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 March Faculty Council meeting. Details of the reports and presentations referenced below will be available in the meeting minutes on the Faculty Council website once they are approved at the April meeting.
Colorado State University’s Faculty Council members elected their officers for the 2021-2022 academic year at the March 2 meeting, including re-electing Sue Doe as chair. Faculty Council also received reports from President Joyce McConnell, Provost Mary Pedersen, and Athletic Director Joe Parker.
McConnell provided updates on the process for Courageous Strategic Transformation, while Pedersen presented updates on Fall 2021 enrollment, COVID screening and testing, as well as some faculty achievements.
Parker presented a report on the Athletics budget, the first time such a report has been provided directly to Faculty Council.
Faculty Council leadership
Doe, professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of Academic Labor, was re-elected for an additional term as Faculty Council chair. Andrew Norton, professor of agricultural biology, was elected as next year’s vice chair. Melinda (Mendy) Smith, professor of biology, was elected for a second term as the Board of Governors representative. Smith had replaced Stephanie Clemons upon her retirement in December and was elected for a partial term for in February. The terms for the 2021-2022 academic year will begin on July 1, 2021.
Athletics budget report
In his first budget report directly to Faculty Council, Athletic Director Parker discussed the details of the department’s budget. Discussion included the expenses for Canvas Stadium and how the Athletics budget relates to the overall University budget.
He also took the time to applaud this year’s student athletes for their academic successes in Spring and Fall 2020.
Questions from Faculty Council members for Parker ranged from the contract with Spectra amidst Title IX concerns to parking subsidies, and clarifying some of the budget points. Faculty Council members expressed interest in continuing conversations around questions raised during the discussion.
Updates on Courageous Strategic Transformation
In President McConnell’s regular report, she updated Faculty Council members on the process for Courageous Strategic Transformation. Faculty Council members will have the opportunity to weigh in on the process during a special meeting on Tuesday, March 23.
April Faculty Council meeting
April 6, 4 p.m.
All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend via 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.
Additional items included:
• COVID vaccine updates –Higher education teachers will soon be included in the vaccination schedule. More information will be sent to faculty once it becomes available.
• Updates on the Vice President for Diversity search – The job description has been written through an inclusive process and is now posted online.
• The Campus Safety Task Force has put forward two documents to help inform conversations on campus.
Faculty accolades from Provost
In addition to providing updates to campus enrollment for Fall and the increased testing capacities across campus, Provost Pedersen took time at the end of her report to give some faculty accolades:
- Dr. Roze Hentschell, associate dean in English, was selected as a 2021-2022 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow. Hentschell plans to devote time to two areas of considerable importance for CSU: achieving Hispanic Serving Institute (HIS) status, and becoming an HIS-ready campus, including focus on academic engagement and strategic enrollment planning.
- Dr. Thomas Borch from the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Dr. Dawn Thilmany from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics have been announced as the 2021 Nutrien Distinguished Scholars by the College of Agricultural Sciences.
- Dr. Carol Wilusz co-leads the lab analysis of wastewater testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. CSU has been testing the wastewater samples twice a week from 21 different locations from around the state and on campus.
- Dr. Mark Zabel, associate dean for research and associate director of the Prion Center, collaborated with other scientists to create a more efficient saliva coronavirus detection screening. Currently being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization.
- Dr. John Volckens, professor of mechanical engineering, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article regarding upgrading masks.
- Dr. Carmen Rivera is the recipient of the American College Personnel Association’s Marylu McEwen Dissertation of the Year Award.
- Dr. D-L Stewart is the recipient of the Contribution to Knowledge Award from the American College Personnel Association.
ASCSU President Hannah Taylor discussed the issue of the plus/minus grading system. Discussion included discrepancies between instructors and classes not following the same grading system and potential implications for students.
Questions were raised about the future of INTO CSU. A more in-depth discussion will be facilitated by Vice Provosts Kathleen Fairfax and Susan James at the next Faculty Council meeting on April 6.
Chair Doe provided updates on the various task forces that had been convened in Fall 2020. The Intellectual Property Task Force, the Information Technology Task Force, the Presidential Survey Task Force, and the Shared Governance Task Force have all put forward recommendations for consideration.
Chair Doe announced that Vice President for University Operations Lynn Johnson will be joining the April Faculty Council meeting to give members a University budget report.