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Faculty Senate update

By Cory Phare

November 20, 2017

Faculty Senate MeetingCalling the most recent meeting to order, Matt Makley, Faculty Senate president and professor of history welcomed David Fine and Nicholas Stancil to discuss their roles as legal representation for MSU Denver. Fine noted how general counsel serves in the interest of the general public while reporting to the president and Board of Trustees, addressing the needs of the entire University, including faculty.

“We’re incredibly fortunate and enthusiastic of our legal council supporting our work in the classroom,” said Makley.

After meeting quorum and minute approval, Jo Bailey, associate professor of social work, then addressed the group about the six presidential advisory councils put in place as a mechanism for shared governance. Several senators then expressed concern with the length of time for feedback during the holiday week; upon subsequent follow-up, the deadline for public response has been pushed back from Nov. 20 to Nov. 27.

A question also arose about the process and power of the new groups. Bailey and Makley both noted that the councils are looking at results of the recent University prioritization exercises and will augment, not replace, any current standing bodies.

“[The councils] are meant to look at the big-picture issues; we’ve been assured the function and sovereignty of Faculty Senate will remain intact,” said Makley. “In the long run, this will fundamentally help with the process of shared governance.”

“One thing to remember in times of transition is that there’s bound to be uncertainty, but we’ll get through it together and will be all right,” he added

Other business items:

  • Faculty Senate reaffirmed support for DACA students; this is in alignment with the strong backing of President Janine Davidson and the Board of Trustees. Task forces will look into ways to continue to support DACA students to be academically and otherwise successful.
  • The point of contact in the Registrar’s office for degree exception petitions is Connie Sanders.
  • After a second reading by the academic policies committee, the revised language to indicate waitlist policy varies widely by department was approved with 92 percent approval and will will now move to the provost.
  • The academic policy committee also discussed recommendations for consolidating posthumous degree awards into one type of degree.
  • The curriculum committee reported on approved proposals (two new programs and one modification).
  • The next Faculty Senate meeting (and final one of the semester) will take place Dec. 6 at 3:20 p.m. in Tivoli 320. There will be pizza.
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