MSU Denver

Metropolitan State University of Denver opened its final Faculty Senate meeting of the semester Wednesday. After three years serving as Faculty Senate president, Katia Campbell, Ph.D., is stepping down from her position. 

“The best part of serving as Faculty Senate president was the opportunity to meet and work alongside so many talented faculty across campus,” Campbell said. “These last few years have sometimes been difficult as we navigated the constant changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic, but we were able to come together in a collaborative spirit in order to accomplish our goals. I admire the perseverance of my dedicated colleagues and look forward to seeing the Faculty Senate continue to thrive under phenomenal leadership.” 

Prior to adjourning the meeting, Vice President Elizabeth Goodnick, Ph.D., was elected to serve as the upcoming Faculty Senate president. Jessica Weiss, Ph.D., was elected to serve as vice president, and Bill Carnes will continue to serve as secretary. Affiliate faculty members Julie Rada, Andrew Gillespie and Erienne Romaine were also elected to serve on the Faculty Senate.  

“As the vice president of Faculty Senate for the last three years, I have learned much about the way the University works and the importance of shared governance,” Goodnick said. “One of my strengths as a leader is the importance I place on teamwork. I’m proud of the relationships I’ve developed and the work that my collaborators and I have accomplished so far in my role as vice president. I am excited to serve as Faculty Senate president next year and look forward to collaborating with Vice President Jessica Weiss, Secretary Bill Carnes, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the rest of the amazing MSU Denver faculty.”

Campbell began the meeting with announcements, congratulating Mark Koester, Ph.D.; Steve Krizman; Claire Critchlow; and Harry Chiang, Ph.D., for winning the Faculty Senate Teachers Excellence Awards.  

Sam Jay, Ph.D., also spoke during announcements to introduce a support group for first-year faculty members and asked for a Faculty Senate member to join.  

MSU Denver President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., also joined the floor to thank senators for their work this past year and give general updates on the future of MSU Denver regarding the hybrid work environment, the upcoming state budget and enrollment.

“I wanted to just have this opportunity to say thank you for all the work that you do,” Davidson said. “We talk about shared governance a lot at the University, but really the rubber meets the road in rooms like this in the work you do, day-in and day-out. I just really want to thank you all for stepping up, sitting in these seats, dialing in and for everything you do for the University, for the students in particular and for each other. I know this has been a tough last couple of years, but it’s feeling better.” 

The body then listened to Bethany Fleck Dillen, Ph.D., give a second read for changes in handbook language. The intention of the changes is to give faculty members more say in how evaluations are written and edited and a vote on the guidelines. In total, there are four areas with changes, which can be reviewed in full here.  

Goodnick offered a friendly amendment to the changes in handbook language to increase the chance of it passing with the handbook committee. Her amendment still allows faculty members to vote on changed guidelines, but guidelines would be written and edited by department chairs rather than a committee. The friendly amendment passed with 70 votes in favor, seven not in favor and seven abstentions. The amended document passed with 72 votes in favor, four not in favor and four abstentions. 

Next, Meredith Jeffers, Ph.D., who was elected as the new Faculty Trustee, held a second read and vote on changes to the graduate-curriculum manual, which has not been updated since 2015. The vote unanimously passed with 80 in favor and two abstentions.  

The additions include: 

  • Requirement of curriculum changes to be in before a specific deadline. 
  • No objections from the Faculty Senate involving curriculum proposals. 
  • Approval from the Higher Learning Commission regarding substantial increases or decreases in a program’s credit hours. 
  • Definitions for hybrid and online learning environments. 
  • 11.00 Catalog Addendum.

To end the meeting, Campbell adjourned those stepping down from the Faculty Senate and welcomed incoming senators who will be serving their first-year term.