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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
15 November 2018
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Faculty Governance, and Title IX, too

Academic freedom is not just about giving honest counsel to the public that pays our salaries, it is also about participating in the governance of the university without duress. This application of academic freedom is also under pressure nationwide, but at USF, it is protected by our contract.

  • Academic Freedom and Faculty Governance. Faculty governance - what old-fashioned dictionaries call collegial governance - and academic freedom are addressed in general terms in the contract. For details, see below or click here.
Meanwhile, it turns out that two different offices in USF are running the two different sexual harassment training programs that employees have been ... asked ... to participate in. The online program and quiz described in the 4 October 2018 Biweekly was run by the USF Division for Human Resources. In addition, there is a lecture offered by Title IX for USF employees with reporting responsibilities - which means anyone who supervises anybody else, including teaching students.
  • Title IX Training. A student comes to you and tells you that she or he is being sexually harassed. What are your responsibilities? For more, see below or click here.
And the UFF USF Biweekly continues to run short accounts by recipients of the travel scholarships. For details on applying for a travel scholarship for next year, see below..
  • Latinos and Social Work. Anthropology professor Iraida Carrion made several presentations at a conference for Latino social workers. For details, see below or click here.
Note for everyone interested in following consolidation, presidential search, and other events. As we receive public meeting announcements, we are posting them on the Upcoming Events calendar of the UFF USF Chapter website. We encourage all interested faculty and professionals to attend.


Chapter Meeting Tomorrow on USF Tampa

The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow Friday at noon on USF Tampa in EDU 261. There will be sandwiches, snacks, drinks, and sweets. On the agenda: bargaining, consolidating USF, recruiting new members, and the Chapter's election (next spring). Come join the movement.

There will be a last meeting on November 30, details TBA.


The Annual Toy Drive conducted by the West Central Florida Federation of Labor will collect new, unwrapped toys for children ages 0 - 18. Toys can be brought to tomorrow's Chapter Meeting (see above) or the November 30 Chapter Meeting. The Children's Home Society of Florida has provided us with a list of gift ideas.

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.

Join us on November 23rd!

Tailgate Social for UFF Members and Families (but you can join UFF and come to the Social!).

The Faculty Union is hosting a tailgate for members and their families at the November 23rd football game between USF and UCF at the Raymond James Stadium. THe tailgate will start four hours before the game.

This event is free for UFF members, and you can join by filling in the membership form form and emailing it to us.

Please note: UFF doesn't provide tickets to the game; please get those on your own. You can buy game tickets from USF Bulls Tickets or Ticketmaster or your favorite vendor. Grab tickets soon, as the game will likely be a sellout!

Please RSVP to Steve Lang TODAY!

Again, if you aren't a UFF member and would like to join (and come to the Tailgate), fill in and email in the membership form.


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).

$ 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 27, and only UFF members are eligible. In addition, no recipient of the Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 cycles of travel grants is eligible to apply. The five recipients shall be selected by lot at the November 30 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).

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.

Academic Freedom and Faculty Governance

Running an academic institution is a lot of work, and that is a source of tension between faculty and administrators. In addition to scholarship and research, a lot of the work consists of making appointments, designing curricula, allocating resources, evaluating performance of personnel, etc., and a lot of that work is delegated to faculty because faculty know how to do it. But some administrators are prone to micromanagement, which occasionally leads to administrators insisting on making the decisions - and doing the work - themselves. Other micromanagers push (or even bully) for decisions and recommendations to go their way.

Several organizations have weighed in on faculty involvement in academic governance. The National Education Association has an undated statement on Faculty Governance in Higher Education enumerating specific jurisdictions of faculty governance and shared faculty governance. In addition:

  • In 1966, the American Association of University Professors produced a Statement on Governance of Colleges and Universities, which called for faculty involvement in long-range planning, allocation of resources, and the selection of senior administrators, and recommends that faculty be involved in decisions involving their own units.
  • In 2002, the American Federation of Teachers issued a Statement on Shared Governance in Colleges and Universities that begins with "We believe that all college and university employees should have a guaranteed voice in decision-making, a role in shaping policy in the areas of their expertise." The Statement describes shared governance as under attack and enumerates six principles of shared governance: Faculty and professional staff set academic standards and curricula; Faculty and professional staff require academic freedom; Faculty and professional staff should have primacy in decisions on academic personnel and status; Participation in shared governance should be expanded; Unions, representative assemblies and faculty senates all can have significant roles in shared governance; and Accrediting agencies should support fully the concept of shared governance in their standards.
  • In 2017, the Association for Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges produced a Statement on Shared Governance, which starts with "In higher education's volatile environment, shared governance is essential." But many stakeholders do not understand how it works, or should work, and some boards delegate shared governance to their administrators (much as some corporate boards delegate quality to management teams). The Statement recommends that boards engage with faculty, and that stakeholders should be aware of the parts they play in running their institution.
On the other hand, the court rulings have been mixed on academic freedom and governance cases. Fortunately, Article 5 (on Academic Freedom and Responsibility) in our contract (page 6) "affirms the principles of academic freedom" and defines academic freedom as something employees have. So what does this mean in practice?

When faculty make decisions, decisions are made by faculty. That means, for example, that just as the Queen of the United Kingdom must ask permission to enter the House of Commons, so administrators should not just barge into faculty meetings. And for the same reason: the last British sovereign to barge into the Commons tried to arrest several parliamentarians, and Parliament does not care to be intimidated by the sovereign. Similarly, administrators should not barge into faculty meetings, and if invited in, should not try to intimidate them - or ask selected faculty to leave.

Shared governance is supposed to be a collegial process conducted by colleagues acting in a civil and professional manner. That is better for the participants and for the institution.

Title IX Training

There are (at least) two programs at USF for educating employees about sexual violence. One is an online Sexual Harassment Prevention Training course (described in the 4 October 2018 Biweekly) offered by the USF Division of Human Resources, to be taken by all USF employees and supervisors. The other one, the subject of this article, is a lecture on Title IX and VAWA Requirements offered by the USF Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Equal Opportunity, which must be taken by USF employees with reporting responsibilities - and compliance is linked to federal funding.

Like the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, the Title IX Training is primarily concerned with sexual harassment rather than discrimination. And the ultimate focus is on the responsibilities of the mandated reporters, i.e., employees with supervisory roles (either of other employees or of students - and that includes teachers). Mandated reporters are required to report complaints of sexual harassment and are urged to provide support and options to students and employees who complain.

Title IX Training is a 90 - 120 minute lecture that starts with the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 as well as Florida state law and USF policy concerning sexual misconduct and sexual battery. Much of the presentation concerns the crimes (and acts like stalking and rape are crimes) and how to deal with students and employees who report being victims of these crimes. (There is also some material on how bystanders might intervene in a dangerous situation.)

The other two federal laws discussed are the Clery Act and Title IX itself. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990 requires colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and report crime statistics. In theory, this motivates colleges and universities to do something about crimes committed on their own grounds. The Clery Act also requires institutions receiving federal fund to conduct and report on "prevention and awareness" programs and campaigns - like this training. Meanwhile, Title IX, one of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, says, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." Since "The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students' right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime," Title IX does impose certain responsibilities on institutions that they discourage sexual harassment.

While USF is required to run Title IX training, it is not clear what the compulsion is for individual employees to take it - other than the knowledge that if substantial numbers of employees don't take it then USF itself will get in trouble with the federal government. And it is probably a wise idea for mandated reporters - which means all of us who teach or supervise others - to know what our responsibilities are.

Latinos and Social Work

Iraida Carrion is a professor of Social Work and affiliated with the the Department of Anthropology at USF. She received a $ 500 UFF travel scholarship to attend the 2018 Latino Social Work Organization conference at the University of Washington in Seattle. Here is her account.

The UFF-USF Chapter Travel Scholarship provided me with the opportunity to travel to the Latino Social Work Organization conference at the University of Washington in Seattle. I presented two oral research papers, one on research with T. Estape, J. Roberts and F. Nedjat-Haiem on beliefs and attitudes about cancer among old Latinos, and one on research with F. Nedjat-Haiem on motivational interviewing techniques for advance care planning with older Latinos. I was invited to participate on two panels, one on Breaking Down Walls and Abriendo Puertas [opening doors]: Promoting Social Justice in Social Work Practice with Immigrant Populations, and the other on Exploring Educational and Professional Advancement of Social Workers. In addition, a first year masters' student presented a poster I helped with, on What Do Older Latinos Say to Family and Friends about Cancer?. Thank you for your support!


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, November 16, at noon, on USF Tampa in EDU 261.

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.

Our website is http://www.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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