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University of Colorado Faculty Council records

Identifier: COU:2736

Scope and Contents

The Faculty Council Collection consists of papers concerning the activities of the Faculty Council beginning in 1968. The collection is separated into six sections:

I. Executive Committee consists of notes, minutes, mailings, agendas, Executive Committee Chair’s records, reports, and correspondence (1969-1989); II. Chair’s Records consist of minutes, agendas, and papers (1965-1978), and correspondence (1970-1971); III. Secretary’s Records consist of agendas and minutes (1970-1976), and operating books (1974-1983); IV. Agendas and Minutes consist of agendas, minutes, policies, and attachments (1968-1993); V. Correspondence consists of general correspondence, President Thieme’s correspondence, correspondence with Chancellor Lawson Crowe, with the Faculty Senate and with Board of Regents (1968-1970); VI. Alphabetical Files are subject files relating to the Faculty Council.

Some of the topics include: committees, academic affairs and polices, elections, boards, faculty handbooks, ROTC, reports, and events, such as the Thieme no-confidence vote, and CIA recruitment at universities.


  • Creation: 1968 - 1993

Biographical / Historical

The Faculty Council of the University of Colorado is the elected governing body of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate included every member of the faculty and operated since the 19th century to assist the president with the governance of the University. The Faculty Senate, which had met regularly for more than seventy years, had grown with the expanding University and became too large and unwieldy.

In 1966, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate recommended changes in the faculty governance to President Smiley. This recommendation came after the Senate began to notice that fewer Senate members were attending the meetings, and because of this they were becoming less effective. The suggestions made to President Smiley resulted in the appointment of an eighteen member panel from the Executive Committee to study the matter and propose a more suitable form of governance. After interviewing over fifty university faculty governments throughout the country, holding meetings, and seeking opinions of the faculty, administration and staff, the panel presented a preliminary report on February 27, 1967. As a result of this report, the University Senate adopted a plan to re-organize the Senate. On May 16, 1967, the Senate made the decision to create a faculty council.

President Smiley appointed a drafting committee, who proposed a report on October 17, 1967. The drafting committee recommended the “creation of a Faculty Council of the Senate to be composed of 41 representatives from the schools, colleges, and academic divisions of the University plus 11 chairmen of university committees resulting in a total of 52 members.” The drafting committee also proposed an elaborate set of rules for the functioning of the Faculty Council. They wanted to give greater power to the Faculty in determining the governance of the University. The proposal was approved for the Faculty Senate on November 21, 1967. The adoption of these rules went into effect in the Fall of 1998. The new Faculty Council held its first meeting on September 19, 1968.

The Faculty Council made amendments to the rules in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. The Faculty Council ended up consisting of 50 members elected as representatives of the various schools and colleges, one representative of the Libraries, the chairmen of the Faculty Senate Committees (14) and, after 1975, the chairmen of the faculty assemblies of the Colorado Springs, Denver, and Medical Campuses. Some of the Committees formed under the Faculty Council include the Committee on University Women, Elections Committee, and the Silver & Gold Board.

The Silver & Gold Record was founded by the Faculty Council in order to keep lines of communication open with the students. During the Vietnam War the Faculty Council played a significant role in keeping the various campus constituents groups informed on campus matters. The Faculty Council was effective in keeping the campus open during a time of protest and confusion, by communicating with the students and forming joint boards with the student body. After the war ended and the University of Colorado reorganized onto a four campus system the Faculty Council was faced with the challenge of a multi-campus faculty and their divergent concerns.

The reorganization of the University of Colorado into four campuses, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver, and the Health Sciences Center, caused turmoil within the Faculty Council. The Faculty Council largely consisted of Boulder campus faculty, therefore, the other campuses formed their own faculty assemblies. The Colorado Springs campus, Denver campus and the Health Sciences Center complained about “having to sit through discussions on matters that did not concern them.” Albert Bartlett, a physics professor at CU and president of the Faculty Council, along with a drafted committee of the Faculty Council members from the Boulder campus proposed a constitution which would provide Boulder with a Faculty Assembly. Faculty Council chairman, John Tracy, admitted that a Boulder Faculty Assembly would kill the Council, but felt that “may not be bad.” The constitution for the Boulder Faculty Assembly passed on April 19, 1976, the vote was 202-19. The first meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly was held on May 13, 1976.


19.5 linear feet (39 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Faculty Council Collection contains papers from the Executive Committee, Chair’s records, secretary’s records, agendas and minutes, correspondence, and alphabetical files. The Faculty Council was formed in 1967 as a result of a growing campus, a greatly enlarged number of faculty and lack of participation in the Faculty Senate. The questions facing faculty governance had grown in complexity and did not match the cumbersome structure of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Council worked with the students and gave more power to the faculty over university governance. In 1974, when the University of Colorado split into four campuses, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, and the Health Sciences Center, the Faculty Council was dominated by the Boulder campus. The Colorado Springs, Denver, and Health Sciences Center all formed their own faculty assemblies. In 1976, the Faculty Council formed the Boulder Faculty Assembly, which assumed many of the duties previously preformed by the Council.

Custodial History

Gift of Regina Hanson, Linda Luce, and Jim Mills, February 9, 1979; September 1, 1986; October 15, 1986; August 3, 1990 and August 31, 1994.

Processed by Cynthia Ploucher, 1999. Data entry by Barbara Black, 2021. Uploaded by Jennifer Sanchez, 2021.
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States