Archive for August, 2009
The DFA has nominated Jim Chalfont of the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics to the Gould Commission on the Future of UC. We believe that he would an excellent addition to the Commission, given his depth of experience in matters related to planning and budget and faculty welfare. We were invited by President Yudof to offer additional names for appointment to the Commission.
An article in yesterday’s SF Chronicle about SB 217, a piece of legislation about UC and CSU executive compensation that CUCFA has been tracking all year. The full article is available at:
an excerpt is pasted below:
Lawmakers kill bill limiting UC, CSU exec pay
by Nanette Asimov
…Senate Bill 217 was supposed to force thousands of executives earning more than $200,000 “to share the burden during difficult budget years,” said its author, Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. The state Senate supported the bill on a vote of 35 to 3 in May, but as the bill moved forward, lobbyists for UC and CSU got busy trying to defeat it. They told the Assembly Education Committee that capping pay would actually cost the university millions of dollars because many executives would quit, forcing the schools to spend more on recruitment…
Faculty dissatisfaction with the furlough policy laid out by Interim Provost Lawrence Pitts continues. The following is a strong objection from the UCSC Academic Senate essentially asking UCSC’s Chancellor to ignore the Pitts letter:
August 27, 2009
Chancellor George Blumenthal
Re: Senate Executive Committee on Interim Provost Pitts’ Furlough Plan
The Senate Executive Committee objects to the decision by Interim Provost Pitts not to allow any furlough days on instruction/office hour days. As the campus brings forward its own plan, we strongly recommend that you advocate an approach for UCSC more consonant with the UC faculty’s historical missions and the Regents’ stated intention for campus authority on furlough matters. Here we detail our concerns and questions about the Pitts plan itself.
1) Incoherence of UCOP’s view of our Systemwide mission:
The policy inaccurately characterizes UC’s mission. Specifically, Provost Pitts’ statement, “Asking the faculty to carry a full teaching load during furloughs is a large request, but in my mind is justified by the University’s paramount teaching mission,” contrasts directly with UC’s overarching mission statement (from http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/aboutuc/mission.html): “The University’s fundamental missions are teaching, research and public service.” Provost Pitts’ message elevates teaching above all other missions, and hence conflates the mission of the University of California with that of every other state-funded educational enterprise. Our roles in encouraging invention, innovation, and service to the state through, for example, our agricultural or high-tech enterprises are thus effectively downgraded by the chief academic officer of the university. Moreover, this revision of UC’s mission encompasses only half of the view promoted by UCOP: that the state should “make a priority of re-investing in opportunity and innovation for California” (from OP’s sample letter for UC advocates to the legislature). In thus recasting UC’s mission, Provost Pitts and the Office of the President appear to have devalued research and limited its full operation in ways that should be profoundly demoralizing to all faculty.
Indeed, for Provost Pitts to say that research is “permitted” on furlough days is poorly worded at best. At worst, it is deeply offensive to faculty, who are hired and evaluated with the understanding that research is one of their fundamental duties as faculty of the University of California—a duty that will be disproportionately impacted by his furlough decree.
2) UCOP’s Inability to Follow Guidelines:
At their July meeting, the UC Regents approved Regents Item J1, an Amendment to the Standing Orders of the Regents dealing with Presidential Emergency Power, with attachments that dealt with a “Declaration of Extreme Financial Emergency” and a “Furlough/Salary Reduction Plan.” Section VI (“Plan Features”) of the latter attachment (“Furlough/Salary Reduction Plan”) of this item states, “Included employees will have their work time reduced by a specified number of furlough days to be taken throughout the Plan term as discretionary days off and/or during closure days, if any, as determined by their campus or location” (italics ours).
Hence, it appears that the Regentally-approved Plan dictates that discretionary days and closure days are determined by the campus or location, not by OP. In this context, Pitts/OP’s imposition on how campuses can institute furloughs appears to be out of accord with Regental action. It is possible that, under Section X (“Delegated Authority to Modify the Plan as Appropriate”) of the “Furlough/Salary Reduction Plan,” UCOP has altered the conditions under which furloughs are instituted. But, if such a change has occurred, it has been effected in secret; if such a change has not occurred, then OP appears to have over-reached the authority granted by the Regents item. Regardless of which is the case, such a sequence of actions is remarkably reminiscent of OP’s prior Executive Compensation actions that have so damaged the University of California.
3) Institution of Tiering of Salary and Effort by Discipline:
Provost Pitts’s furlough plan will disproportionately affect faculty with limited access to grants and consulting income—faculty largely situated in humanistic and social science disciplines. This consequence undermines the concept that these furloughs are “built on a central principle of shared sacrifice,” as described in President Yudof’s July 16, 2009 announcement of the furloughs. While exceptions to the furlough have been made for non-state supported research, the final decision disallowing furloughs on instructional days has disproportionately intensified the divisive consequences of the policy—now, faculty within disciplines with little external funding will see their research time either reduced or uncompensated. Faculty will then be faced with a Catch-22: doing uncompensated research, or reducing their research time. The former is intrinsically unfair; the latter will have visible, lasting consequences for career advancement, a process that is based on research, teaching and service. We find these outcomes to be unacceptable.
4) UCOP’s Messaging, or Lack Thereof:
Faculty are, of course, aware of the many difficulties faced by our students. Because of declining state support, our student fees have seen marked annual increases, and these increases promise to continue throughout the foreseeable future. These dramatic increases—OP-initiated and Regentally-approved—have been accompanied by at best muted and ineffective protests from OP, so it is difficult now to attribute much sincerity to OP’s position that that “we must do everything we can to ensure that the students continue to receive all of their instruction.” Now, faculty are seeing decreased paychecks and “furlough” days that we apparently cannot take on any of our days of scheduled student contact. In short, OP’s history is that it is highly amenable to changes in the educational product/cost ratio when the changes are confined to the denominator. However, when changes are proposed to the numerator in response to budgetary cuts, it appears that OP feels compelled to adopt what might seem to be a principled stance, were it not for their prior history of raising student fees to resolve systemic problems. The public is, we believe, fluent with the adverse effect of increased student fees, but the intent of OP here seems to be to hide the effect of decreased faculty and staff salaries behind a veneer of normality, and at the expense of research and service—and we find this to be unacceptable.
We hope that you will convey these concerns to the Office of the President. In our view, Provost Pitts’ letter exemplifies UCOP’s lack of connection to the campuses, and its disengagement from the faculty who actually conduct the instructional, research and service missions of the University. As we all understand, these budget cuts will have dire consequences on the quality of education and on the research environment. Provost Pitts’ edict masks those consequences in ways that will continue the public’s illusion about the actual mission and work of university faculty.
We look forward to working with you to produce a furlough plan that honors, within these difficult circumstances, UC’s commitment not only to its mission, but also to faculty, staff and students.
Chair, Academic Senate
cc: EVC Kliger
Interim VCPB Delaney
Plenty of familiar themes in this press release from AAUP’s Collective Bargaining Congress:
AAUP’s Collective Bargaining Congress (CBC) Executive Committee Issues Resolution
For Release: August 18, 2009 – Howard Bunsis, AAUP CBC Chair – Washington, D.C.
Turn it around; don’t give it away
Recent decades have witnessed: (a) a systematic shift of institutional monies from educational to administrative expenditures; (b) a disjuncture between rapidly rising tuition versus overused and underpaid contingent faculty and graduate student employees; (c) a growing gap between rising numbers of Full Time Equivalent students and the numbers of tenure-track faculty; and (d) a growing gap between faculty/academic professional and senior administrative salaries. Each of these patterns work to the detriment of educational quality, institutional effectiveness, student access and success, and broad social benefit.
Many academic managers suggest that their institutions are facing a financial crisis like that of bankrupt companies or states. Far more make the analogy than is justified by institutions’ actual financial health. An emerging managerial approach is to call for salary freezes, pay reductions, and/or furloughs for faculty to address immediate budgetary challenges. A common managerial discourse is to not waste a crisis to further increase managerial “flexibility.” We urge faculty to address such proposals in the context of long-term trends that compromise higher education.
The responsible way to address immediate financial challenges is to alter these long term trends, which have reduced institutional commitment to the professionals who teach and serve students, to those people and activities that produce educational and scholarly value in the academy.
The AAUP thereby resolves that faculty should work to turn this situation around, and should not give their pay away in temporary measures that do not structurally readjust higher education’s direction. Turning the situation around means that faculty should (a) gain access to full information about institutional finances and all other strategically relevant data, ensuring that institutions open their books to shed light on the institution’s overall condition; (b) exercise a fuller voice in analyzing and making recommendations about budgets and strategic directions, opening the boardroom door to take a central role in institutional decision making; & (c) pursue measures that reverse the long standing trends and protect the core academic functions of higher education, opening up educational opportunity by reinvesting in educational expenditures.
In those extraordinarily unusual situations in which faculty determine that the budgetary situation is a demonstrably bona fide financial crisis, disproportionate cuts should first come from non-educational expenditures. If faculty determine all other feasible alternatives have been pursued, and that exigency justifies givebacks, they should work to embed in any plan conditions that protect current instructional capacity, provide faculty a greater role in resource allocation, and that reverse the trends identified above, which undercut our ability to serve students and society.
The sustainable path to higher education’s recovery, and contribution to the nation’s recovery, lies not in further depleting our faculties, the country’s intellectual capital, but in building capacity, reinvesting in faculty and academic professionals, who are essential to increasing student access and success, thereby expanding the nation’s human, cultural, and social capital.
The AAUP’s collective bargaining activities are governed by elected faculty who serve as officers of the CBC.
The American Association of University Professors is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom by supporting tenure, academic due process, and standards of quality in higher education. The AAUP has over 48,000 members at colleges and universities throughout the United States.
We received a response from UC President Yudof to the letter CUCFA sent August 10th. The full text of the CUCFA letter was sent to the DFA members earlier and is available at http://ucdfa.org/2009/08/10/cucfa-input-on-the-gould-commission-on-the-future-of-uc/
Below, please find the text of President Yudof’s response, followed by the text of the summary of the working group charges that Yudof refers to within his letter. The form Yudof refers to is attached to this post as a PDF.
August 21, 2009
Thank you for your letter of August 10 offering suggestions on the process for forming and appointing the UC Commission on the Future and its working groups. Let me assure you that I share your goal of ensuring that the faculty of the University are an integral part of the work of the Commission and its working groups. Due to the large number of constituencies that need to be represented in this process, I cannot agree with every suggestion in your letter about appointments.
However, since the original announcement of the Commission, we have been working with the leadership of the Academic Council to add two more faculty members to the Commission and hope to address many of the issues you raise. Those faculty appointments will be announced before the first meeting of the Commission on September 8.
In addition, we have sent out a letter soliciting names for consideration for the five working groups to a number of key constituencies, including the Academic Council. A summary of the working group charges is attached for your information. I would welcome your organization providing suggestions for members of the working groups, and a copy of the nomination form is attached. We will need your response as soon as possible, and it can be e-mailed to Associate Vice President Marsha Kelman at Marsha.Kelman@ucop.edu.
Finally, I agree with you about the need to address the full range of difficult choices the University faces in the future, and I expect the Commission will address the kinds of trade-offs you outline in your letter.
I look forward to receiving constructive input from the faculty and your organization as the Commission process moves forward.
With best wishes, I am,
Mark G. Yudof
cc: Regent Gould
Interim Provost Pitts
Academic Council Chair Croughan
Associate Vice President Kelman
Secretary and Chief of Staff Griffiths
UC Commission on the Future
The Commission is charged with developing a new vision for the University within the context of the University’s mission and budget, while reaffirming our commitment to quality, access and affordability. UC will continue to play a vital role in sustaining California’s economy and cultural life, operating strategically and as efficiently as possible within available resources.
UC’s long-held governing principles of maintaining access, affordability, and the highest levels of quality in instruction, research, public service, and health care have guided the policy decisions of this great University. In today’s budgetary climate, these principles are becoming, in essence, what economists call “competing goods”: one cannot be altered without affecting the value of others. Even a world-class research institution such as our own does not have the resources to maximize all competing goods simultaneously.
In the past, many policy decisions at UC were made one at a time, often without considering the impact of changing one variable upon the others. Going forward, we must take a competing goods approach: Each solution will affect others to follow. Any increase in support in one area inevitably has opportunity costs for other priorities.
The Commission and working groups will identify multiple positive attributes worthy of promoting, but priorities must be established to balance the budget. Some of these “competing” attributes include:
• Graduation in 3 or 4 years – maximum flexibility in degree programs, dual degrees, majors and minors
• Low fees – high financial aid – enhanced student support services
• Access to all qualified California residents(freshman, transfer) – high proportions of graduate and professional enrollment
• Small classes and student mentoring – highest levels of research and scholarship
• Instructional delivery costs – low student faculty ratios – state of the art classrooms and class laboratories
• Competitive positioning for research funding – public service outreach
• Competitive faculty and staff salaries
The overarching task is to define an overall balance among these priorities that is consistent with UC’s mission, commitment to quality, and best serves California.
The working groups will be comprised of a wide spectrum of members drawn from the Regents, faculty, students, alumni, administration, staff and other experts not affiliated with UC. Much of the expertise lies with our extraordinary faculty. Because competing goals may span multiple workgroups, the Commission, as a coordinating and deciding body, with will expect strong communication and coordination among the working group chairs. Close consultation with the Academic Senate is essential for recommendations pertaining to curriculum and other core faculty responsibilities.
With this background, the working groups are:
1. Size and Shape of UC
What is the appropriate size and shape of the University going forward? Should the size of graduate programs be rationalized? Should the size of undergraduate programs be reduced, especially for programs that are not cost effective? Should there be a new model focusing UC on graduate and professional education and undergraduate education that cannot be delivered by other public segments?
• Evaluate the size and breadth of academic program offerings and the distribution of these offerings by campus, with a focus on areas of specialization. The group will consider to what degree the campuses should be similar or different in their educational programs, or in their growth in numbers of undergraduate, graduate and professional students among other potential differences. Faculty research expertise and capacity, proximity to and availability of funding, unique resources (industry partners, targeted sponsorship, physical location, etc.), and other relevant factors will be considered in this process.
• The workgroup will consider and develop recommendations regarding the optimum enrollment mix (freshman, transfer, undergraduate, graduate and professional, resident, non-resident, etc.) by campus and for the system as a whole.
2. Education and Curriculum
What alternative educational delivery models will both maintain quality and lower educational delivery costs?
• The workgroup will consider and develop recommendations for different models of educational delivery including: modifications to curriculum and degree programs; modifications on how information is presented and how we interact with students; online and remote instruction; testing out of required courses; reconfiguration of major requirements; limits on the number of units permissible (including Advanced Placement units); year-round instruction; three year baccalaureate degrees; student: faculty ratios; etc. The pros and cons of each model of educational delivery will be examined, as well as direct and indirect cost considerations.
• Consider how the University works in collaboration with K-12, community colleges, California State University, and other partners to achieve the highest quality education possible.
• Consider and examine other models of higher education within the United States and elsewhere, paying particular attention to models that work in research universities, public universities, and land grant institutions.
3. Access and Affordability
How can UC best meet the needs of California and at what levels of access and affordability assuming diminishing resources? Should there be greater reliance on California State University and California Community Colleges for access? Should fees be increased?
• The workgroup will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of current and alternative student body size, and fee and financial aid policies and structures, as well as the impact of these alternatives on student access and diversity.
• Consider and examine other fee, aid and access models within the United States and elsewhere, paying particular attention to models that work in research universities, public universities, and land grant institutions.
4. Funding Strategies
How can traditional and alternative revenue streams be maximized in support of UC’s mission?
• The workgroup will explore and develop recommendations to maximize funding from traditional sources including the state, federal, and private sectors, as well as identify alternative revenue streams. New strategies will focus on ways to enhance and manage funding for core operations, instructional innovations, infrastructure, and capital projects.
• The workgroup will also develop recommendations for an effective advocacy campaign to enlist the University’s supporters in these efforts.
5. Research Strategies
• The workgroup will consider and develop recommendations for new models for various aspects of the research enterprise, including graduate student support, support services, research funding, indirect cost recovery, collaborations, policies and administration. New models for collaborative research within campuses and across campuses, with industry partners, and the development of hybrid models will be explored.
• Best practices in developing and delivering research experiences to undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral fellows, and professional students will also be identified.
These matters have been studied for many years. The Commission and workgroups will rely on previous and ongoing studies by the Office of the President, Academic Senate, campuses, and faculty researchers in their deliberations. Implementation of recommendations will be subject to traditional review by the Academic Senate in the areas for which it has delegated authority. For recommendations in all other areas, the Academic Senate will have full opportunity for consultation and review.