CFA Fall General Meeting Recap

Hi CFA Members and Friends,

We had 25 people come out for our fall general meeting last Thursday. Thanks to all of you who made it! For all of those who sent regrets — here’s a recap.

Our lively discussion generated two immediate priorities:
1. Joining the Homecoming Parade protest on Friday October 27 at 6:00 pm
2. Support for GEO in their contract negotiations, especially tuition waivers

In terms of our next priority, there are at least two action items.
1. A letter and a campaign in support of our graduate students, their tuition waivers in particular
2. A list of alternate places where classes can be held so that we can respect the picket lines

Please let me know if you’d like to work on either of these projects. We need to get going soon.

We would like to grow the membership, and we’re looking for one or two people willing to chair or co-chair the membership committee. Please let me know if you’d like to serve.

I’ve had two wonderful volunteers to serve on the communications committee. Thank you Harriet and Terri!

Our next executive committee meeting will take place Monday November 6 from 12-1 in the CFA office. Please join us — there’s candy!

See you all soon.

Warmest wishes,
Dana
CFA President

2017 Undergraduate Social Justice Scholarship

The Campus Faculty Association is proud to announce that we are awarding up to five $1000 scholarships for undergraduate students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to social justice in the community.

Winners will be chosen on the basis of their commitment to social justice in the community. To be considered, an undergraduate must be currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the UIUC with at least one more semester of study before graduation. Preference will be given to students who will be involved in social justice activity during the period of the award.

Applications must include a curriculum vitae, a short (250 word) essay describing the student’s involvement in social justice work, and the name and contact information for one reference who can speak to the student’s record in this regard. We will begin to accept applications on September 15, 2017, and applications are due by November 1, 2017. Awards will be announced at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester.

Social justice efforts may take many forms, including volunteer and paid work. Although usually performed through the auspices of a non-profit organization, it may also involve a less formally structured activity. Whatever form it may take, such activity is not simply charity work but an effort that seeks to improve the living and working conditions for less advantaged members of the community in concrete and sustainable ways. Examples include work associated with: labor organization and strike support; patients’ rights; civil rights; housing assistance programs like Habitat for Humanity; food pantries and food delivery programs; incarcerated people’s rights and education; early childhood development programs; shelters for homeless people and battered women; immigrant rights; and so on.

Please submit applications to campusfacultyassoc@gmail.com. All application materials should be submitted as a single .pdf file.

Five Students Honored for Social Justice Work

In AY 2016-2017, the Campus Faculty Association awarded five $1,000 scholarships to students engaged in outstanding social justice work on campus and in the community. All recipients are students in good standing who have been enrolled during the 2016-2017 academic year. Recipients were honored in February at an awards dinner at the Bread Company in Urbana.

Jacob Akstins, who is earning a B.S. in Actuarial Science with a Business minor, has served for two years as Nugent Hall’s Multicultural Advocate. He educates residents and residential life staff about social identity. He is currently leading a committee with Beckwith to run AY 2016-2017’s Disability Awareness Program with the goal of teaching others about accessibility on campus.

Perry Cline is earning his BSW in Social Work. A formerly incarcerated student, Perry works with a community re-entry program, First Followers, which assists formerly incarcerated people in their search for employment, education, and housing. His future professional goals include working with people who have experienced addiction and incarceration.

Hannah Jarman is a double major in Global Studies and Communication. She is currently the president of the UIUC Chapter of Amnesty International; her work has focused on immigrant rights, legal services, and access to healthcare. She is currently engaged in helping C-U becoming more welcoming for immigrants.

Karen Olowu, who is majoring in African American Studies and Urban and Regional Planning, is a founding member of Black Students For Revolution (BSFR). BSFR is a group of black and brown students seeking radical transformation in higher education. She has also served as vice president for the Student Pan-African Movement.

Muhammad Yousuf is majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies. He has been active in Students for Justice in Palestine, including serving as president for two years. Recently, he has collaborated with Black Lives Matter in his campus activities and work to combat the proposed sales tax increase, which would expand the Champaign County jail.

Undergraduate Social Justice Scholarship

The Campus Faculty Association is proud to announce that we are awarding up to five $1000 scholarships for undergraduate students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to social justice in the community.

Winners will be chosen on the basis of their commitment to social justice in the community. To be considered, an undergraduate must be currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the UIUC with at least one more semester of study before graduation. Preference will be given to students who will be involved in social justice activity during the period of the award.

Applications must include a curriculum vitae, a short (250 word) essay describing the student’s involvement in social justice work, and the name and contact information for one reference who can speak to the student’s record in this regard. We will begin to accept applications on September 15, 2016, and applications are due by October 15, 2016. Awards will be announced on December 1, 2016.

Social justice efforts may take many forms, including volunteer and paid work. Although usually performed through the auspices of a non-profit organization, it may also involve a less formally structured activity. Whatever form it may take, such activity is not simply charity work but an effort that seeks to improve the living and working conditions for less advantaged members of the community in concrete and sustainable ways. Examples include work associated with: labor organization and strike support; patients’ rights; civil rights; housing assistance programs like Habitat for Humanity; food pantries and food delivery programs; incarcerated people’s rights and education; early childhood development programs; shelters for homeless people and battered women; and so on.

Please submit applications to campusfacultyassoc@gmail.com. All application materials should be submitted as a single .pdf file.

AAUP delegate statements against lifting censure now

 

Statement by Harry Hilton, Chapter President, AAUP, Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Let me assure you that my campus colleagues can and will vouch for me that in the 6+ decades that I have been on the UIUC faculty, I have never been an administration apologist. I supported and voted for censure in both the Koch and Salaita cases.

The June 13, 2015, AAUP UI censure resolution did not carry any suggestions as to requirements for removal from the list. Joerg Tiede, AAUP associate secretary, indicated that the following needed to be observed: “The process of censure removal has usually three elements:

  1. some measure of redress toward the person or persons affected,
  2. changes to policies that would prevent a recurrence of the issue that brought about the censure,
  3. an assessment of the climate for academic freedom from a representative of the Association.”

The following is a short summary of the current status on these pertinent topics:

1. Salaita Settlement

The mutually agreed to settlement between the Dr. Salaita and the University satisfies Item 1.

2a. Improved University Hiring Policies

On May 2, 2016, the UIUC Senate passed amendments to the University Statutes that will correct certain current deficiencies. When approved by the other two Senates and the Board of Trustees (BoT), new operational protocols will include

  1. no one will be allowed to perform university services prior to receiving a Notice of Appointment (NOA) with an appropriate prior starting date
  2. approval of appointments below the rank of dean will be delegated by BoT to the president who in turn will delegate this authority to the chancellors

Before disapproval of a proposed tenured or tenured track individual appointment by the provost, chancellor and/or president is announced proper consultations should take place with the committees and unit heads that forwarded the recommendation. The UI and UIUC administrations have agreed to follow these shared governance procedures. In the meantime, the UIUC provost has issued appropriate procedural directives to implement additional definitive hiring procedures and timetables. These are currently operational and will prevent any reoccurrences of past deficiencies.

2b. Academic Freedom

Official written policy statements have been issued by the UIUC chancellor, UI president and the Board of Trustees president reaffirming their individual and institutional support of the AAUP principles of academic freedom as spelled out in the AAUP RED BOOK.

2c. Shared Governance

The Provost, in conjunction with the Senate, created Provost’s Communication No. 27, Shared Governance for Academic Units. Additionally, the president, vice president for academic affairs, chancellor and provost have been extremely outgoing and frequently meet with faculty, staff and student groups, including UIUC AAUP chapter representatives. Our concerns have been listened to and many suggestions have been implemented.

I have asked the provost to implement the following: When units file their promotion dossiers the provost should require certification by the unit head that shared governance procedures are specifically included in the unit’s bylaws and cite examples where these procedures were applied and observed by the unit. I am confident that these procedures will be implemented starting with the Fall 2016 promotion cycle at UIUC.

I also draw you attention to the fact that UIUC has a new interim chancellor and interim provost who have worked tirelessly and successfully to improve conditions on the Urbana campus. However most importantly, former chair Chris Kennedy has departed from the BoT and with him are gone his misplaced micromanagement style and his much too frequent preemptive interferences in traditional faculty decision making prerogatives.

3. Visit by AAUP Representative

I have made arrangements to be available during such a visit and am prepared to testify and fully answer questions.

Removal of the University of Illinois and UIUC administrations from the AAUP censure list

While we commend President Killeen, Interim Chancellor Wilson and Interim Provost Feser, who supported and instituted numerous changes in improved procedures and University as well as UIUC climate, we would prefer to wait for the BoT decision on statute changes pertaining to shared governance, which remains as unfinished business. If censure were effectively to be removed today, pending the Association’s representative’s campus visit and favorable report, BoT would have no incentive to accept the three senates’ approved statute amendments.

————————————————————————–

 

Statement by Bruce Rosenstock, AAUP delegate to national convention, Associate Professor of Religion

As Harry Hilton [president of the local AAUP chapter] has pointed out, the administration of President Killeen and Chancellor Wilson has taken important and significant steps to rectify the causes that led to censure. I will remind the convention, however, that shared governance at Illinois, as elsewhere, also includes faculty, students, and their representatives in the Academic Senate. They too are engaged in work to rectify the causes that led to censure, but their work has not yet reached completion.

Over the past 18 months, shared governance process at the University of Illinois has gone through three very important steps: (1) on December 12 2014, the Hiring Policies and Procedures Review Committee published a report recommending changes in the approval process for faculty appointments; (2) on March 9 2015, the UIUC Senate  endorsed these recommendations and mandated the University Statutes and Senate Policy committee to determine how to amend the university statutes to implement those recommendations; and (3) on May 2 2016, the UIUC Senate approved the proposed statutory amendment for transmission to the Senates of the other campuses and ultimately for consideration by the Board of Trustees.

The statutory amendment asks the Board of Trustees to delegate hiring authority for academic personnel below the rank of dean to the President of the University, who is empowered to delegate it in turn to the appropriate officers and bodies at the various campuses.

It would a disservice to our three Campus Senates to essentially discount this work, to say nothing of undercutting whatever chance this work has of actual success, if we lift censure before the Board of Trustees is presented with this statutory amendment.

The process of finalizing this statutory amendment for presentation before the Board of Trustees will take up to a year, so it is not appropriate to expedite the lifting of censure at this time. We may return next year to hear a resolution to lift censure despite the amendment having been rejected by the Board of Trustees, as is possible. At that time, we may all choose to honor the impressive work undertaken not only by the administration but also by the shared governance bodies in all the University Senates. Honoring all the shared governance work done by all parties — the administration, faculty, and students of the three campuses — to rectify the causes of censure, we may then decide to vote in favor of  lifting censure, if Committee A so proposes.

We have nothing to lose by waiting a year for the shared governance process of statutory amendment to reach completion. And we have much to gain if the process is successful. But we completely disrespect that process and those faculty and students who have devoted many hours of their time if we choose now to expedite the lifting of censure by delegating our authority in the matter to Committee A.

The UIUC local AAUP chapter therefore respectfully asks the delegates to vote “no” on the resolution put forward by Committee A. We ask you to respect the ongoing work of our three campus Senates in their efforts to rectify the causes that led to the censuring of our University. Let us return to this question next year, if Committee A feels prepared at that time to recommend a lifting of censure. Please vote “no” on this resolution and demonstrate your respect for the ongoing efforts of shared governance at Illinois, which are a response to one of the structural causes that led to censure.

Translation of Provost’s interview in News-Gazette

Original document: the Provost’s interview in the News-Gazette (April 21, 2016).

Detect language: admin-speak

Translate into: reality

Administrators want multiyear contracts to be based on merit and performance…

Translation – Administrators have set up a system that excludes almost all non-tenure-track faculty from multiyear contracts. The system is working! Merely 19 non-tenure-track faculty members campus-wide have multiyear contracts.

The hundreds of non-tenure-track faculty members at UI-Chicago who won multiyear contracts through their union bargaining must be undeserving.

Feser noted that most UI employees, aside from tenured faculty, are “at will” employees without multiyear contracts…

Translation – The administration regards everyone except tenured faculty as disposable. Non-tenure-track faculty should stop agitating for a better deal.

“we do not regard questions of academic freedom as a matter of wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment”

Translation – The administration sees no need for non-tenure-track faculty to gain contractually enforceable procedural rights in academic freedom cases (as is the case at UI-Chicago). Such contract rights would force the administration to follow its own rules.

Translation of Chancellor’s massmail and bargaining position

Original documents: Chancellor’s massmail (April 19) and administration bargaining positions on non-tenure-track faculty union contract

Detect language: admin-speak

Translate into: reality

  • Multiyear contracts should be based on performance and evaluation.
  • Performance evaluations are too difficult, and so the administration refuses to agree to them in the union contract.
  • The administration is not responsible for the fact that only 19 non-tenure-track faculty members across campus now have a multiyear contract. It’s just too difficult.
  • Academic freedom is good at the University of Illinois. See: AAUP Censure List.
  • Non-tenure-track faculty members subject to non-renewal at any time with no explanation should naturally trust the administration to safeguard their academic freedom.
  • Failure of the administration to safeguard academic freedom cannot be challenged under the contract, even if the administration violates its own stated procedures.

Non-tenure-track staff deserve fair contract

This article appeared in the News-Gazette on April 17, 2016.

By Susan G. Davis and Richard S. Laugesen

Members of the Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local 6546 (the union for non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Illinois) voted on April 6 to authorize a strike. For 14 months these faculty members tried to negotiate a first contract with the administration, to no avail. Even the presence of a federal mediator has not helped. A strike is the last resort. The Campus Faculty Association strongly supports our non-tenure-track colleagues in this difficult period. Here’s why:

More than 500 non-tenure-track faculty members teach, perform research and run labs on campus. They are paid just a fraction of the salary of tenure-stream faculty, while teaching about 40 percent of undergraduate classes. But the dispute is not about money — it is about job security and educational quality.

Multiyear contracts for long-serving faculty members are the central issue. Non-tenure-track faculty members are asking for two-year contracts after five years of service, and three-year contracts after 10 years of service. This basic guarantee would help faculty members prepare new courses effectively, and assure students of continuity and quality in instruction.

The university claims it has procedures in place already for multiyear contracts, but refuses to write those procedures into a binding contract.

Meanwhile, the provost’s own staff admit that fewer than 4 percent of non-tenure-track faculty members across campus (only 19 of them) currently have multiyear contracts.

Working conditions for non-tenure-track faculty are learning conditions for students, and students deserve to know their instructors have the stability needed to do their best job. Faculty members on short contracts must turn their attention to searching and applying for jobs each spring, because they do not know whether they will have a job in the fall. This time and effort could otherwise be devoted to students. Further, if non-tenure-track faculty knew they had a future at the university, then they could commit to improving courses and advising students over a period of years. And to keep up with their disciplines, and develop the highest quality classroom materials, teaching faculty need professional support and development opportunities — these requests too are being resisted by the university. Our non-tenure-track colleagues are first-rate teachers and scholars, and they want to maintain that standard. The University of Illinois cannot profess to offer a top-tier education if it treats a large segment of its faculty as disposable.

A strike by these faculty members would be inconvenient for everyone, no doubt, but non-tenure-track faculty have run out of other ways to get their concerns taken seriously. These faculty members devote their careers to teaching undergraduates at the university, and will find it difficult to walk away from that commitment, even for a day. But at some point enough is enough, and they know they must stand up for their profession now, to insure a good education for future students at our university.

As tenure-track faculty, we whole-heartedly support our non-tenure-track colleagues. We urge the administration to give these faculty members fair treatment, and agree now to a fair contract.

Susan G. Davis, a professor emerita of communication, is a member of the Campus Faculty Association executive committee. Richard S. Laugesen, a mathematics professor, is vice president of the CFA.

Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Solidarity

The Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition #6546 has authorized a potential strike, and they are seeking support from tenure-track faculty.

NTFC asks tenure-track faculty to sign the following support letter. A PDF of the letter is available here (TTSupportLetter); a Word version is available here (TTSupportLetter-4).

You can return the signed letter to the Geneva Room of the McKinley Foundation (Fifth & Daniel, Champaign) or request pick-up by the Campus Faculty Association (campusfacultyassoc@gmail.com).

The letter reads as follows:

We, the undersigned members of the UIUC faculty, stand firmly in solidarity with the members of Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition #6546 and fully support their efforts to secure a fair and equitable contract. Our colleagues have been in bargaining since October of 2014, and the administration still refuses to address these systemic issues of higher education. They have denied rights of basic job security to members of our own faculty, and they have prioritized managerial flexibility over the best interest of our students.

Stability and high-quality teaching benefits the university as a whole, and the administration’s refusal to negotiate mutually beneficial items like multi-year contracts, does not reflect the value that we put on our students’ education and the work of faculty as a whole.

We have lost faith in the administration’s willingness to resolve these issues, and we hereby call on the leadership of the University of Illinois to engage directly and immediately in negotiations with NTFC #6546 to resolve these issues and sign a fair contract now.

Defending EIU: We are not your Whipping Boy

On March 11, Dr. Kai F. Hung of Eastern Illinois University spoke about the importance of funding Illinois public higher education.

You can view his comments here:

Below, Dr. Hung writes about the current challenges faced by Eastern Illinois University.

Currently, EIU is facing 2 separate, but inter-connected sets of problems. The first one is the threat of having to close our school due to a lack of appropriated fund from our state. The second one is the crippling consequences to our institution as we continue to be deprived of state support.

The first problem is entirely a political problem, unrelated to money or revenue. We are facing the possibility of having to close our schools even after eliminating over 250 positions at EIU because we have not received any appropriation from the state. This is happening because Governor Rauner refuses to compromise on a budget without forcing his Turnaround Agenda items through. Since part of the agenda is to eliminate the bargaining rights of public employees, I support the Democrats for standing firm against it and not letting Governor Rauner kill public employee unions in Illinois.

The second problem is structural and persistent, starting in the early 2000s before Rauner was even a factor. Both Democrats and Republicans contributed to the creation of this problem. To wit, the bill sent to Rauner for signature, which he vetoed, contained a 6.5% cut to higher education. That is the structural and persistent problem. The current crisis at EIU is often attributed to the budget shortfall in Illinois, where we are taking in less revenue than we need. The reasoning goes that the whole state is suffering, and public higher education needs to do its share of helping the state find a way out of the financial crisis. In addition, the declining enrollment at EIU is cited as justification for the lack of funding.

Both of these notions are wrong.

Divestment is the opposite of investment, i.e., it is the withdrawal of support from an enterprise. Divestment is what the state of Illinois has done to EIU in the past 12 consecutive years. After adjusting for inflation, the state of Illinois is providing 68% of what it appropriated for EIU in the year 2000 (Figure 1). This decline began in 2004, and has continued apace relentlessly, regardless of enrollment level during those years. For instance, the highest enrollment of student FTE (full-time equivalent) for EIU was 11,002 in 2006. That year, Illinois appropriated 15% less than the 2000’s budget, even though the enrollment was 14% higher.

Figure 1

 

The state did not respond to the rise in enrollment in the following budget year (2007), either, and in fact appropriated only 84% of 2000’s budget level. Without a doubt, Illinois’ policy in funding EIU has been to reduce its contribution without regards to our enrollment numbers.

When taken as a percentage of total revenue for EIU, the state’s contribution declined over time, going from 33% of EIU’s revenue in 2000 to merely 17.5% in 2014 (Figure 2). At 17.5%, the state is paying a little over 1 part in 6 of EIU’s operation. This is what passes as supporting a public university in Illinois. Despite the falling state support, EIU stabilized the percentage of tuition and fees in our revenue to make sure that the state’s divestment will not further impede Illinoisans from attaining a college education. We even managed to lower the percentage of student contribution to our operating cost in the last two years.

Taken together, we can see that EIU has been buffering the decline in state appropriation and managing to provide affordable education to Illinoisans. We believe in our mission and we believe in the future of our students. We put that belief into action by absorbing the cuts and divestment while still delivering quality and award-winning education. This is the picture that the public does not see, because our politicians are busy convincing them that we are inefficient and unproductive. The truth is the opposite. Since we refuse to let our students bear the crippling burdens of these political decisions, we ended up shielding the politicians from being held accountable for abandoning public higher education. Instead of being rewarded for this, EIU is suffering in public opinions because most people do not know the full extent of the state’s appropriation policy.

Figure 2

This set of facts also puts to rest the notion that public higher education has not done our part to help with the budget problems. The data showed that EIU has been using less and less public resources, while still delivering quality education. We have done more than our share in helping Illinois recover.

It is unfair and unwise to balance the entire budget on the back of public higher education. It is unfair because we have already contributed much to the solution and it is the politicians who squandered our contribution.

It is unwise because destroying public higher education will eliminate an important factor in bringing well-paying jobs to Illinois. The destruction of public higher education will have immeasurable rippling effects on local communities and our state’s economy.

In addition, to adjust for declining enrollment, EIU has been making cuts before Rauner’s creation of the budget impasse in 2015. The number of faculty and civil service employees has both declined, following the enrollment numbers (Figure 3). If the Administrative and Professional staffing level had decreased by the same percentage as civil service and faculty staffing level, EIU would be very close to keeping a constant ratio of total staff per student FTE throughout the years. Worth noting is that despite this trend in A&P staffing level, according to the Auditor General’s report in 2013 on the entire University System, EIU has the second best ratio of FTE students served per Administrator and the lowest cost of administrators per student when compared to all the other state universities. This means that EIU is responsive to the enrollment numbers and that we have taken steps to adjust our staffing decisions accordingly. Therefore, low enrollment is not a valid reason to impose further cuts to the EIU budget.

Figure 3

What we can take away from these facts are:

  • Illinois has been paying less and less to support EIU over the years, dropping its support by nearly 50% when compared to the year 2000.
  • The drop in state support is not tied to enrollment numbers.
  • EIU has shouldered and absorbed most of that cut while keeping the tuition and fees for students balanced and steady.
  • EIU has kept pace with enrollment figures in terms of staffing level.
  • EIU has done our part to help solve the budget imbalance throughout the years.

What this means is that further cuts to EIU’s budget, whether it is 30% or 6.5%, are unreasonable. Illinois does have a budget imbalance issue, but we cannot, and should not, solve that imbalance on the back of public higher education. We have done our part and more. It is time for Springfield to own up to the accumulative effect of their past mistakes.

A whipping boy is someone who is punished for the mistakes of others, with the notion that the original culprit is too precious to bear the consequences of their errors. Springfield, listen to us: EIU is not your whipping boy.

Sources:

  1. Student FTE enrollment figures and EIU staffing figures are obtained from the Office of Institutional Research at EIU. Link: https://www.eiu.edu/ir/index.php
  2. Annual revenue, state appropriation level, and tuition and fee figures are obtained from the Illinois Auditor General’s reports. Link: http://www.auditor.illinois.gov/Audit- Reports/EASTERN-ILLINOIS-UNIVERSITY.asp
  3. Comparison of staffing level to other Illinois public institutions is taken from the May 2013 report by the Illinois Auditor General titled “Illinois Public Universities: Management Structures, Expenditures, and Salaries.”
  4. Adjustment for inflation was performed using the Consumer Price Index from the U.S. Department of Labor.
  5. All charts are prepared by the author using Microsoft® Excel.

CFA’s response to Provost Feser’s Massmail

In a recent mass email, Provost Ed Feser informed units that he expects them to produce plans for either a 3, 5, or 7 percent cut in their budgets for FY17. CFA supports a proactive response to the current state fiscal crisis. We fully understand the necessity of budgetary measures that will no doubt include economic belt-tightening from all units. But we also believe that our campus budget planning is in need of profound structural reforms. Our budgetary decision-making process was developed in an age when we received a much greater percentage of our total revenue from the state than we do today. Forty years ago, the income from state revenue and tuition was more than sufficient to cover the operating needs of our university, and a top-down distribution model seemed to work to everyone’s satisfaction. In the new economic environment in which state revenues have dropped and tuition revenue has skyrocketed to cover the gap, the top-down model no longer works. We encourage the administration to act decisively to redesign the campus budget model and bring it into conformity with university financing best practices. We believe that while short-term cuts are certainly required, any serious cuts to our units and Colleges should only be made in light of a fully transparent and redesigned budget model.

— CFA President Bruce Rosenstock