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Faculty Senate update

Budget updates, veteran student support and an address from President Davidson highlighted the assembly’s academic-year kickoff.

By Cory Phare

August 28, 2017

The first Faculty Senate meeting of the year took place in a packed house at the Tivoli on Wednesday. The meeting was called to order by Matt Makley, Faculty Senate president and professor of history.

MSU Denver President Janine Davidson kicked off the meeting with a brief address, highlighting meta-themes emerging from her listening tour of how we deliver on the mission of accessible high-quality education and how MSU Denver has challenges and opportunities in being a large institution with a small-school mindset.

“My top three priorities remain the same: students, students, students,” Davidson said. “And we have to make sure we’re taking care of the people who are taking care of them.”

She also reminded those who haven’t done so to fill out her five-question survey by Aug. 31 and emphasized how she’s looking forward to empowering faculty members as University leaders.

Davidson then fielded questions from attendees, highlighting the priority of fundraising to solidify a sustainable future; how the mechanics of communication contribute to change; and how the development of future successful alumni begins when they first set foot on campus.

Lauren Sullivan of veterans services and Michael Kolb of the Center for Faculty Excellence then spoke about an upcoming veteran student boot camp. Open to faculty and staff, the workshop offered Sept. 15 and in February will cover instructional techniques and resources to help improve veteran student learning.

Following an approval of previous meeting minutes, Faculty Senate committee and caucus chairs gave an update on duties and vacancies that need to be filled.

Makley then led an update on a budget task force. The recommendations he outlined included a 1 percent raise for full-time faculty to match CUPA tiers, along with a 2 percent across-the-board raise for all affiliate faculty. He explained that the approach was one of what was reasonable to ask without putting the University in a deficit.

Wrapping up the meeting, Makley encouraged all faculty to be enthusiastic in the classroom with their students about their choice to come to MSU Denver.

“Whether students know it or not, the value of their degree is increasing almost by the day,” he said. “From the alumni network to support services, it’s our job to take pride in our colleagues and community. When I get out of a lecture, it’s great to feel like we’ve really done something important here.”

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