Davis Faculty Association

Archive for October, 2008

Faculty Subcommittee is Seeking Nominations for the Next UC Davis Chancellor

Just in case you missed it, you have an opportunity to nominate candidates for our new Chancellor.

Begin forwarded message:

*From: *”Gina  Anderson” <gina.anderson@ucdavis.edu <mailto:gina.anderson@ucdavis.edu>>
*Date: *October 31, 2008 9:06:06 AM PDT
*Subject: **Faculty Subcommittee is Seeking Nominations for the Next UC Davis Chancellor*

Dear Colleagues,

Our campus is facing an important decision – the selection of our next Chancellor by President Mark Yudof.   The three of us below are pleased to have been asked to serve as the UC Davis faculty representatives on the President’s Advisory Committee for the Selection of the Chancellor, UC Davis, pursuant to the current policy of the UC Board of Regents on the Selection of Chancellors: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/policies/6135.html.  We are also pleased that, of the 18 members of the Advisory Committee, nine have been selected from the various constituencies of the UC Davis campus (faculty, academic federation, students, staff, alumni, foundation.): http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/18729.

The first meeting of the Advisory Committee was held all-day on Thursday, October 23, at which time dozens of UC Davis representatives spoke to and with the Advisory Committee.

The standard process for the selection of a UC chancellor relies greatly on the work of the five faculty on the Advisory Committee.  In addition to the three of us, the other two faculty are Professor Mary Croughan (UCSF), chair of the UC Academic Council, and Professor Michael Clegg (UC Irvine).

The five of us would like to have a broad pool of talented individuals from which to review and forward to the entire Advisory Committee a strong list of the final candidates for this position. We therefore would appreciate receiving nominations of appropriate individuals that you would like to have considered. You only need to provide the name and current position of the individual, a more extensive nomination is not necessary. Please send your nominations to any one of us and we will make sure those potential candidates are considered. You may also send nominations directly to the consultant employed by President Yudof to assist with this search, Alberto Pimentel, A.Pimentel@storbeckpimentel.com <mailto:A.Pimentel@storbeckpimentel.com>, who has assisted with several other previous UC chancellor searches.. Nominations may also be sent direct to President Yudof via the email address:davischancellorsearch@ucop.edu <mailto:davischancellorsearch@ucop.edu>. More information on the search can be found at the campus website:http://my.ucdavis.edu/login/outside_window.cfm?site=http%3A//www.ucdavis.edu

The closing date for nominations is Monday, December 1, 2008.

With our sincere thanks,

Linda F. Bisson, Chair
(lfbisson@ucdavis.edu <mailto:lfbisson@ucdavis.edu>)

Margaret Ferguson
(mwferguson@ucdavis.edu <mailto:mwferguson@ucdavis.edu>)

Robert Powell
(rlpowell@ucdavis.edu <mailto:rlpowell@ucdavis.edu>)

UC Davis Members of the Faculty Subcommittee of the Davis Chancellor Advisory Search Committee

A new look at funding for public universities

Chris Newfield, Professor at UC Santa Barbara, member of the UCSB Faculty Association, and former Chair of systemwide Planning and Budget, wrote a very compelling argument in favor of public funding of universities. His arguments are especially relevant in the face of the often demonstrated willingness of the UC administration to capitulate to politicians over funding.

The attached [PDF] is his article as published in the October 31 issue of “The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

Search for a Chancellor – make yourself heard

The Davis Faculty Association (an independent organization that represent UC Davis faculty) is conducting a web based survey of opinions of the faculty in regard to the selection of our next Chancellor. We urge you to follow the link below and give us your opinion of the essential characteristics of a Chancellor and your priorities for the campus. Please forward this email to all of your colleagues who may not be DFA members – we encourage everyone to participate.

We shall keep the survey open for one week before we transmit the results and opinions to the Search Committee.

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

CUCFA Actions Update

This past year has been a busy one for the Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA), the systemwide umbrella organization that the DFA is a part of. As the state’s budget situation has grown worse, CUCFA has spent more time in Sacramento fighting for UC’s share of that state budget. The budget battle also dragged out regular legislative business that CUCFA always participates in. Additionally this year, UCOP, which has been undergoing a large amount of turnover amongst its leadership, has begun a major restructuring of its operations, which CUCFA has supported so long as the changes weren’t short sighted.

Below is a brief description of the major actions CUCFA has undertaken this past year on behalf of UC faculty.

CUCFA’s Actions This Past Year

The Budget

The highest concern this year has been California’s budget. State revenue has declined significantly recently, and the Governor initially proposed 10% across the board cuts for 2008-9 for all state-funded programs. For UC this would have been a cut of $98.5 million relative to the 2007-08 budget, or $331 million less than UC would normally have gotten under the “compact” – an agreement between UCOP and the Governor in which neither UC faculty nor legislators in Sacramento had input. Because the Governor’s budget also excluded certain requests made in the UC proposed budget – such as buying out the student fee increase proposed for this year – the Governor’s proposed budget was, in total, $417.4 million lower than the funding requested by UC.

In response, CUCFA drafted a position paper called “How to Restore the Promise” (available from our cucfa.org website) and used material from it to revamp the KeepCaliforniasPromise.org outreach website that also provides a calendar of upcoming important legislative hearings and Regent’s meetings, information on how to contact legislators, and a searchable database of newspaper articles about the underfunding of higher education in California.

CUCFA officers made numerous visits to legislators in their Sacramento offices, distributing the information we developed as well as reports from the Academic Senate’s University Committee on Planning & Budget reports. CUCFA also joined the higher education coalition created by Lt. Governor John Garamendi, and participated in the large rally on behalf of higher education held on April 21.

After those efforts, the revised budget released in May restored UC’s funding to the 2007-08 level — an increase of $98.5 million. CUCFA continued to fight for further restoration, but those are the numbers that were ultimately signed into law just days ago.

We anticipate the budget battle this upcoming spring to be just as difficult. It is often repeated that the California State budget suffers from structural deficits. While this is true, it is also the case that the state political process is hampered by its own structural deficiencies. It is difficult to see how the former can be effectively addressed before the latter is remedied.

Legislation

In addition to the budget bill, several legislative bills sought to stabilize UC funding or reduce student fee increases. CUCFA took a support position on some of these bills. We supported AB 2372 by Assemblymember Coto because it included a funding source, rather than freezing fees without making up for the lost revenue in UC’s budget. But the bill died. Similarly, CUCFA supported ACA 16 by Assemblymember Torrico, which would have created a guaranteed funding level for UC and CSU. But in keeping with the arguments we made in “How to Restore The Promise” we asked that the bill use fiscal year 2000-01 as its base. ACA 16 died in committee

We supported AB 2296 by Assemblymember Mullin, which clarified the illegal status of acts that are part of an incitement or conspiracy to engage in violent protest against university researchers, although we did request that the legislation not use the term of art “academic freedom.” The legislation passed, and its author wrote a letter to the Assembly Daily Journal stating that it is not the legislative intent that the definition of “academic freedom” in the bill should alter University policy on academic freedom.

We supported SB 325, by Senator Scott, which would have revamped the higher education accountability program. This bill (which is separate from UC President Yudof’s accountability efforts) was vetoed by the Governor.

CUCFA supported Senator Yee’s SB 1370, legislation that would prohibit faculty from being disciplined in acting to protect a student engaged in conduct authorized by a state “freedom of speech” law. This bill was signed by the Governor on September 28.

We also supported Senator Yee’s SB 1696, which would prevent UC from claiming that information that should be released under the California Public Records Act could not be released because they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with a contractor. Yee felt this legislation was necessary because in January of 2008 the San Francisco Chronicle submitted a CPRA request to UCSF for a copy of an independent audit of the school’s finances. UCSF denied the request claiming that the contract between UCSF and the private auditing firm (whom UC refused to name) required the latter’s consent before the report could be shared (eventually, UCSF released both the name of the firm and the report). This bill was signed by the Governor in July.

UCOP

CUCFA also communicates with the UC Office of the President on issues. One recent issue that has involved direct communication with UCOP as well as legislative action is UCRP governance. CUCFA supports the concept of a pension governing board with employee representation. We feel that the Regents should have responded in a positive manner to the request from the Legislature in last year’s SCR 52, which we supported. Unfortunately they did not. This led to new legislation: ACA 5 by Assemblymember Portantino. While we support the general goals of ACA 5, we have strong reservations about the use of a ballot measure and constitutional amendment to achieve those ends. In addition, we are very concerned about the fact that ACA 5 would give the Legislature increased authority related to the pension fund. Finally, we do not support the specific make up of the board in ACA 5. ACA 5 died in the legislature.

The Council has also been closely following UCOPs plans to outsource the administration of retirement benefits. The Academic Council wrote a letter to President Yudof opposing the planned privatization, and CUCFA followed up with a letter supporting the Academic Council’s position.

There have been other moves made by UC in its effort to downsize operations at UCOP, several of which have concerned us. This has led us to, for example, write a letter to President Yudof directing his attention to the compelling arguments that exist for the continued management of the Natural Reserve System from within the Office of the President.

As always, we will continue to track issues of concern to faculty, and inform you, our members, of actions we take.

Beer on Us day on Friday 17th at Sudwerk

The Board of the DFA invites you to join us over a beer – or soft drink – at Sudwerk at 4:30pm on Friday the 17th of October. The first drink will be courtesy of the DFA. Please invite your colleagues (especially those relatively new to UCD who may not be aware of the DFA) to this event, even if you do not plan to attend yourself. We want to hear about your concerns, your suggestions, and any other input you may have for the Board of the DFA.

As the University of California faces another challenging period, perhaps one of the most difficult times that we have encountered, we need concerted action more than ever: the future of the University itself is at stake. To be effective in representing you, we need your help. Please join us on the 17th on the outside patio if weather permits, inside if it is inclement.

Ian Kennedy
Chair, DFA

Changes to your UCRP benefits administration

The message below, written by CUCFA Vice President Joe Kiskis, is being forwarded to the members of the DFA at the request of DFA Chair Ian Kennedy:

—————————

Hi, folks.

Attached [PDF], please find the official Senate position on the UCRP RFP. As you already know, it is negative on the present RFP. It is supportive of a new RFP to enhance the UCOP in-house IT capabilities related to the UCRP administration. The attached document may be shared with others.

Also, you may be interested in Judy Boyette’s farewell message at: http://www.ucop.edu/humres/redesign/

Here are her comments on benefits administration:

“Finally, the Benefits Administration Request for Proposal work group has completed its study and has started making presentations of its findings  to senior management at UCOP.  After a thorough review of those findings and completion of the consultation process, a decision will be made whether we will transition our benefits administration to an outside business partner or to a service center model within UC. You should expect an announcement regarding this decision in the next month.”

That last sentence is the only new info that I have on the timeline, and it is vague at best.

Joe

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