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Faculty Senate update

Updates on President Davidson’s Joint Budget Committee appearance, community opportunities for faculty and several committee updates from Feb. 14 meeting.

By Matt Watson

February 19, 2018

Faculty Senate meeting attendeesPresident Janine Davidson made a surprise visit to the Faculty Senate Wednesday to recount her recent appearance in front of the state’s Joint Budget Committee.

Davidson said she asked how the Colorado Department of Education can achieve one of its strategic goals, erasing equity gaps in college degree attainment, when Colorado is 48th in the country in investment in higher education and MSU Denver, which has the state’s most diverse student population, receives the least amount of funding among universities.

“We’ll tell you how to move the needle on the master plan,” Davidson told the Faculty Senate. “We know what best practices are to get students over the finish line and into good jobs. We’ve done it at MSU Denver. We just lack the resources we need to scale them.”

  • On other topics, Davidson championed her role on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, which she expects to hold a public forum at MSU Denver in April.
  • Davidson also noted that David Fine, University general counsel, is rehabbing after a mild stroke and is expected to make a full recovery. Fine’s family is providing updates through CaringBridge.

Kat Martinez then addressed the senate to promote the trainings offered by the Roadrunners First committee. The first training of the semester is March 1.

Two opportunities were provided to take faculty expertise and experiences into the Denver community. Gordon Loui, director of strategic partnerships and community engagement, asked for faculty involvement for Roadrunners Give Back Day 2018 in late April. Then Adam Graves, director of the Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry, took the floor to ask faculty to brainstorm events that can creatively use our faculty for intellectual and cultural programs.

Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence Jeff Loats gave an update on the Council on Academic Excellence and Student Success and emphasized the need for transparency and two-way communication. Faculty and staff can get involved by emailing Loats or co-lead Angela Marquez, visiting the committee’s Sharepoint site, or attending the committee’s full council meetings.

Matt Makley, Faculty Senate president, provided a number of updates including the Board of Trustees approval of a master’s degree in nutrition, improvements to the Travel Authorization process, and a late March/early April target for the hiring of a new director of Equal Opportunity. Makley also noted that a recent student survey revealed the majority of students consider faculty to be the first resource in reporting sexual violence and urged faculty to be knowledgeable about the Phoenix Center and the CARE Team.

Other business:

  • Lunden MacDonald announced a new Roadways advisory council, which needs a Faculty Senate representative to serve on the council and chair a subcommittee.
  • Jessica Weiss said the academic policy committee re-organized and has an open at-large seat.
  • Roland Schendel called for faculty representation on the president’s advisory councils and nominations for the Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Awards.
  • The Faculty Senate voted affirmatively to move forward with a proposal brought by Sergio Gallegos that offers tuition remission to spouses and dependents of faculty.
  • Jean-Francois Duclos gave an update on the work of the curriculum committee.
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