UCCS Faculty Representative Assembly Meeting
Friday May 5, 2023
Attendance: Venkat Reddy, Kathy Kaoudis, Nancy Marchand-Martella, Monica Yoo, David Moon, Karin Larkin, Minette Church, Melissa Benton, Matthew Jabaily, Kristi McCann, Lynn Gates, Susan Taylor, Cortny Stark, Jian (James) Ma, Kate Quintana, Robin Kempf, Aaron Corcoran, Clair Rau, Lei Zhang, Larry Eames, Kathy Prue-Owens, Erica Allgood, Craig Bubeck, Haleh Abghari, Farida Khan, Suzanne Cook, Laura Eurich, David Weiss, Suman Lakkakula, Ilaheva Tauone, Adham Atyabi, Norah Mazel, Darshika Perera, Curtis Turner, Martin Key, Assma Sawani, Joel Tonyan, David Anderson, Jena McCollum, Esther Lamidi, Christina Jimenez, Marek Grabowski, Jessi Smith, Camilla Troudt, Amanda Allee, Jose Cantu, Jeff Montez de Oca, Dylan Harris
Call to Order / Approval of Minutes:
Motion to approve the minutes from March 2023 meeting by David Moon
Seconded by Laura Eurich
Motion passed with 14 approve, 0 opposed and 0 abstain
Reports of Visitors:
Kathy Kaoudis, VC for Administration and Finance:
We have total dollar amount of budget cuts which are $3.3 million. To explain where that number came from; we have to present a balanced budget, the cuts are our revenue based on a 0.9% projected decline in enrollment overall, less our projected expenses. Based on that simple process, we get $3.3 million. Cabinet ran 7 scenarios which were presented to UBAC. The seven scenarios include: the first one was percentage of total university budget; the second one was percentage of total university fiscal year 22 actual spending; they looked at a percentage of total enrollment; then averaged those three together trying to figure out a “sweet spot”; the fifth one was a model that weighted those first three strategies, 15/15/70%; the 6th was 20/20/60%; the final model had an average of retention, student credit hours and they looked at all of those for every unit across the university (including all the colleges and all the non-academic) and came up with what was the most conservative scenario for each unit. We have had questions about how LAS got their cuts. Those cuts came to the $876,000. Each college had varying amounts, from $87,000 from Public Service to $876,000 from LAS. All of the total cuts across campus; all of the colleges as well as the library, the total was 1.9 million and for all non-academic areas that total (unintelligible). Some questioned why the total for LAS was so big? And the reason is because it is such a large share of the budget. Both the Library and LAS end up with 3.5% of the total cuts. But those aren't the largest in the university. VCAF area has the largest cuts at 4%. Other, not academic areas that are up above the percentage that LAS needs to cuts is Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Enrollment Management is at 3.6% and Student Affairs is at 3.7% OIT is at 3.6%. It was a strategic decision to choose the conservative scenario for each, which was the first strategy employed. The second strategic decision was that cabinet decided DEI cuts literally were $13,467.00 and their funding is so slim that the Cabinet decided to absorb those cuts in their units. This was done to reflect our priorities with budget dollars. “You show with your checkbook what you value, and so we as team decided to support the spread that out among all of cabinet.”
Next, we gathered information from each college on the impact of those cuts, including faculty lines or other personnel that were affected. Cabinet encouraged administrators to first consider lines where there was a vacancy or someone was retiring. It's up to the Deans of each college to employ whatever strategy they feel best. That included looking at programs that aren't growing that they need to cut to encourage other areas to grow. Encouraged faculty to work with their Dean to prioritize. Deans provided very thoughtful and detailed feedback, particularly the LAS Dean and finance team. They listed each line and who was in it and how many sections that would be impacted. They were very thoughtful and intentional. That's where we're at that process. That feedback came back to cabinet, they will look at it over summer and make determinations. Campus wide reserves were depleted during the pandemic.
On the budget redesign model. Nancy Marchand-Martella is leading that team. They have had a lot of feedback through the anonymous comment line. That has informed the budget redesign process and the model that we will shadow for next year. One example of how feedback was incorporated from the anonymous comments is in the proportions of incremental vs. incentive. The model originally had a 70%/30% split between the historical incremental pool and the performance/incentive pool. As a result of feedback, they adjusted the model to a 80% incremental and 20% incentive. Now the team is starting to look at metrics. The anonymous feedback link for comments will close down as of May 20th. That will let the team work on metrics this summer. We'll present those in the Fall and ask for feedback then. There were a couple of people who didn't respect the spirit of the anonymous feedback portal and used it to attack a couple of individuals, which was disappointing. If you have concerns about any member of VCAF or Budget Redesign team, make an appointment to talk face to face and let her know.
Question: What behavior are you trying to incentivize through the model?
Answer: We're trying to incentivize a variety of behavior but the metrics are not finalized. Some of the things under consideration is student credit hours in the colleges, also talking about weighting those. There's different proposals on the tables that 70/30 or 75/25 but, those aren't finalized yet.
Again, that work will happen over the summer, but in general the goal is for everybody to recognize that enrollment and student retention and student graduation is all of our business. I know all of you all work really hard with your students and that work is critical because research shows that the most important relationship is between the faculty member and the student.
Question: The metrics: are you talking about doing them at the level of the department, college, or the level of the faculty?
Answer: They are at the level of the colleges/units, they're not at the level of the individual faculty. For example, for the Cabinet, it is up to each Vice Chancellor to establish those metrics with their teams, so that they meet the overall metrics for their unit.
Comments on terms and definitions of “units” is confusing between faculty and administration. Need to be more clear.
Comments on feeling a bit resentful that Administrators feel faculty need to be “incentivized” to work with students in recruitment and retention. We are already doing that but it doesn’t seem to be recognized. There is an assumption that we are not doing this work when we are donating hours upon hours already doing the work.
Comment on when cut vacant positions we are losing DEI candidates because those are who are leaving in significant numbers, and this will also significantly impact our marginalized students and recruitment and retention efforts. So, that is counter-productive.
Nancy Marchand-Martella, Provost:
There is a lot to report for Academic Affairs. We have two Dean searches underway. The College of Business dean search and the Graduate School dean search. We had one individual for each position visit earlier. We have the other candidates coming in next week for each of those searches. We hope to be done by late May, early June, with new deans in place come August, one for the College of Business and one for the Graduate School.
We are now securing the search committee for the Faculty Relations Manager. We have a tenure track faculty member who will chair that committee. We've got tenure track and IRC representation along with our brand new Faculty Affairs Coordinator who will be starting May 16th. Mary Martinez is the new Faculty Affairs Coordinator and will work on all things faculty affairs related including faculty records, Watermark, setting up new faculty orientations, among other things. If faculty have concerns and want to talk, they can contact the Faculty Relations Manager. That person can listen to concerns and help direct you to appropriate areas for assistance. The Provost office will provide faculty not on contract over the summer with a small stipend for serving on the search committee.
We are going to be hiring a data analyst. That person will report to Jenny in IR. This person will support work related to the budget model and budget model and the Task Force. So for example, drilling down into SCH by program Area, Department, college, and other things that are helpful for the Deans or other support units, program areas, etc. Hope to have that person in place by end of summer.
Presented at the Regents meeting last week along with the Chancellor. They ran small group conversations around research with the Regents and System representatives. It was very well attended with lots of good conversation. Discussed the work faculty do related to undergraduate student research and showed the power of those high impact practices in students graduating at higher levels, achieving higher GPA, and going to Graduate School at higher levels. Thanked Jesse Smith and Jennifer Poe who worked hard to put together a 2-page document that listed the research with students, stories of the power of research here at UCCS, pointing out the fact that we are a Research 2 institution and Ph.D production and research expenditures do matter on this campus.
Kathy Kaoudis did a great overview of the budget model redesign. We will continue to work on that over the summer and share metrics and adjustments in August. And we of course plan to share and solicit feedback through UBAC. Thank You to UBAC, for feedback on the budget model to date. Anyone can go to UBAC. Our next one is what May 18th at 9am if you want to attend. All the materials are available in the Teams site that's open to any campus user. Next year, will be a parallel year where we're going to run the incremental model, and the hybrid model side by side. Again, feedback and transparency is essential here. And of course we will continue to share information on the Budget Redesign Task Force website.
Other things on “Nancy's Radar” include lecturer pay. We are in very serious conversations about this. Also on Nancy’s Radar is Differentiated workload. David Moon and his committee has been working very diligently on this. Will work with David to see what this committee has come up with related to differentiated workloads. Third on “Nancy’s Radar” is Pro formas. We're still in conversations about that. Currently have 12, to the tune of close to $2,000,000. And so we will have word related to how these pro formas will be covered very soon.
Working carefully with Jose Cantu and Nathan Bullock related to online programs. She believes a partnership between academic programs and enrollment management is critical when it comes to our expansion of our online footprint. We are having serious conversations about tuition tables. We are in the midst of trying to tease those out and coming up with something that is more transparent. It's critical that our students understand the tuition and fees.
Acknowledged David Weiss related to his work on policies and procedures. David's going to continue in his role in terms of policies and procedures as a faculty fellow this next academic year. If you have ideas about policies and procedures that need to be revised or created contact David Weiss.
We have great work in the area of department chair training by Dean Lynn Vidler and Pat McGuire. There are 15 faculty members that are going to take advantage of a yearlong department chair training. This will include training, mentorship, other focused work, and provide a cohort around department chair training. We do have department chair guidelines that will be posted on the Provost website, which will then turn to policy and procedures. The guidelines are in legal review right now they will hopefully be finalized by the end of the month.
Thanked Pat McGuire for the work he did in his role as a faculty fellow related to new faculty orientation and helping Dean Vidler related to the department chairs training.
And finally, she will work with the new Faculty Affairs Coordinator, Mary Martinez, to be as proactive as possible to identify faculty related issues such as hiccups in the RPT process and providing trainings around that. Mary will be reaching out to the Deans, who will reach out to faculty to identify what we can improve in getting the information out to our faculty both tenure track and IRC around promotion processes. So once Mary gets situated, we'll have Mary start to gather information and we'll look at proactive kinds of seminars, workshops and other things to try to help faculty. One area that she highlighted relates to what do we do when we have difficult students in the classroom. She would like to discuss creating policy and procedures related to that. She will create dialogue around what to do when there's a tough student in the classroom. They will involve Legal, the Dean of Students and faculty to be as proactive as possible and examine how to prevent problems from happening in the first place. She discussed faculty should have clear syllabi, clear assignments, and timely grading. That was a quick rundown of all things academic affairs oriented.
Question: You were talking about we are an R2 University. Are the wages for our researchers equivalent?
Answer: Angela Bender and Kathy Kaoudis are actually taking a look at that. And I think we have those conversations. And that's one of the things that our HR person is working on.
Question related to where to find tuition tables which are available on the website.
Venkat Reddy, Chancellor:
The Regent’s meeting was last week and the highlight for me was that Dr. Carlos Araujo was recognized with Distinguished Professor award. Dorothea Olkowski couldn’t be there but she will be recognized in June. The Regents voted for a 5% tuition increase and a 4% compensation pool, which includes a 3.5% merit pool and half percent compression pool. At the meeting, there was some confusion around the Associates Degree opportunity which was discussed in the meeting so that people know what we're trying to do. Chancellor received a call from one of the Community College presidents asking about the opportunity. He explained that we do not offer an associates degree but we are helping students who left with enough credits so that they can have some recognition of that work and hopefully continue to finish a four year degree.
The Trustees were on campus yesterday and were given a tour and reception at the Hybl Center. Dean, Kevin Lardner gave presentation on the building, public private partnerships, and possible project. It is a dream that will work towards making a reality because we still need to get resources through fundraising.
Comment/question: could you please tell people the distinction between the trustees and the Regents?
Answer: The CU Foundation trustees come from all campuses and are significant donors and prominent people in the community. We have lots of trustees. There are only nine Regents that are elected by regions. The President reports to the Regents and the four Chancellors report the President. The Board of Regents set the strategy and rules for the entire system. They are bosses, if you will, for the entire system. The Trustees are independent; the foundation is managed independently. They oversee the foundation approve the money for things like the new engineering building. Campus goal is try to show Trustees how great our campus is and how much support it needs.
This morning I provided a presentation about our campus to the Foundation and President Saliman. We also had presentation from Josh Dunn and had a panel session about CSGI (Center for Government and the Individual?).
We are excited about commencement next week and expecting 400 graduates. We are going to have the youngest graduate, 17 years old, which is exciting.
I conducted three in person and one virtual listening sessions over the past month. They were good sessions; people were very openly sharing things both good and difficult. Topics discussed included instructors, lecturers, and equal pay for equal Work Act. There were issues that were brought to the forefront and we're working to compile what we heard and put that out in a Communique article.
I'm pleased that we got a team. I'm thrilled to have Kathy and Mark on board. We are still looking for the College of Business Dean and the Graduate Dean.
I appointed Christina Jimenez for UBAC (University Budget Advisory Committee). Believe that she will provide fresh perspective. Cabinet looking to build transparency and have data available to faculty and staff. Mentioned that communication is the hardest thing to do. Faculty staff want to be part of the solution. The topic of the next UBAC meeting is transparency; what does transparency mean? Chancellor noted that transparency has a different definition. We're going to have a conversation about the role of UBAC.
Christina Jimenez: Thanks, we are going to talk about that and about how to make a timeline, that's more amenable to input. Plan to establish a baseline for sharing information and wants to provide education about the budget process. Talk about those in May and ideas to implement for next academic year.
Venkat Reddy: Thank you for taking on this critical role. Minette, thank you for suggesting that UBAC should be stronger and play a more important role. I also want to thank Minette for her strong leadership. I have admired the time and energy she puts into providing updates on email. I want to wish Monica all the best next year. Thanks for working with Sarah Long and Staff Association. Faculty Assembly has had a big year this year with budget cuts and all the things going on.
Chancellor mentioned the e-mail from AAUP that advised budget transparency. Chancellor sent a response via e-mail to John Harner (AAUP Secretary) that pointed out things they are doing related to the budget cut process and the textbook issues. Noted it is hard to explain some of the budget issues because the state decides the budget in mid-April for July. Before that it's always in flux in terms of what can we tell our campus. One of the things that was straightened out, which was in our authority is moving the pay raises from July to January. So that allowed us to see the fall numbers to help determine where the pay rate should be. These cycles are making it difficult for us.
For the budget cut process, he noted the “team” took UBAC recommendations that David Moon was instrumental in putting together and shared those with the Deans and VC's. They focused on retaining people because people are the priority. The other priority is enrollment management. In response, Cabinet asked the Deans to consider these things since they are the people impacting decisions. Cabinet asked units to propose cuts and if they were going to cut people, let Cabinet know the consequences of those cuts. Are there other ways to cut or pause or stop the impact on positions. The cabinet is working really hard. Unfortunately, Cabinet is considered a black box, but every cabinet member is working hard for the betterment of the campus. Acknowledged they may need to work on how we are informing people what's in progress, and what things they (Cabinet) are working on.
Have a fantastic summer. Thank you all and see you at the commencement. Chancellor left to return to the Board of Trustees.
Jose Cantu, VC Enrollment Management
Jose Cantu offered and introduction of himself and his role and vision for Enrollment Management. He is the inaugural Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. He noted that it is critical for institutions to have a hub of the Enrollment Management because it supports the growth of the institution. He noted that Enrollment Management is becoming one of the strongest forces and important for institutions. Explained that enrollment is not simple. We're looking at the opportunities and the abilities to reposition the institution in the saturated market where everyone is just competing against each other. Noted that the Demographic Cliff is probably going to impact small private institutions. It is important for us is to stay focused on who we are as an institution and grow the institution and enrollment health.
My background and experience is in Texas. Finished my doctorate degree, my PhD in Leadership Studies and ended up working for rural regional institutions in Texas. I understand the complexities of what's happening post COVID prior to COVID as well. The challenges and how they escalated and how the best institutions have postured themselves in a more competitive market. I have 3 words that I tell people all the time, and especially for this institution. You have to be very intentional in the things we do. We have to be unapologetic. I know we're part of a system, but at the same time, we're competing against each other and that is a notion that other people don't like hearing. And then we have to be aggressive. We have to be ahead of the curve instead of behind the curve. And what I'm seeing here now six months into it is all the abilities of us becoming that institution where people attend. We will need to reposition our institution and do some market assessments of which programs should be online versus face to face. We need to remove the barriers for students. Used an example of restricting MBAs.
We need to focus on programs that are more marketable and more competitive in the field. We need to change and streamline our tuition tables. We can push ourselves in the forefront and beat out CSU online and compete with great marketing. Invest more in marketing, provide more tools, and examine how we engage our student populations, and also what organizations that we're partnering with.
So that's where I'm looking at. There's a lot of work to do in front of me, but I think as a team, as a community, we'll be able to do it together. And like I said, come by. Let's talk, let's chat a little bit and I'm very open to innovative outside the box ideas.
Question related to outreach to our military and veterans.
Answer: Our biggest challenge of this institution. We don't have tuition assistance for them and we need to invest in that. We should be doing now, I always say this University of Texas, San Antonio, very similar to Colorado Springs. They have many bases, they decided to say we're going to invest in this. Their growth has been incredible. There's a lot of potential there. There's a lot of conversation behind the scenes. I know there's some state and system impacts there, but I think internally if we get our minds together, we probably could provide some type of tuition assistance until we get the state and everybody else inline. But it is an area that we should invest definitely.
Comment and question related to retention survey that was sent around recently. One faculty member did it with their students. The main issue is that it's been more expensive to come here every year since they've been here. The fact that they're paying more for what they perceive as less AND they don't have access to food. They don't have coffee shops. They feel like they don't want to come here. Some of them regret coming here, but then there's the year they put in as much effort. At UCCS our average cost after aid is actually more than Denver. And both of them are a lot more than Wyoming. It seems like there's no conversation about the fact that more tuition equals less enrolled. And that is obvious.
Answer: So absolutely right. So the big gorilla in the room is we have an issue with how we do tuition these tuition tables were built in a way that. But I was very surprised seeing how many fees we charge students and the tuition variations for students. And the competition, if you're looking at it because you have other institutions that have it down and are telling students, invest in us with the best investment we could say the same thing. So we are working as a committee and we have some solutions. We're working towards a plan that would be better for our students and can market our programs a lot better at the end of the day.
Report of the President — Minette Church See Attached
I'm going to cover three things. One is that since I sent out my report yesterday morning, I got 3 emails about task forces that people want to see have happened. One I know Angela Bender is working on, and that Nancy mentioned, which is on lecturer compensation and lecture issues, so that is going on this summer. I just texted Angela to keep us posted about that. We have volunteers who wanted to help with that. Second, classroom safety and bullying. We have Amanda here to talk a little bit about that today. But there's also talk about having some kind of task force to look at particular kinds of situations that have arisen in the past, particularly where external groups come into the classroom and create drama, sometimes media drama and other kinds of drama. If you get students who make you feel unsafe in the classroom, then you are not only driven out of the classroom, but your students are as well, while OIE is working on figuring out what's going on and investigating. We need a task force to look at whether guidelines or even maybe policy around certain kinds of bullying in the classroom might be something to test. That's going to be a conversation that's going to happen. And then the third one was about service. Project CREST and FAWC, and there's kind of a whole constellation of people on campus that wants to look at service and our reward system. They plan to figure out ways to identify and reward the amount of service we're doing and how we value it and how we do or do not reward it.
Report of the President-Elect — Monica Yoo—I wanted to follow up with just a couple of things. First of all, I want to say thank you to everybody for serving this year and for all of the hard work. We had a lot going. And then I also wanted to give a shout out to everybody who ran for an officer position or as a representative for assembly or Council. Thank you so much. And I'm looking forward to working with you closely next year. I want to briefly overview some of the agenda items for next year.
- Minette highlighted a couple of them like continuing that work around the DEI efforts related to service by the Women's Committee
- also what Rame’s office has been doing in terms of the Excellence inclusive and belonging efforts,
- also we will continue to work on lecturer pay. That's one issue that is going to be ongoing and we will be continuing to work with Angela Bender on that.
- The professional rights and responsibilities documents work will continue. David Weiss talked about the guidelines and those guidelines becoming policy. So that's something that's going to continue.
- The differentiated workload policy will still be on next year's agenda. I think that was brought up earlier as well.
- Today we'll hear about the work that faculty have been doing around grievance that will be continuing into next year too.
- Minette and I met with Nancy earlier this week and we will going back to the faculty governance policy piece that was not resolved this year. We had to table it because of budget issues and also the hiring of the VCAF position. So that is something that we will actually be working on at the beginning of next year.
- Kelli Klebe is moving forward with the task force on micro credentials.
- Also the curriculum committee, I know that's been mentioned in terms of a campus curriculum committee and so that will be forming and that will be something that will be going on.
- And then we also would like to see a more permanent position for IRC faculty on the Faculty Assembly Executive Committee. That's worked out really well this year. We'll probably continue that as an interim position for next year and then look at changing the Constitution for the future. So that's something in the works as well.
- Minette mentioned the instances related to bullying, incivility, and threats towards faculty and safety. And Amanda is here today to address that and that's something that we want to continue talking about and really gathering a task force around for next year.
We have got a lot on our plates. I'm glad you're all with me. And I'm looking forward to it. So thank you.
Report of the Past-President – David Moon— No report
Educational Policy and University Standards—See Attached
Personnel & Benefits—No Report
Faculty Advisory Committee on the Budget—See Attached
Faculty Equity and Inclusion Committee—See Attached
Faculty Assembly Women’s Committee— The Faculty Assembly Women’s Committee (FAWC) did not meet since the last Representative Assembly meeting, so we don’t have much to report. We would, however, like to congratulate the awardees of the Spring 2023 FAWC Mini-Grants, who are Marissa Baranauskas, Katie McCabe, and Colin Mahoney! Congratulations to you three, and we look forward to learning more about your research in the future.
IRC Faculty—No Report
Faculty Assembly Committee on Teaching—No Report
Misconduct in Research, Scholarship & Creative Activities—No Report
Committee on Research—No Report
Intercollegiate Athletics—No Report
Committee on Disability—See Attached
Representative Reports—No Report
No Unfinished Business
- Motion 1: “The Faculty Assembly Executive Committee moves the Faculty Representative Assembly approves the updated bylaws for the Faculty Assembly” (Attached)
Friendly amendments to the language accepted. Motion 1 passes 22 Approve, 0 Oppose, 2 Abstain
- Informational Item: Campus Grievance Policy Update—Jeff Montez de Oca (12:50-1:00)
- Motion 2: “The Faculty Assembly Grievance Committee moves that the Faculty Representative Assembly approves the bylaws for the Faculty Assembly Grievance Committee” (Attached) (1:00-1:05)
Discussion around Motion 2 Passes: 12 Approve, 4 Oppose, 6 Abstain
- Motion 3: “EPUS moves that the Faculty Representative Assembly endorses campus Policy 100-02# Information Security for Research Compliance” (Attached)—Jessi Smith (1:05-1:10)
Motion 3 Passes: 20 Approve, 0 Oppose, 0 Abstain
- Information Item and Motion 4: “The Faculty Representative Assembly moves to approve the Resolution in Support of Academic Freedom and Tenure for the United Faculty of Florida” (Attached) (1:10-1:15)
Slight adjustment to wording suggested. Motion 4 Passes: 20 Approve, 0 Oppose, 0 Abstain
Motion to extend meeting
- Information item: (1:15-1:45) Procedures related to student conduct—Amanda Allee: See attached presentation
Adjourned 2:15 pm