Policy Board Minutes—8 Nov 2017
3:30 p.m.
UC 402/3

  • PB members: Nola Agha, Rachel Brahinsky, Brandon Brown, Robin Buccheri, Jen Dever, Doreen Ewert, Candace Harrison, Malik Henfield, EJ Jung, Dorothy Kidd, Gabe Maxson, Elliot Neaman, Gleb Nikitenko, Mary Jane Niles, Meera Nosek, Julia Orri, Sonja Poole, Christina Purpora, Steve Roddy, Claire Sharifi, Betty Taylor, Brian Weiner
  • USFFA-FT members: Kathy Gabor, Annick Wibben, Kathy Nasstrom, Ja’Nina Garrett-Walker
  • USFFA-PT—John Higgins

Minutes from 1 Nov were approved 17-0-1

  1.                    Announcements
  2.      Neaman met with Heller. He asked for clarification about the various strategic planning programs. Heller said that the prioritization project was initiated in the College of Arts and Sciences and did not come from his office. Each college does it a little differently and CAS is so large that the deans there decided to do it by asking for feedback from the department and program chairs and staff.  Neaman also asked about the MAGIS program. It has a Steering Committee composed of USF faculty and staff to oversee the work of seven work groups to review key areas across the University. Anneliese Mauch and Susan Prion are co-leaders. Heller offered this to coordinate MAGIS with PB. Harrison said that she was on the steering committee and that more PB members could serve on the committee. Neaman suggested we coordinate with MAGIS and have some of their reps come to PB. Harrison said that the recommendations are due already in December. Neaman will talk to Mauch and Prion. He asked for volunteers to join the steering committee. Kidd said she will volunteer.
  3.      Neaman said that the 2017 Guidestar report is posted on the USFFA website.http://www.usffa.net/wp-content/uploads/GuideStar-Report-for-UNIVERSITY-OF-SAN-FRANCISCO_11-07-20171150AM.pdf

  1.      Members of the The Joint Library Advisory Board will attend the February 7th PB meeting.


  1. Open Forum
  2.      Harrison said that the APRC received a memo inviting them to a meeting. Neaman said Heller requested to meet with members of the PRC because the deans would like the peer review committees to consider submitting narratives along with the vote tallies this year. They also drew up a checklist using language directly from the CBA as a possible interim step. Heller said that especially with close votes it is difficult to interpret raw numbers. Neaman told Heller that these are union committees and so the meetings had to take place under USFFA sponsorship. Neaman also told Heller that any decision about this issue had to be made by the peer review committees and overseen by the PB. There will be no changes made to CBA Article 17.  Heller said he understood and it was not his intent to re-bargain Article 17, but rather make use of the narrative option already in the contract. Wibben was concerned about the level of work involved with writing narratives. Neaman said that the committees could consider how to divide up writing up the narratives and ultimately if they felt this was too burdensome they should simply not do it. Ewert said that the check list idea reminded her of the Peer Observation form, and may have some of the same inherent problems. Neaman added that we should remain careful about this, but more information rather than less information could be good for our applicants. Ultimately that is the question, does it improve the process or not? What provides the greatest good for the greatest number, so to speak. Kidd asked about the practice at other universities. Neaman did not know but we could find out. Gabor added that maybe the motive is to make less work for the provost. Neaman said that after the two upcoming meetings we could have a larger discussion.


  1.      Roddy said that he was happy with the latest results of the APRC election but there were two faculty from the same department. Neaman said that we could change the bylaws to try and get a more even division between humanities and social sciences on the APRC, but it would be perhaps not fair to disallow more than one candidate from the same department.


  1.      Librarian Justine Withers—encouraged active collaboration with other unions.


  1.      Higgins asked for more collaboration from the USFFA-FT with regard to their negotiations.


  1.      Nikitenko conveyed a concern of some faculty about the harsh tone of the email language regarding our members who are late in doing the mandatory online sexual harassment training. He indicated that despite a clear need to conduct it and get certified for a variety of reasons, some faculty may misunderstand the implications of the administration’s communication. Wibben added that the training was required from the State of California. Neaman will investigate.



III.                Unfinished Business

  1.      Budget and By-laws sub committees mandates. Poole had made a suggestion at the Nov 1 meeting to develop two sub-committees, one for the budget and one for by-laws. Neaman asked what the mandate would be. Agha said that in the past meeting when she inquired why this was necessary the reasons that were mentioned were transparency, decision making, planning, and to decentralize decision making. She said that in terms of past transparency the documents are already on the USFFA website. In terms of future transparency, it is easy enough for the Treasurer to create a budget. Agha explained that in terms of decision making, a deeper conversation is needed. She said that the EB is elected to run the business of the union. Agha asked if the proposal now is to change that structure so the entire PB runs the business of the union? She noted that the Executive Board has come to the PB in the past when questions arise that are not part of normal management decisions, such as the donation to the Egan Scholarship fund.

Ewert questioned whether these were two separate areas. She said that we build trust in leadership by opening up the budget process. Poole added that the sub-committee could include the EB and develop projections about spending for the year and bring it back to PB. Kidd agreed—the PB is involved in planning and the budget is an essential part of the planning process. She said that transparency is an important issue—people want to know how the dues money is spent. Kidd further stated that we need to be involved in planning—we need to attach a dollar amount to items spent in the future.

Roddy said that even if a committee were to be established, it would still be useful to have board-wide discussion about where the money should be allocated.  Buccheri said that she had a similar experience where a finance committee worked with her as a treasurer. Dever said that more input would strengthen us a union.  Weiner asked how this would be different from past practice from the EB. He suggested that we ask the treasurer what sort of assistance, if any, he would like. Poole offered to work with the treasurer to work on the budget. The provisional one EB sent around was inadequate. Weiner pointed out that the budget sent around to PB two meetings ago are not supposed to be a final product but the categories used in the document came straight from the USFFA’s accountant and the audited financial statements. Weiner said that all the financial statements for the last five years are online. There are no secrets about how the money is being spent. (See


Neaman asked again, what is the mandate of the subcommittee? Poole said that the sub-committee should establish a budget based on past expenditures, current and future projected expenditures.

Johnson III said that the EB already does what the proposed subcommittee would do. Garrett-Walker said that this would be a check and balances system—not all power should lie with the EB. Henfield asked about past practice. Neaman said that since the founding of the union, the practice has always been to publish the financial statements and that the finances of the USFFA are regularly audited. Ewert said that audits have been available in the past—more detail would be helpful. More involvement would be beneficial—we are a large union. 

Higgins said that the PT union went through the same issues recently. They moved to a committee system—this has made a big difference, especially for their treasurer. Niles said that this was a good idea—we could go in this direction. Agha agreed that a future budget is easy to present. Agha was concerned about asking more faculty to become more engaged given the recent challenges recruiting volunteers in Arts. Kidd said that more people were engaged, but that some were reluctant to put themselves forward for a committee without a specific agenda, or one that seems compromised. Wibben said that there is more interest in the union in the past year and more engagement is needed. She added that faculty are asked about doing more tasks.

Neaman asked about the structure of the sub-committee. Poole moved that for the committee. Agha asked who approves the budget? Poole said that the PB approves the budget. Henfield asked if we need to change the by-laws? Kidd asked Higgins if this was consistent with the USFFA-PT practice regarding budgeting. He said that everything goes through their executive committee.

Poole made a motion to create a budget committee with a mandate to develop, review and make recommendations to the Policy Board about an annual budget. The treasurer would serve as chair of the budget committee and other Executive Board members would serve as ex-officio members. The entire Policy Board would vote to approve the budget as presented by the budget committee. The motion was approved 17-0-3.

Poole made a motion to create a Bylaws Committee to review and make recommendations for any changes to the USFFA By-laws at the beginning of every new fall semester. Niles noted that the by-laws have been amended over the years. Buccheri said that amending By-laws is a very big job. Ewert added that the entire set of bylaws does not have to be changed every year. Poole said she was referring only to the Policy Board section of the USFFA by-laws.

Neaman thought that the bylaws should be addressed only after the Executive Board election next spring and the new Executive Board assumed office in the fall of 2018. Brahinsky asked why? Neaman said that presumably a new Executive Board will be in place and that would be the time to restructure the bylaws, if needed.  Agha was concerned that starting a review of by-laws now would distract from other unfinished business and policy-related issues that were brought up in the past year that we have still not resolved. Garrett-Walker said the review could occur in stages (before the election). She added that this is common with large organizations. Harrison said that as a rule she is not a big fan of reviewing bylaws, but in this case she thought it was important to review them. Reviewing the bylaws she thought does not necessarily amount to a restructuring of the Policy Board. Kidd said that this was not necessarily a restructuring, but rather part of an ongoing evaluation of the bylaws of the union. Roddy added revising the bylaws was a way to keep track of what needs to be changed on a regular basis and could actually reduce the work of PB. Neaman responded that one should not overestimate the effect of bylaw revisions. Henfield said that more interest in PB could potentially result in more volunteers for these committees so no one feels overwhelmed. Agha asked for an amendment to the motion that it be composed of one member from each division across campus. Poole accepted the amendment. Agha also suggested that the bylaws committee be one time and ad hoc, not every year. Poole rejected that friendly amendment.

The question was called on the motion from Poole: To form a bylaws committee to annually review and make recommendations for revisions to the Policy Board bylaws. The motion passed. 11-0-9 

  1.     Faculty Lounge – New Rules for Lunch Time? Dever said that it has been crowded and some large groups sometimes take up a lot of space. Ewert said that there have been issues about bringing in guests. Neaman said that we will need to revisit the issue in the future and possibly come up with new rules.

The meeting was adjourned at 17:00
Submitted by Julia Orri
USFFA Secretary