Faculty Council Committee Corner: Communications

Group’s latest initiatives include launch of Faculty Voices commentaries
By Staff

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

Faculty Council Committee Corner: Communications

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 among faculty, staff and administration in multiple ways.

The latest news

This month, we announced a new commentary series in CU Connections, Faculty Voices. This new forum is designed to foster conversation about topics and issues on the minds of faculty at the four campuses. We welcome article proposals exploring timely topics through personal opinion, experience, or research. Faculty are invited to submit their commentary ideas to the Communications Committee here or see more in the Call for Proposals.

Last year’s activities

In the 2017-18 academic year, our committee worked on two new communication initiatives to help promote shared governance and dialogue across the four campuses. The first is this ongoing Committee Corner series. Four of the Faculty Council committees wrote articles about their activities throughout the year, including the Women’s Committee’s work on lactation pods, the Educational Policy and University Standards Committee’s work on Article 5 revisions, and the Ethnic and Minority Affairs Committee’s work on the cultural climate across campuses and their joint symposia with the LGBTQ+ Committee. Watch for more articles from the seven Faculty Council committees throughout this academic year.

Our second initiative was investigation into the new commentary series launched this month, Faculty Voices, mentioned above. To launch the Faculty Voices article, our committee presented the idea and handed out surveys at faculty assemblies during their meetings to gather feedback on how to structure the series and whether it would be a useful contribution. We received 46 responses from the assembly members with 72 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing and only 4 percent disagreeing with the proposal. Qualitative comments applauded the initiative and expressed enthusiastic support: Position debates are an excellent way to get involvement”; “Great idea! Thank you for proposing it!”, and “I think this is a great idea and way to get faculty voices heard across the entire CU system.” We also received several instructive comments that helped us to guide the structure of the Faculty Voices series:

“Do you have a committee to come up with themes?”

“It would be great to have some data in the proposal about how many people actually read Connections. Thank you for your work!”

“I think this is a great idea and way to get faculty voices heard across the entire CU system.”

“Need to have a process for choosing articles to allow for four-campus representation”

“How does this compare or compete with the local AMC news?”

Respondents also recommended incentives, such as certificates of recognition, letters for faculty dossiers, and an annual lunch for the authors and CU system leadership. Based on this input, we decided to offer CU promotional items and a letter of recognition. Our committee also proposed several topics for consideration in the call for commentaries and our process for selecting articles will monitor campus representation to ensure, as much as possible, equal representation.

Vote in the Faculty Voices poll.

We welcome your ideas for this series, and especially your commentary proposals!

Current Projects

This year, in addition to publishing the Faculty Voices commentaries, our major activity is the formulation of an online Faculty Communications Guidebook that will build upon the existing Faculty Handbooks from the system and each of the campuses to ensure faculty can easily find answers to all of their questions, whether it’s about benefits, grading, promoting your publications, or obtaining transit or parking passes on your campus, etc. While these answers are often available online, based on our initial research, the web locations are not always immediately evident. We believe a more centralized location for all of these topics that may span multiple issue areas but come together in a faculty member’s work could be an extremely useful resource. We will be working on this with departments across the system and campuses, with each assembly, and through a survey in early 2019. Our goal is to ensure we can build and maintain a website that will be dynamic and useful without replicating the work of others.

Committee members

All Faculty Council committees have representatives from the CU system and each of the campuses. The Communications Committee is currently recruiting for two representatives from CU Boulder. 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
 Jenny Filipetti, Secretary  CU Denver, Inworks
 Neil Box  CU Anschutz, Medicine
 Judy Scott  CU Colorado Springs, Nursing
 Lori Bryan  CU Colorado Springs, Trauma, Health, and Hazards Center
 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.