Draft to be approved 10/5/11

The Metropolitan State College of Denver

 Faculty Senate

Wednesday, September 21th, 2011

3:20pm – 4:50pm

Tivoli 320 A, B & C






Attendees: Ahsan, Akrabova, Aubrey, Badwan, Bahl, Baldwin, Balogh, Bisio, Brodersen, Butler, Capps, Collette, Church, Collette, Cook, Corash, Curran, Davinroy, Davis, Delaney, DelCastillo, DeMuro, Denn, Doe, Drake, Duburguet, Dyhr, Elkins, Ethier, Evans, Flemon, Fustos, Ghosh, Gibson, Glatz, Graves, Grevstad, Hagen, Hallam, Hancock, Hasley, Hathorn, Hernandez-Julian, Holloway, Hutto, Izurieta, Jackson, Jacobs, Karris, Kent, King, Kitzman, Kleinfeld, Klimek, Komodore, Kottenstette, Kuhlmann, Lamb, Liu, London, Lubinski, MacDonald, Malpass, Matthews, McKenzie, McVicker, Meloche, Mollenhauer, Moroye, Murphy, Odell, Ortiz, Padilla, Pleis, Posey, Pozzi, Preuhs, Pytlinski, Quinn, Reardon, Reimer, Rengers, Reyes, Rissman, Rogers, Ropp, Rucki, Sahami, Shopp, Stephens, Sundeen, Svonkin, Szypulski, Vowles, Wanberg, Weber,  Worster, Yeh, Zajdowicz    Guests: Golich, Naukhandan, Rossmiller



I.                    Call to Order 


II.                 Approval of Previous Meetings Minutes (at Senate Website), VOTE.

 Vote called.  Motion approved.


III.              PRESENTATION and QUESTIONS: Faculty Questions for President Jordan.  (Documents Attached as: Full set of Questions for President Jordan.pdf AND 10 Questions for President Jordan.pdf)

 President Jordan’s opening remarks included:

-         An overview of his trip to Boston with the Denver Chamber, the mayor and the governor. The were looking at how Boston uses higher education to drive the innovation economy…


Question 1.  What measures is Metro taking to prepare for further reductions in federal and state funding and is there any move toward a revised funding model?        


 Dr. Jordan pointed out that Metro State’s Financial Accountability Plan was developed with the belief in mind that the economy would not be turning around and this plan has positioned Metro for exactly the types of challenges that are ahead. The highest priority is to keep the current level of operations over reducing other activities.


 Today’s newspaper article discussed the state’s budget shortfall of $500M.  The Lt. Governor’s intent to cut the higher education budget could mean a cut of $3.5/$3.6M to $7.8M to Metro State’s budget and could be mitigated by the proposed $9.7M from tuition increases.


 The Financial Exigency Committee is working to provide the President with a set of criteria that he may use to assist him if there were a case where financial exigency would have to be used to maintain the operations of the college to its maximum ability while under stress.


 Question 2.  A number of faculty and administrators are vitally interested in the status of the name change, especially in light of resistance encountered with DU and the legislature. Where do discussions stand now with us? What plans are in process with the college and current strategy including faculty, staff and administration and BOT? Lastly, we are concerned that the arrangement of names can lead to acronyms that are offensive. How is this being addressed?  


 President Jordan outlined his four priorities:

1.     Increasing the value of the degree to students and alumni

2.     Being clear that we are not a community college

3.     Be clear about our geography

4.     Shorten the name if possible


  He gave a summary of committee activities over the summer, studies that were conducted, and efforts to research conflicts of interest and possible trademark related issues.


 Dr. Jordan has been empowered to initiate discussions with the University of Denver Chancellor to see if an accord can be reached between the two institutions by the middle of October.


 The current status of the name change:

1. The Board has not settled on a name—officially moving forward with Denver State.

2.     They are considering other alternatives and commissioned a survey that will test Denver State, Denver Metropolitan State University, the current name, and perhaps one other name.

3.     A clear written proposal was delivered to the Chancellor a month ago that stated Metro would be prepared to accept Metropolitan State University of Denver if they withdrew all opposition to that name change. He has not heard back from him.

4.     A series of focus groups have been held around the city with key business leaders to solicit their support of the name change in the legislative process.


Dr. Jordan’s position is that he is not so vested in Denver State University that he will fight till the death over that name on principal and knowing that would not be able to get it out of the committee of reference. He wants a name that will maximize the four goals of the name change listed above.


  Question 3.  Are you redefining an earlier goal to have 60% of all classes taught by T/TT faculty as being taught by T/TT faculty and lecturers? If so, why?


  Dr. Jordan went to the Board and suggested to them that it was appropriate to take a pause on that goal until the economy improved. 


 Question 4.  With respect to faculty compensation, there are several issues of concern: salary inversion, equity/parity(including gender equity/parity), and fair comparison to a reasonable CUPA group determined with transparency – what institutions make up the CUPA group and why?  Could you please comment on each of these faculty salary issues?


 Dr. Jordan reported that progress had been made. He saw a study by John Minter & Assoc that looked at gross faculty salaries for public and private institutions in Colorado. Metro now has the fourth highest salaries due to the increased value of promotions, the regular process of raising faculty to a minimum of 85% of CUPA average, and Metro’s continued support of faculty salaries. Metro was one of only two institutions that implemented faculty salary increases last year. For the first time a philosophical policy was created that positioned faculty salaries to be distributed around the 50th percentile for the CUPA average. The CUPA Group of 65 is being used for peers. He looked at the Minter group study and it showed that the disparity by gender is smaller at Metro State than any other Colorado institution.


 Question 5.  Have you ever taught a 4/4 workload that includes service, advising, and professional development? Have you ever taught a class at Metro State?


  Dr. Jordan answered that he has not taught a 4/4 workload or taught a class at Metro. His contract prohibited him from teaching. He was hired to be out in the community and to help change the reputation of the college. Before coming to Metro State, he did a number of studies and published articles on faculty workload while in Arizona and is considered a national expert.


 Senator Hagen commented from her perspective of chair of the Retention, Tenure, Promotion Committee. She believes Metro needs to strike a balance of what is reasonable professional development expectations in light of the 4/4 workload and to end the mixed messages that junior faculty receive on tenure requirements.


 Question 6.  How can the university administration, in conjunction with academic departments, develop and implement transparent and democratic plan(s) for the advancement of affiliate faculty to full time faculty positions?


 Dr. Jordan spoke about the national search policy and how affiliate faculty have benefited when making the transition to tenure track.


 Question 7.  Parking costs are a big hardship for Metro faculty and staff who pay out of pocket to park at their place of employment.  What is being done to address this?


  Dr. Jordan agreed that on campus parking is a struggle to find with 50,000 faculty and students accessing the campus. Auraria has no money to provide free parking. If faculty want parking to be a part of the compensation package, that is a discussion that can be had.


 Question 8.  The climate surveys indicate that there is little confidence in the abilities of mid to high-level administrators at Metro state and there appears to be no clear criteria in how administrators are hired.  (Sometimes there are national searches, sometimes internal searches, other times appointments, regardless of position or rank.)  How do you plan to address these issues?


 Dr. Jordan spoke about the hiring policies for promoting and search for administrators. He listed current administrators and who was and was not selected from national searches. He addressed a different variation of Question 8 and spoke about destructive dialog and that Metro is a community that each responsible member needs to support in order to be positive role models for students.


 Question 9.  Are there benefits offered to administrators that are not offered to faculty? Please explain and would there be consideration of offering full tuition waiver to family members of faculty?


  Dr. Jordan answered that there are not differences in benefits for administrators and faculty. The variation question that mentioned the PlusOne Plan is actually available to classified staff and not faculty or administrators. Regarding tuition, that is a compensation allocation that could be looked at in relation to available revenues. He suggested that the Faculty Senate Welfare Committee along with VP Lutes and Judy Zewe and the Controller should look at together.


 Question 10.  What are the plans for alleviating the shortage of classroom space and how much of the new student success building is classroom vs. administrative office space?


 Dr. Jordan walked through the space allocation of the Student Success Building and the huge impact it will have 


 Bonus Question:  What must be accomplished in the college to actually bring the college to your vision of pre-eminence and what measureable benchmarks identify the progress Metro State must make?


 Dr. Jordan reiterated his definition of pre-eminence as when the people in this community—the seven-county Denver metro area—say that Metro is the place that makes a difference in their lives more than any other institution.


 Dr. Jordan shared one last thought with the Senate on Senator Rollie Heath’s proposition (Proposition 103) that is made to the ballot that would have a five year temporary increase to sales and income taxes. Proposition 103 would generate approximately $500M and benefit K-12 and higher education.


IV.            Announcements/Updates

-           Request to Provost by SEC was rescinded by SEC.

-           Status of Category II Faculty (Charge to Welfare Committee)

-           IT- Instructional and Technical Issues Taskforce = (IT)3 has been fully constituted.

-            SCoBs and SPS still need RTP Alternates


V.                Committee Reports: 

-    FS Curriculum Committee – Sen. R. Hernandez-Julian (Document Attached as: FSCCreportSeptember212011.pdf)



Report to Metropolitan State College of Denver Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee

September 21, 2011


Unless otherwise noted, packets are approved unanimously.

September 12, 2011

Packets approved:

LAS 1011-28 PSC 1010

LAS 1011-29 PSC 1020


Senator Hernandez-Julian called for comments or questions. There were none. Curriculum approved unanimously by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee is automatically approved by the Senate unless there is a question posed by a Senator on the Senate floor.


VI.              PRESENTATION and DISCUSSION:  Faculty Senate forming ThinkTank Users Group.  Opportunity open to all Senators. (Documents Attached as: ThinkTank2.pdf)

A discussion will be scheduled for a later date.


VII.          Adjournment

  Meeting adjourned.




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