As we start the 2012-13 academic year, welcoming new students, faculty and staff, we want to take a moment to introduce—or reintroduce, as the case may be—ourselves.
We are an independent organization of faculty from all ranks at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
The CFA (formerly the Union of Professional Employees – UPE) has a long history of advocating for the interests of faculty and university workers, as well as promoting democratic public education and academic freedom.
During this history, the CFA has:
- Been the first group to raise the issue of sexual harassment on campus with a sweeping survey that attracted national press coverage on workplace harassment of women in the academy.
- Led the exposure of the multimillion dollar Global Campus debacle.
- Spearheaded the campaign to establish tuition waivers for faculty and staff.
- In coalition with other campus groups, helped expand campus childcare (including the Early Childhood Lab) and back-up care on campus.
- Formed our own caucus to strengthen and support the University Senate.
- Joined the successful campaign for contraceptive coverage.
- Initiated a proposal to reform the Board of Trustees months before the admissions scandal broke. CFA’s proposal received statewide press coverage
- Undertaken a questioning of the University’s so-called “Fourth Mission” (economic development), asking what it means for the community and for the University’s core missions of education, research, and public service.
- Spoken out against proposed cutbacks to the library in the face of recent reorganizations (“New Service Model”).
- Joined with other unions to lobby in Springfield on behalf of Illinois teachers and public workers.
- Advised colleagues in grievance cases.
- Sponsored open forums on threats to the SURS and how to confront them.
- Worked with the Faculty Senate to address the various administrative crises facing the university.
- Produced reports on the increase in administrative positions and salaries.