Provost Russell Moore told the Boulder Faculty Assembly on Thursday that the second phase of campus work on pay equity after the implementation of Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act at the beginning of the spring semester would be led by faculty members and supported by the administration of CU Boulder.
Moore attended Thursday’s BFA General Assembly meeting at the request of BFA President Tiffany Beechy to answer questions about the level of BFA and faculty involvement in implementing implementation of state law provisions and to give Moore a chance to explain how faculty would be involved in phase two. the establishment of pay equity—Efforts have focused on eliminating pay inequities based on salary compression, market forces, and differential approaches to awarding merit pay among CU Boulder’s many departments.
Moore apologized to the BFA for ineffective communication about phase one efforts, which were “an exercise in complying with state law” for faculty and staff salaries. He said that effort did not sufficiently inform faculty or the BFA and Staff Council, which he called a “process flaw.”
“The intention was to keep the focus on working groups [analyzing faculty and staff salaries] in this phase, knowing that we would do a more comprehensive analysis downstream,” Moore said. “It was miscommunicated, and I take responsibility for that.”
Moore said phase two of the project would be markedly different, saying “the faculty will be the driving force.”
“We will give you the data and policies to review—we are here to support you,” he said.
Moore heard various inputs from BFA members on the phase two process and what it should focus on.
He and Executive Vice-Chancellor for Academic Resource Management Ann Schmiesing both acknowledged concerns expressed by BFA member Rolf Norgaard of the Writing and Rhetoric Program and Alastair Norcross of Philosophy that the Office’s current efforts Academic Affairs to create new policies on promotion-related increases should include instructor-class faculty in all of their newly-graded grades.
Moore also confirmed BFA member Samira Mehta (Jewish Studies)’s concerns that new faculty members who receive above-market assistant professor salaries quickly see that salary premium swallowed up by Boulder’s pricey real estate market.
“You’re absolutely right,” Moore said. “Our assistant professors are hired at slightly higher levels than our public peers at AAU– but when you look at where they are, Kansas, Iowa… those are not high cost of living places.
Moore said the administration was in talks with the CU system about “how we do our faculty housing program and possibly redo it.”
The conversation ended with a question from former BFA president and current history member Bob Ferry, who asked if the faculty committee that would deal with phase two salary issues would be appointed by the BFA or the faculty, or by the administrators.
Moore said he was in favor of the BFA having “a heavy hand” in the selection process for committee faculty members and was also open to draw committee membership directly from members of governance groups. faculties of colleges and schools, which was suggested by Beechy.
“I think it would be perfectly appropriate for college governing bodies to select them,” Moore said.
“I think there’s a big discovery phase in there,” Moore said of the work the committee would do.
In other actions at the BFA meeting
- Campus COO Patrick O’Rourke told the group, clarifying the campus the optional mask policy announced last Monday and will take effect Monday, March 7, that it was acceptable for professors to ask students to wear masks in class if professors had any health conditions or concerns, but that ‘they couldn’t require masks to be worn in class.
- Voted to approve:
- A resolution that would prohibit UC faculty, staff and students from betting on the results of UC Division I sports teams, similar to measures enacted at Villanova University, St. John’s University and at Purdue University. The resolution was adopted with 39 votes for, 2 votes against and 2 abstentions.
- A resolution that would create a set of changes to the role and charge of the BFA’s Grievance Advisory Committee, creating empowered advisers for faculty involved in grievance proceedings, among other measures. It passed with 40 votes in favour, zero against and three abstentions.
- Introduced as a 30-day notice of motion:
- A resolution to codify “promising practices” that academic units can undertake to credit diversity, equity and inclusion work by faculty as part of the merit review process.
- A resolution to pressure teacher retirement investment firm TIAA to withdraw its investments from companies that extract fossil fuels and engage in deforestation. The BFA will also host a Zoom forum from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, to allow for further discussion of the motion.