Davis Faculty Association

Archive for the ‘Financing Higher Ed’ Category

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

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.

*    *    *

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)

How Much Would It Cost to Restore California’s Public Higher Ed? (December, 2013 update)

Raising revenue has become such a taboo subject in California politics, but restoring quality public higher education in California can be done. For the median California tax payer, restoring the entire system while rolling back student fees to what they were a decade ago would cost $50 next April 15. Read “Financial Options for Restoring Quality and Access to Public Higher Education in California: 2013-14” at the Keep California’s Promise website.

What has the DFA been up to lately?

The DFA uses a variety of advocacy strategies: we meet with and write letters to campus and system-wide administrators and to Academic Senate leaders; we organize with other faculty, staff union and student groups on this campus and in other higher education sectors around issues of shared concern; as an affiliate of the Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA), we also lobby in Sacramento, where we meet regularly with legislators and their staff and where we have helped fund and organize “Educate the State” rallies; we speak at teach-ins and educate at workshops.

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

• The DFA endorsed Proposition 30 (a tax increase to fund public education) and opposed proposition 38 (a conflicting tax proposal) and distributed information that explained these positions.

• The DFA, through CUCFA, was a vital part of the opposition to SB 520, Senator Steinberg’s bill that could have at one point required UC to purchase MOOCs through private companies such as Coursera and Udacity. CUCFA President Bob Meister participated in a number of panel discussions about MOOCs that spring – usually the main opponent on those panels to Coursera founder Daphne Koller and Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun – with a message of support for faculty led innovation in the effective use of information technology, online materials, and hybrid approaches to enhance undergraduate teaching; with an emphasis on the importance of a campus and classroom-based vision of learning and intellectual exchange for all students, including the most disadvantaged; and with a message of concern about the ability of outsourced MOOCs to meet the needs of students for a quality education.

• CUCFA, through its unionized Santa Cruz chapter, challenged UC’s Coursera contract, which asked faculty to sign over all intellectual property rights to their lectures when Coursera did not require this. The DFA has a long history of defending against attempts by UC to take ownership of their lectures from faculty.

• UC planned to cut central funding of campus healthcare facilitators. The DFA opposed this, along with other FA chapters and other campus groups. UC agreed to continue funding the healthcare facilitators. We work to preserve UC benefits and pension.

• The DFA rejected the draft campuswide freedom of expression policy and asked that it be recast to more accurately reflect the rights and protections for free expression which are so valued on a university campus, as well as the history that UCD students have in the responsible and safe voicing of their opinions. The DFA is always concerned with safeguarding rights of academic freedom and political speech.

• The DFA noted the lack of assistance from the Student Disability Center in finding space to accommodate student exams. While instructors have an obligation to provide recommended academic accommodations, it is required of the University, not the instructor, to identify space or personnel to monitor accomodative examinations.

• Last fall, the DFA co-sponsored a series of multi-campus gatherings of faculty to discuss actions and interventions in defense of the public nature of the University.

• 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 the rest of this website. 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/

Privatizing UC Instruction, SB520

SB 520, a controversial bill that proposes that California public universities partner with private technology companies to provide general education classes online, continues to move through the state legislature. A June 5th article in the East Bay Express explores the issue, quoting Colleen Lye and James Vernon, Co-Chairs of the Berkeley Faculty Association, a sister chapter of the DFA.

An excerpt:

“In March, The Academic Senate of the University of California released an open letter criticizing the bill’s inclusion of private corporate interests. “There is no possibility that UC faculty will shirk its responsibility to our students by ceding authority over courses to any outside agency,” the letter stated.

“Some of the largest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley have heavily invested in educational technology start-ups like Udacity, edX, and Coursera. Last week, Coursera announced partnerships with ten public universities, including the State University of New York system, to offer for-credit courses to currently enrolled students.

“The UC Berkeley Faculty Association (BFA) and other faculty groups have also expressed concern that private providers may infringe upon their intellectual property rights, which identify the instructor as the owner of its coursework.”

Read full article

New York Times editorial on the magical thinking around online education

The New York Times editorializes on state budget cuts to California’s public higher education systems and the state legislature’s magical thinking around online education.

The full article is online at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/opinion/sunday/resurrecting-californias-public-universities.html?_r=0

An excerpt follows:

“The same California State Legislature that cut the higher education budget to ribbons, while spending ever larger sums on prisons, now proposes to magically set things right by requiring public colleges and universities to offer more online courses. The problem is that online courses as generally configured are not broadly useful. They work well for highly skilled, highly motivated students but are potentially disastrous for large numbers of struggling students who lack basic competencies and require remedial education. These courses would be a questionable fit for first-time freshmen in the 23-campus California State University system, more than 60 percent of whom need remedial instruction in math, English or both.”

A note about proposed online ed legislation

The DFA, in conjunction with CUCFA staff and the other faculty associations, have been busy monitoring the impending state legislation about online courses. In a previous email, we informed you of our letter of inquiry to the UCD Senate leadership and also invited you to sign an online petition opposing Senate Bill 520, which has so far received the lion’s share of attention. If you haven’t already you can still sign that petition (which currently has almost 1500 signatures) at

http://signon.org/sign/uc-faculty-opposition?source=c.em.cp&r_by=985930

Senate Chair Nachtergaele also wrote to the entire UCD faculty this morning providing further details of the Senate’s position on this issue.

There are also other related bills being considered in the Senate or the Assembly, some of them arguably less bad than SB 520, but all of them giving cause for our concern. Some other bills include:

* Assembly Bill 386 – Allows any student within the CSU System to take an online course on any other CSU campus, with some restrictions.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_386&sess=CUR

* Assembly Bill 387 Among other things, mandates 10% of new CSU courses be online offerings.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_387&sess=CUR

* Assembly Bill 1306 – Establishes a New University of California as the fourth higher education segment. The New University will provide no instruction, but shall issue college credit, baccalaureate and associate degrees to any person capable of passing examinations.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_1306&sess=CUR

* Senate Bill 520 – Directs the three higher education segments to identify the 50 most “bottlenecked” courses, creates a statewide pool of these classes, after a standardized review. Approval process allows private vendors to offer these classes for credit.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_520&sess=CUR

* Senate Bill 547. Similar to SB 520 but works much more within the current structures. It assigns course development and approval to the Academic Senates of UC, CSU and CCC, working jointly. In contrast, SB 520 assigned it to a 9-member panel which does not yet exist, whose original purpose was to help create free online textbooks.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_547&sess=CUR

Meanwhile, Bob Meister, Chair of CUCFA, has drafted an op-ed that will hopefully see print soon. Also, the UCSB Faculty Association has developed a set of bullet points, available here. This is obviously a complex issue and some of us following it closely continue to disagree (including about some of the points made in the UCSB document).

We’ll continue to monitor this legislation as it evolves, and would be happy to hear from any DFA members about their opinions on this legislation.

Best wishes,

Scott C. Shershow
Professor of English
Chair, Davis Faculty Association

Add your voice to a call for changes to SB 520

The Davis Faculty Association is gravely concerned about SB 520, a bill currently being considered by the state legislature, which would mandate acceptance of online courses from any source for academic credit at the University of California, the California State University and Community Colleges.  This proposal seems to us to have profound potential implications for shared governance, educational quality, faculty control of curriculum, standards for degrees, and much more. The DFA recently wrote to UCD Senate Chair Bruno Nachtergaele to express its concern about this legislation, and in response were referred to the Open Letter from Bob Powell and Council Chair Bill Jacob, the chairs of the system-wide Senate, which has already been sent to all faculty.

The DFA writes now to invite you to add your name to the petition linked to below, which originated with the Berkeley Faculty Association, and which is addressed to Sen. Darrell Steinberg (CA-6), the sponsor of SB 520, asking him to withdraw or modify SB 520. Please use the petition’s comment field to note your affiliation with UC.

http://signon.org/sign/uc-faculty-opposition?source=s.icn.em.mt&r_by=7376435

For more information on this impending legislation, see the various links at:

http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-academic-senate-and-others-respond.html

Campaign for the Future of Higher Education’s “Funding Higher Education” Campaign

The national Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE) is about to release their series of papers titled “Funding Higher Education: The Search for Possibilities.”

The Council of UC Faculty Associations contributed one of the papers in the series. CUCFA Vice President Stanton Glantz, as principal author of that paper, will be participating in the news briefing on February 12.

Please help spread the word to your local faculty and local media, or via your social media channels. Details are in CFHE’s press release below:

 


 

Campaign for the Future of Higher Education
For Release: February 6, 2013
Contact: Lisa Cohen, 310-395-2544 or Alice Sunshine, 510-384-1967

FUNDING HIGHER EDUCATION: THE SEARCH FOR POSSIBILITIES

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education calls on America’s college & university faculty to join
in the search for new ways to fund higher education

NATIONAL TELEPHONE NEWS BRIEFING
Tuesday, February 12, 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern
Call (800) 553-0273  / Ask for “Campaign for the Future of Higher Education”

•The three authors of working papers on new ways to fund higher education will explain their proposals and take questions from the news
media, including campus reporters and education bloggers.

•The briefing begins a drive by CFHE for faculty to step up our role in the search for new possibilities that will save access to higher education and strengthen our nation’s middle class.

•The briefing takes place on Abraham Lincoln’’s birthday. Lincoln signed the 1862 Morrill Act that initiated America’s public higher education system, starting with Land Grant Colleges. Today that system spans the nation but is on the road to elimination.

FOR RELEASE FEBRUARY 6, 2013 — In the United States, quality public higher education was once accessible to most Americans able to benefit from it.

The way it worked was simple—taxpayers funded public colleges and universities sufficiently so that students who were prepared to work a few hours a week could complete their degrees in a relatively short time with a minimum amount of debt. For those with even greater need, government provided state grants and Pell grants.

This system worked well for decades and opened the door to opportunity for millions of Americans.

Now, we are told we can no longer afford this. We believe that is wrong.

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education has begun a drive to involve our nation’s college and university faculty in the search for better solutions than funding cuts, privatization, soaring tuition and academic shut-downs.

Our nation has arrived at our current quandary for a variety of reasons. One is surely a failure of imagination, a set of assumptions that profoundly limits our ability to think about possibilities.

Three working papers released by the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education aim at stimulating a more thoughtful, fact-based, national conversation about paying for higher education in this country.

THREE IDEAS TO FUND HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA

Two of the CFHE working papers address the common assumption that funding higher education through public means rather than through
skyrocketing tuition is simply impossible.

One explores the notion of free higher education and examines what the actual cost to provide such an ideal would be. Bob Samuels, a University of California faculty member in Los Angeles, argues we could make big strides towards free public higher education by
reallocating current governmental expenditures for higher education and by eliminating regressive tax breaks.

The second paper, using the state of California as a test case, looks at the real magnitude of returning to recent, more adequate levels of state funding for higher education. Stanton Glantz, a professor at UC San Francisco, describes that resetting” higher education funding to more adequate past levels would require only very small adjustments in the median income tax return.

The third paper explores a currently unused tax revenue source that could be tapped if there were the political will to provide adequate public funding for higher education. Rudy Fichtenbaum, an economics professor at Wright State University in Ohio and national president of the American Association of University Professors, explains how to achieve vastly improved funding for higher education through a miniscule tax on selected financial transactions.

Members of the news media, including campus/student reporters and bloggers on education issues, are invited to a news briefing on Tuesday, February 12 (10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern) to hear a short discussion by the three authors and to ask them questions about their proposals.

To join the call:
Call (800) 553-0273  / Ask for “Campaign for the Future of Higher Education”. You may dial up to 5 minutes before the start time.

To see the papers in advance:
•Send an email request to dchernow@calfac.org or go to http://biz127.inmotionhosting.com/~future58/workingpapers/

Please note: the CFHE web address will change on Sunday, February 10. After that time, you can see the papers at www.futureofhighered.org/workingpapers.

These working papers are meant to encourage discussion, foster debate, and generate action. We invite faculty members and higher education supporters, particularly those with direct experience in America’s classrooms with students, to add thoughts about these models and ideas about others through the comment section of the CFHE website.

We also invite you to post on the CFHE Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FutureofHigherEd and to follow CFHE on Twitter @FutureofHE or using #FutureofHE.

BACKGROUND

We must provide the advanced education needed to sustain our economy and to undergird our democracy. America is not broke, and these creative ideas show that we can afford to keep the doors of opportunity wide open. Indeed, we cannot afford to shut them.

It is unfortunate for our nation that leaders and policy-makers are giving up the dream of affordable public higher education for Americans. The door into the middle class is slamming shut for those who want to rise and the position of middle-class Americans and their children is shaky, at best.

In place of the tested and successful engine of opportunity—state colleges and universities—corporate reformers are calling for privatization, higher tuition, and even shuttering traditional colleges for middle-class and working Americans.

Millions who persist in pursuing college confront enormous debt that will shackle them for the rest of their lives, threatening our national economy on a scale equal to the home loan debacle.

Saddest of all, few who are calling for this brave new world of higher education are considering a lesser education for their own children. Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and many flagship public universities will remain in place for elites to enjoy. Rather, this lesser education will be reserved for those who cannot afford an increasingly rationed liberal arts curriculum.

And yes, the need is immediate and urgent. Consider this report published in the February 2012 issue of Postsecondary Education
Opportunity, ominously titled “The Race to Zero.” This report takes historical data on state spending and projects future state expenditures for higher education based on that data.

The study finds that if current trends in funding public higher education continue, in 2022 Colorado will be the first state to hit zero funding for higher education. Alaska will follow in 2027. More than a dozen other states will hit zero by 2050. California will reach zero funding for public higher education in 2052. By 2100, state support for higher education will zero out in 24 other states, leaving roughly 10 states with continued support.

The “new normal” myth driving this trend is based on the lie that there is no money to fund public higher education and the misguided notion that students should be responsible for their own education because they benefit the most from it.

While CFHE takes no position on these proposals, we do believe that the current trend of publicly defunding higher education is an educational crisis that needs our attention.

Until we as a nation entertain options other than privatization of public higher education, which has reaped gigantic profits for
edu-businesses but massive debt and dashed dreams for millions of Americans, we will not solve the problem.

We do not pretend to have exhausted all possibilities with these papers. We urgently need a national conversation about one, whether we want to head in the direction that “new normal” politics is taking us, and two, what better ideas can help us do the best possible job as we address changes in our society and our nation.

In reality, everyone benefits from an educated population and America has prospered more when excellent public higher education was
affordable. These papers, we hope, will start a discussion about alternative models to fund higher education in our nation.

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