Welcome to the UC Santa Cruz Faculty Association Website!

This website is a resource for staff, students and faculty about events and activities that are relevant to our UCSC community, especially to “terms and conditions of employment” of academic senate faculty members, who are our bargaining unit. Here we provide space for comments (blog format) and welcome them from the entire UCSC community and visitors. We hope it will be a place to find out about events and locate documents and resources. Our main focus is UCSC and the Santa Cruz community because excellent system wide blogs and websites already exist.

Latest SCFA News and Issues:

Summer Session Salaries – Faculty Association Win!

In December 2016, the university proposed  a cap on Summer Session salaries for UCSC faculty, and a change in compensation for courses with fewer than 5 units.  These changes were proposed to begin effective Summer 2017.  We asked for and received considerable feedback from our membership about these proposed changes.  In our discussions with the university, we persuaded the administration not to implement any changes for 2017 and we are in the process of bargaining with regard to future summer sessions. [READ MORE]

Update on Online Education

We concluded our bargaining with the university over revenues for online course offerings.  Under the current agreement, 40% of any revenues above course development costs will go to the faculty developer, a figure double the university’s original position.  We will continue to closely monitor online course policy.  The significant elements of the agreement are the general principle that the faculty member retains authority over the course and the frequency of its offering, along with the 40% return to faculty course developer.  The SCFA also has the right to review the means by which costs for course development are calculated.  We will revisit the agreement after two years to gauge its effectiveness and to judge whether changes are needed.  With this in mind, please give us your feedback if you are involved in teaching on-line or if you have views on course compensation policy.

Highlights of the agreement can be found by clicking HERE  and the full text of the agreement can be found HERE.

Academic Analytics

UCSC entered into a contract with a company called Academic Analytics in 2013. Academic Analytics describes itself as a provider of  “custom business intelligence data and solutions for research universities in the United States and the United Kingdom.” Their mission, in their words, is “to provide universities and university systems with objective data that administrators can use to support the strategic decision-making process as well as a method for benchmarking in comparison to other institutions.” Academic Analytics sells their data to universities as a tool to guide university leaders “in understanding strengths and weaknesses, establishing standards, allocating resources, and monitoring performance.”

SCFA learned about UCSC’s contract with AA in spring 2016, and began an investigation based on reported widespread inaccuracies in AA data collection at other universities. [READ MORE]

Saving Public Education: Public Lecture and Policy Document Release

The UCSC Faculty Association is very excited to announce a talk by Christopher Newfield, Professor at UC Santa Barbara and author of several important books on higher education, on Thursday February 2, 2017:   “After the Great Mistake: Fixing Public Universities in the Trump Administration”. [read more]

The $48 fix: Reclaiming California’s MASTER PLAN for Higher Education.

We would also like to encourage faculty to read and disseminate  This highly anticipated report makes a clear and convincing case for the desirability, feasibility, and practicality of restoring support for public higher education in California.  Restoration of tuition-free UC’s, CSU’s, and CC’s and implementation of the Master Plan would cost families making the median income $48.00 per year in additional taxes.  On the website linked above you can access a summary of the report, and there is also a link to the full text.  Please share widely. Christopher Newfield, our Thursday speaker, is one of the authors of The $48 Fix.  We hope to see you at his talk. [read more]

Final Coursera contracts – end of the negotiations for now

We are pleased to announce that, following two years of negotiations with the UCSC administration, we have reached an agreement regarding on-line course contracts. The first is the Online Course Hosting and Services Agreement between Coursera and the University, the second a Pilot UCSC Online Education Course Agreement for Coursera Courses to be used between the University and future Course Creators. These negotiations got off to a rocky start when the university signed a contract with Coursera without first consulting with the SCFA, but substantial progress was made subsequently and the bargaining committee of the SCFA wants to thank the administration for their good faith efforts in reaching a resolution on this matter. The agreements will be revisited at the end of two years to gauge their effectiveness and decide whether any changes in the contracts are needed. [Read More]

Report on the SCFA Budget Cut Impact Survey

In winter 2014, deeply concerned about the effects of UC-systemwide and campus budget cuts since 2008, the Santa Cruz Faculty Association sponsored a program of Small Grants for Creative Response to the Crisis in Education. One of the awards was granted to conduct a Budget Cut Impact Survey to assess and evaluate the particular impacts of those cuts on faculty teaching and morale at UCSC.  This report contains the results of that survey. These results seem particularly timely given current discussions about budget cuts we may be facing again in the near future, and the impacts those would likely have.  [Read more..]

Faculty Letter to Senate Executive Committee concerning the planned Silicon Valley campus

As your colleagues, we write to you of our concern regarding the administration’s stated intention to divert 14 FTE to a planned Silicon Valley campus which, we fear, will erode UCSC’s ability to fulfill its core mission and will have negative implications for both undergraduate and graduate education at UCSC. Members of this very administration have told us repeatedly that the budget cuts of the past seven years long ago stopped cutting away fat and have been cutting into bone, compromising our ability to carry out the University’s core research and teaching missions. We were heartened when the administration committed rebenching funds to counteract some of the most negative consequences of the cuts. We now fear that that commitment has waned as the administration proposes instead to dedicate 14 FTE to new, as-yet-unspecified programs on an as-yet-unbuilt campus in Silicon Valley to serve a market whose demand has yet to be determined. Read more and sign the letter [HERE]

 

Blue Shield of California and Sutter Health Provider Negotiations

By now you will have receive announcements from a variety of sources reporting the two-year contract settlement between Blue Shield and
Sutter.  We would like to think that our efforts to demand action by UCOP played a role in this agreement but, whether it did or not, thank
you for your role in those efforts. We are no longer collecting signatures.

It should not be forgotten, however, that this is only a two-year agreement and that, in the meantime, there remain health care issues
which have been badly handled or not addressed at all by the University.  We hope that the energy and concern generated this time can
be sustained in the future, should it become necessary to mobilize again.

UC Faculty Ask President Napolitano to Stop Deterioration of Health Care Insurance – January 15, 2015

As most of you are doubtless aware, the recent breakdown in talks between Blue Shield and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (Sutter) could have enormous and negative consequences for UC employees, many of whom will lose coverage or be forced to change medical providers.  This impasse is only the latest in a series of changes to UC health insurance, and we are very concerned about the overall downward trend.  We believe it is important for UC faculty to register their concerns and so are sponsoring the following petition, urging President Napolitano to make improvements to health insurance a top administrative priority.

We invite ALL UC faculty and staff – at ALL campuses to sign the petition, forward the link widely, and encourage your colleagues to sign as well.

To sign the petition, please go to the petition page at http://ucscfa.org/blue-shield-sutter-petition/

 

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

The Student-Worker TA Union (UAW-2865) and UC have reached a contract agreement, averting the strike that TA’s had planned for finals week. The SCFA had gathered signatures from hundreds of faculty on a letter that was sent to UC urging UC to negotiate in good faith with the Student-Workers union and to settle with a contract that gave the graduate student TAs, Graders, and Readers the respect, wages, and work climate they need and ought to have. This appears now to have happened.

SCFA’s ongoing discussion concerning UCSC’s contract with Coursera

Ever since the SCFA became aware that the University signed a contract with Coursera without including the SCFA in the discussion, we have had several meetings and exchanges with Labor Relations and EVC Allison Galloway. We are happy to report that LR agrees that the terms of the contract are bargainable! Over the summer, SCFA’s Online Education Committee has met several times. “Online Ed,” however, is not a single thing. Aside from Coursera, other companies exist (e.g., EdX, Udacity); and UC’s own initiative, UCOE, has a different agenda. These initiatives and enterprises are still in their formative periods. SCFA plans to help shape the conversation both informally and formally through LR. For our correspondence so far with LR, read more …….

CUCFA President Meister’s Open Letter to Coursera Founder Daphne Koller

“Because I share your vision of creating a world in which all have access to an excellent and empowering education, I would like to propose a new online course for you to make freely available through the Coursera platform. Its title is ‘The Implications of Coursera’s For-Profit Business Model for Global Public Education.’ The goal of the course will be for the students enrolled in it to understand the real relation between Coursera’s visionary mission—’to offer courses, in partnership with the worlds’ top universities, to everyone for free’—and the logic of the strategic business plan that led Coursera to be named ‘The Best Startup of 2012’ by TechCrunch last January.” [Read the rest…]