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Notes from the Academic Senate Chair Daniel Simmons

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Notes from the Academic Senate Chair Daniel Simmons
University of California Academic Senate
T H E S E N AT E S O U R C E
Volume
VolumeVI,IX,Issue
Issue4II
August 2008
February
2011
http://www.ucop.edu/senate/
Notes from the Academic Senate Chair
Daniel Simmons
[email protected]
Dear Colleagues,
As you all have undoubtedly
heard, the Governor’s 2011-12
higher education budget includes a $500M cut to UC.
This represents a 16.4% cut in
general funds, and means that
for the first time in our history, revenue from tuition
will exceed revenue provided by the state. UC’s
$500M cut is compounded by $300M in mandatory
cost increases, including employer contributions to
UCRP, and the public’s expectation that UC will continue to accept all eligible students. In addition, the
Governor’s budget assumes passage of a June ballot
measure to extend temporary tax increases by five
years. The temporary tax increase represents half of
the Governor’s proposed solutions to state budget
deficits. Failure of the tax initiative would force the
state to develop another plan that, according to Governor Brown, would include additional cuts to higher
education.
2011 continues to be an extraordinarily challenging year. Make no mistake, without adequate revenue the University will not be able to sustain its work
at the level we have come to expect. The changes will
affect the size of the University, our ability to invest in
new buildings and maintain our existing infrastructure, and our ability to recruit and retain the best
faculty, staff, and graduate students. I fear that we
will not be able to implement a budget cut of this
magnitude without a huge impact on the quality of
our academic mission.
I have to be optimistic when I think about the
scale of the problems facing us, or I would never be
able to get out of bed in the morning. The cuts require us to engage in serious thought about making
fundamental changes in the way we operate. As we
react to these cuts, we must remember the values
that built what is the greatest public university in the
world. First and foremost, we are an institution of
public higher education. That means we must remain
committed to actions and policies that enhance the
public good. UC was founded to bring education to
the diverse population of the state and to spearhead
the economic development that has resulted in the
state’s extraordinary success. UC, along with CSU
and the CCCs, educates the workforce that drives the
state’s economic engine. We also educate the people
who will create enterprises that employ that workforce. And of crucial importance, we educate the
creative and critical thinkers who will produce the
next generation of knowledge and redesign that engine of growth.
Continued on page 4
Regents Hear Competitiveness
Triumphs (& Woes)
T
he University of California has not yet suffered a serious decline in the quality
of its faculty in the face of dire budget challenges, but there is a growing crisis
of faculty confidence in the ability of the University to preserve its place as the
preeminent public institution of higher education, Academic Senate Chair Dan Simmons told the Board of Regents on January 19. Simmons joined Vice Provost for Academic Personnel Susan Carlson in presenting the Biennial Accountability Sub-Report
on Faculty Competitiveness.
Simmons cites lagging salaries, increased teaching load, and overcrowded classrooms as some of the main factors contributing to a decline in morale that could signal a shift in UC’s overall competitiveness. “UC’s quality and prestige depends on the
work of its faculty, and I believe that the University has to be extra vigilant to protect
the policies and ethos that has allowed it to become the world’s preeminent public
institution of research and teaching,” he said.
As a part of the Accountability Framework, the Regents have asked UCOP for periodic updates on faculty competitiveness. The Sub-Report attempts to capture the
quality of UC faculty and UC’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining them. It
also notes changes in the composition of UC faculty, as well as challenges in recruitment and retention.
The Sub-report discloses some key trends:
 In 2010, the number of UC general campus professorial series faculty decreased
(down 75, or 1%, from fall 2009 to fall 2010). While this has occurred in the
past, it is unusual.
 The number of lecturers peaked in 2008 at 1733 FTE and is now at 1532 FTE.
The proportion of lecturers to ladder rank faculty has grown since the 1990s, but
has remained relatively stable over the past decade.
 Between 1990 and 2010, the growth of professorial series faculty in the Health
Sciences was relatively modest, while most of the growth in the health sciences
has been in non-Senate titles like Clinical Professor of X and Adjunct Professor.
 Between 2000 and 2010, general campus faculty grew an average of 1.8% annually, ladder-rank faculty grew 2.0%, while undergraduate, graduate, and professional student enrollment grew 2.5%. The student growth rate has been almost 30% greater than the faculty rate, and 20% greater than the growth rate for
ladder-rank faculty.
What do these numbers tell us? Simmons says that they show that UC’s growth in
health sciences has focused on the expansion of clinical services relative to teaching
and research activities. He says data indicate that Senate faculty are more likely to
teach complex subject matter and that Senate faculty, who have the greatest expertise, are responsible for a large proportion of the teaching of graduate and professional courses. The University is also very dependent on an excellent group of lecturers who, while not generally required to engage in research, provide high quality instruction in a variety of contexts, including the bulk of composition courses, introductory language training and remedial mathematics.
Simmons says the increasing student-faculty ratio means faculty are less able to
assign papers to students or to teach writing and critical thinking skills on an individual basis. “More importantly, if we move faculty out of the research environment that
distinguishes UC from CSU and from many of the California privates, we destroy the
very thing that that defines the University of California. UC is one of the best universiContinued on page 2
Access the Senate Source online at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/news/source/
New Director and Funding Model
Reshape Education Abroad Program
A
s the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) nears its 50th anniversary in 2012, the
internationally respected program is poised for renewal and growth. Originally established in 1962 as a
study abroad program serving students from all UC campuses at the University of Bordeaux in France,
UCEAP has grown to encompass 300 programs in 36 countries, serving almost 5,000 UC students annually.
For tens of thousands of students and faculty, EAP has been a life-changing cultural and academic experience.
Over the past 50 years, over 50,000 UC students have participated in one of UCEAP’s programs; 550 UC facJean-Xavier Guinard
ulty have served as EAP study center directors (SCDs), visiting professors, or program instructors; and 24,000
international students have completed non-degree study at UC campuses through UCEAP’s reciprocal exchange agreements. UCEAP has
maintained its strong record on the safety and security of its programs. It maintains a Current Alerts page, which is informed by consultation
with international experts and the State Department’s travel warnings.
Although its successes should be celebrated, UCEAP has recently weathered a period of streamlining and consolidation, which has impacted its business operations as well as its programs and modes of academic oversight. Over the past few years, UCEAP has been restructured from a centrally supported program to a self-supporting model financed by student fees, and a permanent Associate Vice Provost and
Executive Director was hired. [Read an interview with UCEAP Executive Director Jean–Xavier Guinard here.] The Senate, through its University Committee on International Education (UCIE), has been involved throughout this period of reassessment. This article provides an overview of restructuring at UCEAP and describes new modes of academic oversight that are being proposed in light of the reduced role of
Study Center Directors.
Fiscal Model and Administrative Restructuring
UCEAP’s realignment began in late 2005 in response to a $3.3M budget deficit. The budget troubles were caused by a combination of internal administrative weaknesses, an unanticipated freeze on new enrollments, a drop in the value of the dollar, an expensive study center
structure, an outdated funding model, and a shift in the pattern of EAP participation from full-year to semester programs (see the Report of
the University of California Joint Ad Hoc Committee on International Education). The crisis forced UCEAP to eliminate programs, reduce staff
at its Santa Barbara headquarters by 30% (from 108 FTEs to 71 FTEs) and at its overseas study centers, and streamline its administrative
processes. Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, at least 9 study centers and 22 programs were closed, including several well-known and longestablished sites. Through these efforts, UCEAP will eliminate its deficit by the end of the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Click to Read More
Continued from page 1 ties in the world. We
must remain vigilant not to sacrifice that
standing in pursuit of the golden calf of efficiency and productivity.” Simmons also cites
the University's large revenue streams derived from faculty research grants and notes
that these would be at risk if faculty reduce
their commitment to research.
The Sub-Report notes that compensation
remains UC’s biggest challenge in maintaining a competitive environment for faculty. As
of fall 2010, average UC faculty salaries were
lagging the Comparison Eight by 11.2%, a
problem compounded by the fact that private
institutions, against whom the lag is even
greater, are UC’s main competitors. (40% of
UC faculty recruited to other institutions leave
to join 20 top institutions, three quarters of
them private.) In terms of total remuneration,
UC is 4 to 7% below the market average, figures that do not reflect furloughs or increasing contributions to UCRP. And while current
compensation has remained relatively flat
over the past few years for UC faculty, the
current compensation of both public and
private comparators has increased.
The Academic Senate has spoken frequently about the need to raise faculty salaries to competitive levels in a manner that
strengthens the integrity of the salary scales
and the merit system. While the possibility of
a salary increase looks less likely in the current budget environment, the President included a salary provision in the University’s
2011-12 operating budget. Council communicated its views to the President in late December about the use of any funds for faculty
salary increases now or when budget conditions improve. The administration prefers a
plan that rewards merit. Council believes that
the salary scales should meet market conditions, but agreed for 2011-12 to support an
increment restricted to faculty who received a
favorable merit review sometime in the past
five years, applied to the salary scales but not
to the off-scale component.
“I understand that the politics of such an
increase is difficult, and I sympathize with
faculty who wonder whether raises can be
morally justified in such difficult times,” said
Chair Simmons. “Faculty salaries remain a
vital issue, however, not only in light of the
restart of UCRP contributions, but also because lagging faculty salaries have the potential to undermine excellence. Weakening the
published salary scales will also undermine
our peer review system. UC should do everything it can to restore the integrity of the
merit system by bringing the scales up to
competitive levels.”
New faculty appointments dropped significantly last year due to budget cutbacks. Although there is no evidence of an unusual
increase in retirements or resignations, UC’s
ability to retain faculty could weaken as the
economy recovers. In addition, UC could see
high rates of retirement in the near future,
given the large number of faculty who are
between 56 and 65 years old. This could hurt
UC, but it is also an opportunity for renewal.
The University also seeks to draw from an
increasingly diverse pool of potential new
faculty. The Sub-Report shows uneven
achievements in this area, with hiring of
women and under-represented minorities
lagging the availability pool in many fields,
but exceeding it in others.
UC faculty continue to receive an extraordinary number of prestigious national awards
and national and international recognition as
leaders in their disciplines. UC’s campuses
remain highly ranked in both national and
international ratings. 41% of faculty received
their degrees from 20 top universities (all
AAU) and another 23% are UC graduates. Two
faculty received MacArthur “Genius” awards
this year and others have succeeded in four
highly competitive foundation awards.
It remains to be seen whether UC can
maintain its world class teaching and research faculty in an era when budget cuts,
lagging salaries, and overcrowded classrooms present a growing burden for them,
their teaching assistants, and graduate students.
“The University rests on a three-legged
stool of quality, access, and affordability,”
said Simmons. “Those legs are wobbly and
precarious now, and if any one of them, but
especially quality, is permitted to collapse, we
no longer have the University of California as
we know it.” ■
Faculty Groups Explore
Streamlining Transfer
I
n November and December of 2010, the University of California
Office of the President and systemwide Academic Senate convened
meetings of faculty in five disciplines from all nine undergraduate
campuses to discuss lower-division major preparation. The meetings
explored commonalities among major requirements at different campuses with the aim of facilitating a successful transition to UC for
transfer students. While UC is extraordinarily successful in recruiting
and retaining transfer students, anecdotal reports indicate that wouldbe transfer students have difficulty deciphering major requirements
and that some of these students must take additional courses after
they enroll before they can begin work in their majors. Such challenges
arise in part from differences in departmental curricula between campuses.
For years, the Legislature has urged UC to simplify and streamline
the transfer process. The Transfer Preparation Paths online tool is one
way that UC has responded. It provides information to prospective
transfer students about how to prepare for specific majors (so far, the
top 21). The paths highlight significant differences across UC campuses. In a related action, the Senate previously approved Senate
Regulation 477 as another tool to streamline transfer articulation. It
provides that when four campuses agree to accept a course as transferable preparation for a major it will be considered transferable for
the same major on all campuses unless a department announces
within a year that it will not accept the course.
In 2010 the legislature passed SB 1440 requiring that the California Community Colleges develop an Associate Degree for Transfer
which would guarantee admission to a specified major at CSU, and AB
2302 requesting that UC work with the CCC to develop associate degrees for transfer to UC. In response, the Commission on the Future
identified streamlining transfer as one of the goals that the University
should pursue, and President Yudof asked the Senate to examine this
topic. Working with the Division of Academic Affairs in the Office of the
President, the Senate has begun to examine its own degree requirements across the campuses in the most popular majors.
The Senate and Academic Affairs jointly convened groups of faculty
in mathematics, biological sciences, history, psychology, and computer
science to explore the whether they might create common lower division major prerequisites. These majors are among the most popular
transfer majors and represent a range of disciplines and complexity.
The meetings were productive and revealed significant commonalities
across the campuses. Four of the five majors found substantial overlap in their requirements to the extent that one group is considering
adopting a uniform textbook for an introductory course. One major
found too many differences to strive for consistency, rooted in substantively different approaches and emphases within the field. Senate
Chair Daniel Simmons states, “We strongly recommend that UCOP
continue to fund efforts to convene additional disciplines from the
twenty high-demand transfer majors.” He emphasized that any revisions to individual departments’ requirements for the major requirements must be managed through normal Senate procedures on the
campus involved.
In addition, Simmons noted that through its participation in the
Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates, the Senate will
communicate to CCC and CSU faculty the results of these internal conversations so that they can incorporate information about UC’s expectations into the design of transfer degrees under SB 1440. We will
recommend that undergraduate programs examine CCC’s proposals
for transfer degrees to determine whether they meet their major requirements. Student Affairs staff have also participated in discussions
with CSU and the Community Colleges through the C-ID project that is
identifying Community College courses that are transferable into majors at CSU.
Continued on page 4
Senate Backs Call for Move to
“Holistic” Admissions
A
t the request of President Yudof, and with the endorsement of
the Academic Council and the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), the Board of Regents on January 19
endorsed President Yudof’s proposed resolution regarding Individualized Review and Holistic Evaluation in Undergraduate Admissions.
The resolution states that the single-score “holistic review” process currently used at UC Los Angeles and UC Berkeley to admit
freshmen should become the way comprehensive review is implemented at all UC campuses, while also allowing campuses flexibility to follow alternative approaches that are equally effective in
meeting campus and University goals.
The resolution is partly a response to BOARS’ June 2010 report
on Comprehensive Review in Freshman Admissions at the University of California, 2003 - 2009. In that report, BOARS recommended that all campuses implement an individualized review of
all freshman applicants. That review should include a read by admissions evaluators that takes into account academic and nonacademic data elements in the electronic “read sheet” and material in the application, and that evaluates each applicant’s accomplishments in the context of opportunity.
Comprehensive review, which was approved by the Regents in
2001, establishes 14 criteria as guidelines that campuses may
use in selecting new freshmen, including grades, test scores, extracurricular activities and achievement in the context of opportunity.
Some criteria can be evaluated mechanically and others require a
read to establish a score. No applicant is denied admission to any
campus without such a read, although at some campuses some
applicants are admitted based upon mechanical evaluation of academic criteria. Holistic review relies on reader ratings that incorporate all information from the file to arrive at a single score used to
determine admission. The holistic processes use carefully constructed criteria and are monitored closely for the reliability of the
read scores.
Each campus has affirmed its intent to incorporate read sheet
data into its review and selection processes. The read sheet includes contextual information such as the high school’s Academic
Performance Index score, socioeconomic indicators, the number of
available “a-g” and honors courses offered, and the applicant’s
academic accomplishments relative to his or her peers.
Click to Read More
UCORP Chair Phokion Kolaitis and Provost Lawrence Pitts discuss
the budget situation at the January 26 Academic Council meeting.
Transfer groups, continued from 2
Chair’s Notes, continued from 1
From the Senate’s standpoint, we protect the public
good by protecting the teaching and research mission
of the University. UC provides access to a high quality
education at a research university. The research component is the backbone of what we teach. Our commitment to research and teaching depends on sustaining a
faculty made up of leading scholars and teachers.
Our commitment to access means the doors must
remain open to the best of California’s students from all
parts of the state who reflect California’s diversity in the
broadest sense of that term. We have two main sources
of financial support for the University’s educational
mission: state appropriations and tuition. As the state
withdraws, tuition rises. We contribute to the public
good with a strong, multi-campus system that serves all
regions of California. We must also remain committed
to competitive graduate programs as a critical part of
our research mission.
As campuses plan how to absorb the cuts, I have
asked the divisions to share their plans with the Academic Council. In December, the UCLA division chair
briefed Council on the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences’ “Challenge 45” initiative. The College asked
departments to examine whether they could reduce
upper division major requirements to 45 units to reduce the teaching workload to match the new reality of
fewer faculty (without harming quality), while providing
students greater flexibility in choosing courses. The
work at UCLA is impressive and I recommend that each
campus consider a similar activity.
One of the recommendations in the Commission on
the Future’s final report asks chancellors to include
budget information in materials provided during program reviews, so that reviewers can consider the opportunity costs of starting new programs or enhancing existing programs. This information will enable Senate
committees to provide informed opinions on the tradeoffs. CCGA and UCEP will work with divisional executive
committees and planning and budget committees to
develop specific budget questions that would be useful
to include in program reviews.
Immediate Past Senate Chair Harry Powell has been
leading a Senate Special Committee on a Plan for UC,
composed of faculty who served on the Commission
work groups. The Special Committee has submitted
recommendations to the Academic Council. Council
charged a follow-up Task Force constituted by chairs of
three key standing committees and four divisions that
will determine the fiscal impact of the Special Committee’s recommendations and develop implementation
plans based on data to be supplied by UCOP. More than
anything else, UC needs a plan to address the present
crisis—specifically, how we can continue to deliver excellent research, teaching, and public service with less
money. The Task Force will work closely with the Academic Council and standing committees to address
such issues as the size of the faculty and student body,
where growth should occur, the ratio of graduates to
undergraduates, and the role of lecturers.
As dire as it is, the budget crisis is an opportunity for
all of us to step forward to design a future for the University of California in service to the people of California. I invite you to contact me with questions, concerns,
and especially suggestions.
Fiat Lux, Dan
Finally, an ad hoc committee consisting of members of BOARS, UCEP and
UCOPE considered whether UC could adopt CSU’s GE Breadth pattern of general education courses as an alternative to the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) as a means to simplify transfer requirements and as a step toward unifying the two GE paths. The ad hoc committee
did not recommend further pursuit of this idea for several reasons. First, UC
highly values the IGETC writing requirement, which is not included in GE
Breadth and is critical for success at UC.
Second, the ad hoc committee was concerned that the proposal did not
address the issue of adequate major preparation. This concern was validated
in the disciplinary meetings convened in the fall. The math, biology, and computer science groups all expressed concern that students who are advised to
focus on completing GE courses do not take enough science and mathematics courses before they transfer, resulting in heavy science and math course
loads at UC, which can increase their time-to-degree. The ad-hoc committee
has proposed that BOARS develop Comprehensive Review guidelines for selecting transfer students with criteria for admission that would be grounded in
major preparation, supplemented with a sufficient number of GE courses.
Admissions criteria would be designed for each major to select those transfer
students with the strongest preparation to complete a major in two years. ■
Updates and Events
►In January, the Academic Council endorsed a joint CCGA, UCORP, and
UCPB letter asking DANR to suspend the redirection of endowment funds
that affect UC’s mission.
► Council also endorsed proposed revisions to APM 010 and APM 015
and approved a resolution regarding the disposition of the fees UC receives for managing the National Laboratories,
►In December, Council endorsed and sent Provost Pitts a CCGA-authored
resolution regarding the establishment of new Professional Degree Fees.
► The UC Education Abroad Program is accepting applications for two
Short-Term Teaching Assignments and two Study Center Directorships:
Please review the UCEAP website for details. A list of recent study center
director appointments can be found here.
► Academic Council Special Committee on a Plan for the University of
California Final Report and Recommendations
Under Senate Review
Click here for a comprehensive list of current and past review items and
check the Tracking Log for the progress of all issues.
►”Funding Streams” Proposal (comments due 2/17/11)
► Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on Senate Membership
(comments due 3/11/11)
►Technical Revisions to the Academic Personnel Manual (due 4/18/11)
THE SENATE SOURCE is published periodically during the academic year by the
Systemwide Senate to inform UC faculty about the activities of the Senate. Your
comments are welcome: [email protected]
Daniel Simmons, 2010-2011 Academic Senate Chair
Michael LaBriola and Clare Sheridan, Co-editors
University of California Academic Senate, 1111 Franklin Street, 12th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607
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