Eighty percent of life, said Woody Allen, is showing up. That goes for unions and universities as well. Both the faculty union and the faculty governance system – currently with three senates and a council on top – are participatory democracies in the sense that the way to get something done is to show up. And spring is the time for it, for both the USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida and the USF Tampa Senate are holding elections this spring. This being New Year's Resolution season, this is a good time to resolve to show up. (image credit)
- Union Elections. At the January 11 Chapter Meeting at CDB, the Election Committee shall present a proposal for conducting this year's election. We take a brief look at the offices and seats up for election
We have a governance structure determined by a constitution and bylaws. There is an Executive Committee that consists of the four elected officers and two of the appointed committee chairs. Every spring, the UFF members elect the four officers – the president, the vice president, the secretary, and the treasurer – and the president then nominates the two committee chairs – the Chief Negotiator and the Chair of the Grievance Committee. The nominations must be confirmed by the Chapter Council, which consists of elected representatives.
The USF Chapter is part of a federal organization, which means that the UFF members at USF elect senators to represent USF to the statewide United Faculty of Florida. We anticipate getting about twenty senate seats, and all UFF members are encouraged to run. The primary duties of the senators are to attend the biannual statewide senate meetings, which are in Orlando or Tampa from a Saturday afternoon through the following Sunday morning (the fall meeting is on September 14 & 15) and to serve as the Chapter Council.
The United Faculty of Florida is itself part of a larger organization, the Florida Education Association, which represents K-20 teachers throughout the state. The FEA's primary policy-making body is its annual Delegate Assembly, and the USF Chapter anticipates getting about six or seven delegate seats. These meetings are also usually in Tampa or Orlando (this fall, the meeting runs from Oct. 17 evening to Oct. 19 morning in Orlando).