This is tenure season. The departments have sent out the packets, and they are now rising through the hierarchy, collecting recommendations.
We have issued a Call for nominations; all nomination materials are due by March 1. We urge everyone to get involved.
In addition, the statewide United Faculty of Florida is also holding its elections (the UFF has statewide elections every other year). Anyone interested in serving as UFF President, UFF First Vice President, as a FEA Governance Board member, as a delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly, or as a delegate to the AFT National Convention, should submit a nomination form to the email addresses on the form by February 13. After the close of nominations, the statewide UFF will conduct an election. (Warning to UFF members: this means that there will be two elections, both with snailmail ballots - per federal requirements - this spring.)
The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow Friday at noon on USF St. Petersburg in USC in the Regatta Room (see USF St. Petersburg campus map). On the agenda: the chapter election, bargaining, consolidating USF, and plans for the fall recruiting campaign. Come and check us out.
This spring, we will meet on February 8 & 22, March 8 & 22, and April 5 & 19 at noon at locations announced on the calendar of Upcoming Events. In particular, on April 5, we will meet in USF Sarasota / Manatee. Come and check us out.
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.
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).
The USF Chapter of the UFF will award six $ 500 Travel Scholarships for summer and fall. This will be for travel for participation in a professional activity. All applications are due by Wednesday, April 17, and only UFF members are eligible. In addition, no recipient of the 2018 cycles of travel grants is eligible to apply, and members of the Executive Committee are ineligible. The six recipients shall be selected by lot at the April 19 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 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.
Three fifths of the employees in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit are tenured or on tenure track - in fact, a seventh are on tenure track - and for them the stakes are high. So the union has worked to get the tenure process properly defined in the contract.
The tenure process is governed by Article 15 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (see pp. 33 - 36); this agreement is the legally binding contract between the USF Board of Trustees and the employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit. Here are some basic items on the tenure processin the contract:
Tenure denial has always been traumatic, and is getting increasing press. One blogger recommended staying calm, not involving students, documenting everything, and working with your department's chair and senior faculty (if they support you). The blogger also suggested remembering "that many people who do not merit tenure actually do get tenure"; but that may not be as psychologically useful as remembering that many people who do merit tenure don't get it (at first). Famous examples include Stephen Cook, denied tenure from UC Berkeley and went on to essentially launch the most notorious problem in computer science; Martha Nussbaum, denied tenure from Harvard and went on to develop award-winning work in social justice; and Theda Skocpol, a sociologist denied tenure by Harvard (which later hired her back).
In fact, Nature recently ran a career feature on Tenure denial, and how early-career researchers can survive it, subtitled, "Scientists with first-hand experience of rejection offer their advice."
Tenure track faculty should keep in mind that the entire "probationary period" is probationary. As the Biweekly observed, as of three or four years ago, perhaps half the employees hired as tenure track professors ultimately get tenure, and a lot disappear before even coming up. There are lots of reasons why tenure track employees might leave before coming up, and one is non-reappointment, which is why tenure track employees should also pay attention to Article 12 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (see pp. 26 - 28). For example, for a tenure-track assistant professor who has been at USF for less than two years, the Administration must give at least one semester's notice for dismissal; if the tenure-track professor has been here for at least two years, dismissal requires a years' notice.
The USF Chapter has been posting links to Biweekly articles on tenure on the front page of the UFF USF website.
Nathan Johnson is an assistant professor of English. He received a $ 500 travel scholarship to participate in the annual meeting of the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ARSTM). This is his account.
Nathan R. Johnson presented his research on Tampa Bay transportation policy on May 31, 2018 for the ARSTM. ARSTM members conduct research on how groups discuss science, technology, and medicine, and how their language changes the ways people live. His talk was titled Resilient City Planning: Transportation, Social Justice, and Urban Development and was co-presented with USF Associate Professor Meredith A. Johnson. The research talk documented four competing public "imaginaries" predicting Tampa's future that have been used in city planning meetings. Each imaginary has been used to forward different city policies. They named these imaginaries "global cities, government spaces, state ecologies, and localtopia." They ended the presentation by suggesting that sustainable transportation policies should ideally accommodate the goals of each public imaginary. Johnson also took minutes during the ARSTM's business meeting, where he credited UFF's support for his travel.
Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, February 8, at noon, on USF St. Petersburg, in the USC Regatta Room.
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