Faculty Council members discuss results of presidential search, hear budget update

administration building

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 December 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 February meeting.

Faculty Council met in a hybrid format on Dec. 6 and discussed the announcement of the sole finalist in the presidential search and heard another budget update from Interim President Rick Miranda.

 Faculty Council members were provided an opportunity to discuss the announcement of the sole finalist in the presidential search following Miranda’s budget presentation. Miranda explained how the search process occurred and provided some information regarding the background of the sole finalist, Amy Parsons.

Members and visitors alike chimed in with concerns and questions regarding Parsons’ experience, particularly around academics, as well as general issues with the search process. Other questions included how Parsons planned to tackle some issues on campus, such as compensation and culture, and continue efforts already underway. Other members expressed concern about the persistence of CSU culture in leadership and how this relates to DEIJ work and the new branding efforts to bring new people to campus, including faculty and staff of different backgrounds.

Many of the concerns centered around the minimal avenues for feedback following the announcement of the selection. Members indicated that there is only an email link available on the presidential search website, which does not allow for anonymity. Faculty Council members ultimately moved to create an anonymous survey to solicit feedback from faculty and staff.

[Update: The results of the feedback provided through the anonymous survey for all faculty and staff through the Faculty Council are now available on the main page of the Faculty Council website. There are two parts to the survey results (Part 1, Part 2) and a summary available.]

New student bereavement policy

The Committee on Teaching and Learning brought forward a motion to create a new Student Bereavement Policy. Shawn Archibeque, chair of the Committee on Teaching and Learning, explained the history of the motion and that the motion was created to mirror what is already in place as a bereavement policy for faculty and staff.

Questions were directed to Jennifer Van Norman from Student Case Management. Van Norman responded to questions from Faculty Council members about why documentation is not requested as part of this policy, the reasoning behind having the five bereavement days be non-consecutive, and how they are tracking students to prevent abuse of the policy.

Van Norman clarified that requesting documentation in some cases is difficult, especially in cases where the death is not a direct relation, and that the non-consecutive days allow students flexibility to have some immediate days for grief and some later for any services. There was also explanation of how Student Case Management will track these cases to prevent any abuse of the policy and help talk students through any consequences and options regarding class absences.

Additional budget updates

Miranda brought his third budget update for the members of Faculty Council at their December meeting. Miranda presented the four scenarios he had previously discussed and explained updates to these scenarios based on the released governor’s budget. Miranda explained the revenues and expenses, and how the deficit compares to what he presented in October to Faculty Council.

Questions from members included clarification around the compensation numbers for faculty and staff, and how the Board of Governors reserves relate to the budget. Miranda said the compensation numbers on the budget sheet include money for equity initiatives and promotion increases as well as the percentage pools based on the scenario.

He additionally clarified that the Board reserves are not included in the base funding. One-time annual allocations are made from that reserve, typically at the December Board meeting. Vice President for University Operations Brendan Hanlon stated that there is estimated to be $31.3 million available in that reserve at the close of this year. One Faculty Council member asked if there was a record of where these allocations go. Miranda confirmed that these are public record and available for people to see.

Other Faculty Council highlights

  • Faculty volunteers are requested for the Multicultural Undergraduate Research, Artistry, and Leadership Symposium (MURALS): MURALS – Colorado State University (colostate.edu).
  • Alan Kennan presented a motion as chair of the Committee on Scholastic Standards to approve adjustments to the terminology for academic probation. Academic probation was revised to be “academic standing” and the associated terms for the first semester will be “academic watch” and the second semester in the process will be “academic dismissal warning.” Faculty Council members approved these changes.
  • Interim Provost Janice Nerger ceded her time to allow for the discussion around the presidential finalist that was underway. Slides from the Provost report are available on the Faculty Council website with the agendas and minutes.
  • The Fall 2022 Faculty Council Task Forces will present their final reports at the February Faculty Council meeting.
  • 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 here: Harry Rosenberg Award | Faculty Council | Colorado State University (colostate.edu).

The next Faculty Council meeting will be on Tuesday, Feb. 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.