Davis Faculty Association

Archive for the ‘Working Together’ Category

Public Forum: The Future of Higher Education in California

Friday, February 2, 2018

1:00-2:00PM
Presentations

2:00-2:30 PM
Discussion

Art Annex Room 112 (Technocultural Studies Building)
UC Davis Main Campus

DELAINE EASTIN
Candidate for Governor of California
Former Superintendent of California Public Instruction
Former California Assemblymember

AMY HINES-SHAIKH
Higher Education Director, University Professional and Technical Employees
Executive Director, Reclaim CA Higher Education Coalition

MICHAEL BURAWOY
Professor Sociology at U. C. Berkeley
Chair, Berkeley Faculty Association

The public, professors, students, researchers, medical professionals, staff and the entire university community is invited to join in this forum and help solve the problems facing us in higher education in California, and to discuss concrete ways to move forward.

Speaker Bios:

Delaine Eastin is the former Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California and a former California Assemblymember. In the Assembly Delaine chaired the Education Committee and sponsored major legislation to reform California’s education system. She is currently a candidate for Governor of California.

Amy Hines-Shaikh is a Mom, and the Executive Director of the Reclaim California Higher Education coalition, representing over 20 different constituency groups with over 3 million Californians. She has a Master’s degree in Labor Relations and Research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Master’s in Organizational Development and Knowledge Management from George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Amy believes that students and workers uniting for justice can return us to the Master Plan of 1960 – tuition and fee free public higher education in the state of CA.

Michael Burawoy is a Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and is the Chair of the Berkeley Faculty Association. He has been President of the American Sociological Association (2003-4) and of the International Sociological Association (2010-14); and founding editor of the ISA magazine, Global Dialogue (2010-2017).

This event is sponsored by the Davis Faculty Association, the departments of Religious Studies, Sociology, and Cinema and Digital Media, the Center for Regional Change, UC-AFT Local 2023, and the Davis Humanities Institute.

This is a free event.

DFA request for your input on campus strategic planning

The Davis Faculty Association (DFA) board requests your input on the Chancellor’s strategic planning effort called To Boldly Go. Board members will be meeting with Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost, Professor Ken Burtis, on Thursday January 25 for a discussion of DFA priorities. We hope to receive your ideas no later than coming Tuesday, but sooner is better.

The Chancellor’s website for the planning is here:

http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/strategic-plan/index.html

The idea is to get suggestions for high level, ten year goals with the format: (i) statement of the goal and then a (ii) statement of strategies for achieving it.

A list of questions from Ken Burtis is available. Please note that these are not intended to be exclusive. They are to stimulate conversation and to give a feeling for the level of goal that is of interest in the strategic planning. Ideas that are not mentioned on the list are very welcome.

We look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Thank you.

Joe Kiskis
On behalf of the Davis Faculty Association Board.

Nash Prize – DFA representative sought

One of the best things the DFA does every year is participate in the awarding of the annual Charles Nash Prize. You all are probably familiar with it; if not, some information about it is available at: http://ucdfa.org/nash-prize/

We need a DFA member to volunteer to assist with this. Below is a note from DFA Chair Richard Scalettar from a couple years ago asking for a volunteer for this task. He had volunteered to chair the committee the year previous and provides some information about the task. If you can take on this task, please let me know at info@cucfa.org

– Eric.


I am writing as Chair of the Davis Faculty Association to inquire if you might be willing to serve on the Nash Prize Committee.

The task is not so burdensome — reading the 5-10 applications, and 1-2 meetings to rank. The nomination deadline is early February, so the work is in the Winter quarter.

As committee chair two years ago, I can say that serving is also an interesting assignment — educating oneself about the really nice things that our colleagues are doing to promote staff/student/faculty welfare!

We only had one meeting, so that really reduces the likelihood of not being able to find a common time.  It is possible this year the choice will be more difficult and you will need two meetings, but that would do it.

Best Regards,
Richard

Taking a Stand Against Harassment

The DFA Board has voted to endorse the statement issued yesterday, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) calling on college and university leaders to defend members of universities and colleges from campaigns of harassment: “…anything short of a vigorous defense of academic freedom will only further imperil safety. Concessions to the harassers send the message that such odious tactics are effective. They have a chilling effect on the entire academic community.” See the full statement here.

Starving the Beast, the March for Science, and Nationwide May 1 Actions

Dear Davis Faculty Association Colleagues,

Thanks to the many of you who came out to watch the film Starving the Beast and meet with filmmaker Steven Mims. I think we would all agree it is a valuable and well-made film. The Davis Humanities Institute reviewed the event for their recent newsletter.

If you missed the film screening, we may be able to accommodate a smaller screening. Contact the DFA if you are interested.

On another note, this Saturday April 22 is the National March for Science. The Davis Faculty Association is a co-sponsor of the Sacramento March for Science, and you can find more information on this link. Hope to see some of you there:

Finally, there is a national day of action planned for May 1 of this year initiated by numerous labor, social justice, and immigrant organizations. There is a call for university participation in support of these actions.

Feel free to forward this information to others you may know who are not currently DFA members.

Have a fun and safe Picnic Day!

Jesse Drew and Richard Scalettar
Co-Chairs of the Davis Faculty Association

“Starving the Beast” Screening and Director’s Talk

The DFA is hosting a screening of STARVING THE BEAST followed by a talk by that film’s director, Steve Mims, on the current situation confronting public universities. “Starving the Beast” is a documentary about the crises in education that has been receiving acclaim around the US and has served to create community conversations about the way forward. The film will show on campus on Thursday, April 13 at 4:30 PM in the Art Annex main room.

About the film: 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.

The $48 fix: Reclaiming California’s Master Plan for Higher Education

On Thursday, January 26, the UC Regents will consider and likely approve their budget for the University for 2017-2018. It and the Governor’s budget, to which it is closely tied, perpetuate decades of failed privatization and persistent under funding of the University and of public higher education more generally. At UC and as compared to both 1990-1991 and 2000-2001, total per student expenditures for instruction and the State general fund contribution to per student instruction are sharply down while the inflation-adjusted contributions from students through tuition and fees are 70% higher than they were in 2000-2001 and 135% higher than they were in 1990-1991. Students and their families are paying more and getting less.

It has become conventional “wisdom” that this continuing decline is inevitable and that viable alternatives do not exist.

The report The $48 fix: Reclaiming California’s MASTER PLAN for Higher Education demonstrates that there is an affordable alternative that restores public higher education in California.

“It turns out that keeping the full promise of the Master Plan-returning the state’s investment per CSU and UC student to 2000 levels (inflation-adjusted); eliminating tuition and fees for all in-state UC, CSU and CCC students; and funding seats for qualified California high-school graduates now refused access to the system-is affordable.”

“California’s two-decade experiment in privatizing higher education has failed, as it has failed in the rest of the country. Top-quality, accessible and appropriate higher education that affords opportunity to all California students has been replaced with a system that restricts access, costs students more and compromises educational quality. Exploding student debt constricts students’ futures and harms the economy as a whole. It is entirely feasible to reinstate California’s proven success in public higher education. Several reasonable funding options can be mixed and matched to make the costs remarkably low for almost all California families. Our state has the means and the opportunity. Will we recover our political will and vision?”

This report was produced by the Reclaim California Higher Education coalition, which includes the Council of University of California Faculty Associations and other organizations dedicated to affordable, accessible, and excellent public higher education in California.

Defense of Undocumented and other Vulnerable Categories of Students

The Council of UC Faculty Associations wrote the following letter, rafted with the assistance of the Davis Faculty Association, to President Napolitano on November 23, 2016. It concerns ways to ensure that undocumented students are supported in continuing their education at the University of California.

*************************************

Dear President Napolitano,

We applaud your timely declaration in the immediate aftermath of the election that the UC administration “remain[s] absolutely committed to supporting all members of our community and adhering to UC’s Principles Against Intolerance.”[1]

Like you, we are gravely concerned by the statements made by President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign, and in the aftermath of his victory, targeting particularly vulnerable communities such as undocumented Latinos and Muslim immigrants.

We support your subsequent statement to the UC Regents that “it is more important than ever that we preserve our core values, expand opportunity, and create and share knowledge in the public interest.”[2] We also support your decision to meet with representatives of undocumented students, and to institute a task force to help UC students who are in the country without legal permission and who may be at greater risk of deportation under a Trump administration.

We endorse the joint letter you wrote with CSU Chancellor Timothy White and CC Interim President Erik Skinner to the California congressional delegation asking for the restoration of year-long Pell grants.[3] CUCFA has long believed in the inextricable connection between affordable higher education and the benefits of all forms of diversity to knowledge-production, society, and democracy. We greatly appreciate the advocacy of our leaders on behalf of our students.

In short, we stand united with our administrators against any threats directed at our students and fellow employees, or any words or acts of hate that threaten our mission as a public research university committed to the betterment of our global society through teaching, learning, and the dissemination of new knowledge. We pledge to stand up for, support, and defend the most vulnerable among us, those deliberately targeted in the lead up to the election, and those who are now victims of hate in its wake – members of our community who are undocumented, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims (and other religious minorities), immigrants, people with disabilities, and women.

To implement these policy principles, we urge that, in collaboration with the chancellors and other appropriate authorities, you:

  • Explore all legal venues to refuse to act on behalf of federal agents, and to withhold information on the immigration status, religion, and national origin of our students, faculty, or staff;
  • Not enter into agreements with state or local law enforcement agencies, Homeland Security or any other federal department for the enforcement of federal immigration law;
  • Instruct university police not to honor immigration hold requests, and not to contact, detain, question or arrest individuals solely on the basis of being, or suspected of being, a person that lacks documentation;
  • Standardize a UC systemwide administrative office with responsibility for counseling DACA students on their educational situation;
  • Publicize that DACA student counseling services are available on a strictly confidential basis;
  • Continue to allow DACA-eligible students to pay in-state resident tuition;
  • Ensure student’s access to health care and financial aid within California law;
  • Invest in faculty and staff training for UndocuAlly modules developed by UC Davis;[4]
  • Commit to allow undocumented students to work on UC campuses in the event that the DACA provisions were repealed;
  • Take these measures before Inauguration Day so that DACA students can be assured of institutional support.

We are aware of the many calls to consider declaring all UCs “sanctuary campuses” before the inauguration of President-elect Trump.[5] While we support the spirit of this call, believing that Universities have an ethical obligation to assist undocumented students against threats of deportation, we are concerned that the idea of sanctuary campuses does not have any legal status, and agree with Cal State Chancellor White that declaring any public university a “sanctuary” may give a false sense of security “to the very people we support and serve.”[6] We urge you to study all legal and symbolic ramifications of declaring UC campuses “sanctuaries,” and to involve students, staff, and faculty in making that decision. Accordingly, we ask you to charge the announced task force on undocumented students with discussing explicitly the issue of sanctuary status and to make their findings public before January 20.

It is estimated that one third of the over 740,000 undocumented students in the US reside in California, and our state already has multiple progressive policies designed to support undocumented immigrants, including measures that help them access healthcare, driver’s licenses and student loans. We have a responsibility not only to reassure our students that we will stand by them in the face of deportation if laws were passed in that direction, but to lead the nation in rejecting policies opposed to the core values of our university.

For this reason we support your actions to date and reiterate our desire to work with you and other university leaders to advance these important goals.

On behalf of the Council of UC Faculty Associations Board,
Stanton Glantz,
President, Council of UC Faculty Associations
Professor of Medicine, UCSF


[1] http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article113780763.html

[2] http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-ln-uc-regents-20161116-story.html

[3] https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/uc-president-joins-california-higher-education-and-uc-student-leaders-support-pell-grants

[4] http://undocumented.ucdavis.edu/education/ally.html

[5] http://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2016/11/proposal-turn-californias-massive-public-higher-ed-system-into-sanctuary-campuses-to-stop-trump-107463

[6] http://mynewsla.com/education/2016/11/17/no-sanctuary-at-cal-state-university-but-no-cooperation-with-trump-immigration/

Faculty Associations’ Letter to the President of Long Island University

September 8, 2016 – As you may already know, three days ago, President of Long Island University Kimberly R. Cline and the Board of Trustees locked out the faculty of the LIU Brooklyn Campus. After contract negotiations on a new contract dragged to the start of a new academic term, the administration simply ended negotiations. Such a lockout has never happened before in higher education in the United States. The administration not only locked out the faculty, but they also cut off their pay, their benefits, their health care, and even their university email. (For more up to date information see https://academeblog.org/2016/09/08/lockout-of-faculty-at-liu-looking-down-into-the-abyss/).

Convinced that this gross violation of labor relations and shared governance practices must be met with swift and resolute denunciation, CUCFA has sent a letter to President Cline http://cucfa.org/2016/09/letter-to-the-president-of-liu/ inviting her to desist from her chosen course of action and return to the negotiating table. We invite all DFA members to pay attention to the unfolding of events and participate in the discussions that are likely to follow regarding how to deal with this dangerous precedent were LIU’s administrators to persist with the look out. You can also sign an online petition hosted by the AFT.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/end-the-lockout-and-bargain-a-fair-contract-now

Statement in support of students occupying Mrak

We write to express our support and appreciation for the actions being taken by the UC Davis students who are currently occupying the 5th floor of Mrak Hall. These students are taking a firm stand in defending their belief that the administration should be held accountable to the public and that university affairs should be held to more transparent standards. Their actions represent a revitalization of active democracy and a commitment to the proud tradition of the University of California as a public good. In supporting our students, we express particular concern over the ways that they have recently been confronted with adverse repercussions or threats to their status as students at the University of California.

Respectfully,
The Board of the Davis Faculty Association

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