* Taking a Stand Against Harassment, Part of the Broader Threat to Higher Education

The Board of the UCSC Faculty Association supports the following AAUP statement which was released September 7, 2017, and is also signed by the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of Colleges and Universities. ———————————– In recent months a disturbing trend has emerged in American higher education. At a variety of institutions—public and private, large and small—individual members of the faculty have been singled out for campaigns of harassment in response to remarks they have made, or are alleged to have made, in public speeches, on social media, or in the classroom. Vicious threats of violence and even death have been directed against individual faculty members and their families, including their children. A large number of those threatened […]

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* Update on Online Education

We concluded our bargaining with the university over revenues for online course offerings in December 2016.   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 […]

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* Summer Session Salary Negotiations

In December 2016  the university proposed a cap on summer school salaries, and the SCFA began bargaining on the issue.  We first succeeded in getting the university to agree not to implement proposed changes in Summer 2017. Bargaining on the proposal continued, and concluded in August. We’re happy to report that the university has withdrawn its proposal for a summer salary cap.   One of the SCFA’s core positions is that faculty salary cuts should not be used to address real or perceived budget issues; this was and will remain at the core of our bargaining position.  The university also proposed a formula for pro-rating compensation for summer courses of fewer than five units.  Based on our evaluation of the […]

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* 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.” One of their data bases, “Faculty Counts,” provides “a numerical summary of productivity on a person-by-person basis….[with] a numeric […]

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* Statement on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education is trying to prevent the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.  The SCFA supports this campaign and encourages colleagues to call our senators (phone numbers below). As well, please forward this message to colleagues across the United States, especially those in red states. The CFHE letter follows: **************************** The nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education raises alarms that the new administration will fail to support college access and affordability for millions of current and future college students. Her nomination signals a blatant disregard for not only the magnitude of college debt plaguing our students but also the widespread fraud that has been exposed in the for-profit sector across […]

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