Davis Faculty Association

Archive for November, 2007

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.

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