Incredible Shrinking Faculty

Among numerous figures reported to the Trustees by the FSU Administration last week was that the number of FSU tenure and tenure-earning faculty was down 9% from 2006/07 to 2011/12.  This figure appeared on p. 10 of the Academic Affairs agenda document at the BOT web site (see http://trustees.fsu.edu/meetings/materials/20130606/Academic-Affairs-Agenda.pdf).  It also aligns, generally speaking, with figures for FSU and other universities reported in a recent Florida Trend news story that also notes rapid growth in administrator ranks Read More →

Florida Supreme Court Retirement Ruling

Thursday’s Florida Supreme Court ruling did more than dash the hopes of more than 620,000 public workers in the Florida Retirement System who wanted to see 3 percent of their pay returned.  It also opened the doors for lawmakers to make more changes that help the state’s bottom line but cost the school teachers, law-enforcement officers, county employees and state workers.

     From the Tallahassee Democrat, Jan. 18, 2013

Let’s build a stronger voice for faculty.  If you are not already a UFF member, please join!

Full text of the Democrat story:  http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/td20130118.pdf

The full text of the Florida Supreme Court 4-3 ruling, including dissenting opinion is available at:  http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/sc12-520.pdf

 

Faculty Address Higher Ed Task Force

Task force gets report on higher ed challenges

By BRENT KALLESTAD, Associated Press

Published: Monday, June 11, 2012 at 6:29 p.m.

Two veteran faculty members cautioned a newly formed task force on Monday against changing the state’s higher education system simply because a businessman – in this case, Gov. Rick Scott – believes it needs to show more value. Read More →

January Update

Happy New Year! Hope you had a refreshing break. Volunteers and UFF staff have continued to work for FSU faculty these past few weeks, as indicated in part in the balance of this update.

1. At the “Ledge.” President Barron has noted that the initial state budget discussions have NOT included plans for large cuts to higher education, and that is an improvement over the last several years. Yes, that is arguably a sad statement about the sorry climate for higher education in Florida, given the underfunding reflected in continuing “brain drain” losses of our colleagues to better-funded institutions, and in many other ways such as growing class sizes. With the Speaker of the House opening this session blasting what he perceives as mediocrity (could that have something to do with funding?), hundreds of bills filed, and our current political leaders’ track records on ideas for improving higher education, it is difficult to be optimistic. Stay tuned.

2. Collective Bargaining: Faculty and Administration/BOT teams met for their first 2012 session on Tuesday and agreed to take up Non-Tenure Track Faculty reclassification project issues and revisions to the Salary Plan for Professors as their first agenda items in upcoming sessions. Other agenda items carried over from 2011 bargaining include faculty performance evaluations, promotion, tenure, and benefits. The teams are scheduled to meet most Fridays for the remainder of the semester. Salary issues will of course be on the agenda once again as well.

3. We’re pleased to announce success in two grievances filed on behalf of Salary Plan for Professor (SPP) applicants who were initially denied SPP raises (9%). Both grievants were represented by the UFF (at no cost — membership has its benefits!) and our Grievance Chair (Dr. Lee Stepina) was able to persuade the Administration that SPP awards were merited in both cases.

4. We are still trying to obtain adequate information on December’s merit bonuses. The initial report from the FSU Administration (see http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FacultyMeritBonusesDecember2011.xlsx) is problematic in several regards. We are also multiple faculty members’ complaints.

5. DRAFT consultation minutes are available from our Dec. 15th meeting with President Barron, Provost Stokes, and other Administration representatives. The draft minutes appear to have garbled the discussion in a few places, so please keep that in mind if you review those DRAFT minutes (http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/PresidentConsultation12-15-11MinutesDRAFT.pdf).

6. In case you missed it, an interesting editorial referencing FSU faculty salaries appeared in yesterday’s Tallahassee Democrat. See http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/tdedit20120112.pdf.

Best regards,

Jack Fiorito, President

UFF-FSU Chapter

P.S. Support the team that works for you! If you are a UFF member, thank you. If not, join today and help build a stronger voice for FSU faculty. See www.uff-fsu.org for more information.

 

Florida Shortchanges Its Universities

From the St. Petersburg Times Tampabay.com

October 28, 2011 By Times Wire

At least credit former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux for being half-right: Tuition at Florida’s public universities is too low. But so is the state’s direct support. The hard fact that no one in Tallahassee’s majority party seems willing to acknowledge is that the state,
not just students, must invest more in higher education if Florida’s universities are ever going to rank among the nation’s best and help diversify the economy.

Read More →