Regents notes: Civic literacy; tenure approval


During the Sept. 7 Board of Regents meeting at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, the University Affairs Committee reported that it intends to engage faculty in a conversation about potential for promoting civic literacy education across the university.

Committee Chair John Carson, R-Highlands Ranch, said he wanted to explain the committee’s position to the board in light of media reports indicating he and others had called for a civic literacy requirement for CU students.

“We are exploring whether we need to have more focus on (civics) in the academic realm,” Carson said. “I recognize the faculty takes the lead on these matters. But it is very appropriate for the Board of Regents to put the question out there. We want to open a dialogue with (faculty) and get some ideas put out on the table.

“I think it might have come off initially as some sort of mandate we were going to push, but that’s not the way we come to decisions at the university.”

As Sunday’s 230th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution approaches, Carson said he has grown concerned over the country “failing to teach young people the fundamentals of American civics,” citing the writing of Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn.

Regent Irene Griego, D-Lakewood, said she firmly believes curriculum is the faculty’s responsibility. “I’m very excited about hearing from our faculty regarding how they see not only this topic but future topics we should be looking at – what is taught and what should be taught at our university.”

Regent Heidi Ganahl, R-Superior, said she appreciates Carson’s efforts on the topic, and that the university shouldn’t be dissuaded from examining the issue because of those who believe the responsibility for teaching civics should be that of the K-12 system. Griego said it’s important to consider the pre-K-16 continuum and potential partnerships between higher education and public schools.

In other business at last week’s Board of Regents meeting:

  • The board approved one appointment with tenure: Catherine A. Simmons, School of Public Affairs, UCCS, effective Sept. 9.
  • Faculty Council Chair Ravinder Singh read a statement from the governance group that followed the previous week’s discussion on Regent Carson’s involvement in a legal matter: “The Faculty Council endorses Regent Law Article 10 relating to non-discrimination, and appreciates the deliberate efforts made by our university to prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation and to provide benefits to same-gender couples. We thank Regent John Carson and appreciate him for clarifying his position and clearly articulating his support for the Regent Law on non-discrimination and for the university’s provision of benefits to same-gender couples. We recognize the importance of the university’s support of the LGBTQ+ community and the impact of that support on members of the CU community as well as people across the state of Colorado.  We are all committed to having an open dialogue as these issues arise. The Faculty Council endorses Regent Laws and Policies and expects all members of the University of Colorado community to uphold them.”
  • The board heard a report on how the staff compensation merit pool was distributed for the current fiscal year.
  • The board approved a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program at CU Boulder, as well as plans there for a 19th Street bridge and pedestrian path. Read more in CU Boulder Today.
  • Distinguished Professors John Hobbins, M.D., and Ernest E. Moore, M.D., both of the CU School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus, were formally recognized for their designations, which were announced last year.