University of Denver
President Leon Giles opened the meeting at 12:08
Note of information: Leon Giles noted that Provost Coombe could not attend the senate meeting
Review and Approval of Minutes
Minutes will need to be amended to the effect that the criminal background check motion was passed at the last senate meeting rather than tabled as indicated in the minutes. Minutes were approved pending changes/amendments.
The report was deferred pending the arrival of Patti Helton and Christine Austin.
Overview: Giles described the preceding 24 hours as unusual and exciting. He reported that the chancellors announcement of the newly created position of president and the appointment of Marc Holtzman to the position came as a complete surprise to the entire university community. No provost or vice provost was invited into the discussion. Deans heard about it at 2:00. The news conference was at 3:00. The press had been alerted on the morning of the announcement. Giles commented to the chancellor that the university was in shock and would continue to be shocked. He found the lack of process very disappointing. He made his displeasure know and hopes he reflected the views of the senate and collective faculty body. In his comments to Joy Burns, Giles tried to communicate to her that the board has a moral and in some respects a legal contracta responsibility--to involve the faculty, and the broader university, in issues relative to governance that have a potential impact on the direction the university is going. He tried to convey that a breach of this contract had been made. Burns and the chancellor both responded that the BOT did not have time to follow process. Giles told Burns that his greatest disappointment is that the board did not insist on some form of process. The chancellors comments to the press indicated that creating and filling the position of president clearly was a BOT decision and not a faculty issue. When asked what the new presidents responsibilities will be, the chancellor could offer no job descriptionas it has not been writtenbut responded that he and the president will operate as an office of the chancellor. The job was not posted. No affirmative action considerations were made. It was just done. Stedman made three observations: 1) CSU had a search committee, 2) he heard that presidents job will be fund raising and suggested that might be an affront to the office of advancement, and 3) there are legal requirements associated with filling positions. Giles asked for input regarding how to move forward. He expressed concern that the minutes be precisely recorded. He offered two options to ensure accuracy: record the meeting or have several volunteers take minutes and compare notes. Motion: It was moved and seconded that this portion of the meeting be recorded. Several senators asked the purpose of ensuring accuracy. Susan Sadler suggested that the goal of ensuring accuracy is not to attribute comments to individual senators, but rather the real value is to senate down the road as some one will want to know how the senate addressed the concern. She suggested that in transcribing the minutes the secretary should indicate questions and responses but should not attribute statements. Sadlers suggestion was accepted as a friendly amendment. The motion passed.
Discussion: Question: Has a motion been made regarding whether or not the BOT can create positions and make appointments at this level? Response: Historically trustees have been free to do as they pleased. Comment: What ever we do should be constructive. The university should not be harmed; neither should we faculty be impugned. Giles should talk with the chancellor and with Joy Burns. Question: Did the chancellor really say that he and the president would act as the office of the chancellor? Response: Yes. Comment: That is disturbing. Question: Will the provost reporting line change? Response: The chancellor said that it would not. Comment: It is clear that Chancellor Ritchie is viewed as owning the university and, as such, is free to create and fill positions. Comment: Marc Holtzman will have no one reporting to him and is intended to serve the purpose of extending the life of the chancellor. Comment: From the perspective of the chair of the BOT, in business the president can do as he pleases, and a university president should be able to do the same. We need to improve the integrity of the appointment process. The legitimacy of the appointee will be questions when the process is questionable. Comment: Even if Holtzman will contribute to DUs success, he has been put in a position in which he will be viewed negatively although he was not responsible for the process. Comment: There is some truth to that, but if the person had the qualifications that we need, he would insist on processhe wouldnt take the job without insisting on process. A moral contract was broken. Although some things are lawful, they are not necessarily helpful to the community. At other institutions appointing leadership is a community-building process. The way things were done here undermines community and impedes the gentlemans success. Maybe the senate can do the work that the trustees should have done. Hold three open meetings and ask for the collective wisdom of the community. Comment: The idea of open forum is a good one. Filling the position is more of a human resources issue; the greater concern is creating the position. The senate should form a committee to address how positions are created. We should look into the process here but also should investigate how it is done at other universities. Regarding comparisons to a business model, we should heed the example of Enron as corporate governance becomes more scandalouswe should not emulate their problems. Comment: There are three principal business models: proprietorships, corporations, and partnerships. We should be a partnership. If we can build into our process something relative to accountability, constructive alternatives can come out of this issue. Comment: The parallel with business governance is striking, considering that there was a clear breach of moral contract at American Airlines. Comment: All we went through to get this conversation started speaks volumes about the atmosphere of the community. We should not have to go through this. Comment: We cannot have communication without trust. We lost some of that because our idea of trust is not the same as in other parts of the university. We have seen this before. The university eliminated a sport in the fall with no processit is gone. We did not do that before. We took such issues all the way through the board. Our job is to get back to education, community, and trust building. FEAC and the Athletic Committee have degenerated from opportunities to reinforce process to discussion forums. We need to think of how we can reinforce process and push it back up into administration. Comment: No one is questioning the right of the trustees to do what they didthey have the right. The question is whether they did the right thing. Comment: We need to determine what our goal will be. Whether we like it or not, what ever is done is done. We might look toward the future with regard to the chancellors heir apparent. Comment: There are a couple of options: discuss faculty displeasure and reservations in the form of a senate resolution or make plans around arranging conversations with the BOT and consider a resolution at some future time. We need to consider what happens when the chancellor retires and lay the ground-work for our involvement in the process of replacing him. Comment: We have something in place to address the communication issue with the chancellorthe roundtable. The question is whether or not we want to call a general faculty meeting to discuss resolutions, censure, or a vote of no confidence. North Central will be concerned because faculty governance issue has been important to them. These are not recommendations but an exploration of options. Question: Has there ever been a search for a chancellor at DU? Response: Several instances in which there were extensive searches were cited. Comment: The Chronicle of Higher Education no doubt will be in touch with Giles. Should we hold a forum simply for faculty to vent? Comment: CSU rallied and went on record. We shouldnt roll over. Despite looking forward to having Holtzman on board, the senate needs to make a statement in a public way. Motion: It was moved and seconded that the senate call a general faculty meeting. Question: What would the agenda be? Responses: Venting, not being invited to the table, how to get back to the table. Question: Is there a constitutional requirement that the senate meet with the chancellor? Response: Yes. Question: If we flex our muscles now, are we doing more harm than good? Comment: We are dealing with two separate issueswhether to call a general faculty meeting and whether to support a motion of censure. This is not a short-term issue but a long-term issue. It is not just a faculty issue. The entire community was left out. What can we do to work with deans to respond to this issue? The executive committee must work with administration to create a workable process. Comment: The guy might be great but in the vacuum of information we jump to the worst conclusions. If we jump to the best, we might not think about censuring the chancellor. We might think about congratulating the chancellor. We have been on the cover of the post. The chancellor is considered one of the best chancellors around the country even if we dont view him that way. We are a very contentious senate. It is not surprised that the chancellor does not trust the faculty. Comment: The issue is not that the chancellor does not trust the faculty. It is a matter of that not being a part of his process. Comment: It was clear in the press conference that the circumvention of the faculty was intentional. Joy Burns stated explicitly that the BOT did not include the faculty because in the process because to do so would have caused more problems than we currently have. The spirit of her comment indicated that the goal of their actions was an end-run around the faculty and community to make certain that Holtzmans appointment at DU would not be thwarted as it was at CSU. Comment: We have to make a strong statement. Comment: There is a motion on the floor to call a general faculty meeting. Comment: The constitution proscribes that the provost be there. Comment: There is a long list of people to be invited. Comment: It is important to decide what the desired outcome should be. Do we wish to suggest that a particular committee be established to determine what an appropriate outcome would be? Otherwise the meeting can spin out of control. Comment: We do not need to form another committee; the executive meeting can be called to discuss desired outcomes and to communicate via e-mail to senators concerning which direction we want to go. Comment: The fear of having the meeting spin out of control is understandable, but that could avoided by organizing the meeting carefully. Allow the first half hour for venting and use the rest of the time for determining direction. Motion: It was moved and seconded that the motion on the floor be tabled. The motion carried, and the original motion to call for a general faculty meeting was tabled.
Committee Reports: NCRDennis Barrett: Barrett reminded the senate that the next meeting of the senate will be an election meeting. Catherine Potter and Nancy Sampson have been nominated for president. He listed several posts still needing nominations.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 1:40.