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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
12 June 2014
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow Noon near USF Tampa at CDB Restaurant

The UFF USF Chapter will meet tomorrow Friday at 12 noon east of USF at CDB Restaurant at 5104 E. Fowler: for a map, click here. There will be pizza, salad, and drinks. All UFF USF employees - UFF members and non-members alike - are invited.

The summer schedule for Chapter Meetings will be on alternate Fridays, at 12 noon, on June 13 & 27, July 11 & 25, and August 8 & 22. Meetings will be at CDB Restaurant.

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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.


Catching Up on State and National News

In this issue, we take a brief look at the newspaper. FSU's search has just collided with a politician, our affiliates have called for a boycott, and the annual AAUP salary survey inspired us to compare USF salaries with those in the invitation-only club we aspire to enter.

  • The Spectacle at FSU. When one of Tallahassee's wire-pullers applied for FSU's presidency, the search committee bent over backwards to accommodate him. Concerned about the committee's spine, the FSU Faculty Senate passed a no confidence resolution. For details, see below or click here.
  • Letter Carriers Call for Boycott of Staples. The post office is experimenting with outsourcing to Staples, and the postal workers' union has called for a boycott. For more, see below or click here.
We continue with another article in our Department of Impasse. This issue, we look at:
  • Faculty Salaries and AAU Membership. The USF Administration has repeatedly proclaimed its ambition to attain AAU membership, and has periodically announced progress towards that goal. We propose a benchmark critical to faculty recruitment, morale, and retention: faculty salaries. For more, see below or click here.

The Spectacle at FSU

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is president of the University of California, former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the president of Purdue University, and a search committee is considering whether to recommend State Senator John Thrasher, former Speaker to the Florida House of Representatives and current Florida Republican Party Chairman, to be the next president of Florida State University.

Thrasher is an FSU alumnus and former chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees. Moreover, the FSU Medical School's building is named after Thrasher (he got rid of the old Board of Regents in order to get the med school), so this is not just some semi-retiring politician randomly choosing a job.

The problem is the search committee. A search committee is supposed to collect applications, and then review their credentials, and then interview the top candidates, and then make its recommendations to the board. But when Thrasher was nominated, the committee decided to pause the application-collecting to interview Thrasher. But there was a ruckus, including:

  • First, the FSU Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida declared that UFF-FSU Has "Lost Confidence" in Presidential Search Process. The Chapter called for replacing the search firm, expanding the search committee, and fixing a timeline for the search.
  • Next, the FSU Faculty Senate declared that "we have lost confidence in ... [the] search process." The senate called for a "return to an open search" with an application deadline in early September, with the three top candidates to be invited to FSU shortly thereafter, followed by a meeting of the search committee to vote on a recommendation to the Board.
So the search committee decided not to pause the search after all. (There also seemed to be some problems with the headhunter firm FSU hired - who has just quit.)

Politicians have been retiring to academia for eons, and some of Thrasher's colleagues thought that Thrasher would make a good fit. But the meltdown has severely damaged the credibility of the process, and may have compromised whoever gets hired.

Letter Carriers Call for Boycott of Staples

Staples and the United States Postal Service (USPS) have a deal for you. Instead of taking your packages to the post office to mail, you can mail them at (a participating) Staples store instead.

Both Staples and the United States Postal Service have had some financial issues lately, and the Boston Globe reported that [t]he long-troubled United States Postal Service was teaming up with equally distressed retailer Staples Inc. to offer mail services in 82 of its office supply stores. Staples wanted to attract customer traffic and the USPS was delighted to outsource business to workers who get one-third the pay.

The United States Postal Service is unionized, but Staples is not (did I mention their relative pay?). The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) called for a boycott of Staples, a call endorsed by the AFL-CIO, which is the umbrella for one of UFF's two national affiliates, the American Federation of Teachers.

Three observations.

  1. This is an example of the importance of affiliates. Just as our affiliates have helped us when we were in trouble (Thrasher and Governor Bush hoped to get rid of the United Faculty of Florida as well as get FSU its med school), so the APWU is getting help from its affiliates when they need help.
  2. While a full-time postal clerk may earn $ 50,000 a year, a Staples clerk may earn $ 17,500; such is the difference a union can make.
  3. The USPS's financial problems arise from Congress's inability to recognize that USPS has a mission distinct from any private company, which you can see buried at the bottom of the USPS's announcement of the joint venture with Staples: "A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 152 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses ...".

Department of Impasse

Faculty Salaries and AAU Membership

The American Association of Universities (AAU) is an association of America's (US and Canadian) premier academic institutions. At least, they collectively get the lion's share of external funding for research. AAU membership means that you have made it. Certainly, USF's Board and Administration think so: AAU membership is mentioned five times in USF's current strategic plan.

The Strategic Plan is big on benchmarks, so what benchmark might we use to measure progress towards membership?

The University of South Florida is its faculty. Faculty teach, mentor, and advise the students. Faculty conduct the research that leads to publications, patents, and applications that benefit the community. And faculty conduct much of the administration (which is called "service"). To progress towards AAU membership, USF must recruit outstanding faculty, USF must maintain the high levels of morale necessary for high performance, and USF must retain faculty in the face of headhunting by industry and competing institutions (including AAU members who have poached - er, hired away - USF faculty).

We propose a benchmark on faculty recruitment, retention, and morale. How does USF's pay compare to those of AAU members?

We looked at the American Association of University Professors' (AAUP) Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession. This year, 1,156 institutions provided information to the AAUP, so we can use AAUP's report on 2013 - 2014 salaries.

Private institutions are different from public ones (they keep more secrets and pay better), so we focus on the 34 public universities in the AAU. 33 of these were among the 1,156 institutions that provided information to the AAUP; information on these institutions is probably most readily obtained via the Chronicle of Higher Education's portal.

From the information provided by USF, the AAUP reported that:

  • The average USF full professor's salary was $ 111,600. This put USF at the 28th percentile of all doctoral institutions covered by the survey. (Incidentally, at this rank, women made 85.9 % of what men did.)
    Of the 33 reporting and public members of the AAU, average salaries for full professors ranged from $ 114,100 to $ 173,900, with a median (half above and half below) being $ 136,700. USF's average salary for full professors is below that of all AAU members, and over $ 25,000 less than the median..
  • The average USF associate professor's salary was $ 81,200. This again put USF in the 28th percentile of surveyed doctoral institutions. (Interestingly, women at this rank made 95.2 % of what men made.)
    Of the 33 reporting and public members of the AAU, average salaries for associate professors ranged from $ 78,200 to $ 111,800, with a median of $ 93,000. Yes, we beat the University of Missouri; the other 32 paid more than USF did.
  • The average USF assistant professor's salary was $ 69,000. This put USF in the 24th percentile of surveyed doctoral institutions. (Women at this rank made 94.4 % of what men did.)
    Of the 33 reporting and public members of the AAU, average salaries for assistant professors ranged from $ 64,700 to $ 99,200, with a median of $ 81,600. 32 may pay better than USF does, but we beat Missouri again! Bulls beat Tigers!
  • The average USF instructor's salary was $ 50,600. This may be generous: this put us in the 40th percentile of all reporting doctoral institutions. On the other hand, lots of places (including Missouri) had "N/A" for instructors, so who knows? (Meanwhile, women's salaries at this rank fell to 88.6 % of men's.)
    Only 22 of the 33 reporting and public members of the AAU provided information on instructors, and of these, average salaries ranged from $ 37,200 to $ 107,300, with a median of $ 53,100. Seven of those 22 public AAU institutions pay less than USF. Are we doing better on instructor salaries, or are they doing worse?
The Board can rest easy. Thank heavens for Missouri!


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, June 13, at 12 noon at CDB Restaurant at 5104 E. Fowler Ave., just east of USF Tampa..

There will be pizza, salad, 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.

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