Davis Faculty Association

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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.

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.

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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)

DFA Board Nominations

It is time to renew the DFA board. In accordance with DFA bylaws, a nominating committee — this year made up of Omnia El Shakry, Valeria La Saponara and Greg Miller — 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) [C]
Ian Kennedy (Mech. and Aero. Engineering) [C]
Marjorie Longo (Chem. Eng. and Mat. Sci.) [R]
Susette Min (Asian American Studies) [C]
N. Sukumar (Civil and Enviro. Eng.) [C]
Scott Shershow (English) [R]
Julia Simon (French & Italian) [C]
Flagg Miller (Religious Studies) [N]
Julie Wyman (Cinema and Technocultural Studies) [N]
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, 2016. Further nominations may be made upon petition of 5% of the membership in good standing. Such petitions must be delivered on or before September 14, 2014, to the DFA Executive Director at 1270 Farragut Circle, Davis, CA 95618. If no nominations are submitted, the slate shall be accepted as elected.

Upcoming statewide meeting on faculty issues

The University of California in general, and UCD in particular, has continued to face significant challenges in the past academic year. The DFA has played an active role in advocating faculty interests concerning health care and retirement plans, proposed revisions to university-industry relations policy, state funding for higher education, and faculty rights to the intellectual property of their lectures. The DFA has also reached out to graduate student organizations to understand and aid in improving their research and teaching environments.

On August 21, the DFA will join with the faculty associations at our sister campuses for the annual CUCFA (Council of UC Faculty Associations) meeting. This is an opportunity for us to coordinate activities and also begin planning for issues needing attention in the coming year.

We would welcome your input into those matters of most concern to you, especially issues that you think might not yet have come to our attention. Please let us know at info@cucfa.org.

DFA Member’s Meeting – First Round is on Us

The Board of the Davis Faculty Association invites you to join us over a beer – or soft drink – and pizza at Woodstock’s Pizza (219 G St, Davis – we’ll be in the upstairs dining area) at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, June 4th.

We want to hear about your concerns, your suggestions, and any other input you may have for the Board of the DFA. Also, do invite any of your colleagues you think may have an interest in the Davis Faculty Association. As UC Davis continues to face challenges we need concerted action as much as ever.

UC Faculty Petition UC Administration To Negotiate in Good Faith with Student-Worker TA Union

The Santa Cruz Faculty Association (the SCFA, a sister chapter of the Davis Faculty Association) invite ALL faculty — both Academic Senate members and AFT members — at ALL UC campuses to sign the petition at http://ucscfa.org/petition2/

Signatures will be collected through Monday, May 26th.

Here is the SCFA’s letter introducing the petition:

Dear Colleagues,

For many of us, our teaching assistants are central to our pedagogy. They work the most closely with our students, and are most closely involved with our students’ individual progress. Our universities depend on them in many ways. As you all know, despite a series of system-wide labor actions and nearly a year of negotiating, our teaching assistants remain without a contract.

The SCFA is sponsoring a petition, to be delivered to President Napolitano, to demonstrate system-wide faculty support for a speedy resolution to teaching assistant contract negotiations. We believe that a strong showing by faculty system-wide can help make the case to the central administration that better working conditions for teaching assistants is not simply a matter between teaching assistants and the administration, but is a pressing concern for all UC faculty.

We invite ALL faculty — both Academic Senate members and AFT members — at ALL campuses to sign the petition, forward the link widely, and encourage your colleagues to sign as well.

For more information on TA labor activities and demands, please consult the TA union website at http://www.uaw2865.org

To sign the petition please go to the petition page at:
http://ucscfa.org/petition2/

Our concern over the proposed redevelopment plans for Solano and Orchard Park

Dear DFA members,

The DFA Board is concerned about the demolition of Solano and Orchard Park Student-Family Housing and so has sent the letter (below) to Chancellor Katehi and Dean Gibeling. Also, students trying to save Solano and Orchard Parks have created a change.org petition that you can read and sign at:

http://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-california-davis-revoke-the-decision-to-terminate-orchard-and-solano-parks


Dear Chancellor Katehi and Dean Gibeling,

We are writing to express our concern over the proposed redevelopment plans for Solano and Orchard Park Student-Family Housing. These units are scheduled for demolition and will not be replaced with subsidized housing.

Current rents at Solano and Orchard Park are $900/month, but at the new, privately managed, development, unit cost this will increase to $1,400/month. Under this proposed change, ninety-five percent of a TA/GSR salary will go to rent. Not only is the rent increase enormous, but the number of units will be greatly reduced. (The Solano Park complex, slated for demolition in spring 2016, currently has no proposed replacement.) The destruction of affordable housing has the greatest impact on students the university should especially be striving to protect — those with families and those whose financial ability to pay for education is limited.

It is likely too this redevelopment plan will have an adverse impact on the ability of UC Davis to recruit a broad spectrum of graduate students, since students from under-represented backgrounds often have lesser monetary resources. This change will serious undermine the efforts that faculty and the university generally are making to bring a diverse set of graduate students to our campus.

We strongly urge you to preserve Solano and Orchard Parks as valuable, low-cost homes for our students.

Sincerely,
Davis Faculty Association Board

We hope UCD’s response to striking students more appropriate than UCSC’s this morning

The DFA board sent to following note to Chancellor Katehi earlier today:

Dear Chancellor Katehi,

This morning riot police were deployed at UC Santa Cruz in response to the student strike. The DFA would like to express its hope that UC Davis has more moderate and appropriate plans to address the concerns of its graduate students.

Best Regards
Davis Faculty Association Board

Richard Scalettar (chair) Physics
Susette Min Asian American Studies
N. Sukumar Civil and Enviro. Eng.
Margie Longo Chemical Eng. and Mat. Sci.
Ian Kennedy Mech. and Aero. Engineering
Daniel Cox Physics
Scott Shershow English
Julia Simon French and Italian
Joe Kiskis Physics

Petition in support of graduate student workers

On September 16th, the chairs of 33 departments at UC Berkeley signed a letter to their Dean of the Graduate Division, Andrew Szeri, to express their concern about the uncompetitively low graduate student stipends UC offers. On October 3rd, departmental chairs at UCSD sent a similar letter to their Graduate Studies Dean, Kim Barett.

The Board of the Davis Faculty Association (DFA) agrees that academic student employee wages are inadequate. According to UCOP’s own survey, these stipends lag at least $2,697 behind comparator institutions. Academic student employees are currently negotiating with UC for a pay increase, but UC’s latest offer of a 2% raise still leaves a wage-deficit in excess of $2,000 (and considerably more when compared to the programs of elite private institutions with which UC competes.)

The DFA’s sister chapter, BFA, has launched a petition to be sent to UCOP labor relations in support of the graduate student contract negotiations. (The current contract expired at the end of September). The DFA board endorses this petition and asks you to please sign it and spread the word amongst your colleagues.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/uc-faculty-in-support

Additionally, the academic student employee union’s next bargaining session for a new contract will be taking place at UC Davis this Monday and Tuesday, November 18th and 19th. Faculty are welcome to attend and give testimony in favor of increasing support for graduate student workers. The sign-up sheet.

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