Archive for 2012
The following letter was sent today from Davis Faculty Association Chair Scott Shershow to UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi:
Chancellor Linda Katehi
Fifth floor, Mrak Hall
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Dear Chancellor Katehi:
I write on behalf of the board of the Davis Faculty Association to ask for more information about your recent decision, announced in a press release of December 7, 2012, to hire a new top-level attorney in the Office of Campus Counsel. Your stated rationale for this position is that “we need additional expertise and experience in negotiating research and service agreements with a diverse business community, broader experience dealing with a variety of increasingly complex political entities and additional resources to advise on the myriad legal decisions confronting a university of this size and stature.” We find this description to be rather vague and not very informative; and we are now requesting more details as to why such a position is necessary.
As you know very well, our university has faced years of budget cuts that have seriously affected our academic mission. Your press release speaks of the “lean staffing” of the Office of Campus Counsel. Yet many of our academic departments are also very leanly staffed at the moment, both in clerical staff and even faculty. Many academic departments have lost top faculty members, and today face hiring freezes that make it increasingly difficult to teach their classes and maintain their curricular standards. Many faculty, including in my own department, no longer even have telephones in their offices, as a way of reducing administrative costs. It’s thus quite difficult to understand why, in such a climate, you are choosing to hire a new senior administrator who will obviously need to be very highly paid, and whose work will have little or nothing to do with educating our students.
We would thus like to request from you a more detailed rationale for this new position than has yet been provided, and also an estimate of approximately what salary you expect will be required for it. We would appreciate receiving this information at your earliest possible convenience. We intend to share this letter and your reply with our membership and with the faculty at large.
Scott C. Shershow, Chair
Davis Faculty Association
cc: Ralph Hexter, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
The faculty of the University of California at Davis
This recent New York Times article points out that the disparity between salaries are growing both between institutions and between faculty and administrators. Here’s an excerpt:
“In 2010, the 10 top-earning presidents made, on average, 4.4 times what a typical president earned. A decade earlier, that ratio was 3 times. And just as in corporate America, those who preside over these institutions have done far better than those who populate the armies that labor below them. Over the decade that ended June 30, 2010, average faculty salaries at the 50 wealthiest universities rose by 14 percent, while that of presidents increased by 75 percent.”
The full article is available at:
The Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report today “University of California Faculty Recruiting and Retention.”
This report challenges UCOP’s findings that faculty compensation is lagging, finding instead that UC’s average salary (apx. $120,000 — excludes health sciences and law) is ahead of the four public schools in the comparison eight (apx. $110,000), but lags the four private schools in the comparison eight (apx. $160,000).
The one paragraph synopsis of the report is:
In this report, we assess UC’s ability to recruit and retain tenured and tenure-track faculty. We find that (1) UC has been hiring candidates who have received their highest degree from some of the most selective universities in the nation, (2) UC has a long history of hiring its top choice faculty candidates, (3) most new entry-level faculty stay at UC long enough to earn tenure, (4) less than 2 percent of faculty resign from UC each year, and (5) UC’s faculty compensation is competitive with other top universities. These findings indicate that UC generally has been successful in its faculty recruitment and retention efforts. In light of these findings, coupled with the continuing need to prioritize limited state funding, the Legislature will need to assess the relative trade-offs between providing funding for faculty salary increases and other competing budget priorities involving faculty and higher education more generally.
The full report is available at:
The Davis Faculty Association, Davis Division of the Academic Senate, the Academic Federation and the Nash family invite nominations of candidates for The Charles P. Nash Prize for the academic year 2012 – 2013.
The Charles P. Nash Prize is designed to reward exceptional achievement and commitment in promoting shared governance and advocacy for faculty interests and welfare.
The Prize is awarded annually to a member of the UC Davis Academic Senate, the Davis Faculty Association, or the Academic Federation whose actions demonstrate an exceptional and extended commitment to shared governance and/or promoting faculty interests by ensuring equitable treatment of faculty. In the spirit of Charlie Nash, such activity must be above and beyond normal committee assignments or academic obligations, typically, spanning a period of time or one’s career.
Nominations are sought from any member of the academic community: students, faculty, staff, alumni, departments or units. Eligibility: All members of the Academic Federation, Academic Senate and Davis Faculty Association who have not previously won the award are eligible. Previous nominees who have not received the award may be renominated. Current Nash Prize Selection Committee Members are ineligible for nomination.
The Charles P. Nash Prize is designed to reward exceptional achievement in the spirit of Charlie Nash. Examples of Charlie Nash’s achievements included:
- Using the machinery of the faculty governance process, often invoking the mechanisms of Academic Senate committees, to achieve equity for individual faculty members
- Making certain that the machinery of shared governance works well, both structurally and functionally
- Contributing to analysis of shared governance, such as the “Mending the Wall” report (http://academicsenate.ucdavis.edu/documents/shared_governance_report.pdf)
- Working with others to craft the Nash-Goldman report which made recommendations for changes in the personnel policy for Academic Federation employees (http://academicpersonnel.ucdavis.edu/acadfed/nashgoldmanreport.cfm)
- Supporting legislation that allows faculty to assign their own texts and protect their intellectual property rights (www.ucdfa.org/nash.htm)
- Mentoring and advising faculty to guide them in “finding their way thru the merit and promotion briar patch,” as well as assisting them with their personnel cases within their departments and with the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Personnel
- Serving for many years in a leadership capacity on faculty committees to advocate for faculty interests, including:
- Chair of the Davis Faculty Association board
- Vice President of External Affairs on the CUCFA board
- Chair of the Davis Division Academic Senate (2 terms)
The annual prize will be awarded in a public ceremony and will include a monetary honorarium. There is no restriction on the prize recipient with regard to the use of the prize.
Nominations should be addressed to: The Nash Prize Selection Committee. Letters of nomination accompanied by a one-page list of relevant accomplishments must be submitted electronically. Send your nomination materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for Nominations: All nominations must be received electronically by 5:00 PM, Friday, February 1, 2013. Questions may be addressed to the committee chair (email@example.com).
The Committee will rely upon material presented to it; therefore it is important that the letter and list make the best case possible within the space limitation.
The Nash Prize Selection Committee will review the nominations and will select a recipient from the original slate of candidates. The Committee is permitted to select one recipient for each academic year.
2012-2013 Nash Prize Selection Committee
Ian Kennedy (Chair)
Several unions representing UC employees — AFSCME, CNA and UPTE — have hired Pension Trustee Advisors, Inc. (PensionTrusteeAdvisors.com), to examine the UC Retirement System. This pension consultant will be presenting the results of his research online in a “webinar” to be held Thursday, November 1, at 1pm. UC faculty are invited to “meet’ the consultant online. People can participate by rsvp-ing with AFSCME’s Trevor McNeil: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The unions feel this adviser has identified cost saving measures and are trying to get this issue placed on the November Regents’ agenda. I spoke with Trevor and asked him about these cost savings and have pasted his response below:
William “Flick” Forina – a contributor and leader in his field – is the actuary we’ve asked to look at the UCRP. He has found that the funding policy adopted by the UC Regents in 2008 amortizes the University’s unfunded liability incorrectly which results in a front-loading of liabilities and an inflation of pension costs. What that means for UC faculty and our members is a new two-tier system of greater contributions, less benefits, and a less attractive tool for recruiting and retaining top talent.
We think the UC Regents should hear us out at their November meeting and we hope that after you hear from our actuary and ask him questions in this webinar, you’ll agree with us.