Faculty Assembly Presidentís Report

September 2006

Tom Napierkowski

 

 

Colleagues, as we begin a new academic year, I want to welcome you back and to thank you for your willingness to serve the campus in the area of faculty governance. I firmly believe that only a vigorous tradition of faculty governance can define and defend faculty rights and responsibilities. Lacking such a tradition, faculty government is reduced to a crisis organization; and such a situation is a disservice to the entire academic community.

 

The most significant ongoing issue, as we enter the new academic year, is the Report on Tenure-Related Processes at the University of Colorado compiled under the direction of General Howell M. Estes, III (USAF, retired). This Report has re-affirmed the need for tenure at the University and has suggested thirty-nine recommendations to strengthen and reform tenure. A joint faculty-administrative group, the Advisory Committee on Tenure-Related Processes, has reviewed these recommendations and supported their adoption by the Regents. An ad hoc committee of the Faculty Council, the Academic Planning Working Group, is now reviewing the recommendations. That group, of which some other UCCS faculty and I are members, is preparing a response from a faculty perspective and is suggesting appropriate changes in various academic policies. Thus far, there have been only a few contested items and limited expressions of concern from the faculty at large. These matters require ongoing discussion on all campuses of the University.

 

A new item of business this year is the review of a recently drafted Academic Ethics Code. This document has been forwarded to me, and I have referred the draft to EPUS for preliminary evaluation. That evaluation will then come to the Representative Faculty Assembly for review and action.

 

The Representative Faculty Assembly has been asked to comment on the UCCS method of making available the results of Faculty Course Questionnaires. This request will, I hope, be addressed at our September meeting.

 

At every level, including the level of faculty governance, UCCS faculty must prepare to participate, as appropriate, in the North Central Accreditation Review this fall.

 

Finally, President Hank Brown has requested that each campus in the CU System develop a new Academic Strategic Plan. The Chancellor has assured the Executive Committee that faculty will, of course, play its appropriate role in the formulation of that plan. She has also assured us that the Plan will be submitted to the Representative Faculty Assembly for review.