Davis Faculty Association

Archive for 2014

What has the DFA been up to lately?

The DFA belongs to the Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA). By far the largest independent dues-supported organization representing the faculty at the campuses of the University of California, CUCFA coordinates activities of the Faculty Associations on a statewide level, acts as collective bargaining agent for faculty at UC Santa Cruz, and maintains a lobbyist in Sacramento. The DFA Executive Director, Eric Hays, can be reached by email at info@cucfa.org and the 2013-2015 DFA chair can be reached at scalettar@physics.ucdavis.edu.

Here is a brief reminder of some of the things the DFA has been up to in the past year:

• The DFA and CUCFA continue to produce material that highlights the disinvestment in higher education by California’s governor. An example of such work includes the annually updated “How Much Would It Cost to Restore California’s Public Higher Education?” This document became the centerpiece of our response to UC’s proposal to raise tuition up to 5% per year for the next five years for undergraduate and graduate students.

• CUCFA formed a partnership with the American Association of University Professors in defense and promotion of academic freedom, shared university governance, and the economic security of all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities.
• Concerns by the DFA resulted in a change in the practice of distributing materials from outside interest groups by the Chancellor’s office.  These materials are henceforth accompanied by a statement “that distributing material does not imply endorsement”.
• CUCFA produced a statement on academic freedom in response to a statement made by UCB Chancellor Dirks that evoked civility, echoing language recently used by the Chancellor of the University of Illinois, Urbana and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (especially its Chair Christopher Kennedy) concerning the refused appointment of Steven Salaita. It also mirrored language in the effort by the University of Kansas Board of Regents to regulate social media speech and the Penn State administration’s new statement on civility. “Although each of these administrative statements have responded to specific local events, the repetitive invocation of “civil” and “civility” to set limits to acceptable speech bespeaks a broader and deeper challenge to intellectual freedom on college and university campuses.”

• CUCFA objected that Governor Brown proposed Regental nominees prior to notification, much less consultation, with the advisory committee specified in Article 9 Sec. 9e of the Constitution and therefore requested that the California Senate’s Rules Committee reject the nominees proposed by the Governor.
• CUCFA lobbied for passage of AB 1476 which would have provided UC with $50 million in additional state funding in the current year. Governor Brown vetoed AB 1476.

• CUCFA objected when UC President Janet Napolitano rescinded the 1989 Guidelines on University-Industry Relations without consulting with the Academic Senate.

• The DFA opposed the demolition of Solano and Orchard Park Student-Family Housing without a plan to replace them with similar subsidized graduate student housing: “This change will seriously undermine the efforts that faculty and the university generally are making to bring a diverse set of graduate students to our campus.”
• The DFA, and FA chapters across the state, supported graduate student workers in their negotiations with UC. At the time of the negotiations according to UCOP’s own survey, student stipends lagged behind comparative institutions at least $2,697 making recruiting graduate students into UC programs difficult. A new contract was ultimately ratified in June of 2014.

• The DFA is one of the sponsors of the annual Charles P. Nash Prize, named for a former Chair of the DFA and longtime Vice President of CUCFA. The Nash Prize is awarded annually to acknowledge achievement in and commitment to promoting shared governance in keeping with Charlie Nash’s exceptional efforts in promoting and advocating for faculty interests and welfare. The 2014 Nash Prize was awarded to Linda Bisson, The Maynard E. Amerine Chair in Viticulture and Enology.
• CUCFA continues to produce material that details the persistent compensation gap between UC faculty and faculty at comparison institutions. This year’s report was titled “The Degradation of Faculty Welfare and Compensation.

• CUCFA, through its unionized Santa Cruz chapter, continues to work with UC to create online contracts that provide UC with the necessary clearance to distribute online coursework without requiring faculty to give up their intellectual property, their ownership of lectures and all accompanying materials.

• The restructuring of the university has led to a massive and costly expansion of senior administrative positions on campus. System wide, there are now more management positions than regular teaching faculty. Increasingly, significant policy decisions are made by administrators with inadequate direct experience and insufficient faculty input. We seek to reverse this process and make Davis again a faculty-led campus. We support the merit and promotion system and equitable salaries.
For more information on our activities, browse our website http://ucdfa.org. If you have colleagues who are not current members of the DFA who you think support the ideals of the organization, please encourage them to join at http://ucdfa.org/join.

 
With best wishes,

The DFA Executive Board

Council of UC Faculty Associations and AAUP partnership

We are pleased to inform you that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA), of which the Davis Faculty Association is a member, have formed a partnership (see press release below). Through CUCFA, the DFA will join with the AAUP’s national level efforts to advocate for the defense and promotion of academic freedom, shared university governance, and the economic security of all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education. As part of the partnership, DFA members will be eligible to join the AAUP at special dues rates payable through the DFA. You can obtain additional information concerning this new agreement at http://ucdfa.org/join-dfa-and-aaup

Best,

Richard Scalettar
On behalf of the Board of the Davis Faculty Association

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Council of University of California Faculty Associations and American Association of University Professors Announce Partnership Agreement

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA) today announced that they have agreed to work together as partner organizations in “defense and promotion of academic freedom, shared university governance, and the economic security of all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education.” In a formal agreement approved by the governing bodies of both organizations and signed last week, the faculty groups “agreed to join together as independent but allied and cooperating entities.”

Under the arrangement, which will last for three years and is renewable, individual members of the nine campus faculty associations affiliated with CUCFA will be eligible to join the AAUP at special dues rates payable through their campus association. CUCFA has also agreed to contribute financially to the AAUP, and the AAUP has agreed to provide the California associations with some support services. The two organizations will promote each other’s activities and plan to initiate a joint membership organizing drive at all ten University of California campuses.

CUCFA president Patricia Morton, a faculty member at UC Riverside, predicted that association members will welcome the opportunity to join the AAUP. “We believe that partnering with the AAUP will produce benefits for both organizations. It will help CUCFA advance its mission and strengthen our ability to represent the interests of all UC faculty,” she said. “We also believe that the AAUP will gain from the valuable experience and ideas of CUCFA’s members and leadership and from CUCFA’s advocacy of our shared principles and goals throughout the University of California.”

Henry Reichman, AAUP first vice-president and a faculty member at California State University–East Bay, negotiated the agreement on behalf of the AAUP. “The University of California system is the largest and most prestigious public research institution in the country, arguably the world. And the UC’s have an exceptionally strong tradition of faculty activism dating back to the loyalty oath controversy of the 1950s and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of 1964,” he said. “We in the AAUP are therefore excited about working more closely with the dedicated faculty leaders who have built and sustained CUCFA and its constituent associations since their formation in the 1970s as effective advocates for the principles that AAUP has upheld for nearly a century.”

The Council of University of California Faculty Associations is a coordinating and service agency for the several Faculty Associations — associations of UC Senate faculty — on the separate campuses of the University of California, and it represents them to all state – or university-wide agencies on issues of common concern. It gathers and disseminates information on issues before the legislative and executive branches of California’s government, other relevant state units dealing with higher education, the University administration, and the Board of Regents. The Faculty Associations are voluntary dues supported organizations and are therefore completely independent. CUCFA is committed to renewing public investment in California higher education by giving every California family a stake in the system by restoring full access and by regaining the trust of the people by restoring accountability. The public-spirited legacy of generations will be squandered if the best of the system is financially out of reach for most citizens and increasingly controlled by corporate funders. The people of California will support higher education if it serves us all again.

The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities.

CUCFA response to UC’s plans to raise tuition

Below, please find a letter that The Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA), the systemwide organization of which the Davis Faculty Association is a member, sent today to President Napolitano and the UC Regents regarding their recent proposal to raise tuition up to 5% per year for the next five years:


The Council of UC Faculty Associations holds Governor Jerry Brown’s slashing of public higher education responsible for UC President Napolitano’s recent proposal to budget for 5% tuition increases every year for the next 5 years.

Raising tuition is not the solution. There is a better way: provide California students and their families high quality, affordable higher education, as defined by the California Master Plan for Higher Education.

The reality is that Governor Brown has not been willing to spend the necessary money to do so even though the cost to do so is surprisingly low.

Here are the financial facts:

• In 2001-02, Gov. Gray Davis provided $3.2 billion ($4.4 billion in 2014 dollars) to the University of California. Tuition was $3,964.

• On taking office in 2003, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cut UC’s budget by 15% to $2.7 billion and pressed for rapid tuition hikes to shift costs on to students and their families. By the time Gov. Schwarzenegger left office in 2011, he was providing just $2.9 billion to UC. Tuition had tripled to $11,279.

• Brown cut UC’s provision to $2.4 billion in his first budget (2011-12).

• While Brown has provided small increases to UC in the last 3 years, his 2014-15 budget only includes $2.8 billion for UC, more than one-third less (in real dollars) than Gov. Davis provided more than a decade before.

• At the same time that governors have cut support for UC by one-third, the university’s student body has grown by nearly one-third: from 183,000 to 238,000 students as UC continued to meet its Master Plan obligations.

• While Governor Brown appealed to UC students to help pass Proposition 30 in 2012, he has only allocated 4.5% of the money it raised to UC.

UC’s leaders have responded to these unprecedented cuts by reducing budgets for teaching and research, boosting class sizes, shifting administrative tasks to faculty (leaving less time for students and research), admitting more out-of-state students, and massive tuition hikes that tripled tuition in 15 years.

Along with his legacy of high-speed trains and long-distance water tunnels, Governor Brown needs to restore the promise of the California Master Plan for Higher Education:

• He should budget for all public higher education, including the State University and Community College systems, at levels that will return them to where they were in 2001-2002, adjusted for inflation and student population growth.

• Tuition should not merely be capped but rolled back to 2001-2002 levels, inflation adjusted ($4,717 for the University of California, compared to the $13,860 planned for UC next year).

Unlike many dreams, offering affordable, high quality public higher education to all is a bargain. It would cost the median California household just $50 a year.  (Details of calculation at http://keepcaliforniaspromise.org/3553/restore-2013-14.)

The UC Regents and President Napolitano must represent not only the institutional interests of UC students, staff and faculty but also the fundamental public interest of all Californians to restore one of the few fair-minded systems of advancement still open to anyone, from any background, who works hard and demonstrates talent.

BFA sponsored talk on September 30, 5pm, at UC Berkeley

The DFA’s sister chapter at Berkeley, the BFA, would like to extend a warm welcome to DFA folk to come to an event they are organizing this coming Tuesday. Please invite your colleagues as well.

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The New Normal: What Does It Mean to Work at the UC Today

This event will address the rise of the new managerialism at UC and its implications for faculty research, teaching, welfare, academic freedom, and the tradition of shared governance.

Speakers: Christopher Newfield and Michael Meranze

When and where: September 30, 5pm, Wheeler Hall 300

The_New_Normal

(click on the image for a larger version)

CUCFA Statement on “Civility” and Academic Freedom

On Friday Sept. 5, Chancellor Dirks of UC Berkeley circulated an open statement to his campus community that sought to define the limits of appropriate debate at Berkeley.  Issued as the campus approaches the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, Chancellor Dirks’ statement, with its evocation of civility, echoes language recently used by the Chancellor of the University of Illinois, Urbana and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (especially its Chair Christopher Kennedy) concerning the refused appointment of Steven Salaita. It also mirrors language in the effort by the University of Kansas Board of Regents to regulate social media speech and the Penn State administration’s new statement on civility. Although each of these administrative statements have responded to specific local events, the repetitive invocation of “civil” and “civility” to set limits to acceptable speech bespeaks a broader and deeper challenge to intellectual freedom on college and university campuses.

CUCFA Board has been gravely concerned about the rise of this discourse on civility in the past few months, but we never expected it to come from the Chancellor of UC Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. To define “free speech and civility” as “two sides of the same coin,” and to distinguish between “free speech and political advocacy” as Chancellor Dirk does in his text, not only turns things upside down, but it does so in keeping with a relentless erosion of shared governance in the UC system, and the systemic downgrading of faculty’s rights and prerogatives. Chancellor Dirks errs when he conflates free speech and civility because, while civility and the exercise of free speech may coexist harmoniously, the right to free speech not only permits, but is designed to protect uncivil speech. Similarly, Chancellor Dirks is also wrong when he affirms that there exists a boundary between “free speech and political advocacy” because political advocacy is the apotheosis of free speech, and there is no “demagoguery” exception to the First Amendment.

Before the slippery slope of civility discourse we remark that the right to free speech is not limited to allowing the act of speaking or engaging in communicative actions to express ideas publicly, nor is it contingent on the notion that anyone else needs to listen, agree, speak back, or “feel safe.” The right to free speech is constituted through prohibitions on the infringement of speech by the state and other public institutions and officials. Moreover, while civility is an ideal—and a good one—free speech is a right. The right to free speech does not dissipate because it is exercised in un-ideal (un-civil) ways.

Second, we underline that the right to freely speak on public and institutional issues is one of the three pillars of academic freedom. Academic freedom is a specific—though not exclusive—right of professors. The three pillars of academic freedom that extend to individual members of the professorate are: (1) the freedom to conduct and disseminate scholarly research; (2) the freedom to design courses and teach students in the areas of their expertise; and (3) the right to free speech as laid out in the 1940 Statement of Principles of Tenure and Academic Freedom which in this context prohibits the professional penalization of professors for extramural speech. Ensuing from academic freedom is the right and duty of faculty to decide, collaboratively and individually, standards and thresholds for teaching and research, without interference from administrators, alumni, or donors. Those determinations are based on standards of scholarly excellence and achievement, which manifest through hiring, academic publishing, and peer review processes in which an individual’s academic record is judged by peers. Those who administer institutions of higher learning bear a responsibility for the protection of academic freedom, which includes free speech in the ways described here.

The University of California bears an especial burden to respect these rights. For the rights of academic freedom and the 1st Amendment right to free speech cohere in a way peculiar to a public university. As a public university the University of California is called upon to affirm not only the guild rights of Academic Freedom but the more expansive rights of the 1st Amendment—which after all, are possessed by students and staff as well as faculty.

On the basis of all of the above, CUCFA Board deems necessary to release the following declaration and to ask its members, and all UC faculty to press their Senates to pass it as a resolution:

Taking note of the concurrent rapid growth in non-academic administrative positions in most colleges and universities and the significant reductions in state/government funding for public universities during the last decade,

Concerned by numerous accounts across the United States of senior administrators, management, boards of trustees, regents and other non-academic bodies attempting to influence, supervise and in some cases over-rule academic hiring, tenure and promotion decisions, as well as policy and evaluatory decisions traditionally under the purview of Academic Senate and other faculty bodies,

Concerned further by the attempts of senior administrators in the UC system and at many universities across the United States to narrow the boundaries of academic freedom and permissible speech by faculty, students and other members of the university community, and, in particular by the inappropriate and misleading appeal to concepts like “civility” and “collegiality,” deceptively used to limit the “right” to free speech, and as criteria for hiring, tenure, promotion and even disciplinary procedures,

We reaffirm,

That all professional evaluations related to hiring, tenure, and promotions of either present or potential faculty are the sole purview of designated committees composed of faculty members, department chairs, and deans as peers and/or academic supervisors of anyone under review and/or evaluation,

That senior campus and University/system-wide administrators, as well as Regents and other governing boards, or donors to the university and/or its foundation(s), do not have any right to interfere in these processes, and that final decisions on appointment and promotion must be based solely on information in the candidate’s file that is related to established categories of teaching, research, and service and that has been added by established procedures of peer academic review.

That we oppose any insinuation that civility, per se, be added either formally or informally as a valid category in the academic personnel process, as well as any attempt by external parties, including donors to the university, government officials, or other forces, to interfere in any personnel decisions, especially through the threat of withholding donations or investments should certain academic policies or personnel decisions be made.

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(CUCFA — The Council of University of California Faculty Associations — is a coordinating and service agency for the several individual Faculty Associations — associations of UC Senate faculty — on the separate campuses of the University of California, and it represents them to all state- or university-wide agencies on issues of common concern. It gathers and disseminates information on issues before the legislative and executive branches of California’s government, other relevant state units dealing with higher education, the University administration, and the Board of Regents.)

DFA Board Nominations

It is time to renew the DFA board. In accordance with DFA bylaws, a nominating committee — this year made up of Omnia El Shakry, Valeria La Saponara and Greg Miller — has selected a slate of candidates to fill DFA board positions as listed below with the following code: C – continuing; R – renewing for another 2-year term; N – newly elected. I want very much to thank the nominating committee for their work and the outgoing board members for their past service on the DFA board.

Chair: Richard Scalettar (Physics) [C]
Ian Kennedy (Mech. and Aero. Engineering) [C]
Marjorie Longo (Chem. Eng. and Mat. Sci.) [R]
Susette Min (Asian American Studies) [C]
N. Sukumar (Civil and Enviro. Eng.) [C]
Scott Shershow (English) [R]
Julia Simon (French & Italian) [C]
Flagg Miller (Religious Studies) [N]
Julie Wyman (Cinema and Technocultural Studies) [N]
Ex-Officio: Joe Kiskis (Physics)

All nominees have agreed to serve. Newly elected members serve a two-year term of office that will run through September, 2016. Further nominations may be made upon petition of 5% of the membership in good standing. Such petitions must be delivered on or before September 14, 2014, to the DFA Executive Director at 1270 Farragut Circle, Davis, CA 95618. If no nominations are submitted, the slate shall be accepted as elected.

Upcoming statewide meeting on faculty issues

The University of California in general, and UCD in particular, has continued to face significant challenges in the past academic year. The DFA has played an active role in advocating faculty interests concerning health care and retirement plans, proposed revisions to university-industry relations policy, state funding for higher education, and faculty rights to the intellectual property of their lectures. The DFA has also reached out to graduate student organizations to understand and aid in improving their research and teaching environments.

On August 21, the DFA will join with the faculty associations at our sister campuses for the annual CUCFA (Council of UC Faculty Associations) meeting. This is an opportunity for us to coordinate activities and also begin planning for issues needing attention in the coming year.

We would welcome your input into those matters of most concern to you, especially issues that you think might not yet have come to our attention. Please let us know at info@cucfa.org.

DFA Member’s Meeting – First Round is on Us

The Board of the Davis Faculty Association invites you to join us over a beer – or soft drink – and pizza at Woodstock’s Pizza (219 G St, Davis – we’ll be in the upstairs dining area) at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, June 4th.

We want to hear about your concerns, your suggestions, and any other input you may have for the Board of the DFA. Also, do invite any of your colleagues you think may have an interest in the Davis Faculty Association. As UC Davis continues to face challenges we need concerted action as much as ever.

UC Faculty Petition UC Administration To Negotiate in Good Faith with Student-Worker TA Union

The Santa Cruz Faculty Association (the SCFA, a sister chapter of the Davis Faculty Association) invite ALL faculty — both Academic Senate members and AFT members — at ALL UC campuses to sign the petition at http://ucscfa.org/petition2/

Signatures will be collected through Monday, May 26th.

Here is the SCFA’s letter introducing the petition:

Dear Colleagues,

For many of us, our teaching assistants are central to our pedagogy. They work the most closely with our students, and are most closely involved with our students’ individual progress. Our universities depend on them in many ways. As you all know, despite a series of system-wide labor actions and nearly a year of negotiating, our teaching assistants remain without a contract.

The SCFA is sponsoring a petition, to be delivered to President Napolitano, to demonstrate system-wide faculty support for a speedy resolution to teaching assistant contract negotiations. We believe that a strong showing by faculty system-wide can help make the case to the central administration that better working conditions for teaching assistants is not simply a matter between teaching assistants and the administration, but is a pressing concern for all UC faculty.

We invite ALL faculty — both Academic Senate members and AFT members — at ALL campuses to sign the petition, forward the link widely, and encourage your colleagues to sign as well.

For more information on TA labor activities and demands, please consult the TA union website at http://www.uaw2865.org

To sign the petition please go to the petition page at:
http://ucscfa.org/petition2/

RSVP for Nash Prize Dinner

Faculty should have received an invitation to this year’s Nash Prize Dinner via the Academic Senate mailing list. This reminder is being sent out as the RSVP deadline approaches. Non-faculty are invited to attend too.


You and a guest are cordially invited to attend a dinner celebrating this year’s winner of the Charles P. Nash Prize: Linda Bisson, The Maynard E. Amerine Chair in Viticulture and Enology.

The dinner will be Wednesday, April 30, 2014. 6:00 PM – Reception, 6:30 PM – Dinner. At the UC Davis Conference Center, Ballrooms A&B.

Dinner is $35.00 per person. RSVP with the attached card and payment by Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Please make checks payable to “UC Regents.” For information, call (530) 754-2262 or email Andrew Crotto at acrotto@ucdavis.edu.

The Charles P. Nash Prize, funded by the campus community and the Nash family and friends, is awarded by the Davis Division of the Academic Senate, the UC Davis Academic Federation, the Davis Faculty Association and the Nash Family to acknowledge achievement in and commitment to promoting shared governance in keeping with Charlie Nash’s exceptional efforts in promoting and advocating for faculty interests and welfare.

The prize is awarded to an individual who clearly represents advocacy, achievement and dedication within a body of service that exemplifies Charlie’s legacy.

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