Faculty Assembly President’s Report

September 2005


Bob Durham

First of all, let me welcome everyone back to a new academic year at UCCS! I hope this year is both enjoyable and productive for the entire academic community.

I’d like to thank Jenenne Nelson for the incredible job she did as president of the FA last year and for her great work in organizing and conducting the Faculty Retreat we held last month. I believe that it was both educational and enjoyable for all who attended. The keynote speakers, President Brown, Chancellor Shockley, and Councilman Hente, were particularly informative. I am still receiving input and feedback from the people who ran the individual breakout sessions and I will post synopses of their summaries at a later date.

Here are some of the issues facing us in the near future. (It is interesting to not that many of these topics have appeared in more than one of the stakeholder gatherings I now have the privilege of attending.)

First, you have probably all heard of the confusion surrounding how and when we may discuss our feelings regarding Amendments C and D. If asked a direct question in class, we may respond to that question, allowing for any dissenters to express their opinions as well. If we are not on campus, we may express our opinions freely, identifying ourselves as private citizens who are stating our personal beliefs. (It’s OK to say where we work and what we do here, but we are expressing only our opinions.)

There has been a lot of confusion as well regarding the Base Salary Initiative plan which is being considered as a pilot project by this campus. There are no other comparable institutions who have tried this outside of medical schools so this is truly terra incognita. There are no plans for making this a policy for any units – they just want to see if it can work at all. I urge you to look at the materials provided by the VCAA’s office and to continue the dialogue already started on email. It is controversial, but let’s not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

As we discussed for a while at the retreat, there is continuing dialogue on the other CU campuses as well as to what constitutes legitimate faculty work beyond classroom teaching. I believe that we should continue this discussion and perhaps come up with some kind of umbrella policy outlining the domain of materials to be encompassed by the term “faculty work load”.

Finally, the system people are now exploring alternatives to the now outdated/obsolete SIS. It looks like it is becoming more apparent that finding people willing to even learn the old programming language is next to impossible. I’ll try and keep you abreast of this. If we want, they are willing to brief us on their progress.

I hope your semester is progressing well. Please let me know of any issues or concerns you and your constituents would like us to address.