies courses and a new certificate in public relations; it was also announced that the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences will be split into the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Computer Science.
  • A senator is needed for the Diversity Resolution Task Force, examining ways to operationalize and implement the Faculty Senate Resolution on Ensuring a Diverse Faculty. Those interested should email Maggie Thulson.
  • Whei Wong-Howerton, associate vice president of Marketing and Brand, stopped by to solicit information on MSU Denver’s digital-transformation efforts, including what does or doesn’t work with the University website and examples to emulate. A Qualtrics survey is routed, and feedback is requested by the end of the month.

Topics: Faculty Senate, Inclusive leadership

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