MSU Denver

Goals and Mission

The Faculty Senate of the Metropolitan State University of Denver officially represents faculty members in all matters of interest and concern. These interests and concerns include, but are not limited to, receiving and making recommendations on current and proposed changes in academic, administrative, fiscal and personnel policies.

Shared Governance Statement

Within the University’s statutory role and mission and the Board of Trustees’ operational mission, all constituencies have a role and a responsibility in assisting the University to achieve excellence in all areas of University activity. In pursuing excellence, the Board of Trustees welcomes and expects the participation of faculty, students, staff, and other University constituencies in the decision-making process.

The Board of Trustees encourages a broad exchange of information and ideas. To facilitate the exchange of information and ideas, the Board of Trustees looks to the President of the University as its primary liaison with the University constituencies. To be effective in this role, the President must establish avenues for consultation and recommendation by faculty, students, and staff regarding policy matters by the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees delegates to the President, as chief executive officer of the University, full authority and responsibility for administering the University within the policies and procedures established by the Board of Trustees. Within this delegation, it is the expectation that the President will elicit the participation and facilitate the fulfillment of the roles and responsibilities of the University’s campus constituencies in the University’s internal decision-making processes. It is through the initiative, participation, and effort of all the University’s constituencies that excellence is achieved.

Free Expression and Inquiry

MSU Denver is committed to the search for and dissemination of knowledge through open inquiry. MSU Denver’s civic mission is to educate students to take their part in civic life and maintain the institutions of our pluralistic democracy. Free expression and academic freedom are indispensable to fulfilling these academic and civic missions. In fact, MSU Denver’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community demands an equally strong commitment to freedom of expression. The commitments to free expression and open inquiry are consistent with MSU Denver’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Free expression, including the ability to speak freely, allows our community members to test ideas through open debate and critique. Free inquiry allows community members to ask questions in search of new knowledge, refine and refresh accepted ideas, and challenge conventional wisdom. Free expression and inquiry help our students to become independent thinkers, consider contrary viewpoints, and find ways to work constructively with those with whom they have principled disagreement.

“The right to free expression extends to most speech—both in and out of the classroom,  —but not to all speech, including, for example, that which is slanderous, or incites another person to violence. Per the guidelines established by the American Association of University Professors, professors may choose to restrict engagement in controversial topics during class time that is unrelated to course content.”

At the same time, members of the MSU Denver community owe one another the basic respect of human beings engaged in a common or mutual endeavor. These obligations reflect three basic community values: 1) respect for the freedom of other community members to inquire and express themselves fully; 2) the need to exercise freedom of expression and inquiry in ways that respect the human dignity of others; and 3) the importance of a climate at MSU Denver that is conducive to learning and in which all community members, regardless of background, are free from behavior that interferes with their ability to study, grow, and attain their full potential. The University seeks to promote a campus culture in which all community members can participate in and benefit from the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. In this respect, an affront against any member of our community is an affront to the entire community. By affirming our collective values, we build a stronger, more cohesive, and more vibrant community where differences are respected, and an effort is made for all to feel welcome.  

When community values are not respected, or members of the community are not mindful about how we express differing perspectives and who we share campus community space with, whether verbal or non-verbal, harm could occur and feelings of marginality can be evoked, compromising institutional efforts to cultivate a welcoming and educational atmosphere. When this happens, members of the MSU Denver community are encouraged to respond, and to speak out clearly against speech that violates our principles and commitment to nurture a diverse, inclusive, and safe learning community where all members are empowered to express themselves. Those who are the target of such speech should not and must not bear the burden of responding alone.

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Faculty Senate
[email protected]

Assistant to the Faculty Senate
Anjeli Dwyer
[email protected]