Faculty Council tries to reach compromise with regents on guiding principle

Group recommends revised language for board's consideration in June

The Faculty Council recommended new wording for items in the Board of Regents' Guiding Principles, a policy that has garnered extensive debate from regents and governing groups over the past several months.

Council members acted in response to the latest draft of the guidelines that the regents put forth at their April meeting, including emphasis on promoting political, intellectual and philosophical diversity among faculty.
Representing the Educational Policy and Uniform Standards (EPUS) committee, Nancy Ciccone presented a revised item that instead borrows language from the Board of Regents' laws and policies. Besides language regarding nondiscrimination, the council suggested adding "diversity of political, intellectual and philosophical perspectives among faculty and other members of the university community" as a way of meeting the regents halfway.

"We're looking at trying to come up with a compromise that's palatable," said Mark Malone, whose term as chair of the council begins July 1. "It's not ideal."

The suggested language will be considered by the regents at their June meeting.

Ciccone also presented a report on an EPUS study of severance pay for faculty dismissed for cause, which stirred debate among council members. The report noted concerns over public perception of the practice, but said eliminating such a practice would serve to further demoralize faculty faced with economic constraints.

Joe Rosse emphasized the public perception issue, saying that supporting such a policy makes faculty "look really, really bad."

"This will make us look as if we're completely self-serving and it's going to hurt our credibility," he said.

Roxanne Byrne recommended tabling the issue, which the council did. "This is a very complex issue, and we're not ready to make a statement," she said.

Also at Thursday's meeting, the council presented its annual awards. Leonard Dinegar, vice president for administration and chief of staff, was named administrator of the year (see related story). Byrne, math professor at the University of Colorado Denver, received the distinguished service award. Council Chair John McDowell, School of Dental Medicine, whose term ends next month, received a plaque recognizing his years of service, including the past two terms as chair.