Davis Faculty Association

Archive for 2007

Testifying as an expert witness

Date: Dec. 3, 2007
TO: All DFA members
FROM: Ian Kennedy, Chair, DFA

The issue of outside professional activities, specifically testifying as an expert witness, has been raised recently by a member. The DFA Board believes that some members may be interested in the relevant part of the APM that relates to this particular activity.

Page 8 of APM 025 states that testifying as an expert witness is an activity accepted as part of what faculty members do. There is a time limit: You can’t do more than ca. 39 days. Also, you have to report this on your annual report of professional activities.

Criteria for Charles P. Nash Prize

Some DFA members have inquired about the criteria for deciding who receives the Charles P. Nash Prize. The criteria are being finalized and the mechanism of selection of the prize winner is being decided by representatives from the DFA, Senate, Federation, the Nash family, and the University Foundation. We will post the details on the DFA website once all is finalized.

The current wording of the Prize is as follows:

“Purpose of Award. The Charles P. Nash Prize is designed to reward exceptional achievement and commitment in promoting shared governance and advocacy for faculty interests and welfare.

Eligible Recipients. The Prize is to be awarded annually to a member of the UC Davis Academic Senate, the Davis Faculty Association, or the Academic Federation whose actions, in the spirit of Charlie Nash, demonstrate an exceptional and extended commitment to shared governance and/or promoting faculty interests by ensuring equitable treatment of faculty. In the spirit of Charlie Nash, such activity must be above and beyond normal committee assignments or academic obligations, typically, over a period of time or one’s career.”

CUCFA supports Legislative action to promote transparency in UC governance

Responding to widespread disappointment with UC administrative leadership, the California Legislature has passed two measures to increase transparency in UC governance. Senate Concurrent Resolution 52 recently passed in both the state Senate and Assembly. It memorializes the UC Regents to provide for “shared governance” in the management of the UC retirement funds. Senate Bill 190 passed in both chambers and was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It mandates increased openness in Regents’ discussions of high-level executive compensation. The Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA – of which the DFA is a member) supported both of these measures. Most recently, CUCFA participated in a press conference with Senator Yee, Assembly Member Portantino, and other supporters of SB 190 who successfully called upon the Governor to sign SB 190.

The Regents may feel that they have considerable latitude in when and how they respond to SCR 52. CUCFA wrote to the Regents requesting that they take immediate action to implement it by creating a UCRS governing board that includes faculty and staff representation. The advantages of such a board include creative input from a diversity of viewpoints; open discussion of investment goals and risk management; widely available background material, analyses, and rationale for decisions; and increased confidence in the integrity of processes.

The letter is available at http://www.cucfa.org/news/2007_nov16.php

As always, member comments and input will be highly valued.

Support the Charles P. Nash Prize

To: All DFA Members
FROM: Ian Kennedy and the DFA Board
RE: The Charles P. Nash Prize

We are sending you this information both as an attachment and as text (see below) in case anyone has a problem opening the attachment.

The Nash Family, the Academic Senate, the Davis Faculty Association and the Academic Federation of UC Davis, are jointly creating a Prize to honor the outstanding contributions that Charles P. Nash made to the University community. The Charles P. Nash Prize will be funded through donations from individuals wishing to honor Professor Nash’s accomplishments and to inspire others to emulate his commitment. To contribute, please click on this link http://www.ucdfa.org/Nash_Prize_Form.pdf; additional information about Charlie is available on the DFA web page at www.ucdfa.org. Just click on “Nash Prize.”

Why is the Charles P. Nash Prize significant to the DFA? It is because Charlie Nash embodied the best potential of the DFA to do good for its members.

Charlie knew the ups, downs, ins and outs of the University of California. He knew UC administrative procedures, the relationships of the UC with California government, and the details of Senate rules and regulations. Charlie saw the university as a whole. He recognized both the value of the whole and the significance of its critical components, which are the UC faculty and staff without which Regents, Presidents, Chancellors, and other administrators would have no use.

What’s more, he understood clearly that the whole could from time to time act insensitively to one or more of the faculty or staff and that rules and regulations of our primary governing body, the Academic Senate, might not protect faculty members suffering from such insensitivity—even that Senate actions might serve to cause or further such harm. When called upon, Charlie would act formally or informally to advise faculty members so affected, and his knowledge of administrative and Senate arcana made him a particularly effective advisor and, when necessary, advocate. As a man of principle, he could also assist the UC administration in its relationships with faculty members, who occasionally cause harm to the whole as well.

Charlie knew that principles of shared governance maintain the vitality of the UC Faculty and the university as a whole, but that it is always possible for the relationships between administration and Senate to blur in ways that can erode the strength of collaboration between faculty and administration. He acted forcefully and constructively within the Senate structures, but he would step outside that formal representative body and express his strong, well-informed, opinions clearly–and he knew who needed to hear them.

Those of us who worked with Charlie in various contexts understand that his combination of commitment to us and to the UC as well as his experience, talents, principles, and his steady, affable nature were unique among us. That combination did great good for individuals among us and for the university as a whole.  At its best, the DFA will carry on his work at UCD, keeping watch over the ins, outs, ups and downs of relationships that affect us and stepping in as advisors and advocates for members in need.

We are unlikely to have another friend who embodies all of Charlie’s qualities, which guided and served the DFA so well while he was with us, but the Nash Prize will encourage all of us to look for and reward those who follow his example of seeking fairness with courage  within our great institution.

How was the UC Davis Sloan Award for Career Flexibility Used?

As  reported last year in one of our membership news bulletins (see Board Seeks Input on Family Policies on the DFA website at www.ucdfa.org), in the fall of 2006, UC Davis and UC Berkeley received a $250,000 Alfred P. Sloan award to “expand programs supporting career flexibility for tenured and tenure-track faculty” (UC Berkeley Press Release, September 25, 2006).  UCD’s share of the award was to be used to create:
–a comprehensive educational campaign;
–training/workshop programs for faculty;
–a family friendly advisor/mentorship program; and
–a ‘frequently asked questions’ section to be added to the academic personnel website.
During the past year, according to Binnie Singh (Director, Faculty Relations and Development in the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost and one of the co-authors of the proposal submitted for the award), considerable progress has been made on all of these projects.  Here are the highlights:
–descriptions of the new family friendly policies emanating from the Office of the President and the programs which support these policies have been posted at http://worklifebalance.ucdavis.edu/ and at http://academicpersonnel.ucdavis.edu/worklife/;
–various brownbags and workshops designed to educate department chairs, staff, and new and continuing faculty about the policies and programs have been held or scheduled, including a session on “Worklife Policies/Programs” in the 2007-2008 New Faculty Brownbag Series (scheduled for May 29, 2008 from 12-1:30 in 203 Mrak and presented by Binnie Singh and Barbara Ashby, Manager, Work/Life, Child Care & Family, Human Resources;
–a “Faculty Advisors for Work Life” program was established with 14 faculty answering the call to serve as advisors/mentors.  A list of them can be found at http://academicpersonnel.ucdavis.edu/worklife/; and
–the promised FAQ section has been added to the academic personnel site (shown just above).  In addition to ‘answers,’ the site also provides sample language that faculty and/or department chairs can use in requesting or defending exceptions to the normal personnel process as provided by the new family-friendly policies.
The DFA Board invites comments–whether positive or negative or both–from members who have had first-hand experience with these policies and/or the programs which implement them.

DFA Memo re. health benefits

Date: Sept. 13, 2007
TO: DFA Members
FROM: Ian Kennedy, Chair

The Labor Relations office at UCOP has responded to my letter that  set out the concerns of our members in regard to changes to providers  in our medical plans. Howard Pripas has offered the following response:

Dear Professor Kennedy

Your letter of August 10 , 2007 to Executive Director Randolph Scott has been forwarded to me for response.

Minimizing provider disruption for our current enrollees was a key goal during the University’s medical bid process and the vast majority of employees will not be required to change providers. At the same time, a very small percentage of faculty and staff may experience provider changes due to the network HMO consolidation. In the next several weeks we will continue our work with the providers in an attempt to further reduce disruptions.

Howard Pripas, Executive Director – UCOP  Labor Relations

Health Benefits Memo to UCOP

Date: August 10, 2007
TO: DFA Members
FROM: Ian Kennedy, Chair
Re: Health benefits

The following letter was sent to Randolph Scott, Executive Director
HRB-Policy & Program Design at UCOP:

As you may recall from our meetings with you and HR staff at Oakland, a major concern of our faculty members is the ability to maintain an on-going relationship with their current physicians and medical groups. We trust that this concern will be given its due consideration during the selection process of new health insurance providers.

Memorial Prize to honor Charlie Nash

The DFA board is currently collaborating with the Academic Senate and others to craft a memorial prize to honor Charlie Nash for the outstanding contribution he made over many years to the University community. We will keep the membership of the DFA informed as details become available.

Memorial for Charles Presley Nash

by Myrna Hays, Executive Director of the Davis Faculty Association and former Legislative Coordinator for the Council of UC Faculty Associations.

Charlie Nash was a man who loved a challenge and he had a strong sense of fairness and justice. He had spent many years active in the Academic Senate at UCD before I met him in 1992 when he was elected to the Davis Faculty Association Board; it was just a year before he retired. He remained active on the board until his death and his role expanded from the local board to the statewide organization. In his role as VP of External Affairs, he was essentially the voice of the Council of UC Faculty Associations to the California legislature, with a long list of accomplishments on behalf of UC’s faculty to his credit. Many faculty members, including members of the Council of UC Faculty Associations and of the DFA board, have written to me to express their sadness at the loss of such a valuable member of our campus and statewide University community. He was the pillar of the faculty association organization for many years. His encyclopedic knowledge of the workings of the Senate, the details of the APM, and his contacts with faculty and administrators throughout the University made him invaluable. He worked with the Administration and the Senate when he thought it in the best interests of faculty and students, and he was willing to challenge them when it was necessary to maintain fairness. Due to his long history of service in the Academic Senate, he was well-qualified to conduct DFA forums to assist faculty in “finding their way thru the merit and promotion briar patch,” as well as frequently counseling individual faculty members and assisting them with their personnel cases in their departments and with the Committee on Academic Personnel, as well as often testifying in court on their behalf. Many owe their merit advancements to his effort.

He was adept at ferreting out information, logically organizing it, and building a strong case which he expressed in his own unmistakable style, often sprinkling his comments with forceful and colorful language to make his point. He suffered no fools, or in his language, he “took no crap from anyone!” He often rewrote what I submitted, complaining that I used too long sentences. He wanted clear, blunt prose that did not detract from the ideas he wanted to express.

In his dark suit and wearing his UC tie, he walked the halls of the Capitol, representing the Faculty Associations on legislation of importance to faculty. He had a number of accomplishments in that arena. He opposed legislation banning faculty members from using their own books as texts in their classes; he was instrumental in obtaining $10M for library print collections at UC along with $20M to replace obsolete equipment in the teaching laboratories; and he exerted great effort to establish the rights of faculty to their own intellectual property, including sponsoring DFA forums, criticizing the administration’s position, and going to court to sue on- line note takers for violation of faculty ownership of their own lectures. His most notable effort likely was his collaboration with the California Faculty Association — the Sacramento State University faculty union — to enact intellectual property rights legislation that was signed into law.

But there was more to Charlie than the hard worker who fought for faculty and student causes. He took on battles for others, was pleased when he succeeded, but was not one to indulge in self-pity or disappointment for long when things did not go well. He simply picked up the pieces and went on with business. Thus, on the surface he often seemed like a rather gruff guy, but those who knew him well also knew that underneath that somewhat brusque exterior was a very caring individual, someone you could always count on to have your back. As we worked together over the 15 years, we spent much time on long trips to the Bay area or to southern California for Faculty Association business. This lent itself to long conversations in which I learned much about him and his family and became his friend. He talked of everyday events, delighting in phone calls with his children and grandchildren, detailing how proud he was of all of them; he described trips to exotic places, but his eyes lighted up in anticipation of visits to “count the noses” of his grandchildren. He and Lois had a steady love borne out of many years of marriage. They enjoyed quiet times during which they traveled together and worked together, she on the family genealogy, he on academic issues; both in the League of Women voters. They enjoyed good times with their neighbors on Sequoia; he delighted in the potlucks on the Fourth of July and watching the fireworks from his driveway. He was very lonely after he lost Lois. He tried to take it in stride, simply saying, “It’s just me and the cat.” So it was beautiful to see him fall in love with Clinton. She and his step children reinvigorated him. He was almost like a teenager in love, a love that shined through him. She opened him up into a more relaxed individual who finally began to act like a retiree, taking time to go to watch the ocean waves and to enjoy having youngsters around again.

We shared news of our ups and downs. My husband and I invited him and his family members to our home and joined them in celebrations of his birthdays. And we shared sad or difficult times. We visited him the morning he found that Lois had died in her sleep and we were by his bedside with Clinton when his heart stopped. I shall miss him. He is irreplaceable, but his vision and personality will live on in our memories and provide us with motivation to do our best.

DFA Brief re. CUCFA Supports SCR 52 — Employee / Employer Joint Governance of UC Retirement System

Dear DFA Members:
Several years ago, management of the UCRS investment portfolio was handled very successfully in-house at UCOP for about $5M a year. Management was transferred to a private outside organization at the urging of some Regents, notably Gerald Parsky. The cost to us of the less than stellar management team is about $32M per year. An article appeared recently in the press that raises questions about Parsky’s role is this action. For further information, go to http://www.eastbayexpress.com/2007-05-09/news/parsky-s-party

As a result of this situation, Assemblyman Yee has sponsored legislation to require additional employee representation on the  board of the UCRS. The Davis Faculty Association, through its  affiliation with the Council of UC Faculty Associations, CUCFA, supports SCR 52. The following is a letter CUCFA distributed to the  members of the Senate Public Employees Retirement Committee.

Ian Kennedy, Chair
Davis Faculty Association

May 29, 2007

The Honorable Pat Wiggins (Chair)
Public Employee Retirement Committee
California State Senate

RE: Support of SCR 52

Dear Senator Wiggins:

The Council of UC Faculty Associations strongly supports SCR 52 (Yee). This bill would, if passed, declare that the legislature “finds that joint governance of the University of California Retirement Plan is necessary to ensure that significant pension plan decisions are based on full and accurate information, to prevent conflicts of interest from impacting the management and performance of the University of California Retirement Plan, and to ensure that the University of California Retirement Plan is financially sound and well managed in a fair and appropriate manner.”

We believe that the fiscal stability of the UC Retirement System (UCRS) has been greatly jeopardized in the seven years since the Board of Regents, acting unilaterally, questioned the expertise of the then-sitting Treasurer of the Regents and her in-house staff of investment specialists, and turned the management of its retirement funds over to an array of fee-for-services consultants.  With the resumption of employee and employer retirement contributions looming on the horizon, we urge the Legislature to do whatever may be required to insure that henceforth the UCRS governing board — like those of the STRS and the PERS — will have equal numbers of employee and employer representatives.  SCR 52 is one step in that direction.

Respectfully yours,
Charles P. Nash
Vice President — External Relations
Council of UC Faculty Associations

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