Faculty Council Committee Corner: Communications

Sharing of information vital to enhancing shared governance
By Staff

Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing CU Connections series in which the Faculty Council highlights each of its committees and their efforts.

Faculty Council Communications Committee

Committee directive/charge
The Communications Committee is charged with enhancing the shared governance process within the University of Colorado system by improving communication to faculty, staff and administration. The committee does this by informing our constituents of Faculty Council meetings and activities, including changes to administrative policy statements, benefits and other personnel matters; identifying and coordinating the appropriate flow of and media used for communications among campuses and systemwide; announcing upcoming events of importance to faculty and staff; recognizing examples of excellence in the university; and soliciting opinions, analysis, ideas and content for systemwide communications regarding policies and events that affect faculty and staff.

Past committee activities
In the last three years, the committee embarked on two major projects. The first was an in-depth scan across the campuses to identify the communications channels by department, school, college and campus. The scan revealed there are dozens of channels in different formats, frequencies, etc., such as weekly/daily email updates, weekly email newsletters, listservs and website bulletin boards. The second project was a systemwide communications survey to all staff and faculty about their preferences for the type, amount and format of communications on policies, events, achievements and other matters.  Some major themes from this survey included a desire for more timely information on policy changes; more coordination among the news sources; more accessible information via websites or an RSS; and more editorial content in systemwide communication vehicles.

Current and future goals
The results of both activities are guiding our current goal for this academic year: to increase involvement in shared governance by improving communications to all staff and faculty regarding current policies and policy changes. We are working on three objectives toward this goal.

Our first step is to gain a better understanding of the flow of information from the system administration to the faculty governance groups and ultimately to all faculty. This will allow us to identify or establish the best channels of communication in response to the survey, such as new web pages to store past communications or a guidebook for faculty on the types of communications and policies and how to find different types of information.

Second, we are looking for ways to include more opinion pieces and subjective commentary in CU Connections as an additional way for promoting cross-campus dialogue on important policy matters and thus, shared governance.

Our last objective is to support the work of the other Faculty Council committees. This includes highlighting the work of each of these committees, drawing attention to issues in front of them that could benefit most from input and feedback, and promoting their events.

Committee members
All Faculty Council committees have representatives from the CU system and each of the campuses. The Communications Committee is currently recruiting for four additional representatives (two from CU Boulder, two from CU Denver). Please direct any questions to Committee Chair Carrie Makarewicz (

  • Carrie Makarewicz, Chair, CU Denver, Architecture and Planning
  • Carmen Stavrositu, Vice Chair, CU Colorado Springs, Communication
  • Dana Brandorff, CU Anschutz, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Neil Box, CU Anschutz, Medicine
  • Christina Martinez, CU Colorado Springs, Kraemer Family Library
  • Ken McConnellogue, CU system, Vice President, University Communication
  • Cathy Beuten, CU system, University Relations
  • Jay Dedrick, CU system, University Relations

Click here for more information on the Communications Committee.