We’ve heard it said that UFF members are all slackers and whiners who are academic underperformers and who don’t really care about the university, their students, or their scholarship. Nothing could be further from the truth! Over 40% of faculty — and over 50% of tenure-track faculty — are UFF-FSU members, and these include numerous eminent scholars, endowed chairs, and the like. UFF members are very active in the academic area of university governance; most years the majority of Faculty Senate Steering Committee members are UFF members. People get involved in UFF because they care about FSU…as an educational institution and as a workplace.
Conversely, we’ve also heard it said that UFF leadership is an elitist clique of “good ol’ boys” (and girls) who listen neither to non-members nor to rank-and-file members. Again, this is not true. Members do have more of a voice in policy-making than do non-members, but that’s one of the perks of membership (and, even then, much of this policy is based on faculty polls, which are sent out to all faculty regardless of membership). New members, including assistant professors and non-tenure-track faculty, rise quickly in the ranks of leadership after just a bit of volunteering.