Davis Faculty Association

Archive for 2015

DFA board elections

It is time to renew the DFA board. In accordance with DFA bylaws, a nominating committee 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) [R]
Jesse Drew (Technocultural Studies) [N]
Valeria La Saponara (Mech Aero) [N]
Marjorie Longo (Chem. Eng. and Mat. Sci.) [C]
Flagg Miller (Religious Studies) [C]
Susette Min (Asian American Studies) [R]
Scott Shershow (English) [C]
Julia Simon (French & Italian) [R]
Julie Wyman (Cinema and Technocultural Studies) [C]
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, 2017. Further nominations may be made upon petition of 5% of the membership in good standing. Such petitions must be delivered on or before June 2 to the DFA Executive Director at 1270 Farragut Circle, Davis, CA 95618. If no nominations are submitted, the slate shall be accepted as elected.

More evidence of the decline in state support

As UCD faculty we are all unhappily aware of the erosion in state support for our institution and its students.  Perhaps, however, we view this with an element of resignation as a part of a national trend.  However, according to a study by the Chronicle of Higher Education, of 70 large research institutions in the country, UCD has the dubious honor of ranking second in terms of erosion in state support, trailing only UI, Chicago.  (Three others of the ‘top seven’ on the list are other of our sister UC campuses.)

http://chronicle.com/article/25-Years-of-Declining-State/144973/

Deadline for input on Chancellor’s review is 4/30

This is just a reminder that the deadline for faculty to provide input into the Chancellor’s “2015 UC Davis Chancellor Stewardship Review” is this Thursday, April 30th. At this late date, the best option to respond would be via email to Davis.Chan.Review@ucop.edu.

This is an important opportunity for UC Davis faculty to provide their views as to the Chancellor’s performance: leadership ability, decision-making ability, administrative and managerial skills, commitment to shared governance, etc.

More details about the Chancellor’s review process have been provided by the Davis Division of the Academic Senate at:

http://academicsenate.ucdavis.edu/divisional-resources/2015-chancellor-stewardship-review.html

Day of action being scheduled for April 15

The Davis Unit of the UC Student Worker’s Union — UAW 2865 — has asked us to alert you to an upcoming day of action to fight for a $15 minimum wage. It is occurring on April 15th.

More information about the event can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1017263978301349/

Buses will be provided to bring students to Sacramento or Berkeley and then back to Davis for free. People can sign up at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cVCmd7o3QJzH78_ghOd4kkhU-pgUy6IcT4IkWADmYdE/viewform?c=0&w=1

Nash Prize reception and dinner

The Nash family, the Academic Senate, the Academic Federation and the Davis Faculty Association jointly sponsor the annual Charles P. Nash Prize to honor the outstanding achievement in promoting and advocating for faculty interests and welfare by a member of the Academic Senate or Academic Federation. This year the prize is being awarded to Eric Schroeder, Lecturer Emeritus in the University Writing Program, in a reception and dinner to be held on May 12th.

In the words of the selection committee: “Dr. Schroeder served all constituencies of the campus community unusually well, teaching and mentoring not only students but also new faculty. He is, indeed, the epitome of someone who believes in–and lives–the Principles of Community that the campus subscribes to and the principles of shared governance described in the prize call.”

Please respond by May 5th following the details in the attached Nash Prize Invitation with RSVP (PDF). For more information, call (530) 754-2262 or email Louise Uota, lfuota@ucdavis.edu.

California’s Research University: The UC System, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Spring 2015, Mondays 6:10 to 8:00 pm, Bainer 1062.

Instructors: Jim Chalfant, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and Bob Powell, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Department of Food Science and Technology.

This series will examine the nexus of the excellence of the University of California and its budget. Our focus will be on the disinvestment by the State in UC and the measures that UC has taken to maintain its place among the greatest research universities in the world. We will explore such topics as UC’s research mission, the roles of graduate and undergraduate education at UC, the current realization of the Master Plan for Higher Education, tuition, and the UC budget. The main focus will be on the ten campuses, with additional consideration of the University’s other roles: its role as a large provider of health care, in management of three national labs, and in the delivery of agricultural research and extension, along with other prominent examples. Outside speakers from both the UC Office of the President and the campus will help frame these and other issues.

Guest Speakers:

March 30: Patrick Lenz, former Vice President Budget and Capital Resources

April 6: Bob Powell. CHMS and Food Sci. Tech, UC Davis

April 13: Ralph Hexter, Provost UC Davis

April 20: John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Studies in Higher Education UC Berkeley

April 27: MRC Greenwood, Chancellor Emeritus UC Santa Cruz and Linda Katehi, Chancellor UC Davis

May 4: Nathan Brostrom, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Potential change in UC healthcare options

Faculty Colleagues: as you may be aware, the University of California is considering restructuring the provision of medical plans for its employees across the ten campuses of the system. These changes would have a dramatic impact upon the health care options currently available to faculty and other UC employees. In brief, the plan is to create a new UC Care HMO program that will replace Health Net and possibly Kaiser. The aim is to generate savings for the university by forcing UC employees into a monopoly healthcare system that will be both less convenient and more expensive to use, as well as cause severe inequities of provision between campuses.

More details can be found in a letter that the CUCFA Board (CUCFA is the systemwide organization of faculty associations that the Davis Faculty Association belongs to) has written and plans to send to President Napolitano, asking her to undertake serious study of the manifold consequences of this plan and to make transparent the financial projections driving it. We would like for faculty to add their names to this letter so that President Napolitano sees how important these health care options are to us. If you are a UC faculty member, please add your name to the letter by visiting:

http://cucfa.org/healthcare-options-petition/

Continuing deterioration of compensation and benefits

Dear Colleagues,

A year ago Colleen Lye and James Vernon, co-chairs of the Berkeley Faculty Association, drew the attention of faculty across the ten campuses of the University of California to the continuing degradation of their pensions, benefits and salaries.

Faculty were, they noted, still underpaid in relation to their peers at competitor institutions. Despite this salary gap they were being increasingly asked to pay more but get less from their health insurance and pensions. Moreover, the introduction of a new and less generous pension ‘tier’ for those hired after 2013, last year’s chaotic roll out of the new health plans with the prestige UC Care option working only on campuses with medical schools, and the cutting adrift of out of state retirees from all health plans with a good luck lump sum payment of $3,000, created new inequities between UC faculty.

This analysis has recently been confirmed by UCOP’s own study of total remuneration. The executive summary of this document contains the following depressing bullet points:

• Between 2009 and 2014, UC’s total remuneration fell from 2% below market to 10% below market.

• Health and welfare benefits fell from 6% above market in 2009 to 7% below market in 2014, primarily caused by higher medical employee contributions at higher salary bands compared to the market.

• Changes to retirement plan designs since 2009 reduced positioning against market from 29% above market to 2% below market.

• Total retirement decreased from 33% above market to 6% above market.

• Total benefits decreased from 18% above market to 1% below market.

It is the first UCOP study to compare the new (2103) and old (1976) tier benefits for UC faculty with equally depressing results.

• New tier retirement benefits (the defined benefit plan) are valued 16% below old tier retirement benefits.

• New tier retiree health benefits (medical, life, dental) are valued 23% below old tier retiree health benefits.

• New tier retirement benefits (defined benefit plan plus retiree health) are 17% lower than the old tier.

In short, we have moved to a new system where the old deferred benefits of our pension and healthcare helped offset lower salaries to one in which the cash compensation of salaries still lag behind our competitors and in addition benefits have now also been reduced to a point where they are below comparable institutions. In 2009 UC cash compensation by salary represented 68% of total remuneration, yet for assistant professors in 2014 it represents 86%.

The Faculty Associations believe that it will not be possible to retain and protect the quality of UC faculty if their salaries remain uncompetitive and the value of their deferred benefits continue to erode dangerously.

On-line petition to President Napolitano regarding health insurance

As you are probably aware, there have been many recent changes to UC Health Care, including the removal of UC retirees from UC health plans if they move out of California, reduction of UC contributions to retiree health care from 100% to 70%, and the discontinuation, a year ago, of Blue Cross Plus, Blue Cross PPO, and Anthem plans and their replacement by a new “self-funded” PPO medical insurance plan, UC Care, that left many UC employees without access to nearby providers.

In the last month, an especially difficult situation has arisen due to abrupt termination of Blue Shield’s contract with Sutter Health. The following petition message was written by the Santa Cruz Faculty Association, sister chapter of the Davis Faculty Association, requesting that President Napolitano look into these recurring problems and ensure reliable health care for UC employees.

 


 

Dear Colleagues,

As most of you are doubtless aware, the recent breakdown in talks between Blue Shield and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (Sutter) could have enormous and negative consequences for UC employees, many of whom will lose coverage or be forced to change medical providers. This impasse is only the latest in a series of changes to UC health insurance, and we are very concerned about the overall downward trend. We believe it is important for UC faculty to register their concerns and so are sponsoring the following petition, urging President Napolitano to make improvements to health insurance a top administrative priority.

We invite ALL UC faculty and staff – at ALL campuses to sign the petition, forward the link widely, and encourage your colleagues to sign as well.

To sign the petition, please go to the petition page at http://ucscfa.org/blue-shield-sutter-petition/

In solidarity,
The SCFA

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