Davis Faculty Association

Archive for 2008

The three tier model is on the table, at least in some minds

Saturday’s San Francisco Chronicle had an article about a proposal published by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau last Friday. Birgeneau’s proposal would allow each campus to set its own individual fee level. As the Chronicle article points out, “His idea runs counter to the university’s long-standing policy that all UC campuses should be treated equally in terms of tuition and faculty salaries.”

Birgeneau’s proposal is available at:
http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/chancellor/access/

The Chronicle article is available at:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/22/BANO14A2BH.DTL

CUCFA Vice President Stanton Glantz is quoted extensively in the Chronicle article criticizing Bergeneau’s proposal. Although not explicit in the Chronicle article, this criticism was informed by the Academic Council’s 2007 report “Current Budget Trends and the Future of the University of California,” the most relevant sections of which are pasted below. (The full report is available at:

http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/reports/AC.Futures.Report.0107.pdf)

———————-

Scenario 4: A Public Funding Freeze

Another downturn in state finances and continued political opposition to tax increases prompts state and University leaders to reluctantly conclude that it would be better to conduct an organized shift away from public funding than to suffer further uncertainty amidst a new cycle of budget crises. They decide to become a “state-assisted university” and to “privatize” centrally and systematically…

Campuses have become responsible for generating major portions of their operating revenue and hence for fundraising activities. Given the very different maturities, program structures, locations, and demographics of campuses that under the Master Plan had been developed as an ensemble, the campuses increasing go their separate ways, find different educational niches, and increasing different levels of quality.

By 2020 the UC system looks much like a large version of the University of Michigan system, the Texas system or the SUNY system: it has two and perhaps three flagship research campuses, and then an uneven assortment of differentiated campuses that range from research I doctoral institutions to state colleges with reduced facilities for students, higher teaching loads for faculty, and reduced knowledge output for the state.

Looking back from 2020, a few educational leaders could be found saying on the record that such scenarios were “plausible.” But these warnings were not enough. No one in California in 2006 wanted to downsize the unparalleled research university system behind one of the world’s great knowledge economies. But then no one in Michigan in 1976 wanted to close most of the factories in one of the world’s great manufacturing economies. In California as in Michigan, it happened one step at a time…

CONCLUSION

The fourth scenario, the Public Funding Freeze, would alter the UC system beyond recognition. This scenario cannot be ruled out. The state continues to carry a structural deficit, remains politically polarized, has expensive needs in health and human services, and awaits new budgetary surprises such as unfunded health care obligations for retired state employees. These problems may encourage some to move UC toward a “high-tuition/high-aid” model in tandem with aggressive private fundraising, increased industry partnerships, and expanded sales and services. This fourth scenario, however, cannot actually be achieved with private fundraising: to obtain the billion dollars that will be lost by comparison with the Compact, and to obtain it in unrestricted payouts, the University would need to raise $25 billion in unrestricted gifts. To reach the 2001-02 funding level, more than $54 billion would be needed. Alternately, tuition increases big enough to fill the gap would shrink and, at the same time, reduce the quality of the university’s student body. The overall UC system would continue in name but not in reality, as the most prestigious campuses draw on a national student pool and collect large amounts of non-resident tuition while other campuses struggle with diminished resources, fewer programs, and reduced research capacity. Wasteful intercampus competition may arise, in part in the form of the budgetary fragmentation that the Master Plan had in its time brought to a close. Since undergraduate instruction is disproportionately dependent on the state General Fund, such changes would seriously damage the assumption of a high-quality curricula for all qualified students. The Public Funding Freeze would end the UC system as we know it.

Report re: Meeting with Chancellor Search Committee

Ian Kennedy, Chair of the DFA, and Steve Kowalcyzkowski, DFA member, met for about 50 minutes on Monday with the faculty sub-committee of the Chancellor Search advisory committee. The results of the DFA web survey were presented and explained. The main points that were included in the DFA letter to the search committee were reiterated. The committee was receptive to our concerns and our suggestions.

Thanks re: the Natural Reserve System

We recently heard that the Natural Reserve System survived the UCOP reorganization with their staff and location intact. Our member, Susan Harrison, of Environmental Science and Policy, heard that the letters from DFA and CUCFA that landed on President Yudof’s desk, shortly after he started his job, had a major influence on this decision. We can be effective! Let your colleagues know.

——– Original Message ——–

Dear Ian and Eric,

I think I may have passed along to you that my colleagues at the Natural Reserve System survived the UCOP reorganization with their staff and location intact.  Recently, I heard that the letters from DFA and CUCFA that landed on President Yudof’s desk, shortly after he started his job, had an important impact on this decision.  I can’t tell you how much we all appreciate your timely and eloquent support.  You can put me on the lifetime membership plan!

Cheers,
Susan Harrison
Professor, Environmental Science & Policy
UC Davis Director, UC Natural Reserve System

Chancellor Search Survey Results

The results of our recent web survey that solicited opinions about the search for a new Chancellor are now available online at the following address:

http://www.ucdfa.org/news_articles/chancellor_search_survey.htm

There were 106 responses. It is hard to draw general conclusions from the results of the survey, given the fact that people were generally in favor of most of the points that were offered. It appears that the most pressing issues are probably the recruitment of somebody who appreciates high-quality research, who has the administrative skills to re-organize administrative units to support the faculty, and who is not an inside appointment. We will be drafting a letter to send to the members of the search advisory committee, directing them to this web site for further information and all of the detailed comments.

Thank you for your participation; your help is greatly appreciated. We hope that this effort leads to our voice being heard on the search advisory committee, and ultimately in the selection of an outstanding new Chancellor.

Tough Times Strain Colleges Rich and Poor – NYTimes

by Ian Kennedy

UC is not alone is facing difficult times. The NY Times article at this link describes the problems at public and private institutions, and quotes UC’s own Mark Yudof saying “Higher education is very labor intensive. We may be getting to the point where there will have to be some basic change in the model.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/education/08college.html

CA and UC budget information

by Joe Kiskis

The long-overdue State budget finally signed into law appropriated to the University almost the same amount of money in current dollars for 2008-2009 that it received for 2007-2008. After accounting for inflation and other unavoidable cost increases, that is the equivalent of a budget cut of over $100M. As a result, most of the priorities of the faculty and Regents will not be funded as wide-spread cuts to University units are implemented. As discouraging as this is, it represents a restoration of almost $100M relative to the cuts in the Governor’s original budget — a restoration that can be attributed to the vigorous advocacy of many supporters of higher education including CUCFA.

In recent days, we have heard from UCOP that an additional midyear, post budget process cut of $33M has been imposed on the University. (The UC Davis share of the cut is $5M.) Statements to this effect are documented below. However, they are a mis-characterization of the situation. The Governor and the Director of Finance have no authority to impose a midyear cut on the University. In reality, this reduction is a voluntary giveback on the part of President Yudof and the Regents — a giveback of one third of the hard-won restoration; a giveback that carries with it the implication that the University does not really need this money to educate the growing number of students already not funded in the state budget.

For many years the UCOP strategy has been to accommodate the politics of Sacramento and put the best light on the budget cuts of hard times with the hope of being later rewarded for such complicity. Unfortunately this has proved to be a failed strategy. The cuts made to the University in difficult years are not restored in good times. As a result, the UC budget is now $1B to $2B less than is needed to maintain the levels of quality, access, and affordability of the early 1990’s or even of 2001. The Regents have desperately attempted to compensate by imposing huge increases in student fees while strangling instructional programs. Students and their families are paying more and getting less.

We repudiate this failed strategy that abandons the promises of the Master Plan. We call upon the Regents to accept no less than the full budgeted amount that was duly appropriated to the University.

Notes:

Yudof to Regents (Oct. 14):

“On Friday, we received word from the State that the Governor was imposing mid-year reductions totaling $190 million across all State agencies. We have been advised that UC’s share of the reduction is $33.1 million.”

Yudof to Chancellors (Oct. 13):

“The Department of Finance has informed us that the University’s share of this cut is $33.1 million.”

UCOP press release (Oct. 21):

“However, the state Department of Finance recently informed UC of an additional $33 million cut.”

Donnelly to CUCFA (Oct. 24):

“Additionally, the University has recently been informed by the State that it will need to achieve another $33 million in savings to offset reduced state funding, creating a total of $148 million in budget reductions the University will need to make the 2008-09 year as a result of the final state budget.”

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.

You are currently browsing the Davis Faculty Association blog archives for the year 2008.