||Jane M. Fraser
News from the AAUP sent Monday March 3
In the interest of keeping people informed, members of AAUP (American Association of University Professors) will be sending periodic emails to all university faculty, staff, and students, reporting on recent meetings and information. This is the first such email.
- On Monday Feb 24, Professor David Dillon mailed a letter to faculty, staff, and administration. It began “I am writing concerning the deterioration of the relationship between the Faculty and the Provost. I am concerned for the future of this university under his leadership.“ The complete text of the letter can be read here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/209056026/DiMare-Provost-Wright
- On Wednesday Feb 26, numbers were presented at the University Budget Board (UBB) meeting that indicate that the current budget shortfalls are not due primarily to enrollment drops but rather to increases in expenses, including increases in health insurance costs.
- On Friday Feb 28, about 40-45 faculty members met with Dorothy Horrell, chair of the CSU-Pueblo Board of Governors. The audio of the meeting is here: http://youtu.be/sSVulTuL5ng. The Chieftain story by Anthony Mestas is here: http://www.chieftain.com/news/2335473-120/horrell-board-csu-institution. The Board’s approval of $5 million at its last meeting is “a pretty strong statement” of support, but the Board also has an expectation some things have to change; tough decisions must be faced to get CSU-Pueblo stabilized. She does not have the facts about CSU-Pueblo’s funding as compared to other regional universities in Colorado. “Let me talk more with the right folks.” CSU-Pueblo must retain and attract students, must be a quality institution. She seemed surprised at how angry faculty are over the way that cuts were made without faculty involvement; surprised at our perception that the Chancellor has been disrespectful and insulting to the university and our region; surprised at our lack of confidence in the provost; and surprised at our perception that the Board is intent on punishing us. She stressed that the faculty handbook states that there will be a 12+12 load, but seemed surprised at our points about the implications of the lack of release time being granted for next year. When asked if it is possible for CSU-Pueblo to be self-sufficient, Governor Horrell said she doesn’t know, but that it should be something we are working toward.
- We are gathering information to confirm or disconfirm rumors that, if CSU-Pueblo were funded at the rate per FTE that the independent state universities are (e.g. Fort Lewis, Adams State), CSU-Pueblo’s base funding would be conservatively $5 million more. A decision was made a number of years ago that, as part of the rich CSU system, CSU-Pueblo did not need the base funding rate of these other institutions.
- The Provost continues to press for consideration of a 16-week semester. In fall semester 2013, the Faculty Senate requested documentation of how our current semester puts us out of compliance with HLC or other rules; this request has received no response. The Provost states that the Board of Governors is unlikely to approve a 2015-2016 schedule that does not add a week to each semester.
- In an email, Chancellor Martin stated: “I would note that CSU-Pueblo students are currently paying fulltime faculty salaries for faculty not working fulltime (see April 5, 2013 University Budget Board report and Faculty Handbook workload policy section 126.96.36.199).” Section 188.8.131.52 states: “The teaching assignment for full-time probationary and full-time tenured faculty shall be the equivalent of twenty-four (24) semester credit hours in an academic year. The teaching assignment for part-time probationary and tenured faculty in shared appointments shall be a minimum of twelve (12) semester credit hours in an academic year.” Section 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 include descriptions of the process for determining equivalencies and for assignment of release time including “consideration of scholarly or creative activities or assigned administrative duties.” President DiMare and Provost Wright have made clear that in 2013-2014 all faculty will teach 12+12 with reductions only for grant funded activity and administrative assignments, not for scholarly or creative activities.
- The president has not responded to two letters sent to her by the national AAUP calling for her response concerning cutting off of Professor McGettigan’s email access. See http://aaupcolorado.org/2014/02/19/letters-from-national-aaup-to-colorado-state-university-leadership-met-with-silence/ for more information.
- Faculty members at Fort Lewis College are in a dispute with their administration. “On February 7th, 2014, the Fort Lewis College (FLC) Board of Trustees (BOT) unanimously voted to change FLC curriculum from a three- and four- credit mix to an all three-credit model against the apparent will of a majority of faculty and students at the institution. This is the first time in the history of FLC that the BOT, advised by the FLC Administration, has overruled the will of the faculty on matters pertaining to curriculum, violating the AAUP’s principles of shared governance. This vote was based on a manufactured crisis generated by Provost Barbara Morris and President Dene Kaye Thomas.” See http://aaupcolorado.org/2014/02/24/fort-lewis-college-shared-governance-denied/ for more information.
- Student Academic Services and First Year Program are being merged into a new Center for Academic Enrichment.
- The Senate has sent a letter to the Provost calling for his improvement in several areas. In an effort to improve his communication, the Provost will be visiting department meetings in each academic department this semester.
News from the AAUP sent Tuesday March 11
- As a follow up to her Feb 28 meeting with the CSU-Pueblo faculty and other groups, Dorothy Horrell, chair of the CSU-Pueblo Board of Governors, sent an open letter to the CSU-Pueblo Campus Community. It can be viewed at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/36942507/DHorrell0306.pdf.
- In my last email, I mentioned “rumors that, if CSU-Pueblo were funded at the rate per FTE that the independent state universities are (e.g. Fort Lewis, Adams State), CSU-Pueblo’s base funding would be conservatively $5 million more.” A PowerPoint slide that can be viewed at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/36942507/Additional%20Resources-2oneslideonly.pptx shows estimates of state support. While CSU-Pueblo receives less state funding per FTE than the University of Northern Colorado, Adams State, and Western State, we receive more than Fort Lewis College, Colorado Mesa, and Metro State. When state support and tuition are considered together, CSU-Pueblo receives less support than all the institutions except Colorado Mesa and Metro State.
- At the March 6 meeting of the Academic Council, Provost Wright invited Roosevelt Wilson (CSU-Pueblo Director of EEO/AA & Title IX Affirmative Action) to speak about hostile workplace environment. Mr. Wilson’s handout defines hostile work environment: “Includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it alters the conditions of employment or limits, interferes with or denies educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint. NOTE: Mere rudeness is not sufficient to prove a hostile work environment – conduct needs to be objectively offensive.” Mr. Wilson stressed that there must be consistent behaviors targeted at a specific individual. The language “hostile work environment” is connected to specific laws concerning protected categories of people. His handout lists impacts on productivity and human relations: intentionally decreasing work effort; intentionally decreasing time spend at work; intentionally decreasing quality of work; lost work time worrying about the incident; lost work time avoiding the offender; decline in work performance; decline in commitment to the organization; taking frustration out on customers. He pointed out that many studies show that this is increasing across many workplace.
- The March 9 Pueblo Chieftain newspaper contains a letter from Physics professor William Brown titled “Professors do more than just teach classes.” The letter can be read here: http://www.chieftain.com/opinion/letters/2322261-120/students-classes-pueblo-teaching.
- A number of faculty have submitted applications for early retirement and have been told that they will be notified very soon if their application has been accepted. No further information has been made public since the applications deadline, Feb 28.
- The list of budget reductions for 2013-2014 includes a savings by the elimination of the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President. However, since the person holding that position had been a faculty member and that position was not filled, this savings is actually a loss of a faculty position in that department.
- A long-time CSU-Pueblo lecturer whose position is being eliminated in 2013-2014 has taught courses in Chicano studies and, thus, the elimination of her position reduces resources for that program.