Davis Faculty Association

Archive for February, 1999

UCD Parking Fee Issue

Late in the academic year 1997-98, DFA learned through Ken Ealy, Employee Relations, that UCD planned to increase parking fees dramatically for 1998-99: “A” stickers (for faculty) rates would rise from $360 annually to $408 (monthly from $30 to $34). We were further  informed that this fee is projected to grow to $948 in 2004-5.

Our response, stated, among other things,  that while we understand that parking fees are needed to construct new lots, “The proposed increases are to finance parking structures and lots that will minimally serve those who are paying for them. These lots are intended to provide parking for the public attending the new arts complex. In the meantime, new buildings are being built on the site of old parking lots that the faculty and others have already financed.”

Bryan Miller, the late  Chair of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate, also wrote to Chancellor Vanderhoef, asking a number of questions regarding this proposed fee increase. He echoed the DFA’s  request for a moratorium on further increases, at least until alternative plans are reconsidered and/or the current plan is fully justified.

In the fall, Janet Hamilton, Vice Chancellor for Administration, replied to Miller, with copies to the Faculty Welfare  Committee and  the DFA. Neither of these organizations are satisfied with what she wrote. Her long response included the following comments:

“The primary utilization …of the Lake District parking facilities is to accommodate day-to-day 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. campus parking patrons (faculty, staff, students, and visitors)…The Center  for the Performing Arts is planned … to be an evening and weekend event venue whose patrons will pay a special events parking fee…”
She  noted that alternatives to building more structures have been considered and rejected. Remote parking  with free shuttles was abandoned due to low usage. To “leave existing surface lots in place and build additional surface  lots… would force academic buildings to be located on sites increasingly distant from the buildings that house like disciplines.” She also said, “The State  Budget Office has not supported the replacement cost of displaced parking—the State chooses to spend its money on the facilities necessary to support academic programs… [Care is taken so that] any surface parking lot that is removed to make room for another structure has been fully amortized [which usually takes] 7 to 10 years.”

Both the Welfare Committee and the DFA responded to one part of her letter. She stated ” The Office of Administration is  currently looking at the appropriate mechanism(s) to collect feedback from  its constituencies for all units reporting to the Office of  Administration.”  The DFA offered to volunteer one of its members to serve on an advisory committee that would address the parking cost issue.

Frank Samaniego, Chair of Faculty Welfare, has requested John Vohs,  Vice Chair of the Academic Senate, to bring before the Representative  Assembly a proposal to create a Standing Committee on Campus Parking that would  be charged with reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the availability, quality and cost of campus parking, and would render advice, as appropriate, to  the Senate and the campus administration regarding these matters.  The DFA will continue to watch this issue.

News from Sacramento

Key Legislation (Introduced as of Jan. 25):

In keeping with Gov. Davis’s agenda for affordability, accessibility and  accountability in education issues, several bills deal with admission issues and student fees [Note: The Regents discussed the possibility of raising student fees at their January meeting.]

AB 14 (Ducheny) would guarantee funds for UC and CSU to provide for fee buyouts as in the past year and, like Bustamante’s bill last session, would also require state funds to support student enrollment growth consistent with the Master Plan. It also contains intent language regarding student access and services.

SB 22 (Brulte) proposes reducing student fees for 1999-2000 by 10% below the 1998-99 level. It also would require systemwide fees charged to resident graduate students for 99-00 be reduced 15%. Professional degree fees are excluded.

SCA 2 (Hughes) A reintroduction of SCA 7 from  last session, SCA 2 would provide that only the students who rank in the upper 12.5% of their graduating high school class at their particular high school, based on educationally sound measures of high school performance, including grade point average, are eligible for admission to the University of California. The measure would provide that students in this 12.5% group who rank in the upper 6% of their graduating high school class would be entitled to admission to the university, subject to reasonable eligibility requirements established by the university, and that the remainder of students from this 12.5% group would be eligible to compete, on a statewide basis, for available opportunities for admission to the university. (In his inaugural address, Gov.  Davis said, “Under my  administration, …we will seek to ensure diversity and fair play by guaranteeing that those students who truly excel by graduating in the top four percent of their high school – whether it’s in West Los Angeles or East Palo Alto – will be automatically admitted to the University of California.”
[Note: UC Regents are expected to adopt the 4% plan proposed by BOARS.]

SB 76 (Murray) This bill would guarantee every community college student who attains an associate of arts or an associate of science degree in liberal arts in a community college and meets transfer course and grade point average requirements a place somewhere in UC or CSU system.

Sponsored Legislation:

UC is drafting a proposal for  Assembly Member Ducheny that supports graduate medical education by allowing teaching and children’s hospitals to use state Clinical  Teaching Support funds  to leverage federal Medicaid funds in recognition of the cost of medical education incurred in the treatment of Medi-Cal inpatients. This proposal extends an existing program that was created by SB 391 (Solis) in 1997 – a bill which CUCFA strongly supported.

Master Plan  Review: Senator Dede Alpert, Chair of the Senate Education  Committee, along with Senator Vasconcellos and others have announced plans to review the Master Plan for Higher Education.

Medical Injury Compensation Reform  Act (MICRA): Speaker Villaraigosa may introduce legislation to eliminate or increase the  MICRA caps, which limit to $250,000 non-economic damages in medical malpractice law suits. The thresholds have not been adjusted since the legislation was enacted in 1975, and the California  Trial Lawyers have indicated that this is a major priority for them this year.

Confidentiality of  Medical Records: Several  proposals are expected in this area. Although the  intent of the legislators is to restrict marketing to patients based on their medical Legislative Update history, from UC’s  perspective, access to medical records is a critical component in research, particularly in epidemiology. [This has been Introduced as AB 62 (Davis).]

HMO Reform: Senator Speier and other legislators have announced their intention to increase the oversight of HMOs and to consider a variety of restrictions and requirements such as requiring plans to cover contraception, requiring doctors  to sit on review panels, and  allowing HMOs to be sued for malpractice.

TA Unionization: Legislation establishing the right to union representation and collective bargaining for teaching assistants may be introduced.

Deteriorating UC Research Support

by Ben McCoy

UC faculty systemwide strongly believe that research funding on their campuses has not kept up with increased costs, and that this has adversely impacted their research programs.  The University Committee on Research Policy (UCORP) verified this view in a 1996 survey on the research environment at UC (http://apollo.gse.uci.edu/UCORP/climate.html).  With its 72% response rate, the survey painted a clear picture of how faculty believe their own research has been adversely affected by inadequate infrastructural resources and inadequate intramural funding and administrative support.

The faculty conclusion that UC funding for research has declined is supported by the evidence of dwindling internal research funds.  Twenty years ago every faculty member at UC Davis could rely on receiving a grant each year that would cover most of the airfare for travel to a professional meeting.  Even though research and professional meeting costs have skyrocketed over the past 20 years, Committee on Research (COR) grants for travel and for research have stagnated. According to the Consumer Price Index, the value of a 1978 dollar is now $2.75.  Registration fees for meetings for most professional organizations equaled or exceeded the CPI increase. For many faculty, the out-of-pocket costs to attend a meeting to present a research paper have become prohibitive.

COR grants for faculty research 20 years ago included sufficient funding to support a research assistant over the summer. In 1978, the fees for an in-state graduate student were Research (Con’t)
$240/quarter, while in 1998 the same fees increased to $1474.  For a nonresident student, quarterly fees increased from $875 to $4274 over the same period.  In 1978 chemical disposal costs were minimal; now the cost to dispose of used research chemicals frequently exceeds their purchase price.  Obsolete instructional equipment funds and non-recurring equipment funds, which helped maintain research and laboratory instrumentation, have decayed to nothing over the years.  In most departments, technical support has dwindled.  The faculty keenly feel these inadequacies and expressed their frustrations in no uncertain terms in responding to the survey.  The cumulative effect of the deteriorating  research environment at UC has been declining faculty morale, which is well-documented in the UCORP report.

DFA believes that adequate funding for COR should be  restored and  regularly adjusted for inflation in order to maintain a baseline of  support that will be adequate to assist faculty actively engaged in research.  Faculty in all departments should enjoy a minimal level of ordinary day-to-day departmental support that includes telephone, access to a duplication machine for routine copying, computer equipment and access, stationery, postage, and supplies.

Every faculty member should be at least partially funded  for one trip each year to present research results, and should have a  reasonable expectation of intramural funding being available  to cover modest research expenses.  The benefits would be an improvement in faculty working conditions as well as in the general welfare of the university.

Copyright Issues Heat Up At UC

by Charles P. Nash

A little less than a year ago, an article in this Newsletter entitled  “Cyber Higher Ed” introduced its readers to several educational “innovations” that could/can seriously affect the intellectual property rights of faculty members everywhere.  At that time we were unaware that during the 1997-98 academic year a Task Force chaired by R.M. Tanner, the Executive Vice Chancellor at Santa Cruz, was reviewing the status of UC’s copyright policies.

The Task Force was charged “to review University policies and recommend revisions if and as appropriate to enhance the creative work of members of the academic community.  Its overarching purpose is to assure that institutional policy continues to serve University and academic values in a rapidly changing environment.” [Note: Some may infer from the last sentence that the empanelers of the Task Force believe that “University” and academic” values may or even do differ in significant ways.]

In September of 1998 the Task Force submitted its Draft Report, which then underwent “informal” review by interested parties including the campuses, the systemwide Academic Senate, and (at its own initiative) the Council of UC Faculty Associations.  The 23 page report along with a number of other quite interesting documents is available on the Office of the President website at www.ucop.edu/acadinit/copyright.

The Task Force made 15 recommendations, many of them meritorious.  However,  Recommendation 8 has drawn heavy criticism from a number of quarters, including CUCFA.  This recommendation reads: “UC copyright policies should address ownership issues surrounding class materials, including the classroom “performance” of lectures and interactive compendia incorporating the contributions of students, regardless of the medium in which they are created.”

We urge the interested reader to retrieve and study the full text of (at least) Recommendation 8 to get a sense of where the Task Force thinks the University might be heading.  Among the issues that they feel need to be addressed in UC copyright policy are: “Ownership and scope of use of class materials made available on the Web; ownership and scope of  use of recordings of faculty performances…”; and “use of course materials in cases when faculty members leave UC.”

CUCFA submitted a three-page analysis which argued (among other things) that according to current Federal copyright law,  lectures are not performances, and that there is no distinction under the law between lectures whose tangible reduction takes the form of videotape vs. lecture notes.  Either way the copyright belongs to the faculty member, not the University.

These are clearly not trivial matters.  If a lecture in any form whatsoever became “work done for hire,” then the University would own the copyright.

Existing University policy (see www.ucop.edu/ott/crprimr.html) states that:  “copyright ownership resides with the originator of the work if it is Scholarly/Artistic work, which is work originated by a Designated Academic Appointee as a result of independent academic effort, unless the work is also deliverable under Sponsored Work or     Contracted Facilities work [Both of these are defined later in the document and neither of them fit the circumstances that underlie the scholarly products of typical faculty members], or there are special overriding ownership provisions in place.”

The question which is currently before UC’s house is: “Will things stay this way?”  The Faculty Associations are not foot-draggers, but neither can they sit quietly by and allow the University unilaterally to define the future conditions of our employment.  We will obviously keep you posted as things evolve.

Finding One’s Way Thru The Merit And Promotion Briar Patch

by Peter L. Hays

You’re Invited to A DFA Forum on Merits and Promotion Wednesday, Feb. 17, 4-6 p.m. in the Cabernet Room of the Silo

Policies and procedures will be reviewed and case studies will be discussed. DFA members who have been involved in both Senate and administrative sides of the process will be on hand to comment.

Three speakers— Lisa Tell (Med & Epid, VM), Jim Millam (Animal Sci) and Tricia Moran (English)—will recount their promotion experiences, preceded by an overview of the process by Peter Hays (English).  Former Senate chair and CAP member Charles Nash will wrap things up by explaining  faculty rights and appeal procedures.  Refreshments will be served.

We  invite you as a DFA member to spread the word about this workshop. Share the information with those colleagues whom you know will be preparing advancement packages.  We urge you to attend and help make our guests welcome; especially, we urge you to invite non-DFA members so that they can observe just how helpful the DFA can be in addressing faculty interests.  To reserve a space at the workshop for yourself or a colleague, please email us at dfamhays@dcn.davis.ca.us  or call 756-6413 before Feb. 11.  We look forward to seeing you there.

UC Budget and Faculty COLAs in Jeopardy?

by Charles P. Nash

As you may recall from our Nov. newsletter, the Regents requested funding for a COLA averaging 2% for all UC employees and an additional 0.2% parity adjustment for Academic Senate Faculty, designed to maintain parity with our comparison institutions. That plan may be threatened by reductions in the budget which Governor Davis has now submitted to the Legislature.

A recent press release (available on the Web at  http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/uwnews/) announced that the Governor’s budget reduces UC’s 1999-2000 request for permanent state General Fund support by approximately $50 million and also discontinues $70 million of one-time funding available in 1998-99 for core UC needs such as instructional technology, equipment, library materials and deferred maintenance.

Larry Hershman, UC vice president for budget, said the proposed funds are  not sufficient to cover an anticipated 3 percent enrollment growth, keep student fees level and fund growth in the university’s basic program needs. “The $50 million reduction from the Regents’ workload budget and the loss of one-time funding for core needs would hurt the university a great deal,”  Hershman said. “Before we propose a plan to cope with these reductions, though, we will work with the Governor to see if we can reach agreement on a more satisfactory funding level in the context of a new compact.”

Additional information presented at the Regents’ meeting on January 14 included some of the  options UC is considering to deal with the cuts. To accommodate  the $50M cut in permanent budget funding for UC, Vice President Hershman suggested reducing or possibly even eliminating some of the requests for  deferred maintenance, equipment and libraries, and  COLAs. Regent Connerly said that UC must put consideration of student fee increases on the table as well, despite his acknowledgment that Legislators do not want student fee increases. The only  other  solution mentioned was  possibly reinstating the car tax which Wilson reduced last year.

Regent Johnson noted that  consideration of addressing the faculty-student ratio problem is lamentably impossible given the budget situation. Guided by our lobbyist, the FAs will work hard to persuade legislators to provide more funding for UC this spring if/when the State’s financial picture becomes brighter and we know more about the progress of  the negotiations with the Governor for a new compact for higher education.

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