Davis Faculty Association

Archive for November, 1997

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

by  Mary Ann Mason (UCB) President, Council of UC Faculty Associations

When I first took over as President of the Council last summer, one of my colleagues stopped me in the hall. “Congratulations,” he said, “but tell me, What is the Council doing for me?” Here is my response to him:

You may be familiar with the activities of the Faculty Association on your campus, but unaware of what goes on at the Council level. One of our most important activities is constant lobbying for faculty interests in Sacramento. As the  only organization dedicated solely to the legislative interests of the UC faculty, we support a professional lobbyist, Ralph Ochoa, and our own staff and volunteer faculty members also constantly monitor relevant bills,  sitting through long committee hearings and sometimes waiting up to influence late night votes.

These are some highlights of legislation that the Council has been actively engaged in promoting this past year.

· A minimum 5 percent raise for all faculty (closer to seven percent if you received a merit). This is the third year of a hard won compact with the governor to bring faculty salaries up to parity with our comparison eight institutions. Next year this goal should be achieved.

· Long-term stable funding for the university. The Council labored long and hard to promote AB 1415 to guarantee the university a stable portion of the  state budget for at least the next several years. We cannot recruit or retain top faculty without long-term stability. Despite everyone’s efforts and success in persuading both houses of the Legislature to approve it, the Governor did not sign the bill but promised instead to work out a second compact with UC.

· Funding for medical education. In our current volatile climate of health provision, UC medical schools face increasing cutbacks in fees for patient services with  serious consequences for faculty support. We actively supported two bills which could alleviate this crisis by attracting  matching federal funds  to UC’s academic medical centers in the near future and by requiring the California Health And Welfare Agency, the California Medical Assistance  Commission, and UC to meet to discuss the long-term funding of medical  education.

The Council also  promotes faculty benefits and advocates for faculty rights and privelges within UC. The Council is actively pursuing on-going issues such as budget allocations for faculty salaries and benefits; domestic partner benefits; choices in benefits plans; definitions of salary parity; the development of the tenth campus; and proposed changes to the APM regarding the medical compensation plan, faculty disciplinary procedures, and standards regarding incompetence.

As I finished my litany of activities, my colleague said, “Okay, you win. It’s time to become a member. Sign me up.”
(See Join the DFA.)

Update on Tenth Campus

At their September meeting, the  Regents approved authorization for continued planning and development of a tenth UC campus to be located at the previously approved Lake Yosemite site in Merced County. This authorization will enable UC to proceed with the formal steps of the statewide approval process,  including the mandated study by the California Post Secondary Education Commission (CPEC). Exercise of the option agreement to acquire the campus site and commencement of construction is contingent on further action by the Regents and on the provision of state resources adequate both to develop the new campus and to ensure the continued health and enrollment expansion of UC’s existing campuses.

A steering committee composed of Provost C. Judson King, Senior Vice President Wayne Kennedy (Chair), Vice President Bruce Darling, Associate Vice President Lawrence Hershman, Vice Provost Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, and Professor Dan Simmons is providing overall guidance for tenth campus planning.

Consolidation of Existing Programs and Transitional Planning: UC has maintained a significant teaching, research, and public service presence in the San Joaquin Valley since the late 19th century.  Current programs are centered in three broad categories: agriculture, medicine, and academic services such as outreach to K-12, Extension, various kinds of professional education including programming for teachers, and a highly regarded joint UC and CSU doctoral program in educational leadership. Steps are being taken to consolidate the geographically-dispersed programs that currently exist , add on to their number,  and then  build on them to make the transition to academic programs for the tenth campus. These steps include:

· Creating a UC Center in Fresno to bring together a number of Fresno-based UC programs.

· Recruiting a new Director of Academic Programs to work with existing UC campuses to expand University Extension and degree programming in the Valley, including development and distribution of technology-assisted instructional programs through UC and collaboration with CSU, CCC,  and K-12 schools.  Joseph Castro, former Assistant Dean at the Graduate School of Public Policy, UCB, was hired into this position in  August.

· Developing a research agenda including a  possible “think tank” as a means to bring outstanding researchers and graduate students from UC and CSU to work on selected topics of critical importance to the Valley. A strong research core would attract outstanding founding faculty to develop undergraduate and graduate programs for the tenth campus.

Academic Planning: UC has initiated work on an academic transition plan that will lay out strategies for academic development of the campus, including student and academic support services, and for the hiring of founding faculty and academic administration. In addition, a preliminary academic plan is being developed by a faculty advisory committee chaired by Dan Simmons (Law, UCD), and consisting of Roger Anderson (Chemistry, UCSC), Richard Duran (Education, UCSB), Arnold Leiman (Psychology, UCB), Eldridge Moores (Geology, UCD), Judith Smith (VP for L &S Undergraduate Educ., UCLA), Clifford Trafzer (History, UCR), Carolyn Wall (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, UCD), Cecil Lytle (UCSD), Rosemary Papalewis (CSU Liaison),  and E. Jan Kehoe (CCC Liaison).  The plan is now undergoing internal review and will be submitted to CPEC.

The advisory committee is considering a residential campus model, which will be the hub of the teaching, research, and public service activities and the home of faculty, students and staff. This hub will, however, have the potential to provide educational programming throughout the Valley through a judicious combination of technologically-assisted instruction and on-site learning. For example, the consolidated center in Fresno might continue as a site for distributed education after the tenth campus opens its doors to students. The campus will be a product of the 21st century, incorporating  current and sophisticated technology throughout, from the library which will represent the digital age of information, to the laboratories , the classsrooms, and the residence halls.

Academic planning requires a long time-frame. The academic strength of the tenth campus will depend on the excellence of the founding chancellor, faculty, and academic administration.  The current enrollment plan is that the tenth campus would open and enroll the first 1,000 on-campus students in Fall 2005 and grow by 800 students per year, resulting in an enrollment of 5,000 by Fall 2010.

Funding:  The 1997-98 State Budget includes a permanent augmentation of $4.9M to UC’s operating budget to provide  for development of academic programs in the San Joaquin Valley as well as  planning, startup costs, and ongoing support for the tenth campus. A long-term plan for state operating budget support for UC was encompassed in AB 1415 (Bustamante), which was designed to provide stable funding increases for existing programs, as well as budget support for enrollment growth. Unfortunately, Governor Wilson vetoed AB 1415. It is unclear at this writing how UC will deal with this problem, but it is clear that before a decision can be made to proceed with construction of the tenth campus, funding actions will be needed to secure long-term operating  and capital budget support for enrollment expansion at the existing campuses as well as the new campus.

The $4.9M permanent augmentation (which was originally to be $10M and was reduced when all state budget programs were cut due to the PERS repayment) will establish  a core funding base for the new campus. In the years prior to opening enrollment in 2005, these funds would be used  for planning, start-up costs, and hiring. The goal is to have 100 faculty in place by Fall 2005, ready to offer a range of lower division, upper division, and graduate programs.

The capital funding requirements for a campus that can support 5,000 students has been estimated at $400M (expressed in 1997 dollars) in State capital funds with approximately $250M prior to 2005 and another $150M between 2005 and 2010 to support growth to 5,000 students. The total $400M  in funding averages about $35M per year for the 12-year period 1998-2010. In addition,  UC estimates it needs about $350M annual  outlay to meet capital funding needs to maintain, upgrade, and expand existing campuses.  New bond measures will need to be passed to meet these needs.

UC Budget Update—1997-98 and 1998-99

At their October meeting, the UC Regents approved the budget for 1997-98 and discussed a proposal for 1998-99. There is not room here to outline the full budget proposal , but highlights which might be of particular interest to faculty follow:

1997-98: Faculty salaries and merits were funded as proposed in the compact so faculty will receive  regular merits, COLAs of 2% and an additional parity increase of 3% (although the exact percentages may vary by rank). Faculty merits will be paid from July 1, although the new budgetary system may have caused delays in some departments. All UC employees will experience a one-month delay (from Oct. to Nov.) for COLA and parity increases due to a one-time budget reduction of $9.5M. This reduction was made necessary by the Governor’s repayment of funds appropriated from the Public Employees Retirement System.  Late action resulted in the Governor’s signing of a bill by Ducheny (D-SD) to restore $2.5M of the original $12M cut to UC. The Regents voted to apportion $1.25M back to deferred maintenance and to allow President Atkinson to determine the distribution of the remaining $1.25M. Since it is too small to cover a full month of salary redress, it likely that Atkinson will put it all into deferred maintenance.

1998-99:  In keeping with the compact, UC is proposing expenditures to cover merits for eligible employees, a 2% COLA for all employees, and an additional 2.5% parity for ladder rank faculty. This parity increase is designed to bring faculty salaries to the level of our comparison institutions and may be reviewed in November when more is known about the comparison data.  In fact, CPEC will be conducting a review of the salary methodology in the spring; it is expected that consideration of cost-of-living variables among the institutions will be one of the topics of the review.

Faculty/Student Ratio: President Atkinson again expressed concern to the Regents about the high FS ratio at UC, especially  in relation to our comparison institutions. Current budgeted ratio is 18.5, although the actual enrolled ratio is 19.5 (even greater on some campuses because the ratio is lower on campuses with  high graduate enrollment);  the ratio is 14.5 for the public and 10.1 for  our comparison private schools. To get back to the 17.5 ratio UC enjoyed for many years before the budget cuts of the early 1990s, UC would need to hire about 500 new faculty.  However, the 1998-99 budget proposal contains funding for 1.4% enrollment growth and is based on the same target of faculty/student ratio of 18.7.

Matching Program for Federal Contracts and Grants: As a priority for funds beyond the compact, UC is requesting an additional $3M from the state to provide matching funds to assist faculty to compete for federal funds by having the flexibility to mount  a rapid response when opportunities to submit proposals arise at a time when the commitment of matching funds is becoming a greater determinant in the awarding of research grants.

Digital Library:  UC will make an initial investment of $1M and ask the state to provide $3M to create a digital library while maintaining and improving current collections and  services. In its first year, the CDL (California Digital Library) will develop a delivery mechanism for electronic materials, support digitization of books and periodicals, establish policies and procedures for archiving digital content, encourage electronic publishing by faculty, and assist campuses in providing user support and training.

Tenth Campus Funds: Another priority for additional funds is for $5M to bring the permanent core funding for the tenth campus to the full $10M originally proposed for 1997-98.

Conversion to the Semester System: Done Deal or Shared Governance

At the Fall Convocation, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef outlined a proposal to change from the quarter-based academic calendar to the semester system.  As Chancellor, Vanderhoef has authority over the calendar, although curricular decisions are clearly within the purview of the faculty.  The ultimate decision on this proposal will have to result from the shared governance process.  There is no question that the process of conversion, if undertaken, will be extremely time consuming and require extra effort on the part of faculty and staff.

Vanderhoef put forth five arguments for his recommendation at the convocation.  Conversion to the semester system would:

· Bring UCD in line with more than 75% of the nation’s  research universities.

· Foster articulation  with other institutions in Northern California, most of which are on the semester system.

· Force curricular re-evaluation and reform.

· Help students compete for internships and summer employment

· Reduce staff workload by only requiring two start-ups instead of three.

Pros and Cons of the Shift: The Chancellor’s proposal follows the recommendation of the Semester Conversion Task Force chaired by former Davis Vice Provost Carol Tomlinson-Keasy.  This report, available on the Web at http://www.mrak.ucdavis.edu/semester.htm, also cites  as advantages that the semester system allows for better use of the Library by students; more time for under-prepared and new students to adjust to the campus; more opportunity for thorough examination of a subject;  more time to choose and complete meaningful term paper and research assignments; students to pace their studies and have time for review. It also initiates  the personnel review process sooner;  promotes greater interaction between faculty and students; reduces faculty time spent on preparing  reading lists and course syllabi,  and administering  proportionately fewer exams; and promotes better use of textbooks, which are now designed principally for  the semester system.

However, the report also acknowledges some advantages of the quarter system;

· Departments have greater flexibility in providing course offerings, which also  allows for more curricular innovation;

· Students have more flexibility in selecting majors and arranging class schedules;

· New courses can be created to meet the needs of rapidly changing or
emerging disciplines;

· Students and faculty have more frequent breaks, which reduces intellectual fatigue.

A subcommittee of the Semester Conversion Task Force, chaired by JaRue Manning, examined the  faculty issues and identified several topics of particular relevance to faculty: teaching loads, sabbatical credit, time spent revising courses, the maintenance of subject matter diversity and program quality, the impact on research time, and the issue of shared governance.  Many of these issues will be of more or less relevance depending on the individual discipline and department.

Shared Governance: Of particular interest is the issue of shared governance.  The subcommittee called for a campus wide convocation on the topic of conversion followed by a faculty referendum.

The consultation process is currently underway.  The Academic Senate committees are discussing the proposal as are the executive committees of the colleges and schools. A joint faculty-administration Task Force on Academic Calendar Consultation has been appointed to oversee the integrity of the process of consultation.  Town-hall meetings will be sponsored by the Academic Senate, and a Senate web page has been created to share deliberations.  The use of a referendum has not been mentioned, but there will be a Senate-wide mail ballot.

Informal Poll: In the meantime, Professor Quirino Paris, Agricultural Economics, reported the results of a random survey he recently conducted of 362 members of the Academic Senate.  Of 250 responses, 21 did not state a preference. The remaining 229  voted: 154 in favor of the quarter system (67%);  75 in favor of the semester (33%).

When classified by group of disciplines, the results were:

86        for the quarter     (61%)
58        for the semester  (39%)

53        for the quarter     (87%)
8          for the semester  (13%)

14          for the quarter     (50%)
14          for the semester  (50%)

More information on the Paris survey along with faculty comments is available on the Web at http: //www.agecon.ucdavis.edu/Faculty/faculty. Click on Paris.

Effect of Early Drop Date: Another issue, not mentioned widely in connection with the switch to an earlier calendar,  is the early drop date used at Davis. According to administration sources, the early drop date in place on campus results in fewer students being counted for funding purposes at Davis that at the other UC campuses.  UCD receives $ 7 million less under the current drop date than if the deadline were later in the quarter as it is at other UC campuses.  Changing the Davis academic calendar might lead to a reconsideration of the early drop date now in place.  This problem may become moot if the Academic Senate’s Universitywide Assembly adopts  a recommendation from its Educational Policy committee to create a systemwide policy governing add/drop dates for courses.

General Education: An additional issue for the campus will be the operation of the general education requirement under the semester system.  With reduced flexibility implied by the semester system, these requirements and courses will need to be recast.

How to Give Your Input: It is evident from Paris’ survey, and previous polls, that the faculty will want to engage in a complete dialogue on this issue and that many will need to be convinced of the wisdom of a shift.  Some of this dialogue will be posted in electronic form on the Senate’s Web page at http://www.mrak.ucdavis.edu/senate/senateho.htm.  Concerned faculty can also write the chancellor using traditional mail or e-mail addressed to semester@ucdavis.edu. To express an opinion about DFA’s role in this issue, contact us at dfamhays@dcn.davis.ca.us.

Shared governance will mean full faculty participation in the consideration of this issue.  Leadership is welcome from the administration, but decisions are made best by those who are most affected by them — in this case, that  is the faculty.

Ochoa as New UC Regent

UCFA’s lobbyist, Ralph Ochoa, has just been appointed as a UC Regent to replace Claire Burgener. Since he will serve for at least one year while his confirmation is determined, the Council will need to seek new lobbying representation. It is gratifying to learn that Ochoa has been able to represent the Faculty Associations in a manner that is perceived to be in the best interests of the University.

DFA Meets With Our Assemblywoman, Helen Thomson

On October 15, the DFA sponsored a campus meeting with Assemblywoman Helen Thomson (D-Davis). We also invited Marj Dickinson from UCD’s Office of Governmental Relations and some representatives from the UCD Alumni Association.

Helen served for many years as a Davis School Board member and then as a Yolo County Supervisor and has just completed her first session representing the 8th Assembly District, which includes Yolo County.

After providing some background information about her “freshman” colleagues in the Assembly, Thomson answered a number of questions from the assembled group. We can only provide brief highlights of that interchange here.

Background:  Helen emphasized the effect of term limits stating that of 80 members, 30 are new and the most experienced have served only four  years. They tend to think of UC as rather elite, of CSU as more accessible, and as the Community Colleges as the place for most young people to get a start. Thus they favor providing easy transfer to UC.

Thomson noted that Chancellor Vanderhoef is being “politically wise” in advocating a shift to the semester system because doing so will enhance transfer possibilities with CSU and CCC. She also praised his presence in the Capitol, meeting with legislators and testifying at appropriate hearings.

Response to Questions:

Q: We try to take the message to legislators that we are charged not only with teaching but also research, which is valuable to the state’s economy. What do you think of this strategy?

A: The more you can do so, the better. I did not realize, even having lived in Davis just down the street from the campus and having read Environmental Impact reports as a Yolo Co. Supervisor, how much UC faculty contribute. I was particularly impressed by the testimony of Jeff Mount during the hearings on the flood problems. Perhaps UC could compile a list of experts who would be willing to advise legislators on various topics of their expertise. The faculty need to be more public about their participation in these issues.

Q: What issues do you see emerging for next session?

A: Many are carryovers.  First are   HMO’s and health reform. I will be serving on the Task Force set up by the Governor and am particularly concerned about how to provide UC training of medical students.  Next, how to fund school buildings and renovations. It is unfair to continue to expect young families in new developments to pay so much more than people in older areas for local government issues such as schools.

If the economy continues to improve, we should be awash in money next year.  Right now, folks are underestimating the cost of welfare reform and the amount of new money coming in to the state.

Q: Since the Governor  vetoed AB 1415, what are the prospects for long-term funding for higher education?

A: Legislative leaders do not want stability; they want CONTROL. They prefer to have UC and others come hat in hand to ask for a budget each year.  That’s why they hate Prop 98.

Q: What of the “new compact” mentioned in the veto message? How can a Governor who is on his last term (and running for President) really negotiate a  new compact for a future Governor?

A:  I found that the veto messages do not make sense, so do not be surprised that this one doesn’t.  But I voted for AB 1415 and I believe that Bustamante will continue to seek  a funding mechanism for higher education and for the tenth campus.

Q: Will Bustamante get caucus support if  a reversal of term limit restrictions allow him to run again?

A: Yes. It is good thing that he may get a new term. Cruz asks people what they think and  provides options for an informed decision. He is a good listener and good problem-solver.

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