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Faculty Senate

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University of Denver

Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate is the primary body through which faculty participate in the shared governance of the University of Denver. The Senate is composed of approximately 90 members elected to represent the academic units of the University. Much of the Senate's work is accomplished through its five Standing Committees:

  • Academic Planning Committee (APC)
  • Financial Planning Committee (FPC)
  • Nominations, Credentials & Rules (NCR)
  • Personnel Committee
  • Student Relations Committee (SRC)

Here is a quick PDF of the descriptions (drawn from the Senate Constitution).

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) includes the Chairs of the five Standing Committees, the President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, and several at-large members. Questions and concerns may be addressed through elected departmental or divisional Senators, or may be addressed to the Senate President at sarah.pessin@du.edu.

Senate snapshot - January 2021

  • In October 2020, Senate voted to recommend 3 hours of paid leave time for staff for voting. DU responded with a full paid day for staff to use any time through the November Election Day.
  • In September 2020, Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) hosted a public town hall followed by a series of votes and processes for ranking additional "front burner" topics for the year as well as electing two new members to FSEC, including one Visiting Faculty
  • In Fall 2020, Senate hosted a number of faculty-wide learn-ins and town halls, including around topics of inclusive teaching pedagogy, the DU "pios" moniker, the pros and cons of P/NP, and the principles of shared governance
  • In September 2020, Senate administered a faculty-wide poll on financial values for DU to uphold during a time of crisis; over 400 faculty participated, and a 25-page report was created and disseminated; key takeaways include the faculties' dedication to an exemplary student learning experience and faculties' commitment to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with staff in relation to compensation cuts.
  • In Fall 2020, the Provost incorporates input from the Senate's financial values report and creates new committees exploring IT efficiency and the ratio of administrators at DU as compared with our own history and with other institutions of higher education
  • In Fall 2020, the Senate President partners with a colleague at Brandeis University to convene a national gathering of faculty in higher ed leadership roles to discuss COVID response best practices
  • In Fall 2020, the Senate President and a colleague at Brandeis University co-author an op-ed published by Inside Higher Ed calling on Faculty Senates across the country to take up the charge of civic justice
  • To remain nimble during precarious time, in Fall 2020, Senate voted to extend the Senate President's power to call special meetings through the end of the AY
  • In Fall 2020, Senate created a new iteration of its Freedom of Expression committee working with the current and previous Senate presidents, the Provost, student leaders, the VC of Student Life, and the VC of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • In Fall 2020, Senate began seating a new committee exploring the rights and representation of Visiting and Adjunct Faculty
  • In late July 2020, Senate voted to amend Visiting Faculty contracts to provide earlier notice in the event of early termination and to provide severance pay. In November, Senate completed the First Reading of a followup resolution surrounding Adjunct faculty contracts.
  • In Fall 2020, the Senate President continued to meet weekly with the VC of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs to continue to strengthen campus partnerships
  • In Fall 2020, Senate partnered with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs to stand up two new committees: One on Teaching Excellence and one on Faculty Workload Equity.
  • In Fall 2020, the Senate's Reconciliation Committee met multiple times with experts across campus to address next steps for general education at DU, including the impact of both of our nations' pandemics on this plan
  • In Fall 2020, Senate's Student Relations Committee embarked on new projects focused on alumni relations
  • In Fall 2020, Senate hosted a Chancellor's Roundtable event that provided campus with important details about the "4 D" student experience
  • In Fall 2020, Senate hosted a number of important forums with upper administrators, including key budget presentations, regular updates from the Provost, and a special meeting with the Chancellor about the mountain campus and the DU moniker
  • In Fall 2020, Senate's Personnel and Academic Planning Committee partnered to seat a new committee looking at the impact of COVID on a range of faculty details, including APT and review details
  • Over Winter break, Faculty Senate received nominations and has begun seating new committees around (1) the mountain campus, (2) review of the Senate's own recent implementation of new policies and procedures for faculty development, and (3) Faculty- Board of Trustee relations. It has also sent forward faculty nominations for a new DU committee on the 4D experience.