Davis Faculty Association

Archive for December, 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.

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