Editor’s Note: Amy Barkley, executive assistant to the CSU Faculty Council, wrote this article for SOURCE on key reports and discussion items at the April Faculty Council meeting. It is published here on behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Leadership. Details of the reports and presentations referenced below are available in the meeting minutes on the Faculty Council website once they are approved at the May meeting.
Vice President for Engagement and Extension Blake Naughton brought a discussion item to Faculty Council in March about proposed Manual changes to create a new faculty category for Extension professionals. At that meeting, Naughton explained the reasons for bringing this proposal forward and the various benefits for the conversion of these professionals to faculty positions. He also indicated that conversations around shared governance for these Extension professionals are ongoing.
Faculty Council members had a chance to see the proposed Manual revisions again for a full vote at their April meeting. Marie Legare, chair of the Committee on Responsibilities and Standing of Academic Faculty, presented the motion to members. The motion was to add a new section to Section E of the Manual outlining the Extension faculty appointments. The proposed revisions explained the conditions that apply to this appointment and that the appointment is restricted to CSU Extension. The motion was approved by Faculty Council members, and the Manual changes are going forward to the Board of Governors in May.
Manual language clarifying timeline for contracts for contract and continuing faculty approved
The Committee on Responsibility and Standing of Academic Faculty worked with the Committee on Non-Tenure Track Faculty to draft clarifying language around contracts for contract and continuing faculty. Marie Legare, chair of the Committee on Responsibility and Standing of Academic Faculty, presented the two motions at the Faculty Council meeting. The first motion included clarifying language to address the fact that contract faculty appointments can be offered at any time at the discretion of the department. The second motion clarified timeline for when a continuing faculty appointment could receive a contract.
There were no questions from Faculty Council members and the proposed revisions were approved unanimously. They have been screened by the Office of General Counsel and will be seen by the Board of Governors at their May meeting.
Faculty Council expresses support for resolution on academic freedom
Anders Fremstad, an associate professor of economics from the College of Liberal Arts, presented a resolution for Faculty Council’s consideration regarding academic freedom. Fremstad indicated there is growing concern that academic freedom for faculty is under threat across the country and that the AAUP has been tracking legislation around this issue. He explained that this resolution was drafted by Faculty Council members to affirm that this group is united in defense of academic freedom and to express support for K-12 colleagues as well.
Questions from members included clarifying the reasons for drawing up this resolution and potential backlash concerns. Fremstad explained the issues happening around the country, as well as describing a similar resolution written by faculty at CU-Boulder. Faculty Council voted in approval of this resolution. It is now posted on the Faculty Council website.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Susan James visits to provide updates
On behalf of Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen, who was unable to attend the meeting, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Susan James presented the Provost’s Report with updates on a variety of topics. James provided updates on the Academic Master Plan, budget and the CCAF Task Force recommendations. She indicated that the University is moving into phase three of the Academic Master Plan, where there will be drafting of aspirations and strategies. Faculty will have opportunities to engage with this both on April 19, where they will discuss themes and student demographics, and on April 20, where they will focus on aspirations and upscaling.
Questions revolved around the budget, work around examining workloads and salary competitiveness, and the work around the AUCC curriculum transition. A suggestion for a dashboard to show the salary competitiveness model for faculty and staff was offered up by one member. Clarifications were provided by James and Chair Sue Doe around the AUCC questions, and James responded to questions about the budget, indicating that the budget is not yet finalized and explained what methods they are using to look at salary competitiveness.
Athletic Director Joe Parker gives updates on Athletics
Athletic Director Joe Parker visited Faculty Council at their April meeting to provide budget information and other information on the Athletics department. Parker started report with successes of student athletes, where 15 of their 16 teams posted a 3.0 GPA or better in Fall 2021. He also explained the football transition from coach Steve Addazio to coach Jay Norvell and indicated that the cost of the transition totaled around $3.2 million. Parker explained where the budget of Athletics stands and provided additional information on events that the department has been holding.
Questions for Parker ranged from whether a study would be considered to look at the impact of athletics specific to CSU, concerns around administrative professional annual evaluations, and work they are doing around diversity, equity and inclusion. Parker indicated that the diversity, equity and inclusion work continues, and they get better with each hire in the department. He also explained how evaluations have been happening and how employment contracts affect this. Parker also responded to questions about salary exercises and facility debt.
Shane Kanatous, chair of the Faculty Council Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, was also present for questions from members. He explained the purpose of the committee and explained the work they are doing for CSU’s student athletes. Kanatous also answered questions about the reporting portal through the President’s Commission on Climate in Athletics, and indicated it was too soon to determine whether the portal is successful since it only rolled out this past August. Kanatous stated that some issues had been brought forward to them and they have all since been rectified. He reminded members that the Faculty Council Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics is a resource for student athletes, and they have been meeting with each team to expand their visibility and ensure they are aware of the reporting portal.
Other Faculty Council highlights
- Faculty Council approved the appointments of the first members of its newest standing committee, the Committee on Information Technology, starting next academic year.
- Chair Sue Doe reported that the leadership of the three employee councils, Faculty Council, Administrative Professional Council, and the Classified Personnel Council, have been meeting regularly to help coordinate efforts and share ideas. The leadership of these councils have submitted a letter to the President’s Office and Courageous Strategic Transformation leadership to request involvement in the Courageous Strategic Transformation process moving forward.
For the schedule of Faculty Council meetings, approved minutes and agendas, lists of members of the Council and its committees and other information, visit the Faculty Council website .