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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
5 October 2017
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow in St. Petersburg

The Chapter will meet tomorrow Friday at 12 noon on USF St. Petersburg in the University Student Center Palm Room (USC 258, for a campus map, click here). There will be sandwiches, snacks, pop, and sweets. All USF employees are invited, especially UFF members and employees thinking of becoming UFF members. On the agenda: recent developments at USF St. Petersburg. Come and check us out.

The remaining UFF Chapter Meetings this semester will be on October 6 & 20, November 3 & 17, and December 1. The meetings are on USF Tampa in EDU 161, except for the two October meetings: the October 6 meeting is on USF St. Petersburg in USC 258 while the October 20 meeting is on USF Sarasota / Manatee in room B226. Come and join the movement.

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.

$ 500 Travel Grants for UFF Members

The USF Chapter of the UFF will award six $ 500 Travel Scholarships for next spring and summer. This will be for travel for participation in a professional activity. All applications are due by November 28, and only UFF members are eligible. In addition, no recipient of the Fall 2016, or Spring or Summer 2017 cycles of travel grants is eligible to apply. The six recipients shall be selected by lot at the December 1 chapter meeting. For more information, 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 (click here).


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; see also the main article (left).

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.


Professor Robert Welker of the USF Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy is one of the two longest serving USF faculty members, having arrived at USF in 1966. This summer, he was recognized for donating every year since 1976 to such funds as Faculty/Staff Scholarship Fund, Accounting Circle Operating Fund, the Black Faculty and Staff Association Scholarship and the William Stevens Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Marketing. He teaches business law, serves as the UFF USF Chapter's Chief Negotiator, and has a large collection of cat art.

If you are a UFF member with a major accomplishment, send the details to the Publicity Chair so we can let people know about it.


More on Rank and Diversity

Last fall, the Biweekly had an issue on diversity, and last month, there was an article on diversity and rank in the USF Bargaining Unit. We follow up with an issue on efforts to increase diversity of faculty, and on the three USF campuses considered separately.

  • Diversity in Academia. If an institution decides to increase the diversity of its faculty, how might it do that? For an account of what some places have done, see below or click here.
  • The Three Campuses. We glance at rank, gender, and ethnicity at the three campuses. For more, see below or click here.
On another note, the UFF USF Chapter is running its travel scholarship program again. For details, see the announcement in the left hand column.

Diversity in Academia

Having a diverse faculty will improve academic performance, but achieving a diverse faculty seems to be difficult - or at least involve a lot of work.

One common lament is that we're trying as hard as we can - but the talent pool among women and ethnic minorities isn't there. But while this might be true in some fields, it might not be as true as we think it is. For example, last year a paper with a model using current trends reported a nearly tenfold increase in the number of "underrepresented minorities" (URM) graduating with Ph.D.s but not a corresponding increase in assistant professor hires in "medical school basic science departments." The model projected that "faculty diversity would not increase significantly through the year 2080 even in the context of an exponential growth in the population of PhD graduates from URM backgrounds." The buzz generated by this particular study included articles in The Atlantic and The Scientific American.

If the talent pool is there, but we're not hiring them, what gives? It has been claimed that (at least in the Ivy League) academics don't want faculty of color. But outside of the Ivy League, a major problem is that academics don't know what to do. Good intentions are not paying off, so some institutions got together to work on the problem. The Big Ten (now Fourteen) Alliance has developed strategies for hiring minority faculty, which includes training hiring committees. Meanwhile, experts recommend that each university develop a "diversity agenda", and that this agenda be developed with broad grassroots input, support, and buy-in.

Recently, two more institutions have reported substantial success without quotas or spending lots of money.

One major problem is cultural. In his Hillbilly Elegy, Jack Vance described cultural barriers facing a poor kid from the rust belt trying to get ahead. Vance succeeded, but there is an element of the lottery in his success. For example, while his description of an interview was comically surreal, underlying it was his discovery of the scale and importance of networking. The underrepresented minorities looking for jobs were once graduate students, who were in turn undergraduates, and training them to succeed in academia may be as much our job as teaching them about their chosen fields.

The Three Campuses

The aftermath of the dismissal of USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska was set in historical context in The St. Petersburg Times and in the USF St. Petersburg student newspaper, The Crows Nest. This may be a good time to follow up on the previous article on the makeup of the Bargaining Unit by comparing the three campuses.

Recall that the UFF USF Bargaining Unit consists of all USF employees represented by the United Faculty of Florida in bargaining a contract (although only dues-paying union members are represented in grievances). In comparing the Bargaining Unit of February 24, 2011, and September 8, 2017, we are immediately reminded of a major player that the two newspaper articles above glided around: the Florida legislature. In 2011, USF had four campuses, the fourth being USF Polytechnic at Lakeland. In 2012, the legislature ripped USF Poly out of the USF system, handed the campus over to Polk College, and created a new Florida Polytechnic University just north of Lakeland. It may be useful to remember that the USF Administration is hired by (and can be fired by) the USF Board of Trustees, which in turn are appointed by various forces in Tallahassee, who are themselves able and willing to intervene directly if the mood suits them.

Turning to the USF faculty and professionals, here is the breakdown by gender and ethnicity (ignoring the employees whose campus or ethnicity was unspecified), where "minority" means African, Asian, Hispanic / Latino, or Native American:

Number of employees in 2011Number of employees in 2017% female in 2011% female in 2017% minority in 2011% minority in 2017
USF Polytech50-50-18-
USF St. Pete12915144502123
USF Sar. / Man.628456461324
USF Tampa1,3961,41845462526

In 2011, 85 % of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit worked in Tampa, while in 2017, 86 % did so.

Meanwhile, here is the breakdown by rank (the full professors include Eminent Scholars, Graduate Research Professors, and Distinguished University Professors, all of whom are at Tampa):

Number of Instructors in 2011Number of Instructors in 2017Number of Asst. Profs in 2011Number of Asst. Profs in 2018Number of Assoc. & Full Profs in 2011Number of Assoc. & Full Profs in 2017
USF Polytech14-16-14-
USF St. Pete213330305975
USF Sar. / Man.233923171327
USF Tampa216345320225618713

The pattern observed in the previous Biweekly - the number of assistant professors declines while the number of instructors and tenured professors increase - occurred at two of the three USF campuses, the exception being at USF St. Petersburg, where the number of assistant professors did not decline.

The three campuses are semi-autonomous, the precise authority being the result of compromises between the USF Administration and the various boards (in addition to the USF Board of Trustees, St. Pete and Sarasota / Manatee have their own boards), the State University System Board of Governors, various local legislators, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Navigating these shoals requires particular skills. Meantime, we should keep an eye on the makeup of the Bargaining Unit. After all, as Isidor Rabi observed, the faculty (and professionals) are the university.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, October 6, on USF St. Petersburg in USC 258.

We will have lunch at the meeting. 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.

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