The Board of Regents on June 21 passed a notice of motion to move forward proposed revisions to articles 1, 5 and 7 of the laws of the regents, with some board members asking for further discussion about article 5 and the proposal to remove the word “liberal” from Regent Law and Policy.
Board Secretary Patrick O’Rourke said the board’s governance committee can be a forum to further discuss the issue and hear concerns.
The notice of motion the board passed moves the issue from the administration to the board, which is scheduled to vote on the issue in September at the earliest. The governance committee meets twice before then.
The item is part of a large-scale review of Regent Law and Policy that has been more than a year in process. Michael Lightner, vice president for academic affairs, said the phrase “liberal education” appears once in the laws and policies (including the university’s mission, vision and guiding principles). Part of the rationale for removing it is to align language across the laws and policies with the university’s other governance and guidance documents, including its mission, vision, guiding principles and state statutes.
The language in the policy is used to provide a context for academic freedom and reads, “The University of Colorado was created and is maintained to afford men and women a liberal education in the several branches of literature, arts, sciences, and the professions. These aims can be achieved only in that atmosphere of free inquiry and discussion, which has become a tradition of universities and is called ‘academic freedom.’”
Lightner said the move in no way reflects a change in CU’s long-standing commitment to providing students a broad-based education grounded in the liberal arts.
The recommendation was reviewed and sent to the board by the system Faculty Council, provosts, chancellors and the president.
“I think this process has been exceptional, transparent and open,” said Regent Kyle Hybl.