Article 5 PDF

Part A: Faculty Governance

5.A.1 Principle of Shared Governance

(A) The Regents of the University of Colorado is the governing board charged with the governance of the university. It is a guiding principle of the shared governance recognized by the Board of Regents that the faculty and the administration shall collaborate in major decisions affecting the academic welfare of the university. The nature of that collaboration, shared as appropriate with students and staff, varies according to the nature of the decisions in question.

(B) Tenured and tenure-track faculty with appropriate participation by instructional, research, and clinical faculty have the principal responsibility for decisions concerning pedagogy, curriculum, research, scholarly or creative work, academic ethics, and recommendations on the selection and evaluation of faculty.  The development of general academic policies shall be a collaborative effort between the faculty and administration.

In light of the differences in expectations of faculty at the Anschutz Medical Campus, particularly those with clinical responsibilities, the practice of shared governance may differ from the other campuses.  The review and evaluation of faculty and how faculty and/or faculty governance groups participate in the preparation of unit budgets may differ from the other campuses and will be incorporated into bylaws, policies and procedures that will be approved at the primary unit, school/college and campus levels using a shared governance process.

(C) The administration has the principal responsibility for the internal operations and external relations of the university.  Issues concerning the academic calendar, course scheduling, and teaching modalities shall be determined in collaboration with the faculty.

(D) In every case, the faculty and the administration collaborate in the governance and operation of the university as provided by, and in accordance with, the laws and policies of the Board of Regents and the laws and regulations of the state of Colorado.

(E) The governance roles and responsibilities of the faculty are further elaborated in regent policy 5.A.

5.A.2 Faculty Government

(A) The faculty shall form a Faculty Senate for the purpose of faculty participation in shared governance and other activities deemed important by the faculty.

(1) The university president shall be the president of the Faculty Senate.

(2)Faculty Senate membership shall be defined in the Faculty Senate constitution. Voting membership shall include those members who have a faculty appointment of 0.5 FTE or greater.

(B) The Faculty Senate constitution shall provide a system for participation of faculty in the governance of the university.

(C) On specific matters of shared governance, the Faculty Senate shall assign a spokesperson to address the Board of Regents.

(D) Consistent with the governance responsibilities articulated in regent policy 5.A, each school/college/library shall have a faculty governance body. The structure and operating rules shall be determined by the school/college/library faculty.

Part B:  Academic Freedom

5.B.1 Freedom of Inquiry and Discourse as a Core Principle of the University

(A) The University of Colorado was created and is maintained to afford individuals a liberal education in the several branches of literature, arts, sciences, and the professions and to create knowledge through the pursuit of research. These aims can be achieved only in an atmosphere of free inquiry and discourse.

(B) The core principle of free inquiry and discourse is recognized by the Board of Regents as academic freedom.

(C) All members of the university community have the right to free expression as stated in article 1.E. of regent law and further elaborated in regent policy 1.D; however, this right is distinct from academic freedom.

5.B.2 Principles of Academic Freedom

(A) Academic freedom is the freedom to inquire, discover, access, publish, disseminate, and teach truth as the individual understands it, subject to no control or authority save the control and authority of the rational methods by which knowledge is established in the field.

(B) All university employees, whose duties include independent teaching, scholarly or creative work are afforded the right of academic freedom relative to these duties (see the corresponding administrative policy statement) and have the right to grieve perceived violations of academic freedom through the Faculty Senate grievance process.

(C) The rights and responsibilities associated with the principles of academic freedom are elaborated in regent policy 5.B.

Part C: Faculty Appointments and Tenure

5.C.1 Faculty Appointments

(A) The faculty directly serves the teaching, research, service, and health care missions of the university and each faculty member plays a distinct role in achieving these missions.  The types of faculty appointments, as further discussed in regent policy 5.C, reflect the different faculty roles and responsibilities that exist within the university.

(B) Faculty appointments shall be made in accordance with section 2.A.4(B) of regent law or section 3.A.1(G)(1) of regent policy.  Appointments may only be terminated in accordance with applicable regent laws and policies, campus policies, and applicable state and federal law.

(C) Faculty tenure, privileges and rights as enumerated in regent law and policy, shall conform to the constitutions, laws, and regulations of the United States and the state of Colorado.

5.C.2 Tenure

(A) Tenure-track faculty are awarded tenure in the university based upon the recommendation of the president and the approval of the Board of Regents.

(B) A tenured appointment shall be held only by a professor or associate professor.  When a faculty member is hired at the rank of associate or full professor, the award of tenure remains subject to Board of Regents approval.

(C) The standards and procedures to be employed in making recommendations throughout the tenure process shall be in accordance with regent policy 5.D.

5.C.3 Instructional, Research, and Clinical Faculty

(A) The Board of Regents recognizes the importance of all members of the faculty in achieving the teaching, research, service, and health care missions of the university.

(B) The Board of Regents further recognizes that each campus has a distinct role and mission that directly affects the extent and manner to which they employ the expertise of instructional, research, and clinical faculty.

(C) The Board of Regents, subject to the framework provided in the corresponding administrative policy statement, delegates to the chancellor of each campus the responsibility to maintain appropriate policies for the appointment, reappointment, promotion, and termination of instructional, research, or clinical faculty.  Campus policies shall also include rights of appeal and associated procedures for instructional, research, and clinical faculty.  All policies shall be developed in collaboration with the appropriate faculty governance bodies and must adhere to state law, regent law and policy, and any associated administrative policy statements.

5.C.4 Dismissal for Cause

(A) The administration may terminate a tenured or tenure-track faculty appointment for cause when in the judgment of the Board of Regents and subject to the Board of Regents constitutional and statutory authority, the good of the university requires such action.

(1) The grounds for dismissal shall be demonstrable professional incompetence; conviction, whether by a plea or a verdict of guilty or following a plea of nolo contendere, for any felony or any offense involving moral turpitude; violation of university policies pertaining to discrimination, sexual misconduct, or fiscal misconduct; violation of the weapons control policy; material or repeated neglect of duty; or other conduct that falls below minimum standards of professional integrity.

(B) Dismissal for cause proceedings for tenured and tenure-track faculty shall follow the rules and procedures stated in regent policy 5.E. Only the Board of Regents may revoke tenure.
(1) Nonrenewal of a tenure-track appointment shall not be regarded as dismissal for cause and the provisions of regent policy 5.E shall not apply.

(C) Nonrenewal or termination of an instructional, research, or clinical faculty appointment is subject to campus policies and the terms of the individual’s letter of offer or employment agreement, which shall align with the framework established in the corresponding administrative policy statement.  See article 5.C.3(C).  The provisions of regent policy 5.E shall not apply.

Part D: Faculty Grievance

5.D.1 Grievance Rights

(A) Tenured and tenure-track faculty members who are denied reappointment, promotion or tenure and believe there have been serious procedural or factual errors in the case, or the denial occurred through the material violation of the laws of the regents or regent policy, may submit a grievance to the Faculty Senate grievance committee, as specified in regent policy 5.G.

(B) Tenure and tenure-track faculty members who believe they have been unjustly dismissed for cause may submit a grievance to the Faculty Senate grievance committee, as specified in regent policy 5.G.

(C) Instructional, research, and clinical faculty members who believe they have been denied reappointment or promotion contrary to campus policies, or have been terminated contrary to campus policies, may appeal in accordance with campus policies.  See article 5.C.3(C).  The provisions of regent policy 5.G shall not apply.

(D) Members of the Faculty Senate who believe their academic rights (as provided for in regent law and policy) have been violated may file a grievance with the Faculty Senate grievance committee, as specified in regent policy 5.G.

(E) Additionally, any university employees afforded academic freedom under article 5, part B, who feels their academic freedom has been violated may file a grievance with the Faculty Senate grievance committee, as specified in regent policy 5.G.

(F) The Faculty Senate grievance committee is authorized by the Board of Regents to investigate, mediate, hear grievances, and make recommendations to the administration on specific grievance cases.


  • Adopted:  September 14, 2018 (Moved from the old article 5.B, 5.C., 5.D, and 5.E); Became effective July 1, 2020.
  • Revised:  N/A.
  • Last Reviewed:  September 14, 2018.
  • Non-substantive Changes: January 2024.