Davis Faculty Association

Archive for January, 2013

An update on management bloat at UC

UCB professor emeritus Charles Schwartz has updated his data on UC management bloat. He finds “continuing outsized growth of the management cadre (defined as the employees classified in Senior Management Group and Management & Senior Professionals): their numbers grew by 252% over the 21 year period while total employee numbers grew by a mere 51%.”

The full report is available at:
http://universityprobe.org/2013/01/uc-management-bloat-updated/

There is also data broken out by campus. UC Davis has done a better job than UC as a whole at curtailing administrative growth in recent years, but bloat is still a problem at UCD.

Apart from other considerations, this administrative bloat has also become a serious problem for UC’s image with the Governor, the legislature and the public.

New York Times article about Jerry Brown and UC

An interesting article in yesterday’s New York Times about Jerry Brown’s approach to UC:

Link to full article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/education/jerry-brown-looks-at-reshaping-higher-education-in-california.html?hp&_r=0

Excerpt:

“Governor Brown holds a position on the board of trustees for both Cal State and UC. Since November, he has attended every meeting of both boards, asking about everything from dormitories to private donations and federal student loans. He is twisting arms on issues he has long held dear, like slashing executive pay and increasing teaching requirements for professors — ideas that have long been met with considerable resistance from academia. But Mr. Brown, himself a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, has never been a man to shrink from a debate…

“Over all, the University of California receives 44 percent less from the state than it did in 1990, accounting for inflation. The governor’s proposed increase still leaves the schools with about $625 million less than they received in 2007. At the same time, a record number of students applied for admissions to the system’s 10 campuses for next fall. While the California State University system has capped freshman enrollment, administrators at the UC system, which has about 190,000 undergraduate students, have been reluctant to formally do so, in part to prevent limiting access to in-state students…

“So far, the governor has focused his attention on whether the universities should be offering more courses online, requiring faculty to teach more classes and cutting administrators’ pay.”

Help stop the firing of 100 Bowling Green faculty

According to the Bowling Green State University Faculty Association: “on January 18, 2013 the president of Bowling Green State University, Mary Ellen Mazey, announced that the administration would be eliminating 100 hard-working and dedicated non-tenure track faculty at the end of spring semester 2013. The decision was not based on the quality of the instructors’ teaching, and no plan was offered to redress the inevitable imbalance of faculty-to-student ratio.”

This would be one eighth of the BGSU faculty, while the campus is planning to increase enrollment by 6,000 students by the year 2020. Rather than fight state funding cuts or find alternative funding sources, BGSU is planning to attack quality — ignoring the impact on the learning environment, students and faculty, graduation rates, time to degree, etc.

The BGSU-FA is collecting electronic signatures on a petition calling on the BGSU administration to stop these arbitrary firings:

http://signon.org/sign/stop-the-arbitrary-firing

More information is available at the BGSU-FA website:

http://bgsu-fa.org/

UCD’s healthcare facilitator program threatened

Members of the Davis Faculty Association should be aware of an ongoing issue regarding funding to support healthcare and retirement counseling programs on this campus.

The basic facts of the current situation are as follows. The Office of the President has cut central funding for the healthcare facilitator program, leaving it up to individual campuses to make their own decisions about funding for the program. The healthcare facilitator program is housed in Human Resources at UC Davis. Healthcare facilitators on our campus have in the past provided valuable assistance to faculty and employees in negotiating health care issues with insurance companies and providers. Some DFA members have in the past personally benefited from this personal one-on-one assistance.

On other campuses, various changes are looming as a result of the cuts. For example, UCSF has decided to fund its own program and retain its own facilitator to serve their employees, but possibly not their retirees. By contrast, UC Riverside is in process of closing its benefits office entirely. Here at UC Davis, the Human Resources department is being reviewed by external consultants at the request of the Chancellor. The staff in HR are very worried about funding for the healthcare facilitator program and for retirement counseling services as well. The Davis benefits office now has only two retirement analysts because vacancies have not been filled. It is possible that this office could be closed completely and our members would have to deal with unknown individuals on the phone at a central facility for help with retirement planning and with healthcare issues – not an ideal way to handle complex health and retirement issues.

The Academic Senate is aware of the problem; Faculty Welfare has created a task force under the direction of Prof. Robert May of Linguistics to come up with recommendations. The DFA is tracking developments in this issue and will keep members informed when further news is available.

As the campus considers cuts to a program that serves the faculty and staff at a very personal level, it is worth pointing out that the UC system now employs more administrators than faculty (see http://keepcaliforniaspromise.org/2001/ucs-administrators-crossed-the-line). At Davis, Senior Administrator FTE has grown 1.5% and Academic Administrators (this includes reclassifications of staff) have grown by 27.1%, while faculty FTE have declined by 5.6% between October 2009 and April 2012 (the latest available).

What Brown’s budget proposal means for UC

Governor Brown released his 2013-14 budget proposal yesterday. He is proposing increasing state general fund money to UC from $2.504 billion in the 2011-12 year to $2.567 billion in 2012-13, and $2.846 billion in 2013-14. UC is one of the few areas of the state budget to see a funding increase in the budget proposal. However, note that state funding of UC topped out at $3.323 billion in 2001-02 without adjusting for inflation and when student enrollment was about three quarters what it is now.

Brown is proposing a 5% state funding increase in 2013-14 and 5% the following year, then 4% increases each of the next two years. In exchange for this steady increase in funding, Brown expects UC to freeze fees at the current level for the next four years. He also wants UC to improve outcomes and reduce costs. The Governor’s proposed budget does not include enrollment targets (the university is anticipating a modest enrollment growth of 1%). $10 million of this state funding is earmarked for online education.

The Governor is also proposing to limit the number of course units the state would subsidize for each student. For the first two years, the limit would be 150 percent of degree requirements (180 units for a standard bachelor’s degree), but then ramping down to one extra year of full-time attendance.

As in last year’s proposal, the Governor is planning the controversial shift of general obligation bond debt service into UC’s budget. This time there is language that specifies money saved through this effort is to be used for UC’s educational mission.

The Higher Education pages of Brown’s budget proposal are at:
http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/pdf/BudgetSummary/HigherEducation.pdf

UC’s response to the budget proposal:
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/28917

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