Shared Governance Initiatives

The Faculty Senate continues to uphold strong shared governance principles in times of COVID-19. Senate voted to allow the new president the ability to call special Senate meetings throughout the summer thereby facilitating Senate's ability to stay involved with rapidly changing circumstances and needs. Senate passed a resolution laying out important DU principles for decision-making during times of COVID-19, including an emphasis on compassion, clarity, and engaged communication. Senate created a new process for nominating faculty to serve on the Chancellor's COVID-19 Task Forces–the process involved an important new partnership between Senate and ODEI and supports shared governance. The chancellor’s and provost’s office dramatically increased frequency of communication with the community via email, townhalls and opportunities for input including anonymously. 

Shared Governance Highlights in Relation to COVID-19:

  • The Provost and the Chancellor presented the community with a Phased Campus Access and Support Plan in draft form for comment. The revised document was made available on May 11, 2020. The latest revision was released on July 15, 2020. 
  • Faculty Senate resolution on DU's Decision-Making Values During COVID-19 (approved May 22, 2020). 
  • Senate Process on Collaborative Role of Senate, ODEI, and offices of the Provost and the Chancellor in Task Force Formations (May 2020). 
  • The Faculty Senate passed an APT amendment giving faculty the option of a one-year extension on promotion and contract-renewal; an original version of this was approved in April 2020; a revised version extending the relevant deadline for when faculty need to give notice of their decision was approved by Faculty Senate on June 26, 2020, and by an all-faculty vote on July 8, 2020. 
  • Faculty Senate voted in support of extending the Pass/No-Pass grading system into Summer 2020; the Chancellor endorsed this recommendation and put it into action. 
  • The additional expenses and revenue losses due to COVID-19 resulted in a $45m gap in the FY2021 budget. To solicit community input on possible changes, the Chancellor and Provost held eight town halls. Feedback was incorporated, and the resulting budget and related cuts were communicated back to the full community via eight additional town halls. 
  • In response to a student petition calling on DU to support Black students and in consideration too of students of color in relation to nation-wide gatherings in support of racial justice, Senate voted in support of the petition, granting students optional finals and the opportunity for alternative assignments for spring 2020; the provost endorsed this recommendation and communicated this change to the faculty. 
  • On July 10, 2020, Senate voted by an overwhelming 92% to partner with the provost and chancellor on a new mandate requiring all DU faculty to have inclusive pedagogy training. 
  • On July 10, 2020, in the midst of new COVID-19-related international student visa restrictions, the Senate voted 100% in favor of a resolution in support of international students. 
  • Between April 1 and July 10, 2020, the provost communicated with the community in 57 separate town halls; to invite shared governance, to listen to concerns, to share information, and to offer her support in these most challenging times.