Regents pass revised version of motion on severance pay

Board also calls for promotion of voter registration via student information system

The University of Colorado Board of Regents unanimously passed a long-discussed resolution on severance pay in cases of dismissal for cause, but only after making an amendment to the motion proposed by the Faculty Council.

As proposed, the motion stated that, “The Board of Regents may vote to deny one year of severance pay in cases of dismissal for cause.” At Wednesday’s board meeting at the University of Colorado Boulder East Campus, some board members said they didn’t want the board to be placed in the position of denying severance, and passed an amendment to the language changing “deny” to “grant.”

“The faculty has put the regents into a position to ‘deny’ – that’s your language,” Regent Steve Bosley said before the vote. “I am irritated with it. I characterize this as a negative rather than a positive.” That language had been adopted by the Faculty Council at its latest meeting.

Regent Joe Neguse asked Faculty Council Chair Mark Malone how crucial it was to retain language regarding severance pay in cases of dismissal for cause; Malone said it is tremendously important to faculty, because it provides a baseline negotiation point in such rare instances. The university has had only four cases of faculty dismissal for cause in its history.

“I would hope the faculty would recognize (that this revised language) is pretty reasonable,” Neguse said. “It still includes a severance provision.”

In other action on Wednesday, the first day of the two-day meeting:

  • The board unanimously passed a resolution, proposed by Neguse, promoting civic engagement of the student body. It calls for the university to give students the opportunity to register to vote in Colorado while registering for classes via the student portal. The resolution asks administrators to have such a process in place by fall 2012.
  • The board heard an update on the status of journalism education at CU-Boulder following the discontinuance of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The journalism program has 653 undergraduates this fall, an increase of 30 students over last year. Recommendations from leadership regarding a new entity to take the place of the SJMC are due in March 2012.