Faculty Council begins year with eye on big picture

Budget, ramifications of potential school discontinuance among discussion points

The University of Colorado Faculty Council's first meeting of the academic year featured members in new roles setting the table for big-picture issues that loom.

On Thursday, Aug. 26, at 1800 Grant St., last year's chair, John McDowell, passed the gavel to this year's chair, Mark Malone, who previously had the post in 2002-2004 (read his answers to Five Questions here).

Malone touched on several topics he expects to be dealing with, including the role of shared governance at the university and diminished state funding's impact on budgets. He said he'd like to reinstate a retreat for Faculty Council members because it would provide a casual setting for brainstorming ideas that might not otherwise arise. "The idea for a tuition waiver came out of a faculty retreat," he said.

Malone's campus, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, is concluding a two-year pilot program that allowed faculty and staff to transfer their tuition waiver benefit to an immediate family member. E. Jill Pollock, senior associate vice president and chief human resource officer, told the council that a review of comparable university systems nationally is under way to study how similar programs work elsewhere. The results of those findings would help administrators determine whether the UCCS pilot program might be expanded throughout the university.

Also at last week's meeting:

Malone said the announcement of a committee forming to study the discontinuance of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at CU-Boulder provides "a good time to look at the rules for program discontinuance. I think we've got a pretty solid set of rules for what happens, but it's certainly never pleasant."

Clayton Leiws, chair of the Privilege and Tenure Committee, said that "any discontinuance process is fraught with all kinds of potential conflicts. We'll have to make sure the process is done in the best and fairest way. There's certainly the potential for (Privilege and Tenure) cases to arise from that." (For the latest on the SJMC, click here.)

Lewis said the Privilege and Tenure committee will be restructured now that most recent chair Weldon Lodwick has stepped down from the post. Though Lewis will chair the Faculty Senate's committee, he will be aided by four campus chairs. "They will be the initial points of contact on the campuses," he said.