Davis Faculty Association

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Starving the Beast event

Starving The Beast
Film Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Steve Mims

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 4:30 PM
Art Annex Room 112 (TCS Building), UC Davis
This is a free event!

STARVING THE BEAST examines the on-going power struggle on college campuses across the nation as political and market-oriented forces push to disrupt and reform America’s public universities. The film documents a philosophical shift that seeks to reframe public higher education as a ‘value proposition’ to be borne by the beneficiary of a college degree rather than as a ‘public good’ for society. Financial winners and losers emerge in a struggle poised to profoundly change public higher education. The film focuses on dramas playing out at the University of Wisconsin, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, University of Texas and Texas A&M.

Sponsored by: The Departments of: Cinema and Digital Media; French and Italian; Asian American Studies; Design; Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies; and the Davis Faculty Association, the Center for Regional Change, and the Davis Humanities Institute.

Upcoming DFA Board Elections

Dear DFA Colleagues,

We are reaching out to you concerning two matters regarding DFA governance.

The first is the DFA Board.  It is time for us to prepare for our annual DFA board elections for the next Academic Year.  The official procedure is that we form a nominating committee which selects candidates, followed by a vote by the membership.  Suggestions from the broader DFA membership for the nominating committee to consider are most welcome. So please contact us if you have thoughts on this (including personal willingness to serve).

The second item is chairing the DFA Board.  Several of our sister UC Faculty Associations have co-chairs, and we are considering implementing that as well, with Jesse Drew and Richard Scalettar serving in the upcoming year.  Our thinking is that this is a particularly eventful time in the UC system and in higher education generally, and having additional breadth will enable us to be more active.

Indeed, one of Jesse’s foci will be on membership recruiting.  This is obviously fundamental to a successful association.  We would also like to take this opportunity to exhort you to become involved in this as well – think about colleagues who might be interested in what we do and chat with them

Best Regards,
The DFA Board

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.

Board Nominations

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 to thank the nominating committee for their work and the outgoing board members for their past service on the DFA board.

Chair: Scott Shershow (English) [R]
Vice Chair: Daniel Cox (Physics) [R]
Nathan Brown (English) [C]
Thomas Jue (Biochem & Molecular Med.) [N]
Ian Kennedy (Mech. and Aero. Engineering) [C]
Neil Larsen (Comparative Literature) [C]
Marjorie Longo (Chem. Eng. and Mat. Sci.) [R]
William Lucas (Plant Biology) [C]
Susette Min (Asian American Studies) [C]
Blake Stimson (Art History) [R]
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, 2015. Further nominations may be made upon petition of 5% of the membership in good standing. Such petitions must be delivered on or before May 21, 2012, to the DFA Executive Director at 1270 Farragut Circle, Davis, CA 95618. If no nominations are submitted, the slate shall be accepted as elected.

Union authorization cards signed by majority of faculty at University of Oregon

The American Association of University Professors — with which several UC Faculty Association chapters have a negotiated relationship, although the DFA does not — has been working to unionize the faculty at the University of Oregon. The AAUP has announced to its members an important step towards that goal. While there has been no discussion at UCD of unionizing, as an Inside Higher Ed article (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/03/15/university-oregon-faculty-takes-step-toward-unionizing) on this topic says:

The now-likely formation of the faculty union at Oregon would be a major victory for academic labor, which has struggled in recent years to organize at research universities. “It shows that faculty members are increasingly frustrated at the increased corporatization of research universities,” said Jack Nightingale, associate director for higher education organizing at the American Federation of Teachers.

The letter from AAUP to its members follows:

Dear AAUP Member:

We’re pleased to announce that yesterday, faculty members at the University of Oregon moved one step closer to forming a union when they filed union authorization cards, signed by a clear majority of faculty, with the state Employment Relations Board.

The faculty union, United Academics of the University of Oregon, will be jointly affiliated with the AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers. The group includes tenure-track, non-tenure-track, and research faculty. In addition to a solid overall majority of UO faculty, the union authorization cards presented yesterday include majorities in all three classifications of faculty represented.

United Academics seeks to restore the voice of faculty in the university’s educational and research priorities. Enrollment at the university has grown by 4,000 students during the last five years, but support for instruction has not kept pace, resulting in dramatic increases in class sizes. One goal of the new union will be to restore budgetary alignment with the university’s core missions of teaching, research, and service to the state of Oregon, say faculty.

The union will be formally certified once the Employment Relations Board confirms that the signed cards represent a majority of the UO faculty.

“Oregon faculty have just made two-fold history,” says AAUP president Cary Nelson. “They are one of the first two major research campuses to organize for collective bargaining in decades. What’s more, their tenure-track and contingent faculty have combined forces in one union to show us how to guarantee quality education for the future. They and their colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago have led the way for faculty all across the country.”

Follow-up on UC’s changes to patent language

The DFA Board wanted to follow-up on the message sent last month regarding changes that UC is making to the way faculty assign patents to UC.

Patents are not relevant to a large number of campus disciplines, and so the changes to the patent language that UC is implementing should not be a financial concern for most faculty members. For the small number of faculty who were depending on the old patent language, here is what a DFA member who has valuable patents says, based on his conversation with a lawyer:

————————-

As a part of our ongoing exchange of information regarding the amendment to the patent agreement requested by the University, I am sharing my current understanding.

After contacting legal counsel, my understanding is that the Stanford case does not obligate employees to amend their patent agreement. The requested amendment might help protect the University from ending up in a situation similar to the result in the Stanford case. That does not necessarily mean that an employee is obligated to give the University a preinvention present assignment rather than an assignment after creation and disclosure, if the Patent Agreement that was signed does not require it. Principles of tenure and wrongful termination may protect employees from having the University condition future employment on signing the requested amendment. The University may have the discretion to make other changes that could adversely impact an uncooperative employee.

The language change, although consistent with the intent of the earlier language, is not a mere clarification; it is a material change in the rights of the parties to the Patent Agreement according to the Stanford case. Because the University cannot change the Patent Agreement unilaterally, it is asking employees to agree to the change. Although the employees may be obligated to assign certain inventions to the University once the invention is created, this change would make the present assignment in the amendment effective by operation of law (automatically) without further assignment once the invention exists, under the Stanford case. There may be reasons in particular situations, such as where the nature or timing of the invention is disputed, why one might not want to agree to an automatic assignment.

There are also questions as to whether the signed amendment might be used by the University to argue interpretation, waiver or estoppel as to other issues, so as to expand the impact of the amendment.

In the absence of a third party agreement involving a present assignment, such as the one in the Stanford case, or a refusal to sign an assignment on disclosure, an employee’s refusal to sign this amendment is probably inconsequential to the University’s rights under the Patent Agreement.

—————————-

Other information:

The clause in the old agreements that UCOP may be using to enforce this change is probably:

“I will do all things necessary to enable the University to perform its obligations to grantors of funds for research or contracting agencies as said obligations have been undertaken by the University.”

One of the most useful sources of information on this issue provided by UCOP is the signing form FAQ, available at:

http://www.vres.us/html/uofc/UCPatent_FAQ.pdf

Other useful links:

Senate:
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/reports/RA_LPrepatentagmt_FINAL.pdf

Signing form:
http://www.vres.us/ucpatent.html

Background:
http://www.vres.us/html/uofc/UCPatent_Background.pdf

Old versions
http://www.vres.us/html/uofc/Previous_Patent.html

Board Nominations

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 — Ian Kennedy, Margaret Ferguson, and Anthony Wexler — for their work. For a variety of reasons this was an unusually difficult nominating process, and I am very happy to see what a great list they ultimately selected:

Chair: Lyn Lofland (Sociology) [R]
Nathan Brown (English) [N]
Roy Curry (Physio & Membrane Bio) [N]
Marjorie Longo (Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) [C]
William Lucas (Plant Biology) [R]
Robert Rucker (Nutrition) [C]
Jon Scholey (Molecular and Cellular Biology) [N]
Phil Shaver (Psychology) [N]
Scott Shershow (English) [C]
Blake Stimson (Art History) [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 until academic year 2013-2014. Further nominations may be made upon petition of 5% of the membership (15 members) in good standing. Such petitions must be delivered on or before August 17, 2011 to the Executive Director at 1270 Farragut Circle, Davis, CA 95618. If no nominations are submitted, the slate shall be accepted as elected.

I very much want to thank the outgoing board members Colin Cameron, Norma Landau, Richard Scalettar, and Pieter Stroeve for their past service on the DFA board. Some of these board members have served many years on the DFA board and I will certainly miss them.

David Crane’s upcoming confirmation as UC Regent and Ohio’s legislative swipe at faculty

The focus on Wisconsin has prompted or accelerated a number of legislative actions directed at higher education around the country. The editorial pages and blogs are also ripe with oped pieces. A concern is the recent action taken by the Ohio State legislature (cf., summary and details in “Inside Higher Ed” and the Chronicle of Higher Education):

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/03/0/ohio_bill_would_kill_faculty_unions_in_unexpected_way

http://chronicle.com/article/Ohio-Senate-Votes-to-Deny/126565/

Closer to home is the response to an Op Ed piece by David Crane, whose confirmation as a UC regent is pending. As background, Crane was a partner in Babcock & Brown until 2003, a global investment and advisory firm that went into liquidation in 2008.

The following three links provide some useful background. CUCFA is opposing the confirmation of Crane. Robert Meister, Professor of Social and Political Thought at UCSC and President of the Council of UC Faculty Associations has said: “Crane would be yet another multi-millionaire Regent who made his fortune in investment banking — an industry that directly benefits when public employees are forced out of their existing plans and into the hands of Wall Street. The Crane appointment raises the stakes on this issue. Confirming him would bring the politics of Madison Wisconsin to California. However much he backpedals today, yesterday’s op-ed [attacking collective bargaining for public employees] was a red flag to the legislature that this Schwarzenegger appointment must be stopped. I applaud Senator Yee for getting the message and taking action.”

David Crane’s Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/27/IN5N1HUAMS.DTL

From the SF Bay Guardian – “Beware the billionaires behind pension reform” at: http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/03/01/beware-billionaires-behind-pension-reform

Senator Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco)’s opposition to Crane is described in: http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/03/02/yee-plans-block-crane%E2%80%99s-uc-regents-confirmation

Membership Update

At a recent meeting of the Davis Faculty Association Board, a number of hard decisions were made about the scope and direction of future activities. This has been a very active year for the DFA as well as the other UC campus associations. As you are aware, we are financed independently and do not receive UC-related support. Thus, we can take up issues directly with the UC Regents and we can lobby state legislators. Recent examples are concerns raised about strategies that have focused on post employment retirement and the nature of funding higher education.

Although inflation has been low in recent years, it has not been non-existent. More importantly, a large number of DFA members have retired in recent years and now no longer pay active member dues (emeritus members pay much reduced dues). Thus, our costs have gone up while our resources have dwindled. As a consequence, this year’s effort will be directed at recruitment and broadening our affiliations, such as developing stronger ties with AAUP. In the interim, it will be necessary to increase dues. As you may be aware, the DFA has a tiered dues structure, and the current board feels this is important to maintain. Thus dues for full professors will increase by $6 while dues for assistant and associate professors will stay at their current rate. The DFA board will also be asking for larger contributions from emeritus members. We all regret the need to increase dues, but the decision was needed to keep us going at our current level.

A primary goal is to continue a platform on which we can maintain a strong and independent voice. I would invite you to visit http://cucfa.org/accomplished.php in this regard. The faculty associations have addressed and influenced issues that range from requiring employee representation in UCRP’s governance to clarification that professors independently own their lectures. I will follow up in the new year with specific recruiting plans.

The Board welcomes any suggestions that you have regarding increasing our membership and activities that may contribute to even more visibility.

Robert Rucker on behalf of the DFA Board

Katehi quote – Innovation Problem Haunts Policymakers

Our Chancellor was quoted in the May 31 issue of Chemical & Engineering News magazine of the American Chemical Society:

“To illustrate the growing divide between what the government provides and what the public wants and thinks it should pay for, Linda Katehi, chancellor of the University of California, Davis, described the financial situation occurring in California. The state’s budget crisis, she said, is devastating the ability of the public research university to train scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, and other professionals.

““California’s choices over the last three decades reflect an increasingly privatized concept of government,” Katehi said. Under this concept, the public “views government services as a private choice, as if one could review potential government programs the way one would check off options on a cable television plan” and pay for only the desired services, she explained. “Lost in this privatized version of government is the sense of communal belonging, of obligation in any social entity larger than the self, and of any responsibility to future generations.”

“Katehi said that California’s money problems can happen in other states and that “we would be wise to heed the lessons of California’s fiscal crisis and its adverse effects on public education.” She said that if more public education funds are not forthcoming, she sees the state universities raising tuition and accepting more out-of-state students, whose higher tuition fees help defray expenses. Although government grants might assist some economically disadvantaged students, she said, the impact will be greatest on lower and middle-income families, which will no longer be able to pay for a public college education.”

The full article is available from on-campus computers (or via other subscriber login process) at the following link:

http://pubs.acs.org/isubscribe/journals/cen/88/i22/html/8822gov2.html

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