Office of Digital Education making progress on campus agreements, leadership search

Update on online initiative presented to Faculty Council

Office of Digital Education making progress on campus agreements, leadership search

An overarching service agreement between the four CU campuses and the systemwide Office of Digital Education (ODE) is expected to be completed soon, Faculty Council was told last week.

Michael Lightner, vice president of Academic Affairs, updated the governance group during its March 18 meeting, held virtually. Consultant Gregory Finkelstein of the firm Talent Development also appeared.

“We’re right at the finish line to try to get this thing signed,” Finkelstein said. The service agreement will detail roles, responsibilities and financial details of the relationship between campus units and ODE.

Lightner said the campus Faculty Assemblies have been involved in developing the service agreement.

Ongoing online education efforts have two streams of work: One continues the evolution of ODE, while the second focuses on academic program efforts on campuses. Programs and ODE – which provides online support services such as recruiting, marketing, learning solutions and student success – will mutually agree on when to partner.

A search for a permanent leader of ODE, announced in January, is underway, Lightner said. Lightner and Faculty Council Vice Chair Maja Krakowiak are among the members of the search committee, which is chaired by CU Boulder Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke.

As described by President Mark Kennedy, the new leader of ODE will “help focus its role as a service center for the campuses. The academic focus will clearly remain anchored at the campuses, with ODE supporting those efforts by providing services in marketing, student success and more.”

The online education effort had been led on an interim basis by Scot Chadwick, who served as interim associate vice president for online learning, and Sheana Bull, who served as interim senior faculty fellow for online learning. Bull has returned to her faculty position in the Colorado School of Public Health and Chadwick resigned after completing his assignment.

As for the ramifications related to intellectual property developed for digital education, Lightner said current practices differ dramatically among campuses, schools and colleges. “We don’t see this coming into shape until January 2022,” he said.

In other business at last week’s Faculty Council meeting:

  • Diana White, chair of the Budget Committee, reported progress on achieving greater engagement for the committee in the annual systemwide budgeting process. The system Budget and Finance Office will communicate details with the committee as it does for the Board of Regents. The committee also is at work on a revised charge; the council approved revised charges submitted by the Communication Committee and Personnel and Benefits Committee. The council also began reviewing a proposed charge submitted by an ad hoc (Dis)ability and Access Committee, the formation of which is being considered.
  • The council continued its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work with Brenda Allen, professor emerita and former Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion (Chief Diversity Officer) at CU Denver | CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Her presentation on Cultivating Inclusion may be viewed here
  • Faculty Council Chair Joanne Addison reminded council members that the April 22 Faculty Senate meeting will include elections of officers – chair, vice chair and secretary – for 2021-22.