You are here: Home > February 23, 2012 Issue

Letters from the Deans

Message from Dean Daniel J. Howard

Message from Dean Daniel J. Howard

Taskforces in CLAS

As many of you are aware, there are currently two active taskforces in the college, the Learning Enhancement Taskforce led by Associate Dean Jeff Franklin and the Instructor/Senior Instructor Roles and Rewards Taskforce led by Associate Dean John Wyckoff. 

The charge given to the first taskforce is broad; it focuses on student learning and asks the questions, what skills and knowledge should a liberal arts education impart to a student, and are the curriculum, major offerings, and academic units in CLAS configured to meet these learning goals. Related issues that will be addressed by the taskforce include: how to improve undergraduate writing and communication skills, and how to maintain academic rigor in the face of workload concerns raised by students, many of whom must work long hours outside of the classroom in order to finance their educations.

The second taskforce will study the role that instructors and senior instructors play in departments and the broader community and consider ways in which they can be compensated for service, the feasibility and structure of long-term contracts, and the need for occasional comprehensive reviews.

All this taskforce activity has led a couple of faculty members to ask me what became of the recommendations made by the three previous taskforces that have been organized at my request: the Differentiated Workload Taskforce, the Clinical Teaching Track Taskforce, and the Interdisciplinary Studies Taskforce. I am happy to report that the recommendations of these groups are not moldering in a remote file cabinet.

In the case of the Differentiated Workload Taskforce, there is a differentiated workload policy for the college that has been approved by the faculty and is currently in effect.  Indeed, several faculty members in the college have successfully negotiated differentiated workloads under the aegis of this policy.

In the case of the Clinical Teaching Track Taskforce, the clinical teaching track was approved by the faculty, and the first appointments to the track were made this spring.

The recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Studies Taskforce are currently under consideration by the CLAS Council, and some are likely to be implemented by the fall of 2012.

Okay, so why have I gone into such detail about taskforces? First, because they are important. They tackle important issues and make significant recommendations for changes. Second, because they lead to real changes. Their recommendations are taken seriously and often applied. Third, because these taskforces represent shared governance at its best: administration, faculty, and staff working together to make what we do even better.

With all best wishes,


131 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Letters from the Deans


Call for Papers: Ventura Pons

presence of the Catalan film director Ventura Pons, this conference will include the participation of Professor Esteve Riambau (Director of Catalonian Film Archives) and Professor Joan Ramon Resina (Director of the Stanford Iberian Studies Program). Professors Riambau and Resina are two of the most renowned scholars in Catalan culture. Deadline for submission of abstracts: April 15, 2012.

For more information on the conference, please visit:

170 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Please help spread the word to students about upcoming networking event

Exploring Community and University: Opportunities for Networking Wednesday, Mar. 7 6:30pm-9:00pm LSC Terrace Room, Suite 200

  • Develop your own network for success
  • Ask advice from business leaders
  • Meet other CU Denver students and alumni
  • Enjoy some refreshments

Free and Open to ALL Students, Faculty and Alumni

MODERATOR: Pamela Laird - Author of PULL: Networking & Success since Benjamin Franklin, CU Denver History Professor

PANELISTS: John Brackney - President & CEO, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce Tiffany Espinosa - Manager of Strategic Outreach, CU Denver School of Business Joe Pahl - Principal, Pahl Architecture, Denver Mile High Rotary President Hope Marie Sneed - VP of Development, Better Business Bureau Denver/Boulder Darryl Varnado - VP & Chief HumanResources Officer, University of Colorado Hospital

RSVP recommended (not required) to

215 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Call for Applications: 2011-2012 Dissemination Grants

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) provides support to its faculty for engaging in activities that promote their research and creative work and enhance the profile of the college and university. A critical feature of a productive research program is the ability to disseminate findings and engage in scholarly discourse with colleagues around the world to inform future research activities, develop productive research collaborations, and support new grant applications. The CLAS Dissemination Grant program is designed to provide tenure-track and tenured faculty with funds for disseminating research via publication (page and other publication charges), travel to support presentations at professional meetings, website design related to communication of research results, or other scholarly dissemination activities.

Applicants must complete the Dissemination Grant Application Form, providing details on the work to be presented, published, or promoted. To remain eligible for funding in future years, grant recipients must provide a brief report on the dissemination activities supported by the grant within six months of their completion. Completed applications must be received via email to by 3/15/2012.  Please contact Associate Dean Laura Argys ) with any questions.

183 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Call for Judges

The third Postdoctoral Research Day will be held on the Anschutz Medical Campus on March 2, 2012. We have a record number of 82 posters entered and are counting on our faculty to make the poster sessions meaningful.   We need many more judges, but especially faculty (level of instructor and above) with expertise in neuroscience, psychiatry, nutrition, kidney disease and metabolism.
For more information please email before Friday, February 24, to:

154 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

National History Day receives medal from President Obama

National History Day (NHD), a year-long academic program focused on historical research for 6th to 12th grade students, was awarded the prestigious 2011 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony on Monday, February 13. Dr. Cathy Gorn, executive director of NHD, accepted the award on behalf of the NHD staff, board and honorary advisory council. National History Day in Colorado is the state affiliate of National History Day, and is housed in and supported by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information check out:

240 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

CLAS Spotlight

Communication Department A Strong Force at WSCA
Communication Department A Strong Force at WSCA

Faculty and eight graduate students from the Communication Department made a strong showing at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association (WSCA) in Albuquerque, NM, February 17-21.
Among the highlights:
Associate Chair Brian L. Ott became the organization’s President-Elect. Dr. Ott will plan the 2013 conference in Reno, NV. His convention theme is “Going Global: Communication in the Network Era.”
Chair Stephen John Hartnett received the inaugural 2012 WSCA Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition of more than two and a half decades of excellence in teaching. In the words of one of his nominators, “He is a dedicated, enthusiastic, and innovative teacher whose pedagogical practices inspire students to merge their intellectual, political, and creative energies in ways that produce active citizens.”
WSCA recognized the lifetime research accomplishments of Professor Sonja K. Foss during a special panel honoring her selection as the 2011 WSCA Scholar. As the immediate past president of WSCA observed, Dr. Foss has “changed the way members of WSCA—and communication scholars more broadly—think about communication.” She is “not only among the first generation of voices to contribute to scholarship on visual and feminist rhetorics, but she is also one of the most influential.”
In addition, CLAS Associate Dean Brenda J. Allen was featured as part of a WSCA Master Teacher panel, and MA alumna Elizabeth Brunner, now a PhD student at the University of Utah, received a top debut paper award for an essay she wrote as part of her MA coursework at UCD.
All told, UCD Communication Department members gave more than 16 papers or presentations during the conference.

213 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Berry and Cummings cited in article on republican caucuses

Newt Who? Rick Santorum Sweeps Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri
International Business Times, Feb. 8

Michael Berry (left), assistant professor of political science, and Michael Cummings (right), professor of political science, discuss the important of fundraising and widening the base for Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

121 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

CLAS student attended the State of the Union
CLAS student attended the State of the Union

What I'm Going to Face When I Graduate Is a Pretty Big Challenge Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 17
Mahala Greer, an undergraduate Spanish major and graduating senior, sat in the first lady’s box with Michelle Obama at the President’s recent State of the Union address.  Greer introduced the  President when he visited the CU Denver campus back in November, and caught Obama’s attention with her direct, honest assessment of the state of American education.

234 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Martinez receives Diversity and Excellence Grant
Martinez receives Diversity and Excellence Grant

Donna Martinez, professor and chair of ethnic studies, has been selected to receive a 2012 Diversity & Excellence Grant in conjunction with the “University of Colorado Denver Summer Bridge Program.”


122 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Otanez member of the Framework Convention Alliance Task Force
Otanez member of the Framework Convention Alliance Task Force

Marty Otañez, assistant professor of anthropology, is a member of the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) Task Force, part of  the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (Articles 17 and 18), searching out alternative livelihoods for tobacco farmers and farm workers.  FCA comprises 350 organizations from more than 100 countries working on the development, ratification and implementation of the international treaty. He has been presenting a series of papers nationally and internationally over the past several months on the intersection of human rights and tobacco farming.

150 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Riel-Salvatore presented paper in Italy
Riel-Salvatore presented paper in Italy

Assistant professor of anthropology Julien Riel-Salvatore, presented a paper at the Tavola Rotonda sul Paleolitico Medio d’Italia (Roundtable on the Middle Paleolithic of Italy), held at the Center for Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies (CAMNES) of the Lorenzo de Medici Institute, in Florence. It is titled “Neanderthal mobility in the Italian peninsula in the Late Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic: Biogeographic and evolutionary perspectives”. His presentation (in Italian) can be seen here (select the video “2a sessione mattino” and go to about the 46:20 mark).

147 Views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Student Life Events

Bridge Speaker: Nikki Giovanni

Thursday, Feb. 23 11:00am - 12:00pm Tivoli Turnhalle

The Bridge Speaker is an annual event, now in its 18th year on our campus. "Bridge" refers to the symbolic bridging of Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March. Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others. The author of some 30 books for both adults and children, Nikki Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. This event is co-sponsored by Metro State Institute for Women’s Studies and Services, GLBT Student Services at Auraria, Metro State Department of African and African American Studies, Metro State Student Activities, CU Denver Student Life and CCD Student Life.

Event Contact Info Metro State Institute for Women's Studies 303-556-8441

154 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Chili Cook Off with the Chancellor- CU Denver Spirit Thursdays

Thursday, Feb. 23 11:00am - 1:00pm North Classroom Atrium

Join us for the First Annual Spring Cili Cook-Off with the Chancellor. Come taste for free! The showdown will begin at 11 a.m. May the best chili win!
Sponsored by the CU Denver Office of Student Life and the Office of the Chancellor.


101 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Eliminating Racial and Health Disparities in America with Dr. Brian Gibbs

Monday, Feb. 27  3:00pm-4:00pm Tivoli Multicultural Lounge                           

Come hear about ethnic health disparities in America with one of the nation’s leading experts in that area, Dr. Brian Gibbs.  Brian K. Gibbs is associate dean for Diversity and Cultural Competence in the Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence and assistant professor, Department of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  In his role, Dr. Gibbs is responsible for all cultural diversity matters involving faculty, staff, and fellowship recruitment, retention, and promotion as well as improving the institutional cultural climate, community perception and patient satisfaction for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

359 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Chuck Klosterman: Life Through the Prism of Pop Culture

Tuesday, Feb. 28 12:30pm - 1:45pm Tivoli Turnhalle

One of the most singular and exciting cultural critics of our generation, Chuck Klosterman captures what it feels like to navigate our pop-obsessed, media-saturated culture. In bestsellers like Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, he shows us why "pop" is a conversation anyone can join in on, and why it matters. Klosterman is not a detached academic who deconstructs pop culture at arm's-length with a deadening sterility; he's a regular guy whose intellectual curiosity is insatiable, infectious and surprisingly insightful. Chuck Klosterman is a contributor to Grantland, Bill Simmons' sports and pop culture site, and the author of six books. This event is sponsored by CCD Student Life, CU Denver Student Life and Metro State Student Activities.

Event Contact Info CU Denver Student Life at 303-556-3399

164 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Leap Year Event

Wednesday, Feb. 29                   11:00am-1:00pm Tivoli Food Court

Did you know that leap year only happens once every four years, only on years that are divisible by 4, and that Julius Caesar created the leap year in 45BC?  This February 29th, come celebrate this uncommon event by finding out how far your leap is in our jump contest and earn food vouchers for our on campus restaurants!


109 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

CLAS Events

Gender and Campus Climate Luncheon

Monday, Feb. 27 11:00am – 1:00pm Terrace Room, LSC

The Women’s Issues Committee and the Office of Diversity Affairs is sponsoring a workshop entitled “Gender and Campus Climate.” Dr. Mary Coussons-Read has collected significant data regarding CU Denver’s campus climate over the past few years. Dr. Coussons-Read will be presenting this data with an emphasis on evaluating differences in work and climate perceptions by gender and rank. She will also discuss outcomes of the RTP process by gender as well as faculty overall satisfaction by gender. The second part of the workshop will consist of creating focus groups aimed at finding solutions and potential improvements to the issues discussed in the presentation. There will also be substantial time for networking with other participants. This presentation will be especially interesting to all faculty members as well as graduate students interested in pursuing careers in academia. Lunch provided.
Please RSVP by 5:00 PM TODAY, Thursday Feb. 23.

182 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Public Reading Given by Novelist Dana Spiotta

Monday, Feb 27 6:00pm - 8:00pm Tivoli Turnhalle

Novelist and National Book Award finalist, Dana Spiotta, will read from her latest novel, Stone Arabia.  Scribner published Dana Spiotta’s first novel, Lightning Field, in 2001. The New York Times called it “the debut of a wonderfully gifted writer with an uncanny feel for the absurdities and sadnesses of contemporary life, and an unerring ear for how people talk and try to cope today.” It was a New York Times Notable Book of the year, and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the West.

Her second novel, Eat the Document, was published in 2006 by Scribner. It was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and a recipient of the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Michiko Kakutani wrote in her review in The New York Times that Eat The Document was “stunning” and described it as “a book that possesses the staccato ferocity of a Joan Didion essay and the razzle-dazzle language and the historical resonance of a Don DeLillo novel.”

The reading is free and open to the public. A reception in the upstairs portion of the venue will follow the reading immediately. This event is funded, in part, by the President’s Fund for the Humanities.

Sponsor: The UCD Creative Writing Visiting Writers Series

Co-Sponsors: The Center for Public Humanities, Copper Nickel, The Women and Gender Studies Program, UCD Department of English

234 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Anthropology Colloquium Series

Friday, Mar. 2 1:00pm - 3:00pm North Classroom 1535

"Paleogenomics and the evolution of Neandertals and Denisovans" John Hawks Associate Professor of Anthropology University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Hawks' lab is currently working with genomes of archaic humans to uncover the relationships of these ancient people to recent human populations. Most living people trace a fraction of their ancestry to Neandertals, and a smaller proportion trace their ancestry to a mysterious population called the "Denisovans", represented by a genome from an ancient specimen from the Altai mountains. He is uncovering the interactions among these ancient groups -- when and where did they encounter modern humans and exchange genes with them? He is also investigating the function of those ancient genomes, and what new facts their genes can tell us about Neandertal biology. Dr. Hawks will talk about ongoing work related to pigmentation, immune system, muscle physiology and the brain

For more information contact Connie Turner at 303-556-3554.

205 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Department of Modern Languages Spanish Queer Cinema Series

Department of Modern Languages Film Series

97 views | Issue: February 23, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

View all CLAS events on our website

To view all CLAS Events, please visit our event calendar

February 23, 2012



March 27, 2014

March 13, 2014

February 27, 2014

February 13, 2014

January 30, 2014

January 16, 2014

View More Issues


CLAS Home Page

CLAS Events

Faculty and Staff Resources


University Home Page

UCD Network

UCD Newsroom


The CLAS Deans' Notes is a bi-weekly newsletter for college faculty and staff.

Tracy Kohm 303.556.6663