Archive for July, 2009
We have received 57 responses to the furlough survey to date. On the main question of whether furlough days should be scheduled on instructional days, 43 said at least some furlough days should be scheduled on teaching days, 7 were opposed to doing so, and 7 respondents managed to avoid the question in their response.
Of those in favor of furloughed instructional days, most feel it is important for the furloughs to be coordinated — the whole campus closing together — so as to produce the most cost savings, as well as to cause the least confusion. Also, a majority favor scheduling the furloughs near already existent breaks in the schedule.
These ideas all echo the proposal from UCSC’s Academic Senate. In fact, eight survey respondents specifically mentioned the UCSC proposal, seven of them favoring the UCSC approach. The one respondent who mentioned the UCSC proposal as being the wrong approach felt, as a few others did, that making too much effort to minimize the pain would fail to get the point across.
Click here to view the actual responses collected so far.
We encourage our members to add their comments to both the DFA and the Davis Senate web sites in regard to furlough implementation plans. The DFA site is also open to the FA members from other campuses and we plan to share the responses with our colleagues at those campuses. In that respect, the DFA survey will have a broader audience. It would be appropriate to add the same comments to both sites.
The DFA survey is available at:
The Academic Senate survey is available at:
Chair of the UC Regents, Russell Gould, has announced a Commission to consider the future of the UC system. We are desperately in need of long term planning for an on-going financial crisis. However, the composition of the Commission is cause for grave alarm. The members of the Commission are:
1. Board of Regents Chair Russell Gould, Co-Chair
2. President Mark G. Yudof, Co-Chair
3. Regent Jesse Bernal
4. Regent Sherry Lansing
5. Regent Monica Lozano
6. Regent Yolanda Nunn Gorman
7. Student Regent-designate Jesse Cheng
8. Chancellor Gene Block
9. Chancellor Michael Drake
10. Chancellor Henry Yang
11. Dean Chris Edley
12. Academic Senate Chair Mary Croughan
13. Academic Senate Vice Chair Harry Powell
14. Additional faculty representative
15. Staff Advisor Ed Abeyta
16. DC Berkeley Alumnus Warren Hellman
17. California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg
18. California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, Executive Secretary- Treasurer Art Pulaski
Ex officio members:
19. Provost Larry Pitts
20. Executive Vice President Katie Lapp
21. Executive Vice President Peter Taylor
You will note that there are only 3 faculty representatives who are not administrators, and only one who may not be drawn from the top level of Senate leadership. We will be promised representation perhaps on sub committees, but the composition of the Commission itself will not sufficiently reflect the views of the rank-and-file faculty members. We will question the composition of the Commission via CUCFA.
Read the letter from Chair Gould at
Please share this message with as many colleagues as possible. We invite input from all members of the Faculty, including those not currently members of the Faculty Association.
The Administration is moving ahead on plans to implement the furloughs without faculty input at this stage. We need constructive ideas about how best to handle the implementation. We do not want the furloughs to have zero impact on any of the mission of the University – the logical conclusion would be that more furloughs and extended furloughs and other cuts will have no effect. On the other hand, we need to be sensitive to the way that a significant impact on teaching will be portrayed in the media. The Faculty Association wants your ideas. Please post them anonymously at:
We will send these ideas onto the campus Senate leadership, the campus Administration, and to our affiliated Faculty Associations. Time is short on this issue and we plan to wrap up this survey in one week.
Also, the loss of high quality faculty due to our ongoing budget cuts, and now the furloughs, has been cited by many sources, including the Academic Senate leaders, as a threat to the quality of the University as a whole. If at all possible, we should document these cases – facts would make the case stronger. We have created a web based form to collect these stories at:
Please provide the names of colleagues whom you know are leaving due to the current climate at UC; where they are going; and if at all possible a brief statement from them about their reasons for leaving. Please include any information you can provide about failed recruitments due to inadequate offers that were caused by the budget cuts. We will share this information, if appropriate, with UC Senate leadership, UCOP, Regents, Legislators, and other Faculty Associations.
Council of UC Faculty Associations President Bob Meister addressed the Regents at their recent meeting at which they approved a furlough. Here is a summary of his comments to them (also available online at http://cucfa.org/news/2009_july15.php):
You can’t declare a financial emergency today without violating your own rules. Adopting J1 [the power to declare a financial emergency] violates the 30 day notice requirement for amending By-laws (By-law 130). And you can’t adopt J2 [the declaration of emergency itself] without following the stepwise procedure required by J1, which can’t begin until J1 is adopted. Procedural objections were first raised by the Academic Council’s letter (of July 8); we hired a lawyer to find out how bad they are, and now you know.
Your present situation is less like an “emergency” than like GM’s first step toward bankruptcy—a long-term insolvency with no long-term plan to get out Even if you declare an “emergency,”,you can’t simply renew it. You have to decide what business you’re in and then put all your other assets on the line to support that business.
You have no choice about what business to be in: UC is a public trust created for the purpose of public higher education. So, you can’t just say that that there’s no plan to fund UC’s educational mission, and then use your “emergency” power to protect UC’s “genuinely entrepreneurial” activities from being a source of funding for public higher education. [NB UC’s furlough-based approach to pay cuts completely exempts bonuses. In a simple insolvency, bonuses would be on the table before base pay is cut—and should certainly be cut before base pay is cut again .]
Before declaring this emergency, please think hard about the legal and political consequences of renewing it. [ E.g., increased supervision of all UC’s assets and activities, and the use or reversal of UC privatization to support its public mission.] Fortunately, you don’t have to think that hard today. Your own rules prevent you from doing anything until next time.