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Faculty Senate update

Members discuss procedure of online-only meetings, Faculty Trustee vote update, catalog and bylaw updates.

By Cory Phare

October 28, 2021

Faculty Senate Meeting in progress.The Oct. 20 meeting of Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Faculty Senate continued the previous session’s discussion of meeting modality options.

Nicole Predki (Theatre/Dance) provided a second read of the online-meetings bylaw change, guided by Robert’s Rules of Order and applied specifically to MSU Denver’s operations. Senate President Katia Campbell, Ph.D. (Communication Studies) reminded attendees that this measure was to formally establish online-only protocol should the shift arise and was not a decision to enact the move in practice.

The process measure passed with 69 yes votes and one in opposition.

Conversation then shifted to the possible move to an alternative format. Campbell reported that the Rules and Institutional Resources Committees were tasked to develop implementation procedures for hybrid and online-only meetings, with reports starting at the Wednesday meeting.

The motion to move fully online was made, and discussion was opened. Senators in favor noted sensitivity to those experiencing Covid-related barriers to participation, while those against expressed doubt about the efficacy of a completely remote environment.

Floor discussion involved the timeline of the measure; Biff Baker (Management) proposed an amendment to pilot an online environment lasting through the end of February (as opposed to the end of the academic year) to provide six meetings as a trial period.

The meeting concluded without a vote on the amendment or shift, with Campbell noting that the conversation would continue Wednesday. A two-thirds majority vote in favor would be required to make the operational change.

Senate Vice President Liz Goodnick, Ph.D. (Philosophy), provided an update on previous discussions to reinstate the faculty-trustee vote on MSU Denver’s Board of Trustees. Per Robert’s Rules’ procedural order, the University does not have authority over a legislative matter; therefore, the motion was dropped and cannot be considered.

Goodnick said a discussion item would be added to Wednesday’s Senate agenda with careful wording to avoid introducing measures outside the body’s jurisdiction.

In committee news, Jessica Weiss, Ph.D. (Art History), led a second read of and vote on proposed changes to bring the graduate catalog up to date. The measure passed with 65 in favor, three opposed and four abstentions.

Weiss also discussed recommended changes to the Academic Policy Committee bylaws. This included reflecting the name change of the Student Advisory Council (formerly Student Government Assembly), adding an academic-advising ex-officio representative and sunsetting the graduate policy subcommittee due to staffing challenges (with the option to later reintroduce).

In other business:

  • Vice Provost Bill Henry, Ph.D., announced that the Presidential Faculty Fellow application deadline has been extended to Nov. 5. Now entering its second iteration, the position was developed to provide direct input to MSU Denver’s senior leadership and trustees for a calendar year, with 15 hours of reassigned time (no teaching, service or scholarship expectation). Those interested should contact
  • Campbell announced that John Massarini, Ph.D., dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is inviting faculty members to discuss the CLAS mission, vision and structure Nov. 10 from 3:30-5 p.m. in Central Classroom Room 315.
  • Faculty representation is needed for the Digital Measures work group, which meets monthly. The next meeting is Tuesday from 1:30-3 p.m.; those interested should email Campbell or Goodnick.
  • Flu shots and Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 boosters are available at the Health Center at Auraria.

Topics: Events, Faculty Senate, Inclusive leadership

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