Staff support, bookstore issues highlight semester’s last faculty meeting

The May 11 meeting of UCCS Faculty Assembly was the last meeting for the 2011-12 term, effectively wrapping up business and putting governance on hiatus for the summer.

Ironically the meeting started with a farewell. Peg Bacon, provost, was first to address the group with her academic affairs report, acknowledging it was her last time to do so before she retires. Brian Burnett, vice chancellor, Administration and Finance, then reported decisions made by the CU Board of Regents regarding student tuition and salary pool approval for faculty and professional exempt staff. David Moon, senior associate vice chancellor, Academic Affairs, then gave a brief progress report on the general education revision initiative.

Jason Votruba, manager, UCCS Bookstore, appeared as a guest speaker, describing the improved services and facilities of the renovated bookstore in University Center and making an appeal to faculty for greater cooperation in ordering textbooks.

He told the group that only a small percentage of faculty are meeting set deadlines to order texts, creating difficulty for the bookstore to operate efficiently. He described current market conditions affecting availability and cost for books, including competition, shipping logistics and other factors. He said the bookstore will need major help from faculty to remain profitable and effectively serve the campus. For the most part, he said, this means faculty members must decide which texts are needed as early as possible and put orders in for books in a more timely fashion. Votruba said he was looking for opportunities to reach more faculty and to better serve the campus.

This past April the regents approved a 2 percent salary pool increase that would provide raises to some faculty and professional exempt staff members. Since the Colorado General Assembly controls classified staff pay and benefits, the regent order does not affect classified staff. Recognizing the value of classified staff, UCCS administrators would prefer more equitable treatment for all campus employees. According to Robert Durham, professor, Psychology, faculty would prefer equitable treatment across the board as well.

Under new business, Durham made the motion proposing a resolution reflecting faculty support for classified staff. He explained his belief, shared by other faculty members, that classified staff are being shortchanged regarding salaries this year. The purpose of the motion, he said, is to go on record with the faculty’s position. The motion reads as follows:

“Resolved: The members of the Representative Faculty Assembly believe that, since classified staff, who are not allowed to receive any raises or bonuses this year by order of the state system, deserve the complete support and appreciation from all faculty for their continuing outstanding contributions to this campus.”

The motion passed unanimously.

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