All faculty housed at SPA are evaluated annually on their performance in the prior academic year based on merit criteria adopted by the faculty and contained in SPA’s “Policies, Procedures, and Criteria for the Annual Performance Evaluation of Faculty” (recently approved by a vote of SPA Faculty in June 2019). The university requires faculty to complete the online Faculty Report of Professional Activities (FRPA), which provides the main framework for reporting accomplishments in research, teaching and service. SPA eFRPA guidance is available.
In addition to the FRPA, faculty also submit an updated CV and a self-evaluation. These documents are uploaded to a shared Faculty Affairs folder for review by the APC and the Dean. The due date for these materials varies depending on the university’s schedule, but is typically early/mid January. Exact due dates each year will be communicated to faculty via email from the SPA Faculty Affairs Associate Dean and/or Administrator.
Academic Personnel Committee (APC)
The Academic Personnel Committee advises the Dean on annual faculty performance ratings to be made by the Dean, using FRPAs and faculty self-evaluations. Upon completion of the annual evaluation of its colleagues, the APC submits a report to the Dean on each TT and IRC faculty member, assessing each faculty member’s performance. A copy of this report is simultaneously delivered to the faculty member.
The APC shall consist of three tenure-track faculty members, including at least one tenured faculty member. Additionally, the APC shall include at least one instructional/research/clinical (IRC) faculty member for the purposes of evaluating the professional performance of IRC-track faculty.
All faculty will be eligible to serve on the APC on a rotating basis. During the spring term of each academic year, the members of the Academic Personnel Committee (APC) shall be selected for the upcoming academic year. The Dean’s Faculty Affairs Administrator will maintain a record of the rotation order. Refer to the policy for more detailed information.
Final action on all academic personnel matters and annual salary increments in SPA rests with the Dean, prior to subsequent action at the campus and university levels.
Merit is the primary basis for all salary increases at University of Colorado. Peer evaluation of faculty performance in the areas of teaching, research/creative work, and leadership and service forms the basis for merit increases. Salary adjustments or increases that take into account market, career, equity or structural factors must be simultaneously based on merit. Every year the Dean receives an analysis from the university that flags salary variances and informs these adjustments. Raises are also contingent on the availability and size of the “raise pool” authorized by the state legislature and the Regents each year. Due to all of these factors, it is not unusual for faculty salaries to differ.
Salary equity incrementsThe university is committed to equity for minorities and women and has followed a practice of periodic reviews of the salary profiles of these groups compared to others. Each campus also now has a process for reviewing the salary grievances of individual faculty members to ensure equitable evaluation of merit.
With prior written approval by the Dean, faculty members can receive additional remuneration from sources outside the university, provided the activities generating the income do not exceed one-sixth of their time and effort.
The Declaration of Outside Consulting Form should be completed for pre-approval of your outside consulting pay. If other consulting opportunities arise during the academic year, please submit a new form prior to starting the work.
Related Policies & Information:
The seven-year tenure clock
The normal process for a new assistant professor to receive tenure takes seven years:
In addition to the reviews listed above, a faculty member goes through an annual review process each year by completing the Faculty Report of Professional Activities (FRPA) and annually endorsing their five-year Professional Plan.
Allowable adjustments/deviations from the “normal” cycle
Upon hire, a faculty member can request a “Prior Service Agreement.” This grants the faculty member one to three years of credit towards tenure and shortens the initial four years by the number of years requested.
Please see the Timeline Table for Reviews.
Related policies & resources:
Policies and procedures that pertain to this section were recently approved by a vote of the faculty on April 30, 2019.
SPA offers support and guidance for faculty to advance their professional skills and knowledge. As part of professional development, tenure-track faculty prepare professional plans — at least one pre-tenure and one every five years thereafter for post-tenure review. SPA also encourages IRC faculty members to develop professional plans. SPA faculty also are encouraged to support each other in mentoring by seeking both formal and informal mentorship from colleagues and by serving as mentors to colleagues, particularly when interests align.
Please see the SPA Professional Development and Mentoring Policy.
Tenured faculty members who have completed six years of full-time active service are eligible for a sabbatical leave. Periods of time on leave of absence are not considered active service and do NOT count towards the six years of service. Faculty who are retiring or resigning are not eligible, as the policy states that you must return for at least one full-time year of service following the sabbatical.
All sabbaticals must be fully approved through the Board of Regents prior to the effective date of the sabbatical leave. Sabbaticals will not be retroactively approved under any circumstances.
By the end of October, the Dean’s Office will notify faculty members who are eligible for sabbatical in the following academic year, explaining how to apply, defer or waive their sabbatical. This notification will include all applicable deadlines.
Faculty members are to notify the Dean’s Office, in writing, of their intent to apply for sabbatical and whether they plan for a one semester or full year sabbatical; or the faculty member must notify the Dean’s Office, in writing, of their intent to waive or defer their sabbatical for the following academic year. These notifications are due by December 15.
Sabbatical requests are due to the Dean’s Office by end of the third week of January. The Dean will review all sabbatical requests. There are occasions when the school will not be able to let every faculty member take sabbatical when he or she is first eligible, due to the needs of the school. Below are a few factors that the Dean will consider when deciding which sabbatical requests will be approved.
Sabbatical requests are due to the Office of Academic Affairs in early February (specific dates are set each fall prior). The Provost reviews applications and forwards them to the Board of Regents for final approval.
Sabbatical requests appear on a Regent’s Agenda in May/June for final approval. Upon approval, Academic Affairs notifies the faculty member and the Dean.
The September after returning from Sabbatical
A Post-Sabbatical Leave Report is due to Dean’s Office. A specific due date will be set each year and the faculty member will be notified of this due date.
Significant changes to a sabbatical plan require that the sabbatical application be re-submitted for approval at all levels. This includes a change to the length of sabbatical or focus/topic of research, and/or funding sources. For a change in date only, a written notice must be provided to the Dean’s Office who will notify the Office of Academic Affairs.
SPA encourages junior faculty members to meet with Associate Dean Tanya Heikkila to discuss their anticipated research program and to participate in SPA’s Faculty Mentoring Program. As covered in the Administrative Services section, Director of Grants and Contracts Lauren Goolsby is available to support faculty with the administrative aspects of research grants and sponsored projects.
SPA faculty incentive program
Subject to available funds, SPA makes small research grants available to faculty members on a competitive basis. Contact Tanya for more information.
Office of Research Services
The CU Denver Office of Research Services (ORS) is the faculty development component of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Work. ORS provides faculty development resources targeted at enhancing faculty research and creative work.
Additionally, ORS has discretionary funding to encourage and support creative activities on the downtown campus. They are committed to awarding such funds to increase faculty productivity and to enhance CU Denver’s reputation. Funds include:
Creative Research Collaborative (CRC)
The CRC provides funds for interdisciplinary research teams to develop research proposals during the course of a fellowship year.
Office of Research Development and Education
Housed within ORS is the Office of Research Development and Education (ORDE). ORDE is a faculty resource for information and resources related to obtaining external support for your research and teaching activities.
Tom Beck, the librarian assigned to support SPA faculty, can be reached at email@example.com.
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)
The UROP program, housed in the Office of Undergraduate Experiences, provides funds for undergraduates to engage in research under the mentorship of a faculty member.
CU Denver is a public urban research university, and faculty are encouraged to connect their research with real-world issues in the state. The university has several initiatives intended to connect faculty with local priorities:
This office is the coordinating point for connecting faculty expertise with issues in Denver and surrounding areas, and administers programs like Hometown Colorado.
Data to Policy
This initiative, run through the Auraria Library, connects CU Denver faculty and courses with local datasets.
Applied research at SPA
SPA’s Institute and applied research centers provide additional opportunities for faculty interested in applied research:
If you have students who are interested in working on a specific local research project with you and would like to earn credit, you may request permission from the Dean to open a Field Research course. Keep in mind that you will need to provide sufficient academic content and contact hours to warrant providing academic credit for completion of the course.
Teaching loads, overloads & buyouts
The standard full-time teaching load for tenure-track/tenured faculty is four (4) courses per year (2:2). For non-tenure-track faculty, the load varies based on job title. Generally, for faculty in the Instructor series, a full-time teaching load is seven (7) courses per year (3:4 or 4:3), and for faculty in the Clinical Teaching series, the full-time teaching load is six (6) courses per year (3:3). For any changes to the teaching load (i.e., offload, buyout or overload) a faculty member must complete the Load Adjustment Form and obtain approval prior to any changes.
Resources for course planning and improvement
SPA and the university offer many resources for faculty interested in improving their teaching, listed below. If you need specific assistance or have an idea for a SPA teaching brownbag topic, contact Associate Dean Tanya Heikkila (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SPA faculty are evaluated on their teaching annually and as part of the tenure process. Faculty Course Questionnaires (FCQs) filled out by students are part of this evaluation, as are syllabi reviews, evidence of instructional improvement activities and other factors. Contact Tanya for more information.
Related policies & information:
For questions or any logistical issues related to courses, please contact email@example.com.
Course assignments, scheduling and locations
Access the University Academic Calendar to view term dates, holiday closures and add/drop deadlines.
Course assignments are generally made one year in advance. At the start of each academic year, the SPA Course Coordinator will reach out to all tenure-track and IRC faculty to collect course teaching preferences for the following year on behalf of the program directors. The program directors and the SPA Course Coordinator will set the course rotation for the following academic year, placing all tenure-track and IRC faculty before assigning any courses to lecturers. While all efforts are made to accommodate faculty preferences, this is not always possible. In the semester prior to your scheduled course, the SPA Course Coordinator will email you to collect any necessary information to finalize your course schedule.
All course locations are determined by the Campus Rooming Coordinator. If you have an issue with your classroom assignment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classroom facilities help
CU Building, Business School, LSC
North Classroom, King Center, Plaza:
Course Canvas sites
Each semester, your Canvas site will be automatically made available for you to begin prepping. If you do not see your Canvas shell on your dashboard at the time of student registration, please email email@example.com.
NOTE: Student rosters will automatically be imported from CU SIS to Canvas; however, when students drop the course, Canvas does not automatically remove them. If you see a student on your Canvas shell who is not on your official roster in CU SIS, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request for the student to be removed from your Canvas site.
The priority deadline to order your textbooks for each term is, in general, one month prior to the opening of registration (e.g., April). You will receive an email from email@example.com to alert you of the deadline, and you will receive periodic reminders from the bookstore. We ask that you please be sure to submit your textbook orders by the priority deadline so that students have time to search for discounted options, if needed, or prepare for any advanced readings if applicable.
To place a textbook order with the Tivoli Bookstore:
If you are having trouble accessing your courses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our bookstore representative for further assistance.
To order a Desktop Copy of your textbook:
STEP 1: We ask that you first refer to the Publisher Contact List to determine whether the publisher of your book has a partnership with CU Denver. If the publisher for your texts appears on this list, please complete the Desk Copy Request Form, and email it to the appropriate Publisher contact. The book will be sent at no cost to you; however, it generally takes a few weeks for delivery, so we recommend ordering early.
STEP 2: If the publisher of the selection you are using does not appear on the Publisher Contact List, you may submit a Purchase Request Form for SPA to buy the book on your behalf from SPA funds*. Submit your request via the SPA Workorder form.
*Only required classroom texts will be paid by SPA. Books for personal enrichment or supplemental materials should be purchased using either personal or professional development funds.
All faculty and lecturers should use the University Syllabus Template as a guide to build your course syllabi. In each syllabus, faculty should list the appropriate competencies that will be covered in your course. Contact the faculty program director if you have any questions about this.
Each semester, the SPA Course Coordinator will let you know the syllabi submission deadline with months of advance warning. Please submit all syllabi to the course coordinator by the deadline.
Course caps and waitlists
Faculty Course Questionnaires
Faculty Course Questionnaires (FCQs) are administered online to your students near the end of the course. You will be contacted by the Boulder FCQ office with administration dates, and the survey links will be sent automatically to your roster. The questionnaire form is available to view online. Your FCQ results and student comments will be made available online as soon as they have been processed.
Please encourage students to fill out the FCQs. Their feedback will be important for your evaluations, and your ratings will generally benefit from a high response rate rather than responses that are limited to a handful of students.
Students generally appreciate the opportunity to provide a mid-course evaluation to faculty, which helps faculty to understand what is working and what is not. In face-to-face classes, you can ask students to write or print out anonymous suggestions for improving the class. In online classes, the mid-course evaluation will be administered to students by CU Online, and you do not need to take any extra actions.
All grades MUST be submitted through the UCD Access Portal, as they do not auto-import from Canvas. Any grades submitted only to Canvas are not considered official and will not appear as complete with the registrar.
How to submit your grades:
To change a grade, please refer to the Grade Change Process.
Supervising independent studies
Independent study courses allow students the opportunity to explore content beyond the current curriculum that closely relates to student interests. The student is guided and monitored by a faculty mentor during the independent study. Independent studies are available in all of SPA’s degree programs under the following course numbers:
SPA’s Guidelines for Independent Study Courses establish eligibility and procedures for independent studies. To be eligible for a SPA independent study, the student must:
Faculty requirements for supervising an independent study are:
The subject of the independent study should meet the following requirements:
The student and the faculty member should agree in advance on meeting times, readings and other assignments, the amount of time the student is expected to put in per week (typically 8-10 hours per three credits), the expected product/s (such as one or more papers or other projects), and grading criteria. Independent study expectations must be confirmed in a written syllabus for the independent study and in the Special Processing Form described below. Depending on the difficulty and complexity of the project, the faculty may determine that the independent study warrants anywhere from one to six credits, although three is typical.
No more than six graduate credit hours of independent study may be applied toward a graduate degree, and no more than three undergraduate credit hours of independent study may be applied toward an undergraduate degree.
CU Denver requires students to complete a Special Processing Form before they can enroll in independent study courses. This form is available from SPA advisors and must be submitted before the semester add/drop deadline.The Special Processing Form, which must be signed by the participating faculty member, must contain a description of the project, the expectations for a paper or other project outcome, and the number of hours to be devoted to the independent study by the student each week. Consistency is expected between the information contained in the Special Processing Form and in the syllabus for the independent study.
Supervision of independent studies generally does not warrant additional compensation for regular faculty, although exceptions may be made under unusual circumstances that require a significant amount of additional work by the supervising faculty member. Lecturers who agree to supervise an independent study may receive an honorarium.
Serving as a capstone second reader
You are likely to be regularly asked to serve as a second reader on MPA or MCJ capstone projects — SPA students complete 50 to 70 capstones per semester.
The second reader is part of the project panel that includes the first reader (the capstone instructor) and the capstone client. The second reader is expected to have some expertise in the area of the capstone project and provides feedback to the student throughout the semester on the design and execution of the project and iterative report drafts. The second reader is also present at the final project presentation. The typical SPA faculty member serves on one to five capstones per semester; program concentration directors always serve as second readers on capstones in their concentrations.
Capstone projects are hugely meaningful to students and provide an opportunity for SPA faculty to interact with external community partners. For these reasons, second readers are expected to provide timely feedback for students and to be mindful of client impressions of SPA.
Developing new courses and programs
All new courses and programs must be approved through the University Curriculum Committee, in addition to the approval process within SPA. Contact Associate Deans Kelly Hupfeld (email@example.com) or Tanya Heikkila (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
For assistance in developing a new study abroad course, contact Assistant Dean Kathy Kilpatrick (email@example.com).
Faculty members are expected to contribute toward service activities that support the School’s mission. These include: (a) consistent and competent participation on committees at the school level (at least one per year); (b) regular attendance at formal SPA or University events; (c) consistent and competent service on University or institutional committees (at least one per year); and (d) disciplinary service, which may include but is not limited to reviewing papers for professional conferences or academic journals, serving on committees for disciplinary organizations or societies, or serving as an officer for a professional society.
The process for requesting and assigning committees begins in the spring semester, when faculty members complete a committee request form that is submitted to the Dean’s Office (March/April). The Associate Dean and the Faculty Affairs Administrator will review these sheets and the needs of SPA and try to match faculty with the committees requested. Some committees are assigned based on job responsibilities (i.e., academic program directors will lead their program committees and also serve on the Executive Committee), and some roles will require a vote by the faculty (RTP Chair).
Please note that it may not be possible to match up everyone’s top preferences, especially because some committees require members to have specific qualifications, and we have a limited number of faculty. Faculty will be assigned to at least one internal SPA committee and one external (Campus/University/System-Level) committee. Faculty will receive an email confirming their committee assignments in May of each year.
Related forms and information:
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