University of Denver
Special Faculty Senate
May 9, 2003
THE FACULTY SENATE CALLS A FACULTY SENATE MEETING ON FRIDAY, MAY 9TH AT 2:00 P.M. IN LINDSEY AUDITORIUM TO FORMULATE A FACULTY RESPONSE TO THE RECENT CREATION OF AND APPOINTMENT TO THE OFFICE OF UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT.
President Leon Giles opened the meeting at 2:27.
Giles distributed an outline of faculty concerns with the objective of providing shape to the discussion with the desired outcome being a faculty response to go to the Board of Trustees prior to their May 13, 2003 meeting. (See Appendix A.) He explained that a member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) suggested that the Senate consider a two-step approach with the BOT. First, the senate might go on record with the BOT, expressing the strong concerns the faculty has expressed with regard to the newly created position. The trustee expressed concern that it might be difficult for the Senate to craft a thoughtful, participative statement regarding how the faculty would like to proceed with drafting and approving constructive resolutions before May 13th. The faculty would have time to deliberate effectively regarding desired outcomes and allow the opportunity for a request for a full hearing by the BOT at its June meeting. The first order of business is to determine how we would like to proceed.
Jack Donnelly brought a resolution and distributed it as a counterpoint to Giless document to allow for a broader range of options. (See Appendix B.)
Motion #1: Dennis Barrett moved that we make a bi-partite response, crafting a very brief response today to present to the BOT on Tuesday, with the goal of presenting resolutions to the board for consideration at their June meeting. The motion was seconded.
Arthur Best stated that he was impressed with most of Donnellys motion and called for a straw vote.
Ved Nanda agreed that Donnellys proposal is a fine one but suggested a small committee work together over the next few days to fashion an even stronger message.
Joe Szyliowicz assessed the proposal as a good on, offering only a small dissenting argument. He proposed calling upon the administration for input as well. The statement should be a clear definitive communication of what we as a faculty would like to see done.
Giles expressed apprehension that most of what we heard on Wednesday was peoples concerns and not much about remedy. He fears that the faculty has not had time to think through remedies.
A question from the floor addressed an apparent contradiction between proceeding with caution and responding by Tuesday.
Nanda reiterated the motion to offer a bipartite response.
Donnelly added that he sees nothing incompatible between the manner in which we have proceeded and the motion he drafted. He noted the general faculty meeting and roundtable with the chancellorboth well attended. People are angry and hurt. We need to ask for acknowledgment of that. A second important point we need to address is entering into on-gong discussions about how to deal with the theory and practice of shared governance. Minimally, we should ask for representation on the board. He expressed shock that Chancellor Ritchie offered his support of an outside academic on the BOT. This is something that many of us have wanted for an awfully long time. These are the right things to do right away.
Susan Stakel would support sending Donnellys resolution to the BOT as the initial communication and saying that more will comer later. She finds it problematic that the board sees faculty as talking things to death. Sending Donnellys resolution would demonstrate that the faculty can move definitively.
Nanda recommended that a small committee meet now, along with this sending Donnellys resolution.
Laura Johnson added her support of Donnellys resolution. She began to raise concerns regarding Marc Holtsmans appointment when Giles ruled the discussion out of order because it did not address the motion on the floor.
Johnson asked how such concerns fit into the conversation.
Donnelly asked to amend Barretts motion to include his resolution as the initial communication to the BOT.
Don Stedman suggested that Donnellys resolution is a wonderful document but thinks it could be made more effective with more deliberation. He proposed some wordsmithing and drafting a shorter communication to the board.
Giles called for the question. Motion #1 carried.
Motion #2: Donnelly moved that his resolution be used as the first communication to the board. The motion was seconded.
Margaret Whitt expressed concern regarding the first point of Donnellys resolution, finding it contentious, and proposed its removal. It asks the board to admit that they did something wrong, and that will not happen.
Stedman suggested the statement be edited to read,
that the process by which the office of President was created and filled
[might be considered]
was incompatible with the Universitys values of
inclusiveness, collaboration, involvement, and responsiveness.
Donnelly suggested the process[might reasonably be considered] incompatible. He explained that he included the wording not for himself but because it reflected a great concern expressed by the faculty at the general faculty meeting. He noted that several people feel that the statement does not go far enough.
Giles expressed concern that the discussion was degenerating into an argument over language, adding that call #1 in Donnellys resolution runs the risk of inflaming the board against any of the other recommendations.
Donnelly accepted Whitts amendment as friendly and deleted #1.
Chip Reichardt questioned whether the issues were properly focused in Donnellys document. He noted the phrase anxious to assure that no appointment at the University ever again be made through an uncollaborative process, emphasizing the word no. He wondered how inclusive the process needs to be. He asked, Suppose the chancellor had consulted with Leon. Suppose that Leon approved. Would we still be upset?
Szyliowicz expressed his displeasure at having to go through a non-inclusive process over and over again. We have an opportunity to restructure the relationship of faculty to the chancellor and to the BOT. He urged the senate to come up with a serious list of concerns starting out with the general kinds of statements that Donnelly made. He is interested in what priorities will be set for fundraising and faculty involvement in those decisions. There is a whole range of decisions in which faculty should be involved. We should frame our discussion within the issue of faculty governance, using this only as an example, and moving on to see how we can restructure relationships.
Catherine Potter sees the pros of making a strong statement and asking for something immediately but also recognizes the cons of possibly failing to ask for all that we want. She asked if the faculty would be satisfied with making a strong statement of concerns now and following with recommendations.
Donnelly proposed forwarding the resolution as one that was tabled for consideration at next senate meeting. The BOT would be informed that the resolution should be considered a starting point from which we will move forward. That approach offers all of the pros and none of the cons.
John Tripp stated that he found the first paragraph of Donnellys resolution offensive, almost nasty. He began to address at length several points regarding Chancellor Ritchies contributions to the university.
Linda Cobb-Reiley interjected as a point of order that conversation had been stopped earlier because it was considered not to be relevant to the motion on the floor. She called for the president to respond to all such conversation consistently.
Giles began to rule the conversation out of order when Tripp asked to make one more point. Giles granted the request.
Tripp noted that the chancellor has done great things for the university and does not deserve to be offended.
Giles said that Tripps point was well taken and noted his personal conflict with regard to the circumstances. He acknowledged that the chancellor is well respected in community and has accomplished tremendous efforts for the university. At the same time, we have this conflict to address. Participation in the governance of a university is fundamental to what a university is all about. It is a fundamental democratic principle. That participation is fragile at DU. We have to worry about it. We are worrying about how fragile our role is in participating in the governing process. This is just an example of the larger concern.
Ted Crane suggested that a portion of his document could be used as a preamble to Donnellys resolution. He read from the document: A sudden collapse of trust among the Universitys constituencies has erupted, threatening to upset the stability of the institution and to tarnish the reputation of the leader who during 14 years as Chancellor has provided tireless labor and munificent material generosity to an institution whose advancement he has made his lifes work. It is therefore fitting that the resolution of this crisis should include more than verbal exchanges seeking to resolve doubts and ease tensions. It should extend to practical actions which will also confront longstanding unmet institutional needs, thus facilitating DUs future progress. (For the full text, see Appendix C).
Potter proposed that a small group craft a response shorter than Giless and less contentious than Donnellys.
Donnelly noted that Potter had proposed a substitute and called for a straw poll. He added that if we go on the record, the statement should be strong. He proposed that the senate restrict our response to a verbal reaction and that the written presentation, focusing on change, should come later. He proposed that Giles be charged with expressing faculty views to the BOT.
Alton Barber responded to Donnellys first call in the resolution and suggested that if the faculty offends the board, they will not listen to the recommendations.
Senator??? Noted that we are not discussing anything about Dan Ritchie himself. He proposed we make the resolution strong enough that we have our feelings known and rectify the damaged relationship in terms of shared governance.
Reichardt agreed with Barbour that you cannot offend people and have them listen to you. BOT must have a document that guides them. We should use their language to help them live up to their charge.
Donnelly responded that his opening is taken from our mission and values. It is descriptive of what they did. When we commit ourselves to values, which they flagrantly violate, we should say that.
Nanda reiterated that the faculty should express a deep sense of concern regarding process, lack of consultation, the appointment and say it to the board on Tuesday. It should be explained that the faculty expressed a range of possible outcomes, which will be submitted to the BOT in June so that we as a community can move forward.
Barrett agreed with Nanda. He reminded the faculty that Donnelly asked that Leon be empowered to take the message to the BOT and asked Giles if he would be comfortable doing so.
Giles said that anything he would move forward to the BOT would be first forwarded to executive committee of the senate. He would never go forward without several sets of eyes reviewing the message. Any message that would go forward would need to represent the senate in the broadest sense. His guess is that he would not be invited to address the concerns at the boards meeting. He could ask that he be invited, but he could not guarantee an invitation because they control their agenda.
Laura Johnson noted that Chancellor Ritchie said he was open to including faculty in some kind of process. We can ask for some kind of voting power, some percentage of all donations to go to things that are important to faculty but hard to get funded.
??? took exception to Whitts earlier statement regarding what she viewed as the contentious nature of Donnellys first call. He said the senate response should address what the chancellor and board did. They should be given the opportunity to repent. He agreed with Annette Stotts comment during the roundtable that the title should be renegotiated.
Reichardt commented that the message should be descriptive, stating what happened and asking to determine what we should do now.
Barrett said we should talk about our reactions but should not offer remedies. We could use the language expressed in Wednesdays meeting: (a number of faculty offered possibilities-- insulted, outraged, violated, hurt).
Szyliowicz noted that the group was recapitulating importing themes and offered the reminder that the chancellor said that creating and defining the process by which his successor will be selected would be important. Thats a good thing. That particular item should stay very much in the forefront.
With regard to the status of his motion, Donnelly said he would leave it up to Giles.
Giles said that tabling the motion suggests that the faculty cannot make decisions.
Antonia Banducci noted the broad range of responses and concerns and suggested that a strong request to be invited to the May 13th executive committee meeting of the BOT would be important to keep the lines of communications open.
Motion #3: Donnelly substituted the motion on the floor for the following: The senate calls on the Board of Trustees to invite the president of the faculty senate to the May 13, 2003 executive committee meeting to make a presentation and initiate a conversation regarding the practice of shared governance at the university. The motion was seconded.
Sandy Dixon suggested the secretary be invited as well, believing it important to have two pairs of ears at the meeting. Discussion ensued regarding the appropriateness of inviting a second representative and who that person should be. The chair of financial planning was suggested, as that officer is second in command of the senate.
Donnelly rejected Dixons amendment as a friendly amendment, expressing the need to start with a conservative request because multiple representatives might be too much.
Banducci expressed concern that the statement leaps from concerns to governance, narrowing the focus too much.
Donnelly said his intent was to include a discussion of concerns to initiate the discussion regarding governance.
Reichardt suggested that the language of make a presentation is inclusive of addressing concerns.
Motion #4: Dixon wanted the amendment to stand, thus offered it as a motion. It was seconded.
Gordon Von Stroh agreed that two persons should go to the BOT meeting, with Giles as the Senates spokesperson and the other as an observer.
The motion carried. Motion #3 was amended.
Discussion ensued regarding the likelihood of the board extending an invitation to two representatives. Donnellys motion to call for the BOT to invite the president of the faculty senate was amended to representation.
Motion #3 now reads: The senate calls on the Board of Trustees to invite a representation from the faculty senate to the May 13, 2003 executive committee meeting to make a presentation and initiate a conversation regarding the practice of shared governance at the university. The motion carried.
Eddie Walden suggested a compromise, that the second person be the provost.
Giles said he could not commit the provost to attending.
Discussion ensured regarding the appropriate channel through
which contact should be made with the board.
Giles expressed concerned that because the senate is an officially constituted body, we will be governed by the requirements
Barrett read from the constitution to outline the appropriate procedure for requesting the invitation.
Nancy Sampson added that if all else fails, the senate should get it on the agenda of the FEAC.
Donnelly said he was not sure that the issue belongs in FEAC.
Sampson said that might be true, but it might be the only way to get the issue before the board.
Ari Kelman asked if there were any mechanism by which Giles could alert the senate if this modest was rejected.
Best said Giles could let the board know that the faculty will learn whether or not the request was declined.
Consensus was that approach would be too threatening.
Potter suggested that Giles had already developed relationships with members of the board and that she believed the request will be granted.
Giles called for senators and members of the faculty at large to comprise an ad hoc committee to work on the governance issue.
Barrett asked if Giles was referring to the committee that Szyliowicz mentioned that will address the theory of governance.
Giles said the committee should be ongoing. People like Eric Gould, who has written a book on the subject, would be a good candidate.
Johnson suggested the woman hired in conflict resolution.Tamera DeStree.
Barrettt and Giles said that nominations will be taken until next Wednesday. Giles called for senate volunteers. Nancy Sampson, Jack Donnelly, Cathy Potter, Joe Szyliowicz, and John Tripp volunteered. Sandy Dixon and Eric Gould were nominated.
After a motion for adjournment, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50.
BULLET POINT OUTLINE OF COMMUNICATION TO CHANCELLOR AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES CONCERNING CREATION OF AND APPOINTMENT TO THE POSITION OF UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT
(For the purpose of discussion: May 9, 2003)
Inform Chancellor and Trustees of faculty concerns.
Inform Chancellor and Trustees of further communication to follow proposing constructive actions to be taken.
Express collective sense of outrage, anger, disappointment, frustration, and inference of disrespect for faculty/staff/student involvement in decision-making process.
Desire to formulate a constructive response.
Lack of process in University community
The position of University President
The appointment of Marc Holtzman
Recognize authority of Trustees to create positions and make administrative appointments. Their authority is not the issue.
University ignored its own internal policies/requirements for preparing a job description, posting, advertising, and competitive selection.
The board has endorsed the role or shared governance in its by-laws and adoption of the Senate Constitution. The faculty asserts that the creation of the position of president (regardless of the defined duties of the position) is a change in the organizational structure of the University (either real or implied) and should involve the participation of the Universitys various constituents.
Shared governance is at the heart of the university culture and, as well, of the democratic form of government. Shared governance within universities and democracies is fragile, and both citizens and the duly constituted bodies formally charged with their administration have a moral as well as a legal responsibility to assure that the process of shared governance is insisted upon and rigorously protected.
The lack of community engagement with the process was counter to the values postulated in the Universitys missions and goals statement, its commitment to values and ethics as foundations of what we do and how we do it, and the Universitys recent commitment to be a positive contributor to the communities it serves.
The closed nature of the process has damaged the sense of community, trust, cooperation, and confidence that is essential to building a great university and providing a quality education for our students (education is more than attending classes and meeting the requirements for a degree).
The North Central Association has repeatedly noted concern over the process of governance at this University in its accreditation reports. The lack of process in this instance will not improve the situation.
Again, recognize the authority of Trustees to establish and define the duties of the President.
Conventional use of title of president in both the academic and corporate world implies significant managerial responsibility, usually as the chief executive officer and/or the chief operating officer of an organization. To define the role of the position of president differently discredits those otherwise holding such a position, and reflects poorly on the institution.
In a joint best practices statement adopted by the AGB, ACE, and AAUP in the mid-1960s, these influential higher education organizations delineated the role of president to be the chief executive and operating officer of the university. This document also specifies that those holding such a position should have the credentials required to serve as the chief executive and chief academic officer of the institution.
Although no formal job description seems to yet exist for the position, the current perception that the chief function of the position is to raise money begs the question of the appropriate use of the title of president.
The titles of chancellor and president tend to be used interchangeably in higher education. The use of both titles, particularly in single-campus institutions, can be confusing to the external community. When they are concurrently used, the usual inference is that one position serves as the chief executive officer, while the other is the chief operating officer.
The University of Denver has a provost model, clearly establishing the provost as the chief academic officer and second in command at the institution. Even though we have been assured that there is no intention of changing this model, introducing the position of president may confuse the organizational structure, at least to important external constituencies such as our regional accreditation agencywhich has been critical of our complex organizational structure for some time.
Because there is no formal job description or list of required qualifications, there is no basis for judging Mr. Holtzmans appointment to the position.
Although Marc has an impressive record of accomplishments and may be an effective fundraiser for the University, it appears that he does not have the background called for by the AGB/ACE/AAUP best practices guidelines for the position of University President.
Comments on the leadership and accomplishments of the Chancellor and Trustees over the past 12 years.
Negative effect on morale and sense of community.
Unfortunate situationcould have been avoided by some participative process, regardless of the perception of urgency.
Senate will appoint an ad hoc committee of senators and faculty members to formulate a deliberative, constructive response to be presented to the Chancellor and Trustees before the close of this academic year.
The Faculty Senate
Guided by the Universitys values of inclusiveness, collaboration, involvement, responsiveness, and accountability
Deeply concerned by the hasty and secretive process by which the office of President was created and filled last week
Anxious to assure that no appointment at the University ever again be made through an uncollaborative process that excludes students, faculty, staff, and administrators
Calls upon the Board of Trustees
1) To acknowledge publicly, as an indication of responsiveness and accountability, that the process by which the office of President was created and filled was incompatible with the Universitys values of inclusiveness, collaboration, involvement, and responsiveness.
2) To join the Faculty Senate in creating an ad hoc working group to discuss the theory and practice of shared governance.
3) To reconstitute its membership so that it includes permanent academic representation in tow forms:
a. the President of the Faculty Senate will serve as an ex officio member and, in order to assure continuity, either the President-Elect or the immediate past-President will participate as a nonvoting member; and
b. a respected present or former academic administrator of national reputation, with at least five years of experience as a full-time member of a university faculty, will ordinarily be a member of the Board.
May 9, 2003
A sudden collapse of trust among the Universitys constituencies has erupted, threatening to upset the stability of the institution and to tarnish the reputati8on of the leader who during 14 years as Chancellor has provided tireless labor and munificent material generosity to an institution whose advancement he has made his lifes work.
It is therefore fitting that the resolution of this crisis should include more than verbal exchanges seeking to resolve doubts and ease tensions. It should extend to practical actions which will also confront longstanding unmet institutional needs, thus facilitating DUs future progress. The following proposals are offered to that end:
1. Two (2) members of the 28-member Board of Trustees shall be appointed whose careers and achievements are academic. Ties to DU as alumni, former faculty or association with the academic community in the region shall be considered as enhancing eligibility for such appointment. These members are to serve, not as faculty constituency delegates or bargaining agents, but as resources to facilitate the Boards understanding of academic values and goals. One member shall speak for DUs professional schools and programs and the other for he liberal arts.
2. The academic mission statements of 1992 and 2001 shall be revised by a broadly consultative process to eliminate platitudes and promotional clichs and to substitute focused and intellectually rigorous statements reflecting the Universitys academic achievements and aspirations.
3. The Board of Trustees shall establish and publish procedures for protecting the University from conflict of interest vulnerabilities involving individual Trustees or officers. Such guidelines were adopted by many public and private colleges following the Sibley Hospital case decided by Federal courts in the early 1970s.
4. General Faculty Meetings shall be held at least twice a year, presumably in the fall and spring, and shall follow procedures which were regularly observed before 1976. These meetings constitute a statement of mutual respect between faculty administrators and provide an opportunity for clarifying and enhancing the contributions of both constituencies to the educational progress of the University. Public Convocations may also continue, but these do not fulfill the purpose of the General Faculty meetings.
5. An Alumni Reunion Anniversary gift program shall be implemented immediately in accordance with recommendations made by the Faculty Senate in 1987 and endorsed by Chancellor Ritchie in 1992/93.
6. An open, University-wide process shall begin to establish guidelines and priorities for the qualifications to be sought in the next Chancellor of the University. It must be understood that this search will be national in scope, seeking to recruit outstanding candidates with demonstrated strength and experience in three areas: (1) Academic achievement and leadership, (2) Organizational management, and (3) Enhancement of institutional resources, and that the first of these (academic leadership) shall be considered as paramount and primary. The strength of character (including but going beyond simple integrity) of finalists must be scrutinized and verified beyond any possible doubt. (6a) Primacy of Provost to relieve Chancellor and serve as Acting Chancellor.
7. Contributions to the material advancement of the University from Mr. Marc Holtzman are welcomed with gratitude, whether his own benefactions or gifts solicited from his network of associates. If he desires to contribute in the context of formal affiliation with DU, this could appropriately be satisfied by his assumption of the role filled by Daniel Ritchie beforechair of the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees.
T.R. Crane (History)