Budget, shared governance among topics examined by Faculty Council task forces

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 February 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 web site once they are approved at the March meeting.

Faculty Council had its first meeting of the spring semester via Microsoft Teams on Feb. 7, and heard updates from some of its task forces, reviewed proposed Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual language from the Committee on Faculty Governance, and heard the first president’s report from President Amy Parsons.

Updates from Fall 2022 task forces

Faculty Council members received updates from four of the Fall 2022 task forces. Chairs of the task forces were invited to speak about their reports and recommendations.

English Professor Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala represented the Budget 101 to Capstone Task Force. Its recommendations include access to public budget data, engaging in budget presentations at all levels for transparency and accountability, and more involvement of the Committee on Strategic and Financial Planning.

Business Librarian and Assistant Professor Christine Pawliuk represented the Contracts Task Force. Its recommendations centered around providing more clarity regarding the contracts system, as well as suggestions for additional models for CSU to consider.

Management Professor Rob Mitchell represented the Innovations and Visioning Task Force. The goal of this task force was to envision CSU’s future and how to innovate more as a university to create value in the long term, in the face of changing landscapes in higher education. Their discussions included employee compensation and more involvement of the Committee on Strategic and Financial Planning in these conversations.

Anthropology and Geography Professor Mary Van Buren represented the Shared Governance Task Force. It was tasked with examining language that had been previously approved by Faculty Council in Spring 2021 but was not approved by the Office of General Counsel. They adapted the language with the concerns of General Counsel in mind and will be sending updated language forward to the Committee on Faculty Governance for consideration.

First report from Parsons

Parsons provided her first president’s report to Faculty Council members. She provided insights to her top priorities, which include employee compensation, student success, fundraising, communication strategies and filling and analyzing open positions. Parsons indicated that the administration is examining salaries and is looking at these college by college and position by position. She also acknowledged that CSU has several vice president positions to fill and provided updates on some of the searches that are open and being launched.

Questions and discussion from members included budget and employee compensation, concerns around reputation and plans for the future of CSU. Parsons indicated that work continues on employee compensation and outlined steps she will be taking to look at that budget and funding. She also expressed a desire to continue to tell the story of CSU, especially the land-grant mission, and how to connect this with industry and jobs.

More information regarding Parsons’ report is available on SOURCE.

Expanding Faculty Council representation

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Steve Reising, chair of the Committee on Faculty Governance, presented proposed changes to the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual to ensure that faculty assigned to non-academic homes are provided representation on Faculty Council. Reising explained that units such as the Graduate School, PLACE and the Honors Program have continuing and contract faculty that do not have Faculty Council representation. The intent is to add non-academic representation, which would add one to two additional representatives to the 80 already on Faculty Council.

Questions from members included how this would be communicated, since the units in question may not know each other, and the timeline. Other questions centered around why PLACE was included as a non-academic unit, since those faculty are appointed through the Department of English. Vice Provost for International Affairs Kathleen Fairfax indicated that conversations with the English department and the College of Liberal Arts are ongoing regarding representation for faculty in PLACE, since they do not have their governance through that department.

Faculty Council members approved the language. It is currently being reviewed by the Office of General Counsel prior to going to the Board of Governors for consideration.

Other Faculty Council highlights

  • Elections for Faculty Council officer positions will take place at the March Faculty Council meeting. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Reising (Reising@colostate.edu), and send nominations and statements of intent to him by Feb. 21.
  • Nominations are open for the 2023 Harry Rosenberg Award. Members are encouraged to send any nominations and materials to Executive Assistant Amy Barkley. More information and the nomination form can be found online.
  • John McGuire, CSU Leadership Fellow, provided a presentation on YOU@CSU and the newly created faculty and staff version. More information can be found on its website.
  • Andrew Norton, Board of Governors Representative, is working with the Board of Governors to have its members attend Faculty Council meetings. Governors Kim Jordan and Armando Valdez joined the February Faculty Council meeting, and more will attend the next meeting. The intent is to have them introduce themselves and provide an opportunity for them to get to know Faculty Council better.
  • Faculty Council members approved a new undergraduate program, a major in Livestock Business Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences. This major will be established in Fall 2023.

The next Faculty Council meeting will be on Tuesday, March 7 over Microsoft Teams. 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.