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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
10 September 2015
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow Noon in Tampa

Tomorrow Friday the Chapter will meet at 12 noon on USF Tampa in EDU 415. We will be meeting in EDU 415 this semester, except for two chapter meetings at USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota / Manatee: the dates for those two meetings will be selected tomorrow.

Check us out. Join the movement. Bring a colleague.

UFF Continues its Travel Scholarship Program: All UFF Members are Eligible

The USF Chapter of the UFF will award four $ 500 Travel Scholarships for next spring and summer.

All UFF USF members are eligible for one of four $ 500 travel scholarships to be randomly selected at the December 4 UFF USF Chapter Meeting. Any member may submit a proposal - a paragraph describing the professional activity for which the travel scholarship will be applied - to us by campus mail (UFF Membership Committee, 30238 USF Holly Drive) or by email; all proposals must be received by December 3. See the travel scholarship flyer.

This initiative is part of our membership campaign. If you would like to become active in the UFF USF Membership Drive, contact the Membership Chair, Adrienne Berarducci.

Join UFF Today!

Download, fill in, and mail the membership form. Benefits of membership include the right to run and vote in UFF chapter and statewide elections; representation in grievances (UFF cannot represent a non-member in a grievance or litigation); special deals in insurance, travel, legal advice, and other packages provided by our affiliates; free insurance coverage for job-related liability; and the knowledge you are supporting education in Florida. Come and join the movement.

Grievances

If you have been the victim of a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, you have thirty days from the time you knew or should have known of the violation to file a grievance. If you are, and at the time of the violation were, a dues-paying member of the United Faculty of Florida, you have the right to union representation. To contact the UFF USF Grievance Committee, go to the online contact form. For more information, see our web-page on grievances.

Visit Us on Facebook

Visit the United Faculty of Florida at USF Facebook page. This page is a place where UFF members can exchange thoughts and ideas. The page is "public", but only dues-paying UFF members are eligible to post items on the page. If you are a UFF member, ask to join on the page, or contact the Communications Committee. The Committee will invite every UFF member that asks to join. So check us out. UFF members are welcome to join, and non-members are welcome to look.

Correction

The last Biweekly transposed two lines (assistant and full professors). The online edition has been corrected. Our apologies.

IN THIS ISSUE

Tenure and the Odds

In this issue, we continue our occasional series on tenure (and promotion) and ask the question that many assistant professors ask themselves at three o'clock in the morning: what are the odds of getting tenure at USF? This sort of question would require a longitudinal study, but we look at a bracing snapshot. In future issues, we will look at advice from some experts on how to improve the odds.

  • Tenure and the Odds. One of the fundamental questions one might have of any selection process is ... how selective is it? So, what are the odds of getting tenure at USF? For a glance at this question, see below or click here.
  • Grant Workshops. With increased pressure to get grants, the College of Arts and Sciences is offering workshops on getting grants. For details, see below or click here.
At the last Chapter meeting, the Chapter resolved to repeat the Travel Scholarship program again this fall. The Chapter will offer four $ 500 travel scholarships for professional travel next spring or summer; all UFF members are eligible to apply. The four recipients will be selected at the December 4 chapter meeting. All applications must be received by December 3. If you are not a UFF member, you may join by December 3 and be eligible to apply. For more information, see the travel scholarship flyer.

These scholarships are only one of the many material benefits of membership. Others include special deals in insurance, travel, and other purchases; details in future biweeklies.

Tenure and the Odds

USF is revising its tenure and promotion policies at all levels, from the criteria being developed by individual departments to the new guidelines announced by Academic Affairs. At the moment, probably the biggest discussion concerns the proposed Tenure and Promotion Procedures for the USF Tampa College of Arts and Sciences as that college encompasses about a third of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit. However, other colleges are revising their processes while departments are revising their criteria.

One basic question to ask before undertaking a reform is: where are we now? If one is reforming a selection process, one might ask how selective this process is. (This is certainly a subject of much interest to current tenure-track professors.) A glance at Article 15, Section 2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement might suggest that while a few candidates leave after their mid-tenure review, the big decision occurs during the sixth year. And so a lot of attention is focused at that sixth year. But is that what is happening?

Let's look at the cohort of tenure-track assistant professors hired in 2009 who were on the job in 2010. There were 43 of these, and all were still at USF in 2011. But then the attrition began: there were 38 in 2012, 34 in 2013, 34 again in 2014, and now 27 of the 43 are still employees of USF; of these, 18 (42 %) ultimately received tenure as of this year.

Caveats. These numbers were taken from downloads from GEMS, each in that year, but not at the same time each year. The cohorts were tenure-track assistant professors entering that job that year, which is not the same thing as entering the tenure track that year. Subsequent years, those employees were checked against lists of all faculty employed, except the last list, which was against a recent list of tenured faculty. So this is a lot of apples, oranges, and bananas mushed together, oversimplifying a complicated situation. So what we have here is merely suggestive, and comprehensive study would be necessary to show what is happening.

And some things are not reflected in any collection of numbers. Perhaps some assistant professors decided en route that the grass was greener at another institution, or that industry paid better. Perhaps some saw the writing on the wall or were advised to find a job elsewhere or were even non-renewed. And some might even be coming up later per Paragraph 15.2A or Paragraph 15.6B - or because their job entry and tenure entry dates were different. To see how complicated things are, of the 18 hired in 2009 who received tenure by 2009, five received tenure early, so of the 29 in-unit employees who received tenure this summer (most of Health Sciences being out of the Bargaining Unit), only thirteen followed the standard pattern of being hired as a tenure-track assistant professor and coming up for tenure during the sixth year. While the default is to come up during the sixth year, there are a lot of exceptions.

The pattern seems to be repeating in the cohort hired in 2010 (and probably coming up for tenure this coming academic year). In 2011, there were 69 tenure-track assistant professors whose job entry date was 2010; in 2012 there were 64; in 2013 there were 58; in 2014 there were 56, and now there are 52 - of whom 23 have already received tenure. The graph below suggests certain similarities - and differences:

(Notice that the number of hires can vary a lot from year to year.)

So a lot of assistant professors do not even make it to the sixth year. Of course, much of that attrition may be due to anticipation of that sixth year. (There has been much talk of the anxiety that assistant professors feel about this process.) And many who do make it come up early.

These are only two cohorts of a system in flux (and don't forget the caveats), so one should be cautious about drawing conclusions. In addition, this brief look is based on a small set of snapshots of the Bargaining Unit, which is a continuously moving target. But these are cohorts proceeding under the old guidelines being phased out, and it is unclear what the effect of new guidelines will be.

Grant Workshops

In our occasional series on tenure and promotion, the Biweekly has run articles on Getting Grants on the Job, Grantsmanship, and Getting Real About Grants.

The USF Tampa College of Arts and Sciences would also like faculty to apply for and get grants, and is running a series of workshops on getting grants. All USF faculty are invited. On the schedule:

  • NSF Grant Strategies Workshop, Friday, September 25, 2015 (11am-3pm).
  • Culture of Collaboration: Strategies to Capitalize on Existing Strengths and Developing Synergies, Friday, October 9, 2015 (11am-3pm).
  • Diversified Funding Portfolio: Strategies for funding success (federal, state, private foundation funding and cultivating research donors), Friday, October 16, 2015 (11am-3pm).
  • Advanced Grants Workshop from the R01 to the Center proposal for all USF faculty, Friday, October 23, 2015 (11am-3pm).
  • Expediting and Completing the Application, Friday, November 6, 2015 (11am-3pm).
For more information, or to register (advance registration is required), see the CAS workshop page.

LOGISTICS

Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, September 11, at on USF Tampa, in EDU 415.

There will be sandwiches, chips, and drinks. All UFF members are invited to attend. Non-members are also invited to come and check us out. Come and join the movement.

Membership: Everyone in the UFF USF System Bargaining unit is eligible for UFF membership: to join, simply fill out and send in the membership form.

NOTE: The USF-UFF Chapter website is http://www.uff.ourusf.org, and our e-mail address is uff@ourusf.org.

About this broadcast: This Newsletter was broadcast from uff.ourusf.org, hosted at ICDsoft.com, and is intended for all members of the UFF USF Bargaining unit (USF faculty and professionals at most departments). A (usually identical) version will be broadcast to USF-News and USF-Talk from mccolm@usf.edu.

If you do not want to receive the UFF Biweekly, you can unsubscribe below. If you do not receive the Biweekly, but want to, e-mail a message to gmccolm@tampabay.rr.com.