News from the AAUP
24 August 2015

In the August 2015 issue, PULP reporter Symone Roque wrote that the CSU-Pueblo three-year On The Move campaign is finishing its second year and has raised about $13.5 million, with a goal of reaching $25 by the end of the campaign. Of the campaign's three objectives, funding scholarships, renovating OUC, and adding and improving athletic programs, the first two have received the most support. At convocation (17 August) President DiMare said that the university is negotiating with four donors who could make large donations to specific academic programs. PULP story here.

At their August meeting, the Board of Governors reported that, based on their annual review of the CSU presidents, CSU-FC president Tony Frank was awarded $60,000 bonus compensation, CSU-Global president Becky Takeda-Tinker $100,000, and CSU-Pueblo president Lesley DiMare $13,000. The CSU system has created a for profit company in order to market management tools that CSU-Global has developed. Provost Kreminski told the Board that he will be working with the deans to make changes to reduce the number of faculty who are rated "exceptional." In response to a question from the Board concerning enrollment this fall (applications are up 45.2% while headcount, which includes all students, not just first year students, is projected to be down 3.2%), President DiMare said that Royall did their job by bringing in over 10,000 applications and that "Something must be happening at the University to cause them not to yield." The University is working to increase the enrollment, by, for example, running workshops to help students who made errors in their FAFSA forms. Paul Orsheln said that the decline is not due to smaller first year enrollment but rather because in recent years first year enrollment was smaller. The Board is working on long term planning using Strategic Mapping, with one goal being to create a sustainable business model as state funding continues to decrease. They agreed that long term changes require time and may require investment. CSU-Pueblo Chemistry professor David Dillon was presented with the 2015 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. AAUP president Jane Fraser made the following statement during the 15 minutes allotted for public comments:

My name is Jane Fraser. I am president of the CSU-Pueblo chapter of AAUP, the American Association for University Professors. The AAUP is one voice for faculty on this campus.

The university has focused recently on the recruitment and retention of students. That focus has had mixed success. Retention is up, but enrollment of new first year students is down 24% compared to the same time last year.

Efforts to recruit and retain students depend crucially on the ability of the university to recruit and retain the faculty who design and deliver the academic programs. We in the AAUP do not have data on the turnover of faculty, but many faculty members have told us that morale is low and turnover is high.

In fall 2013, President Di Mare charged the University Board for Diversity and Equality to conduct a Campus Climate Survey of all employees at CSU-Pueblo. Some commonly expressed opinions from that survey were that the university does not prioritize academics or faculty, that faculty salaries are low, and that it is hard to recruit and retain faculty. Indeed, the CSU-Pueblo faculty have received one raise in the last 8 years.

We believe that recruitment and retention of high quality faculty is essential to the success of our students. A focus on recruitment and retention of students without a matching focus on faculty is not a sustainable and successful strategy.

In order to support a focus on faculty at CSU-Pueblo, we request that the Board take action by asking the CSU-Pueblo administration for (1) information on faculty turnover in the last five years and (2) a plan to improve the recruitment and retention of faculty. We also ask for (3) a commitment by the Board to provide resources to support raises for faculty at CSU-Pueblo whenever faculty members at CSU-Fort Collins receive raises.

Thank you.

Documents from the BoG meeting are available here.

CSU-Pueblo has received a $306,663.00 NSF grant to provide networking infrastructure upgrades to support research and education particularly in STEM disciplines, see this link for more details.

In her Convocation address, President DiMare praised the recent national visibility of CSU-Pueblo: national football championship, high ratings for our student radio, national performance of the debate team and Ballet Folklorico, and the recent Brookings Institute study citing CSU-Pueblo as having high value-added degrees. The University is looking to create new revenue streams so that our funding is less dependent on enrollment. The legislators may place a cap on tuition increases for 2016-17.

The Provost indicated that his focus this year with be on implementing the strategic plan, the HLC reaffirmation, and intrasystem collaborations. He will be asking units to create plans to help attain campus-wide outcomes, for example, new programs to recruit students and ideas for how to improve persistence of students beyond the first to second year retention. Regarding HLC reaffirmation, he mentioned the importance of assessment of student learning and of ensuring appropriate credentials for faculty.

The VP for Student Services and Enrollment Management presented data comparing 2014 and 2105, but stated that differences (especially the institution of an $85 enrollment deposit) mean it is "incredibly difficult to make comparisons" until next year. He credited Royall with an increase of 116 new first year students and the six new sports with an increase of 130. Other Royall clients have seen a large increase in first year students, but it will take time for CSU-Pueblo to build enrollment. He reported on survey results from Royall showing where students went who were accepted to CSU-Pueblo but chose to go elsewhere and the reasons for their choice. The largest number go to CSU-FC and the top reason is location; however, cost is the largest reason why nonresident students go elsewhere. He stated that Royall is building excitement among high school freshman and sophomores and building interest in areas such as southern California. According to data from the FY2015 E&G Expense Budget available at Budget Central, CSU-Pueblo paid Royall $350,000 in 2014-15.

The Vice President for Finance and Administration stated that we face a tough couple of years, but the sky is not falling and our future is bright. He presented data showing that Colorado is 48 out of the 50 states in educational appropriations per FTE. Colorado appropriates $3500 per FTE below the average. The working group continues to evaluate the equity study; depending on fall revenues, salary adjustments might be made in 2015-16. The President said that in a system, one campus should not get raises when another does not. The VP stated that Business Financial Services is now working in partnership with CSU-FC, especially for help with year end statements. IT has put out an RFP for $100K to redesign the university web site for mobile devices. Last year $45K of Foundation funds were used to acquire web management software Cascade Server, which has been installed on some campus machines but is not in production use. CSU-Pueblo applied for and received $1.9 million in additional state resources for IT in 2015-16 and intends to apply for more in 2016-17. OUC groundbreaking will happen soon with initial construction of a new wing east of the current building, without disruption to existing operations; but the next steps will remodel the existing building. Campus roads will be extended to make a complete loop around the campus. The Belmont dorm was closed to save costs since only 40 students applied to live there. The President stated that the University dorms would be at capacity if we didn't have the competition from the nearby apartments at Wolf Village.

The Provost will be creating search committees for internal searches for the positions of Dean in CEEPS, CHASS, and CSM. He will ask for volunteers for the committees. The process will include open forums. The goal is to have new Deans in place January 1, 2016. At the CEEPS meeting, President DiMare committed that money will be returned to the College to fund the administrative assistant position that had been cut during the 2014 budget cuts.

The 1 August issue of the Pueblo Chieftain contained a column by President DiMare titled "University is open for business" explaining that the university has many activities ongoing during the summer. Here is the column.



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