Davis Faculty Association

Archive for June, 2008

Results of DFA Web Survey – A new direction for UCD?

The results and comments from our membership to our initial DFA survey are available.

In summary, 47% of the respondents agreed strongly strongly that a new direction was needed, 33% felt that a new direction was needed and 13% disagreed. Feel free to share the results with your colleagues.

This was our first test run of the DFA survey. We hope to make it a regular feature. We are looking for suggestions for the subject for our next survey. Please send them to info@cucfa.org.

Physician Scientists: Tenure in Jeopardy

by Ian Kennedy

The following commentary initially appeared (in slightly different form) in the April 2008 edition (Vol. 1, No. 1) of “Faculty to Faculty,” a newsletter of the Faculty Executive Committee of the UCD School of Medicine.  Its author, DFA member Richard Katzberg, is the grievant in the case–a case which was investigated, heard, and reported on by the campus Privilege and Tenure Committee during the period January 2004 to February, 2007.   We are making this commentary available to all our members with the author’s permission and because the salient issues identified by him–faculty governance at multiple levels, a faculty member’s right to fair play, and security of academic tenure–transcend department, college, and school boundaries and are critical to the welfare of all faculty.

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Physician Scientists:  Tenure in Jeopardy

Richard W. Katzberg, M.D.
Professor or Radiology, School of Medicine

A newly-revised Department of Radiology Compensation Plan was initiated by the Chair and approved by the Dean, School of Medicine without the advice and consent of the departmental faculty members in 2001-2002.  Yearly modifications were instituted without faculty discussion and vote, and in 2002-2003 the FTE 19900 funds assigned to specific tenured, regular ranks faculty were “…distributed to the entire department”.  This significant change in policy was promulgated by the Dean at the School of Medicine faculty meeting of January 28, 2004.

APM 015 specifies that “a major responsibility of the administration is to protect and encourage the faculty in its teaching, learning, research, and public service”.  And, APM 245 mandates that “The chair is expected to seek the advice of faculty colleagues in a systematic way, and to provide for the conduct of department affairs in an orderly fashion through departmental meetings and the appointment of appropriate committees.”

The significant consequence of a change in assigning state funds for tenured faculty positions to a policy of distribution of these funds to the entire department allowed the Chair to implement a salary methodology whereby tenured faculty were disassociated from the academic component of their salary and were forced to earn all of their income from clinical service.  In this manner, protected academic time was severely diminished, inhibiting research and teaching opportunities mandated by the State assignment of the FTE 19900 funds.

A grievance was filed against the Chair’s action on January 20, 2004.  This grievance included four allegations:  (1) the Chair of the Department of Radiology misappropriated State funding, known as FTE or 19900 funds, by pooling it with all departmental income; (2) the Chair disregarded the University mandate to engage in shared governance with department faculty members; (3) regarding FTE faculty, the Chair reduced formal time allocated to research, counter to University policy and in a manner inequitable among all faculty members, and; (4) the Chair used an inequitable methodology for distributing financial incentives to all faculty members.

The grievance was investigated by the Investigative Subcommittee of P&T which issued its report in January of 2005, finding that the evidence supporting the grievance was sufficient to allow it to proceed to hearing.   The Hearings Subcommittee conducted a formal hearing on October 18 and 20, 2006 and ruled unanimously in favor of the grievant.  The ruling and findings were forwarded to the Chancellor on February 19, 2007.  Nine months later the Chancellor denied the grievance, indicating that the “preponderance of the evidence” did not support the findings of both P&T Investigative and P&T Hearing that the grievant’s rights had been violated.  Currently, the issues raised by this grievance and the Chancellor’s response are under consideration by the Academic Senate Executive Council.

The salient issues being addressed include faculty governance at multiple levels, a faculty member’s right to fair play, and the importance and security of academic tenure.  Parallels are noted in a prior circumstance at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1997.  At that time, 18 tenured faculty members filed a grievance against the university president in response to a newly implemented policy that required tenured professors in the medical center to fund most of their own salaries.  Even though two grievance committees supported the faculty, the Administration refused to change the policy and a lawsuit ensued.  The lessons learned at Georgetown are discussed in a case study published in the Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors, November-December 1999, Vol 85, No. 6.  The cogent points of the Georgetown precedent are as follows:

“The grievance proceedings reveal that the Administration, in instituting the new policy, had come to see tenured faculty merely as a revenue-generating commodity.  In reality, tenured medical faculty are an invaluable but often intangible resource.  They contribute not only to an institutions’ educational stability, but also to a medical school’s reputation in the public’s eye as a provider of philanthropy.”

The ultimate resolution of the situation at UC Davis is yet to be determined.

We want to hear from you

The DFA Board wants to encourage the participation of our membership and to give voice to the concerns of the faculty. We plan to publicize the results of regular surveys on our web site and to possibly inform a broader audience by whatever means are suitable. This is our trial run with a fairly generic topic. Suggestions for further survey questions are welcome.

Please take our survey at the following link:

http://cucfa.org/survey/public/survey.php?name=direction

Yudof in the San Jose Mercury News

Incoming UC President Mark Yudof was quoted extensively in an article printed recently in the San Jose Mercury News. The excerpts below indicate that CUCFA has its work cut out for it educating him to some UC budget realities.

“Yudof said he is committed to the public-university philosophy of educating the masses, but with public funding dwindling, it’s time to take a much more serious look at private money. ‘I call it a hybrid university,’ he said. ‘The University of California is a public university and should remain one. But it is true that the streams of revenue have become much more diversified.'”

The idea that private donations can compensate for cuts in state funding is something CUCFA has had to confront with members of the state legislature.

The facts are UC already aggressively chases funding from philanthropy, having tripled funding from that source since 1990 in real dollars. All UC endowments as of 6/30/07 were around $6.7 Billion (putting UC in the top ten, data from the Chronicle of Higher Ed., vol. 54, issue 10).

However, unless UC spends down the principal, only about 1/20 of that is available to spend in a given year. Furthermore, most private giving is directed and can not be used for core costs. According to Chris Newfield, chair of the UC Planning and Budget Committee, at UC 95% of private giving is restricted in this way. Thus, for every dollar of state support lost, an enormous amount of endowment support would have to be raised.

The full Mercury News article is available at:
http://www.mercurynews.com/localnewsheadlines/ci_9400962

Suggest Regent Candidates

From Andy Waterhouse:

The report on the Regent’s problems rekindled an idea I had last year.  Considering UC’s overall difficulties and the governance issues with the Regents, I think the faculty should send the Governor’s office a list of good candidates for Regents.  This should be a public list selected by a faculty panel using clear criteria.  Some ideas: 1) some knowledge of UC (extensive knowledge should not be needed) but including some appreciation of the roles of the faculty and administration, 2) an established commitment to UC’s mission and education in general, 3) a record of management success in business, academia, government or non-profits.

We have to avoid the impression that we want to stack the Regents with members “friendly” to faculty.  A public list of candidates should help avoid that impression.

In any case, this new report creates an opportunity and justification for the faculty to initiate more involvement.

I would be willing to support this effort with my participation if you feel it is worth pursuing.

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From Ian Kennedy:

Linda Bisson points out this idea was discussed systemwide but the Senate cannot get involved in political issues like this without UCOP involvement. However, the Faculty Associations are free to follow-up. Any comments?

Fiat Lux

A colleague with a penchant for irony has made the following observation

Begin forwarded message:

Fiat Lux, Latin for “Let there be light,” is the motto of the University of California.

From UC Davis Dateline, May 29 2008:

Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef’s brown bag chat on the Davis campus last week turned into a blackout.  Not because of a power failure. But because he had someone turn off the lights, all of them, in MU II at the Memorial Union.  “And this is just one little thing,” he said. “But if we’re all doing it, we could truly make a difference” — for a lower energy bill and improved sustainability.  Turning off the lights might not work in everyone’s office or lab. But the west wall of MU II is all glass, which during this noon hour let in a huge amount of sunlight. “We could get used to this, right?” the chancellor asked his audience of about 50 . . .

From UC Davis Dateline, May 29 2008:

UC Davis’ shiny new Aggie Stadium [has] brand-new lights, hoisted into place on May 29 atop 120-foot-tall steel poles . . . The $600,000 lighting system consists of . . . 180 metal halide lights, most of them 1,500 watts strong . . . The high-wattage lights are designed to put out . . . the brightness needed for television coverage of night events . . .The lights will be used for more than just football games. Aggie Stadium is also home to the women’s lacrosse team. In addition, the stadium will be available for evening concerts and community events . . .

WASC Assessment of the UC Regents

by Ian Kennedy

We are inclined to lay all blame for the travails of UC at the door of the President or doors of the Chancellors. There is, however, another authority that shares some culpability for the ills that beset us – the Regents. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges offers an interesting assessment of the Regents in their review of UC management. The following is a summary of the general tone of the WASC report by DFA member Susan Harrison; please note it does not represent Susan’s personal assessment of the WASC opinions, in particular their accuracy.

This document contains (beginning p. 25) a report by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which sent a special committee to examine the accreditation issues that were raised by the UC compensation and governance “scandal”.  The report is pretty scathing – much more so of the Regents than the university itself.  If you don’t have time to read it, here’s the summary – the regents ignored material that was brought to them, told people to bring them less rather than more information, did not know their own rules, like to speak to reporters on issues where there hasn’t been any discussion or vote, get no training in university governance, and have a culture of hostility to university administrators, faculty and staff.

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