Policy Board Minutes
May 2, 2018
PB members: Nola Agha, Rachel Brahinsky, Brandon Brown, Robin Buccheri, Jen Dever, Doreen Ewert, Joe Garity, Candace Harrison, EJ Jung, Dorothy Kidd, Gabe Maxson, Elliot Neaman, Gleb Nikitenko, Mary Jane Niles, Meera Nosek, Julia Orri, Sonja Poole, Christina Purpora, Claire Sharifi, Calla Schmidt, Brian Weiner, Annick Wibben
USFFA-FT members: Hwaji Shin, Kathy Nasstrom, Paul Lorton, Ed Munnich, Justine Withers, Charlotte Roh, Matthew Collins, Erika Johnson, Amy Gilgan, Jack Lendvay, Emily Nusbaum, Ricardo Villarreal
A. Neaman congratulated Sonja Poole and the new reps of the USFFA-FT Executive Board. The election committee stated that 1 June will be the transition date, though the transition will take place in stages as all the new office holders take over their responsibilities.
B. On May 7th there will be an email from HR to choose either a 10 or 12 month pay schedule for the next academic year and beyond. Those members who took the 10 month option in the past won’t see a change this summer (last check will be in June) but those with a 12 month deferred payment option will receive two paychecks in July and then the new year begins in August for both options (each will receive the first pay of the new academic year in August). The default going forward is the 10 month option, so our members who want to be paid over 12 months need to alert HR by the end of May 2018. Neaman noted that there was some confusion last year about the two salary checks in the summer. HR was not able to move the calendar back in 2017-18. Some members thought they would receive extra pay. Neaman said that (unfortunately) the fact that there are two checks in July for some members does not mean that we are getting extra pay, but rather that the pay schedule has just been moved back one month starting this year, so that new hires do not have to wait until the end of September to receive their first salary payment.
C. Weiner announced a conference at SFSU this weekend “Resisting the Neoliberal University”.
II. Open Forum
A. We discussed open access for faculty to deposit their own work. Kidd made a motion:
Move that the Policy Board pass an “Open Access Policy”so that faculty can deposit their work in the institutional repository hosted by the USF Gleeson Library | Geschke Center in order to make our work available to the campus and the world
Nosek asked if we can override what librarians can presently do. Brown asked if faculty can opt out. Neaman stated that we need to look at Article 23 (on intellectual property) to assess the situation.
The motion passed, 19-0-1.
B. Wibben mentioned a response to the climate survey. She suggested that the union should explore the findings in more detail. Shin felt that the presentation challenged the legitimacy of our work. Harrison was at the same meeting—she felt that the union could intervene or perhaps work with HR to alleviate some of the issues. Lendvay asked if there were data on specifics and others responded not. Ewert added that we would like access to the data, which is held by Hamrick, to run our own analyses. Neaman suggested adding this as a future agenda item.
C. Niles thanked the election committee. They will submit a report and debriefing. The PB thanked Niles.
D. Neaman introduced a discussion of the issues stemming from the 11 April meeting: Several policy board members had raised questions about whether or not it was necessary to vote on including statements read at the meeting in minutes. A general discussion about the purpose of minutes ensued: Do the minutes reflect what happened at the meeting (e.g. constitute some form of transcript) or should they be more of a summary (of key issues/ motions/ tasks) edited for distribution? What, if anything, do Robert’s Rules say about all this?
A lengthy discussion about the nature and purpose of the PB minutes and whether or not to include submitted statements was held and then Neaman suggested that the issue was too complicated to be resolved today and should be decided by the new EB/ PB.
Neaman volunteered to withdraw a comment he made about the Mannot Memo in the April 11 minutes and then suggested we call the question. The motion to include the Monnot Memo in the April 11 minutes failed: 4-11-4.
Wibben made a motion to include the amended Solidarity Resolution Supporting Oklahoma Teachers and Students (without the ReUnion reference). The motion passed: 20-0-0.
Supporting Oklahoma Educators and Students
Whereas, public school teachers in Oklahoma have not received a raise in over ten years, and are among the lowest paid teachers in the country, and
Whereas, many public school teachers in Oklahoma must work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet, and
Whereas, per-pupil funding in Oklahoma has been cut by 28 percent since 2008, devastating Oklahoma’s public education system, and
Whereas, educators in Oklahoma deserve a living wage, and students deserve a high-quality public education,
Whereas, on March 29, the Oklahoma state legislature passed a revenue bill that falls well short of the justifiable demands of Oklahoma educators, and
Whereas, thousands of educators across Oklahoma remain on strike, and
Whereas, these Oklahoma educators are taking a stand for themselves, their communities, and the students of Oklahoma, and
Whereas, a victory for Oklahoma educators would be a victory for workers across the United States,
Be it resolved, the University of San Francisco Faculty Association (USFFA-FT) stands in solidarity with striking Oklahoma educators, and their students.
III. New Business
A. Zoom Recording rules —Neaman explained that there are two issues, the live streaming of the PB meetings and then the recordings of the meeting which are an option in Zoom and that have been stored this semester up until the last PB meeting. Neaman noted that some members feel that even the live streaming of the meetings changes the way they express themselves. Poole said that this could be a problem, plus we don’t know who is listening in on Zoom. Dever noted that even if the recordings are distributed by permission, members can make a recording of the minutes and distribute them. Also, we can’t know for certain know if the administration finds a way to have access to the live streaming, or the recordings. Dever noted that it is very useful when a PB member is sick or otherwise can’t attend the meeting, to have the option to zoom in. Poole added that we should know who is zooming in. Withers suggested talking to ITS about making the zoom option more secure . Neaman suggested that this was too complicated a technical issue to be resolved now and should be tabled for the future PB.
B. Faculty Development Fund Task Force—Jung said that some of the FDF money swept in August 2017 was already awarded to the faculty but hadn’t been dispensed. Jung moved to ask CIPE to pause the “sweep” of August 31st until the USFFA-FT and the administration come to an agreement on a revised reallocation procedure through joint efforts. The motion was seconded and was approved 20-0-0.
Lendvay asked how did this happen? Neaman said that this was negotiated in the last contract. All aspects of the contract were widely discussed and debated at the time. There were many problems with unused funds and the new agreement solves a lot of issues but the “sweep” on August 31st needs to be modified and the administration is willing to work with us (Article 34.12 states that “unused funds at the end of the academic year shall be reallocated to the main FDF pool for reallocation the following academic year…”)
The motion passed 20-0-0.
C. Report from CFT Convention—Wibben. She said that 7 USFFA-FT members attend and found the various workshops as well as the plenary sessions very useful and engaging. They also met with Zev Kvitzky (our CFT field rep) and had the opportunity to meet delegates from other higher ed delegations, including from SF City College to build solidarity. The next convention will be in 2 years and she hopes USFFA-FT will send delegates (voting members) next time. Wibben added that the CFT offers several opportunities for workshops and training in the summer and throughout the year that we should take advantage of (we only need to fund travel, accommodation and meals. She asked for money to be set aside for summer training for the new EB in partiucular and proposed that the Budget Committee consider adding 10K per year as a budget line item to cover. She will circulate her full three page report among the PB in an e-mail.
Kidd made a motion to fund summer training. It passed 20-0-0.
D. Gleeson Library Resolution on budget cuts—Sharifi & Garity. The Gleeson library reps presented a motion and preamble. The preamble provides context about Gleeson Library’s past and current budget. The motion calls for the reinstatement of contractual increases to the library’s budget to cover the costs of annual journal and database subscription increases, so the library is not forced to cut its collection every year.
Garity made a motion. Maxson suggested adding “FT”, which was done.
Whereas, the University Library collection is essential for the continued growth of scholarly activity of faculty, students, and staff,
Whereas, with the creation of The Honors College, the University is affirming the value of scholarship and academic excellence,
Whereas, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 the materials budget absorbed the majority of the library’s portion of the $7M university-wide shortfall. To address this, the library cut 5% of journal expenditures
by cancelling high cost, low use titles,
Whereas, in FY19 the personnel cost-savings resulting from the layoff of four part-time librarians at the regional campuses absorbed the majority of the library’s portion of the university-wide
Whereas, the library acquisitions budget declined by over 4% for FY17 and FY18, and while the FY19 budget
is projected to see a modest increase, that number is still 3.5% lower than the
FY16 materials allocation (source: Operating Ledger (USF_OPBR) as
Whereas, major publishers increase subscription costs for journals and databases yearly by between 5 and 10 percent across the majority of all libraries in the United States, regardless of library size or negotiation power; according to LibraryJournal, 2019 prices for journals are projected to increase by 6.2% for Arts & Humanities, 6.2% for Social Sciences, and 5.7% for Sciences.
Whereas, over the past several years, Dean Tyrone Cannon has negotiated a contractual increase for the library’s materials budget that is at least equivalent to this price increase, allowing the library to maintain current subscriptions,
Whereas, beginning with FY18, the Provost of the University of San Francisco eliminated the contractual increase that covered the actual cost of journal and database subscriptions, and instead replaced it with an increase that is tied to the rate of undergraduate tuition increase,
Whereas, FY18 marks the second year that the library had zero university allocation for books; all books and 14% of subscriptions are paid for out of restricted (endowment) funds,
Whereas, if these practices continue, every upcoming year the library will be forced to cancel additional journal and database subscriptions, reduce book purchases, or lay off union members,
Be it resolved that the Policy Board of the USFFA-FT urges the University Administration to protect the library’s ability to support the scholarly activity of faculty, students, and staff by reinstating the annual contractual increases to the library’s materials budget to cover the cost of yearly journal and database subscriptions.
The motion passed 20-0-0.
E. ADA adjustments—Kidd. USF is implementing changes to make sure that the University is in compliance with the American Disability Act. This includes some very important and overdue changes. Kidd requested that this be put on the agenda for the next Policy Board. We support making the university accessible to all. However, the administration is implementing this policy in a problematic way, transferring the responsibility to programs and departments, without any additional resources or labor time. For example, Media Studies, is now expected to provide transcripts of all videos and audio programs, necessitating new software and a lot of extra labor time.
Nussbaum suggested that in the future faculty, staff and student interests should not be pitted against one another in the pursuit of access. Rather it might be more useful to understand them as competing access needs. If understood this way addressing the tension that arises in these competing needs for access is something that can be taken back to university administration to ask for specific support in reaching a more universal form of access for all.
Wibben raised the additional concern, noted by several people she spoke to, that sensitive (political, religious, etc.) lecture material might be recorded as part of SDS accommodations. We do not know where it ends up and the recording could potentially be taken out of context, written up on Breitbart or similar sites and lead to harassment of a faculty member (or student) — this is a competing interest that needs to be addressed.
Coll added that the ‘legal compliance’ framework is unfortunate and instead we need to discern and advocate together with impacted students and staff for the changes (and resources) needed to create a truly inclusive academic culture at USF.
Kidd further suggested that we take the opportunity to widen accessibility, including purchasing translation and interpretation equipment for our events.
We agreed that the 2018-19 policy board needs to take up the issue in greater detail.
F. Budget Sub-committee staffing—Wibben. Wibben said that with Monnot gone and the impending retirement of Garity, more members are needed for the Committee – ideally one member from every division. Agha asked to wait for fall because elections in each division have not been completed and we don’t know who will be on Policy Board next year. Wibben said that there are current requests and decisions need to be made. Brahinsky volunteered to join for now and said she can step down once there are more volunteers in the fall.
G. We wished the new EB good luck and toasted to end of the semester and changing of the guard.
The meeting was adjourned at 17:00
Submitted by Julia Orri
One Last time :champagne: