The Metropolitan State University of Denver Faculty Senate overwhelmingly voted to endorse the Shared Governance Council policy recommendations during its bimonthly meeting Jan. 31. Of the 75 voting senators, 68 voted in favor of the recommendations. The policy will now head to the University Policy Advisory  Committee on Feb. 27 with support from the Faculty Senate.  

Proposed handbook changes from DEI Task Force 

Faculty Senate President Liz Goodnick, Ph.D., professor of Philosophy, reminded the body of the Handbook Committee Process ahead of proposed handbook changes from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. There are five proposed handbook changes to be voted on all semester, with three at the recommendation of the DEI Task Force. 

Chalane Lechuga, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies; Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Devika Banerji, Ph.D., associate professor of Marketing; and Michele Trujillo, Ph.D., associate professor of Special Education, presented information about the DEI Task Force and proposed changes related to teaching, service and scholarship. These changes will be voted on during Wednesday’s meeting.  

Proposed changes: 

The changes aim to:  

  • Build on what faculty members are already doing by elaborating on best teaching practices.  
  • Support a diverse faculty body by incorporating broader avenues and sources of teaching, scholarship and service in pursuit of equity and teaching. 
  • Give credence to the University’s excellent instructors and pedagogical innovators who use inclusive practices rooted in equity. 
  • Incentivize creativity in meeting student needs while also acknowledging the labor that inclusive pedagogy requires. 
  • Provide language for describing accomplishments and a space for ongoing conversations. 
  • Increase retention for diverse faculty members and students. 

Departments can have their own guidelines if they adhere to the handbook’s guidelines. Additionally, resources are available for departments that would like to support understanding and implementing the handbook’s new guidelines.  

Instructional Overload Guidelines 

Marie Mora, Ph.D., deputy provost, addressed the body with a draft of the Instructional Overload Guidelines as part of the Faculty Workload Update. The guidelines are aimed at decreasing burnout and balancing faculty workload when faculty members are unexpectedly asked to increase their teaching workload.  

Mora said the draft has been shared with deans and the faculty leadership team and has not had any opposition as it has made its way through the rounds of shared governance.  

Questions and comments can be directed to Mora or Ann Oberman, Ph.D., faculty trustee. 

Academic Policy changes 

Jenny Allert, DNP, associate professor of Nursing, updated the body on minor Academic Policy changes: 

Additional info 

  • The deadline for departments to submit senators for 2024-25 and 2025-26 is Thursday.  
  • Oberman delivered a Faculty Trustee report, recapping the Jan. 19 meeting.   
  • Ethnic Studies and Social Justice workshops are scheduled for faculty members who would like to receive an ESSJ designation or those who want to have an existing course receive the designation.   
    • Workshop dates: 
      • Friday, March 1 from 10-11 a.m. 
      • Friday, March 29 from 10-11 a.m. 
      • Friday, April 8 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.  
  • Teaching Excellence Awards are now open 
    • The deadline to apply is Feb. 29.  
    • The TEA committee is also asking for more members and will be an official Faculty Senate committee beginning next year. Faculty members who are interested should email Lisa Hagan 

Up next 

The Faculty Senate will meet again Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. The Faculty Senate will be voting on the DEI handbook changes, Academic Policy Enactment Policy and Last Date of Attendance Language Update.