FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY MEETING
April 9, 2021
Attendance: Venkat Reddy, Tom Christensen, Chuck Litchfield, David Weiss, David Moon, Minette Church, Andrea Hutchins, Lynn Gates, Joe Craig, Margaret Harris, Deborah Kenny, Monique French, Martin Key, James Van Scotter, Andrea Bingham, Monica Yoo, John Lindsey, Suzanne Cook, David Havlick, Claire Rau, Christine Robinson Coon, Roger Martinez, Emily Mooney, Erica Allgood, Wendy Haggren, Lei Zhang, Kirsten Ortega, Matthew Jabaily, Thomas Aicher, Glen Whitehead, Stephen Suh, Laura Eurich, Larry Eames, Karin Larkin, Dave Anderson, Joel Tonyan
Call to Order / Approval of Minutes:
Motion to approve the minutes from March 12, 2021 meeting by Andrea Hutchins
Seconded by Larry Eames
Motion passed with 18 in favor, 0 opposed and 3 abstentions
Reports of Visitors:
Venkat Reddy, Chancellor:
Chancellor Reddy welcomed Regent Ilana Dubin Spiegel to the meeting. A lot of important information happened at the Board of Regents meeting yesterday. The Regents voted to approve recommendations on tuition, compensation and fees for the 2021-22 fiscal year. It was initially recommended to increase tuition by 3% for students, but the latest round of federal relief funds makes a new approach possible. The 3% tuition increase will be “bought down” by the campuses’ one-time use of relief funds for the coming fiscal year for undergraduate students. Graduate students will also see relief from the proposal. Aid available to students will also increase due to the infusion of federal relief funds. While potential base-building compensation percentage increases for faculty and staff remain in question until later in the year, Classified staff will see a 3% increase beginning July 1 per the state, and faculty and exempt staff will receive a payment equal to 2% of their compensation from July 1 through December 31. The system is shifting its compensation cycle calendar starting January 1 – December 31. The return to campus process is being worked out with a possible goal of mid-July. The Future of Work taskforce is continuing to work on their projects. Dr. Corinne Lengsfeld, one of our Provost candidate finalists, came to campus this week and met with several different groups. Clyde Way, previously called Spine Road, is now open from Austin Bluffs. The Equal Pay Act template from HR is available to use in the hiring process. The EDI Taskforce is hosting two listening sessions per month and is collecting a lot of good feedback. There are also some grants available which are promoted by EDI. We met with the Women’s Committee to listen to their presentation and engage in some good conversation. We’ll continue to work with the campus on addressing the issues they raised. Can we require folks to be vaccinated before coming back to campus? Legal Council is reviewing this issue. FDA clearance is only for emergency use authorization; full approval for vaccines is a necessary step. Students do provide a shot record for required immunizations. We need to have federal and state guidelines. The Johnson & Johnson shot is convenient since it is only one shot. The campus vaccinated 540 people at the end of March and that same number will be back for their second shot at the end of April. We will promote that students get vaccinated. There have been some concerns raised regarding the expansion of the EAS building and its interference with the location of the Tree of Peace. Perhaps we transplant the tree to a place of honor with a dedicated plaque. We won’t be building till next year (2022), so we do have time to discuss this issue.
Tom Christensen, Provost:
There are no changes to the most recently distributed information concerning summer and fall semesters, and we will be watching the pandemic closely. We just sent out the tenure clock stop e-mail. The Office of Research is looking at faculty workloads and their effect on research. This work will be done by a new taskforce chaired by Rex Welshon. There is also a review of interdisciplinary academic programs being done and led by Sudhanshu Semwal, with the goal of creating more interdisciplinary work across the colleges. The multi-year contracts and promotions for IRC are in motion and should be ready for review by EPUS first, and then on to Faculty Assembly in May.
Chuck Litchfield, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance:
Vice Chancellor Litchfield displayed two slides for discussion: 1) Compensation Revenue Thresholds for FY 2021-22; and 2) Enrollment Changes by Campus. At this time, there are strong graduate and international student enrollments, but transfer student enrollment is soft. We would like to survey faculty and students to find out what they would like to see being offered for classes: in-person, remote, hybrid, etc.?
Ilana Dubin Spiegel, Regent of University of Colorado, 6th Congressional District:
Regent Spiegel thanked Faculty Assembly for the invitation to join their meeting. She likes to listen to faculty feedback and questions, and she appreciates the opportunity to connect. At the Board of Regents meeting yesterday, tuition and student fees were discussed and those details are posted on BoardDocs. A 3% tuition increase was considered, but we were not comfortable with that because we didn’t want to further burden families. So, by using federal stimulus monies toward a tuition increase, we were able to get to a 0% net increase. Costs continue to go down at CU, as is indicated by more affordable tuition and by doubling the size of Pell grants to lower out-of-pocket costs. Faculty and exempt staff will receive a 2% across the board one-time non-base building increase July through December and other steps are in place for future increases. We are creating a wall-to-wall union with the rights of workers to organize, realizing what makes the most sense in higher ed and the importance of interaction with shared governance. How can we get more money from the state for higher ed? There are constraints and mandates for K-12 with strict limitations. Taxpayers have a lot of say in the direction, and since higher ed is not mandated, constituents have to use their voice by going to the ballot and vote. The online program has made great progress with the campuses’ involvement. The Regents are setting the costs and fees to ensure across the board equity. Other particulars, such as curriculum, are being made by shared governance and faculty. Please feel free to e-mail Regent Spiegel with any questions, comments or concerns.
Past President's Report
Not present - no report
Reports from Standing Committees:
Faculty Advisory Committee on the Budget:
Not present – no report
Misconduct in Research, Scholarship & Creative Activities:
Not present – no report
Reports from Representatives:
The Faculty Assembly Executive Committee moves that the Faculty Representative Assembly move to endorse the call for actions laid out in the document Measures to Address and Mitigate the Impacts of COVID-19 on Female Faculty in Relation to RPT and Merit Reviews, proposed by the Faculty Assembly Women’s Committee in collaboration with the Faculty Minority Affairs Committee and PRIDE.
(Motion passed with 28 in favor, 0 opposed and 1 abstention)
The Faculty Assembly Executive Committee moves that the Faculty Representative Assembly move to approve the revised bylaws of the Committee on Personnel and Benefits.
(Motion passed with 25 in favor, 0 opposed and 1 abstention)
The Faculty Assembly Executive Committee moves that the Faculty Representative Assembly move to endorse the draft of the UCCS Grade Forgiveness Policy and Grade Forgiveness Procedures as presented by the Retention and Graduation Subcommittee of the Enrollment Strategy Committee.
(Motion passed with 29 in favor, 0 opposed and 2 abstentions)
Motion to adjourn the Faculty Assembly Meeting by Larry Eames
Seconded by Andrea Bingham
Motion passed unanimously
Meeting adjourned at 2:02 p.m.