UCSF Faculty Association

July 23, 2015
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Statement to UC Regents about new UCRS tier

Professor Celeste Langan spoke on behalf of the UC Faculty Associations at the July 22, 2015 UC Regents meeting during the public comment period. Below is a copy of her full comments:

As co-Chair of the Berkeley Faculty Association and on behalf of the Council of UC Faculty Associations, I wish to address the Regents concerning the third discussion item of the Finance Committee agenda, item F3, “Update on Final 2015-16 Budget.”  The update, produced by the Office of the President, misleadingly claims that the final budget “incorporates the funding framework developed by UC and the Governor.” If you’ll recall, the “framework” of the May Revise proposed that the state make a contribution of $436 million toward the unfunded liability of the UC Retirement Plan.  The final budget, however, promises only a “one-time payment” of $96 million; there is nothing in the budget that commits the state to two additional payments of $170 million.  Yet even this meager one-time payment is contingent upon Regential approval of a cap on pensionable salary consistent with PEPRA (Public Employee Pension Reform Act) for employees hired after July 1, 2016.

The Council of UC Faculty Associations is opposed to the University making permanent changes in the structure of its retirement plan in exchange for a very modest one-time contribution from the State. We are especially opposed to the introduction of a full defined-contribution option.  There is absolutely no justification for the proposed introduction of a full defined-contribution option; neither the Legislature nor the Governor called for the introduction of a Defined Contributions plan in aligning the UCRP with PEPRA. Yet UCOP seems bent on introducing such an option, to the point that their statement exposes their intention as a foregone conclusion rather than a possible outcome of consultation and deliberation — those elements of what we once understood as “shared governance.”

I call your attention to the third paragraph on page 3 of the F3 agenda item.  First OP declares, “The President will convene a retirement options task force to advise on the design of new retirement options that will include the pensionable salary cap consistent with PEPRA.  The retirement options will be brought to the Regents next year for review and approval.” But apparently the “design of new retirement options” is a fait accompli, for the penultimate sentence of that paragraph declares, “new employees will have the opportunity to choose a fully defined contribution plan as a retirement option, as an alternative to the PEPRA-capped defined benefit plan.”

Since the two minutes allotted in the public comments session is the temporal equivalent of Twitter’s 140 characters, let me ask: #What’s up with UCOP?  If I had to speculate, I’d say that UCOP’s attempt to replace Defined Benefits with Defined Contributions suggests its preference for a mobile, “flexible,” precarious professoriate with a consequently short-term institutional memory — a professoriate that wouldn’t recall that only 6 years ago, the relative merits of defined contribution versus defined benefit plans were thoroughly, carefully, and widely discussed by UC constituents. Given substantial evidence that defined benefits are more cost-efficient than defined contributions in achieving the same level of benefits, it was agreed that the University of California was best served by continuing with UCRP as a defined benefit plan. Thus in 2010, when the President recommended and the Regents endorsed pension reforms, UCRP was preserved as a defined benefit plan.

Ironically, the paragraph in question concludes, “For represented groups, retirement options will be subject to collective bargaining.” Well, the UC Faculty Associations represent a good number of those faculty, members of the Academic Senate, without collective bargaining rights, and we say that UCOP has vitiated the interests of that faculty, both those vested in the current UCRP and those who will be hired after 2016.  We deplore the introduction of a different tier of faculty benefits, but we firmly oppose the attempt of UCOP to introduce a fully defined contribution plan in this untoward and unjustified manner.

June 4, 2015
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CUCFA statement on Governor’s Budget Deal: UC still being starved; bad long run implications for faculty and students

The May Revise

As the Legislature and Governor enter the end game for the 2015-2016 budget, here is a review of provisions related to UC in the Governor’s latest budget proposal—the May revise, which is now being considered by the Legislature. 

It appears likely that the final UC budget will have provisions that address access and affordability. What is missing are resources to ensure that the university can maintain quality. It is the hardest to quantify, the weakest politically, and is now the most seriously threatened. 

This budget is another demonstration of the truism that the only way to restore access, affordability, and quality is through adequate State investment in public higher education. In spite of strong revenues to the State, the Governor’s budget falls well short of what is needed to reverse the negative trends in recent years. As it happens, it is well within the means of the citizens of the State to restore all of California public higher education to the levels of access, affordability, and quality enjoyed in 2000-2001.  

The May revise budget summary is available online. The UC part begins on page 28. Professor Chris Newfield (UCSB) has previously commented on the May revise. Many aspects of the May revise as they relate to UC are contained in the agreement of the “Committee of Two” now endorsed by the Regents. 

1) Systemwide tuition and fees for California resident students are to remain constant for two more years. Following that, modest increases comparable to the rate of inflation are allowed. On the other hand for non-resident students, tuition will increase by 8% in each of the next two years. 

2) Increases in the UC base budget are to be the same as the Governor originally proposed, i.e. 4% per year ($119.5M for 2015-16) but are now continued through 2018-2019. This is much less than what the State should contribute to replace cuts since 2007 and is also substantially less than the needs identified in the UC proposed budget for 2015-2016 (more here).  

The May revise also proposes one time funds of $25M for deferred maintenance and $25M for energy efficiency projects. 

3) The May revise contains a tepid and ambiguous recognition of a State obligation to UC pensions. One-time funds of $436M spread over three years (with $96M for 2015-16) are proposed. However, this is Proposition 2 money, which can be used only to reduce the UCRP unfunded liability (about $7.6B in the last annual report). The one-time payment is only modestly significant in the long run and has negligible impact on the University’s operating budget in the near term. This is because the University has not planned to increase the UCRP contribution rate above 8% for most employees and 14% for the employer. Contributions at this rate cover only the current year additional liability and some of the interest on the unfunded liability. I.e. at this point, the regular employer and employee payments are making no contribution to retiring the unfunded liability. Thus in near term years, the Proposition 2 money does not reduce the large negative impact on the UC operating budget from regular UCRP contributions. The Proposition 2 money could be framed as a replacement for or enhancement to UC’s own occasional ad hoc payments to reduce the unfunded liability, but these have been very controversial, and UC has not revealed any plans to make another such payment. 

Unfortunately this modest one time contribution comes with permanent strings. In return UC is required to introduce yet another tier to UCRP that would apply to new employees. The new tier will mirror state law for other state employees. In this tier, UCRP eligible salaries are to be capped at the inflation indexed PEPRA/Social Security limit ($117k for the current year) rather than with the IRS limit of $265k currently used by UC. Employees in the new tier will have the option of either a defined benefit plan with the new cap and an add-on defined contribution plan to supplement the defined benefits or a fully defined contribution plan. It is this second option that is particularly troubling. 

The relative merits of defined contribution and defined benefit plans were thoroughly evaluated and debated during the extended review that led to the 2010 reforms of the UCRP. The conclusion was that a defined benefit plan is the more advantageous option for both the University as an employer and for its employees. 

The main concern is not so much that UC has cut a deal on this issue but rather that it has made such a poor deal. For very modest one-time money, it has agreed to make permanent changes to UCRP including offering a completely defined contribution option that will put at risk the whole of the defined benefit plan. (Chris Newfield has previously made similar comments as mentioned above.) In addition the closed process by which this agreement between the Governor and the President was reached has undermined shared governance and collective bargaining. 

4) UCOP has stated that the Governor has agreed not to veto additional appropriations for UC that come out of the legislative process. The University is asking legislators for additional funds to increase California resident enrollment. 

5) There are several areas in which the President has committed UC to the implementation of additional efficiencies. These include transfers, time-to-degree, advising, and use of technology. Some of these Presidential promises relate to topics that are squarely within the authority of the Academic Senate, and all of them would normally be addressed through shared governance.

 

 

March 22, 2015
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Faculty Association letter concerning co-hosting of seminar with the Manhattan Institute

“Data and Technology Keys to Precision Medicine and 21st Century Cures “

Keith Yamamoto, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research
University of California, San Francisco

Dear Dr. Yamamoto,

We write as members of the Board of the UCSF Faculty Association about the seminar co-hosted by UCSF and the Manhattan Institute on March 27th, Data and Technology: Keys to Precision Medicine and 21st Century Cures for which your office sent an email invitation. We are concerned about the Manhattan Institute’s track record with respect to scientific issues.

The Manhattan Institute has a regrettably long history, well documented in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library archives housed at the UCSF Library, of subverting scientific efforts to research the adverse health impacts of tobacco and climate change. We do not oppose UCSF’s involvement with them in planning a conference because of their conservative bent. Instead, we do so because we do not believe that they adhere to the principles of academic freedom and free exchange of ideas based on evidence that is central to scientific discourse.

Indeed as the track record documented in the Legacy archives indicates, the Manhattan Institute has a record of subverting scientific discourse. In light of this, co-sponsorship by UCSF may have the effect of providing legitimacy to some of the anti-scientific positions they support even though the topic of the March 27th seminar may seem apolitical. It is especially troubling that the RSVPs go to the Manhattan Institute rather than to UCSF itself. It is also troubling that this event would be held on the day set aside to honor Cesar Chavez and on which UCSF will be officially closed.

We would urge you to drop UCSF co-sponsorship so as not to provide the UCSF imprimatur to an organization with a history of attempts to subvert honest and open scientific inquiry on important risk factors for poor health such as smoking, the contemporary diet, and climate change. If it would be helpful for you to see the history of the Manhattan Institute regarding the science concerning tobacco, we would be glad to forward URLS for those documents to you.

The Board of the UCSF Faculty Association

March 19, 2015
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Petition to protect UC healthcare options

Dear Faculty Colleague,

The University is seriously considering reducing the options among health plans to force participation in UC Care, first by eliminating HealthNet as an option and then potentially other plans.  The Board of the Faculty Association opposes these proposed actions.

We would like concerned faculty to add their names to our letter opposing these changes so that President Napolitano sees how important these health care options are to us. Please add your name to the letter by visiting:

http://cucfa.org/healthcare-options-petition/ 

Sincerely,
The Executive Board of the
UCSF Faculty Association

January 2, 2015
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Who is More Frugal?

Reposted from Keep California’s Promise –  Who is More Frugal?

Governor Jerry Brown will be releasing his state general fund budget proposal next week. He has carefully cultivated his image as a frugal fiscal disciplinarian. And he has been taking UC to task for asking for more money from the state, demanding more cuts first.

At the November 19, 2014 Regents’ meeting he said he was going to deliberately underfund UC to force the Regents to make big changes “because it is so hard to work change in complex institutions, often time the pressure of not having enough money can force creativity that otherwise can’t even be considered. I know the State, when we had a $27 billion deficit; we had to make changes, and not just cuts, but changes in the way that we do business.”

But who has been the real miser over the years?

In his first post-Schwarzenegger budget, Brown reversed Governor Schwarzenegger’s tripling of the Governor’s office budget. The Governor’s office’s budget was $7.8 million in Governor Davis’s last budget in inflation adjusted dollars (before Schwarzenegger boosted it to $23 million in his first year), and Governor Brown spent $8.4 million on that office in his first budget.

Brown also slashed UC’s budget drastically (by 25%) in his first budget, but, unlike the budget for the Governor’s office, Schwarzenegger had also slashed UC (Schwarzenegger’s final UC budget was 16% lower, in inflation adjusted terms, than Davis’s final budget for UC).

But what is more interesting is what has happened in Brown’s budgets since then. At a time of recovery from the drastic recession era cuts, Brown has increased the budget for his office by 35%. At the same time, state support for UC increased by the very slightly lower 34%. Accounting for Brown’s commitment to funding student aid, UC and the Student Aid Commission together only increased by 23%, two-thirds as much as the increase for Brown’s own office.

The long-term reality is even more striking. Since fiscal 2000-01, the state’s general fund has been held flat when adjusted for inflation, even as the state’s population grew 12%. Meanwhile, governors have cut state funding to UC by over 30% while increasing funding for the Governor’s office 40%. Since 2001-02 the number of students at UC climbed 36%. Using the state’s population as a crude measure of the Governor’s workload, UC’s inflation and workload adjusted state funding has been cut in half while the Governor’s office’s budget has grown by one quarter.

Year State general fund money to UC per FTE-student, in 2014 dollars State general fund money for the Governor’s Office per 10k state population in 2014 dollars
1992-93 $ 19,138 $ 3,626
1993-94 $ 18,024 $ 2,484
1994-95 $ 17,966 $ 2,409
1995-96 $ 18,190 $ 2,318
1996-97 $ 18,612 $ 2,237
1997-98 $ 18,932 $ 2,195
1998-99 $ 21,075 $ 2,357
1999-00 $ 19,767 $ 2,216
2000-01 $ 24,017 $ 2,224
2001-02 $ 23,486 $ 2,135
2002-03 $ 20,762 $ 2,199
2003-04 $ 17,918 $ 2,194
2004-05 $ 16,268 $ 6,237
2005-06 $ 16,513 $ 6,030
2006-07 $ 16,860 $ 5,981
2007-08 $ 16,900 $ 6,087
2008-09 $ 11,770 $ 4,290
2009-10 $ 12,335 $ 3,746
2010-11 $ 13,479 $ 3,512
2011-12 $ 10,106 $ 2,211
2012-13 $ 10,268 $ 2,761
2013-14 $ 11,896 $ 2,804
2014-15 $ 12,190 $ 2,771
Full period of data availability 54% 76%
since 2000-01 51% 125%
Brown era 121% 125%

December 15, 2014
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California public higher education union coalition letter to Gov. Brown

Pasted below is the text of a union coalition letter that was sent today, December 15, 2014, to Governor Brown and other state leaders, as well as the leaders of the three higher ed systems.

 

Dear Governor Brown:

The escalating crisis in higher education requires a reaffirmation of  the State of California’s commitment to the Master Plan for Higher  Education. As key stakeholders representing well over 2 million  students, staff and faculty throughout the State’s three higher  education systems — California Community Colleges, California State  University and the University of California — we are ready to work with  your office, the State Legislature and university administrators to  address this crisis.

The Master Plan is in jeopardy. Tuition and administrative costs are skyrocketing while enrollment of in-state students is not keeping pace with the needs of our economy. The Public Policy Institute of California maintains the state will need at least 1 million more graduates by 2025 to remain economically competitive. Unfortunately, our institutions sorely lack both state support and accountability measures to meet these needs.

Now is the time to implement a vision that can address the systemic problems plaguing California’s ailing public colleges and universities, as well as ensure that these institutions will continue to generate middle-class jobs throughout the State of California. This includes increased state investment, as well as making institutional reforms that promote greater access, affordability, instructional quality, and internal accountability. Broadly, this consists of increasing enrollment to meet the needs of Californians; no tuition increases that exacerbate
the student debt crisis; smaller class sizes and greater instructional support; reining in executive compensation; ceasing outsourcing of vital services; and abandoning the idea that online education is the panacea to state disinvestment.

We support the following guidelines for the 2015-16 budget cycle above the anticipated augmentations to our institutions’ base budgets:

For California Community Colleges, the consensus proposal among constituency groups for additional funding to ensure students receive proper institutional support: $100 million for converting faculty to full-time and extending part-time faculty office hours together with $25 million for professional development of faculty, staff and administrators.

For California State University, $127 million in additional funding to support the enrollment of 10,000 more instate residents that will provide greater access to the CSU system, the hiring of much needed faculty to increase quality by decreasing class sizes, and more instructional support staff to serve those students.

For University of California, funding to stop tuition increases and support undergraduate enrollment targets of 5,000 additional in-state residents, more student aid to defray the real cost of attending a UC, smaller class sizes, resources to recruit and retain quality faculty and staff, an end to lobbying and funding to oppose Research Assistant collective bargaining rights, and no outsourcing of vital services since bringing services in-house will decrease UC’s existing administrative costs and increase quality overall.

As the 2015-16 budget cycle begins, we look forward to working closely with you so that we can re-prioritize once again higher education within the State of California.

• AFSCME 3299 — Kathryn Lybarger, President
• AFSCME UAPD — Stuart Bussey, President
• CCCI — Richard Hansen, President
• CFA — Lillian Taiz, President
• CSU-EU — Pat Gantt, President
• CUCFA — Joe Kiskis, VP for External Relations
• Teamsters 2010 — Jason Rabinowitz, Exec Director
• UAW 2865 — Michelle Glowa, President
• UAW 4123 — Richard Anderson, President
• UAW 5810 — Neal Sweeney, President
• UC-AFT — Robert Samuels, President
• UCSA — Jefferson Kuoch-Seng, President
• UPTE-CWA 9119 — Jelger Kalmijn, President

CC: Toni Atkins, Speaker, California State Assembly
Kevin de Léon, Pro Tem, California State Senate
Brice Harris, Chancellor, CCC
Janet Napolitano, President, UC
Timothy White, Chancellor, CSU

November 13, 2014
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Council of UC Faculty Association statement on UC’s planned tuition increases

Below please find a letter that The Council of UC Faculty Associations
(CUCFA), the systemwide organization of which the UCSF Faculty
Association is a member, sent today to President Napolitano and the UC
Regents regarding their recent proposal to raise tuition up to 5% per
year for the next five years.

___________________________________

The Council of UC Faculty Associations holds Governor Jerry Brown’s
slashing of public higher education responsible for UC President
Napolitano’s recent proposal to budget for 5% tuition increases every
year for the next 5 years.

Raising tuition is not the solution. There is a better way: provide
California students and their families high quality, affordable higher
education, as defined by the California Master Plan for Higher Education.

The reality is that Governor Brown has not been willing to spend the
necessary money to do so even though the cost to do so is surprisingly low.

Here are the financial facts:

• In 2001-02, Gov. Gray Davis provided $3.2 billion ($4.4 billion in
2014 dollars) to the University of California. Tuition was $3,964.

• On taking office in 2003, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cut UC’s budget
by 15% to $2.7 billion and pressed for rapid tuition hikes to shift
costs on to students and their families. By the time Gov. Schwarzenegger
left office in 2011, he was providing just $2.9 billion to UC. Tuition
had tripled to $11,279.

• Brown cut UC’s provision to $2.4 billion in his first budget (2011-12).

• While Brown has provided small increases to UC in the last 3 years,
his 2014-15 budget only includes $2.8 billion for UC, more than
one-third less (in real dollars) than Gov. Davis provided more than a
decade before.

• At the same time that governors have cut support for UC by one-third,
the university’s student body has grown by nearly one-third: from
183,000 to 238,000 students as UC continued to meet its Master Plan
obligations.

• While Governor Brown appealed to UC students to help pass Proposition
30 in 2012, he has only allocated 4.5% of the money it raised to UC.

UC’s leaders have responded to these unprecedented cuts by reducing
budgets for teaching and research, boosting class sizes, shifting
administrative tasks to faculty (leaving less time for students and
research), admitting more out-of-state students, and massive tuition
hikes that tripled tuition in 15 years.

Along with his legacy of high-speed trains and long-distance water
tunnels, Governor Brown needs to restore the promise of the California
Master Plan for Higher Education:

• He should budget for all public higher education, including the State
University and Community College systems, at levels that will return
them to where they were in 2001-2002, adjusted for inflation and student
population growth.

• Tuition should not merely be capped but rolled back to 2001-2002
levels, inflation adjusted ($4,717 for the University of California,
compared to the $13,860 planned for UC next year).

Unlike many dreams, offering affordable, high quality public higher
education to all is a bargain. It would cost the median California
household just $50 a year.  (Details of calculation at
http://keepcaliforniaspromise.org/3553/restore-2013-14.)

The UC Regents and President Napolitano must represent not only the
institutional interests of UC students, staff and faculty but also the
fundamental public interest of all Californians to restore one of the
few fair-minded systems of advancement still open to anyone, from any
background, who works hard and demonstrates talent.

September 11, 2014
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CUCFA Statement on “Civility” and Academic Freedom

On Friday Sept. 5, Chancellor Dirks of UC Berkeley circulated an open statement to his campus community that sought to define the limits of appropriate debate at Berkeley. Issued as the campus approaches the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, Chancellor Dirks’ statement, with its evocation of civility, echoes 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 mirrors 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 Board has been gravely concerned about the rise of this discourse on civility in the past few months, but we never expected it to come from the Chancellor of UC Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. To define “free speech and civility” as “two sides of the same coin,” and to distinguish between “free speech and political advocacy” as Chancellor Dirk does in his text, not only turns things upside down, but it does so in keeping with a relentless erosion of shared governance in the UC system, and the systemic downgrading of faculty’s rights and prerogatives. Chancellor Dirks errs when he conflates free speech and civility because, while civility and the exercise of free speech may coexist harmoniously, the right to free speech not only permits, but is designed to protect uncivil speech. Similarly, Chancellor Dirks is also wrong when he affirms that there exists a boundary between “free speech and political advocacy” because political advocacy is the apotheosis of free speech, and there is no “demagoguery” exception to the First Amendment.

Before the slippery slope of civility discourse we remark that the right to free speech is not limited to allowing the act of speaking or engaging in communicative actions to express ideas publicly, nor is it contingent on the notion that anyone else needs to listen, agree, speak back, or “feel safe.” The right to free speech is constituted through prohibitions on the infringement of speech by the state and other public institutions and officials. Moreover, while civility is an ideal—and a good one—free speech is a right. The right to free speech does not dissipate because it is exercised in un-ideal (un-civil) ways.

Second, we underline that the right to freely speak on public and institutional issues is one of the three pillars of academic freedom. Academic freedom is a specific—though not exclusive—right of professors. The three pillars of academic freedom that extend to individual members of the professorate are: (1) the freedom to conduct and disseminate scholarly research; (2) the freedom to design courses and teach students in the areas of their expertise; and (3) the right to free speech as laid out in the 1940 Statement of Principles of Tenure and Academic Freedom which in this context prohibits the professional penalization of professors for extramural speech. Ensuing from academic freedom is the right and duty of faculty to decide, collaboratively and individually, standards and thresholds for teaching and research, without interference from administrators, alumni, or donors. Those determinations are based on standards of scholarly excellence and achievement, which manifest through hiring, academic publishing, and peer review processes in which an individual’s academic record is judged by peers. Those who administer institutions of higher learning bear a responsibility for the protection of academic freedom, which includes free speech in the ways described here.

The University of California bears an especial burden to respect these rights. For the rights of academic freedom and the 1st Amendment right to free speech cohere in a way peculiar to a public university. As a public university the University of California is called upon to affirm not only the guild rights of Academic Freedom but the more expansive rights of the 1st Amendment—which after all, are possessed by students and staff as well as faculty.

On the basis of all of the above, CUCFA Board deems necessary to release the following declaration and to ask its members, and all UC faculty to press their Senates to pass it as a resolution:

Taking note of the concurrent rapid growth in non-academic administrative positions in most colleges and universities and the significant reductions in state/government funding for public universities during the last decade,

Concerned by numerous accounts across the United States of senior administrators, management, boards of trustees, regents and other non-academic bodies attempting to influence, supervise and in some cases over-rule academic hiring, tenure and promotion decisions, as well as policy and evaluatory decisions traditionally under the purview of Academic Senate and other faculty bodies,

Concerned further by the attempts of senior administrators in the UC system and at many universities across the United States to narrow the boundaries of academic freedom and permissible speech by faculty, students and other members of the university community, and, in particular by the inappropriate and misleading appeal to concepts like “civility” and “collegiality,” deceptively used to limit the “right” to free speech, and as criteria for hiring, tenure, promotion and even disciplinary procedures,

We reaffirm,

That all professional evaluations related to hiring, tenure, and promotions of either present or potential faculty are the sole purview of designated committees composed of faculty members, department chairs, and deans as peers and/or academic supervisors of anyone under review and/or evaluation,

That senior campus and University/system-wide administrators, as well as Regents and other governing boards, or donors to the university and/or its foundation(s), do not have any right to interfere in these processes, and that final decisions on appointment and promotion must be based solely on information in the candidate’s file that is related to established categories of teaching, research, and service and that has been added by established procedures of peer academic review.

That we oppose any insinuation that civility, per se, be added either formally or informally as a valid category in the academic personnel process, as well as any attempt by external parties, including donors to the university, government officials, or other forces, to interfere in any personnel decisions, especially through the threat of withholding donations or investments should certain academic policies or personnel decisions be made.

————————————

(CUCFA — The Council of University of California Faculty Associations — is a coordinating and service agency for the several individual 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.)

July 7, 2014
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CUCFA Concerns re: Rescission of 1989 Guidelines on University-Industry Relations

On July 6, CUCFA sent the following letter to UC President Janet Napolitano:


President Janet Napolitano
Office of the President
University of California
1111 Franklin Street, 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607

Dear President Napolitano,

The Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA) is concerned by both the substance and the process associated with your recent announcement that you have rescinded the 1989 Guidelines on University-Industry Relations.

The policy you rescinded contained restrictions on direct UC investment in companies commercializing technology based on UC research. These provisions in Sec. 13 of the 1989 Guidelines are thoughtful and prudent. Sec. 13 includes the following statement: “If the University were to be an equity participant in the work of one or more faculty members, it could be seen as favoring those faculty members, and could be in conflict with the University’s role to support scholarship and allocate institutional resources in an even-handed manner.” In our view, this rationale for the restriction in the guideline remains valid. We support the full statement of the Sec. 13 justification and the guideline itself, which are quoted at the end of this letter. They should not be rescinded without a compelling justification.

In your announcement, you did not mention consultation with the Academic Senate, and we have not been able to find evidence that such consultation took place. Since your stated policy change affects faculty research, faculty involvement in relations with industry, and the investment of University funds, it clearly falls within the established scope of topics appropriate for consultation with the Senate.

Thus we request that you provide CUCFA and the larger University community with an account of your reasons for rescinding the Guidelines and with a description of the process that led to your decision. We also strongly encourage you to engage with the Senate in consultation on the desirability of reinstating the 1989 Guidelines or on the structure of a replacement policy that will also contain appropriate safeguards such as those in Sec. 13 of the 1989 Guidelines.

We will welcome an opportunity for further discussion of these issues with you.

Sincerely,
Joe Kiskis
Vice President for External Relations
on behalf of the Board of the Council of UC Faculty Associations

enclosure: Excerpt from Sec. 13 of the 1989 Guidelines on University-Industry Relations

cc: Academic Senate Chair William Jacob, Provost Dorr, CIO Bachher, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance and Audit Officer Sheryl Vacca, and Vice President Steven Beckwith.


From Sec. 13 of the 1989 Guidelines on University-Industry Relations:

“Primarily because of its need to be even handed in its support of faculty members and in its openness to competing commercial enterprises, the University has not arranged for investment in firms whose products derive from University research, when the principal purpose is to promote faculty inventions. If the University were to be an equity participant in the work of one or more faculty members, it could be seen as favoring those faculty members, and could be in conflict with the University’s role to support scholarship and allocate institutional resources in an even-handed manner. Moreover, this kind of relationship with certain companies could preclude or inhibit research sponsorship by other competing companies.

“Guideline: In general, it is not appropriate for the University to invest directly in enterprises when such investment is tied to the commercial development of new ideas created or advanced through University research.”