Oct. 13, 2006 Communique
Pam Shockley-Zalabak, chancellor
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs supports its students who balance their work in the classroom with military service.
We can do more to ensure that our communication of this value, and our expectation of our campus community members, is clear.
That was the conclusion of a task force of faculty, staff and students who reviewed UCCS policy and practice in the treatment of students with military commitments. The task force was formed Sept. 5 by Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak in response to student concerns. She charged the committee to review UCCS policy and practice in the treatment of students with military commitments.
The task force undertook a rigorous review of existing policies, encouraged student comment, and contacted educational offices at local military bases to inquire if any problems were occurring.
We wish to thank the task force members, led by Jenenne Nelson, associate professor, Nursing, for their work.
While the task force found no substantial problems, it made several recommendations we believe will further clarify UCCS policy and help students understand both their rights and responsibilities.
The recommendation, and our response to them, follows.
Recommendation: Develop a checklist for all military students who have military deployments/activations during the course of a semester. The checklist should identify a single point of contact to assist student and students will be expected to produce copies of their orders.
Recommendation: Develop a policy requiring students to notify faculty at the beginning of the semester if there is potential that they may be activated.
Recommendation: Request a statement in all course syllabi notifying students about their personal responsibilities if called to military service.
Recommendation: Encourage the UCCS Veteran Affairs Office to inform students about their responsibilities if activated/deployed during the semester.
Recommendation: If a UCCS student elects to withdraw from a course due to military activation or deployment, a statement should be added to the student’s transcript that states the withdrawal was the result of military duty.
Recommendation: Continue with the 100 percent tuition refund for students who elect to withdraw from courses due to military activations or deployments.
Recommendation: Develop a UCCS policy that specifically addresses students who are called to active duty or deployed during the course of a semester. Post this policy on the Web with the checklist.
Recommendation: Request that the Army and Air Force add a statement to their deployment out-processing checklist that directs military members to make arrangements with the university to complete coursework or withdraw from the university prior to deployments.
Recommendation: Have the Information Technology Department develop for each course listed on the UCCS web site an “information chain” to help students understand where they should direct questions or concerns. This chain begins with the course instructor and continues with the department chair, the associate dean and dean of each college.
Recommendation: Develop a Frequently Asked Questions information page for military students, answering questions related to military activation/deployment.
We look forward to working with student government leadership, and university governance organizations representing faculty and staff, to implement these recommendations and to continuing to meet the needs of students who combine academic coursework with service to our country.