Chief Diversity Officer search on track for February announcement

Faculty Council hears updates, including strategic planning progress

The search for a chief diversity officer for the CU system is advancing on schedule, the Faculty Council was told during its Jan. 23 meeting at 1800 Grant St., Denver.

Felicity O’Herron, chief human resources officer for the system, said the search committee’s work is on track to allow for a late February announcement of President Mark Kennedy’s choice for the role.

Some 31 candidates’ resumes were reviewed by the search committee, which expects to conduct interviews with a pool of six or seven.

O’Herron said the person in the new role will report to President Kennedy and will collaborate with chief diversity officers at the campus level. While the system officer will have some oversight over the work being done at the campuses, campus officers will not report to the system CDO.

O’Herron said a faculty pay equity analysis previously suggested by Faculty Council remains under consideration. Possible changes to state law regarding the matter have slowed progress, but leadership plans to hire a consultant “to help us work through some questions,” she said.

Also at last week’s Faculty Council meeting:

  • The strategic planning process continues along its timeline, with working groups delivering recommended metrics to leadership last week. Todd Saliman – system vice president for finance and chief financial officer, and co-chair of the strategic planning committee – said summaries of the metrics should be posted to the strategic planning website around Feb. 8. Action steps from working groups are due to leadership on March 13.
  • The council heard an update from representatives of EY-Parthenon, which was awarded a contract to provide advice and guidance to the university in its efforts to advance online education across the CU system. The consulting work so far has included interviews of 70 faculty members. Early findings in market research show that Colorado residents have a strong willingness to consider choosing online programs from CU campuses, while consideration is lower in surrounding states and beyond. Details will be posted soon on a website, with CU town halls and focus groups expected later.
  • Callie Rennison, candidate for the Board of Regents in the 2nd District, attended the meeting for a Q&A session. A Democrat and resident of Superior, she’s running for the seat held by Linda Shoemaker, D-Boulder, who is not seeking reelection. Rennison, a professor in the School of Public Affairs at CU Denver, has received endorsements from Shoemaker and Regents Irene Griego, D-Jefferson County, and Lesley Smith, D-Boulder. Faculty Council Chair Joanne Addison said the council aims to invite all candidates for regent to appear at a council meeting. The council does not endorse candidates for regent.