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Faculty Senate update

Safer Spaces Resolution process, vaccine-distribution update and transfer-credit policy discussed.

By Cory Phare

February 25, 2021

Student walking on campus; Denver downtown in background.Faculty Senate President Katia Campbell, Ph.D. (communication studies), thanked the Senate at a Feb. 17 meeting for its feedback on the Safer Spaces (a.k.a. BIPOC) Resolution. She and Vice President Liz Goodnick, Ph.D. (philosophy), continue to compile feedback and relay to the resolution authors, as previously reported in the Early Bird.

“I acknowledge and appreciate the fact that so many have gone back to their departments and engaged in emotional labor as we work through questions about the process,” Campbell said.

Those who would like to meet with Campbell to discuss further questions should email Campbell and Maggie Thulson. This year’s Bridge Speaker event is structured to provide a space for further conversation on the resolution.

President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., recounted a recent meeting with Gov. Jared Polis’ team and reported feeling optimistic about vaccine-distribution logistics to return to relatively normal University operations for the coming fall semester.

She also relayed survey results showing that many students are feeling burnt out with a desire to resume in-person instruction as soon as it is safe to do so.

“I’m thinking it’s a 75-85% chance to get people back in classrooms,” Davidson said.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint – and getting back on campus safely would be a huge relief for many.”

Discussion questions arose on questions of teaching-load equity, distancing practices and verification requirements. Leadership assured continued conversation as results from the Safe Return Survey are compiled and as the situation develops.

Sen. Richard Russell, Ph.D. (accounting), led what was now a first read of the revised Transfer Credit Rules update. This was taken back to an initial read as the structure changed to remove  reference to students who transfer with an associate’s degree from out of state.

The policy now is referring specifically to degrees from Colorado, which require standardized general-studies credits as part of the state’s Guaranteed Transfer Pathways program. If students are transferring in with completed associate’s or bachelor’s degrees, general-studies credits will be blocked off; however, specific courses may still be mandatory as part of program requirements.

Other items of business included:

  • Craig Svonkin, Ph.D. (English), formally requested that the Faculty Senate work to restore voting privileges to the Faculty Trustee member of the Board of Trustees, which had been removed several administrations prior. The vote passed with 83 yes, one no and five abstentions; current Faculty Trustee Bethany Fleck Dillen, Ph.D. (psychological sciences), will assemble a group to advance the measure.
  • Anna-Liisa Breit stopped by to update the Senate on the transition to TeamDynamix, an Information Technology Services project-management tool that will streamline support ticketing through a new client portal. Starting Monday, will redirect to the new interface, upgrades of which include a searchable knowledge base and no longer requiring VPN.
  • Support decisions for Zoom video conferencing are under discussion, with faculty involvement being led by Lincoln Davie, Ph.D. (hospitality).

Topics: Academics, CADRE, Events, Faculty Senate, Inclusion, Inclusive leadership

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