Feb. 16, 2023

Dear Roadrunners,

The purpose of this note is to provide an update on the process and timeline for the way forward on faculty workload. First, I’d like to thank the Faculty Leadership Team, along with our deans and interim Provost Mora, for their collaboration on charting this new course over the last few weeks. And to all Roadrunners supporting our students, please know how much we value your talent and dedication. We understand there are challenges and complexities ahead, and we are committed to addressing them inclusively.

Here’s more information on next steps.


Next week we will launch a cross-functional task force to address the issues of workload. Its mission will be to provide options, including detailed budget modeling, to support the trustee’s decision-making. In addition to requiring that options be adequately modeled for budget viability and implications, the work of the task force will be guided by these two principles:

  1. All Roadrunners – faculty and staff – should have a sustainable workload.
  2. Solutions must be centered on student success.

The Faculty Senate’s recommendation to adjust faculty workload has raised strategic questions regarding intersecting issues that need to be addressed simultaneously and in context of workload. These issues include compensation; diversity; retention of faculty, staff and students; and expectations for faculty and staff in ensuring student success. We must explore options that are sustainable and fiscally viable and that also align with our Strategic Plan goals for student access, service and achievement, as well as student-centered academic excellence.

Fortunately, as the task force moves forward, it will be able to build on the work already completed by the Faculty Workload Task Force led by Gabrielle Katz and Bill Henry to address key questions and properly frame the challenges. Data and insight that may be leveraged include but are not limited to:

  • Fiscal analysis of the original proposal
  • Peer and competitor data
  • Workload and teaching load ratios
  • Class size data
  • Proposed changes to guidelines for teaching, mentorship/student support and research/scholarship
  • Faculty and staff vacancy and recruitment data
  • Survey data


The task force will be co-chaired by Interim Provost Marie Mora and Faculty Trustee Meredith Jeffers, and it will be facilitated by external consultant Mike Dumont. Additional members will be determined by the co-chairs and will include deans, the other Faculty Leadership Team members (i.e., presidents of the Faculty Senate, Faculty Federation and Council of Chairs), the chief financial officer, additional department chair representatives, additional faculty representatives and other cabinet members and senior leaders. Ad hoc committees will be formed as needed.


Feb. 24* | Kickoff
Meeting with task force members to set goals and timeline to address its charge in alignment with the questions raised by the Board of Trustees.
*An earlier version of this message included the wrong kickoff date.

March 16 | Board of Trustees Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) Committee Meeting
The workload task force will help facilitate a deep dive for the trustees, providing further background on the issue being addressed, presenting  data points and definitions, and gaining guidance and approval for the way forward.

June 1 | Full Board Meeting
Task force will present options and modeling for consideration in our Fiscal Year 2024 budget and beyond.

Additional assessment and discussion will continue at the direction of the president and Board of Trustees.

Keep an eye out for updates as the task force kicks off. Faculty input on the task force will be collected through Faculty Senate, department meetings and other preexisting channels of communication, so please be sure to connect with your department chair, deans, senate representatives and task force members with thoughts and questions. Staff can also add insight to the process through their representatives on the task force. As always, anyone can send me your ideas and feedback directly.

I am grateful for the collaborative work of so many across campus and am confident the way forward will result in a positive impact on our University. Thank you again for your great work and dedication to our students!


Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
President, MSU Denver