Date: April 17, 2013
To: Members of the UCLA Faculty Association
From: Steven Lippman, Chair, and the UCLA Faculty Association Executive Board
RE: Substantial Changes in the UCLA FA
Bottom Line: Members have two choices: Remain a member of a reorganized FA or resign your membership
The UCLA Faculty Association has served the faculty well since 1973. The FA has represented you to the University Administration at the campus and systemwide level and to the government of the state on a wide variety of issues. A few years ago, we had a successful meeting in Sacramento with the Legislative Analyst¹s Office (LAO) that resulted in the state (or at least the LAO) recommending that the state re-assume responsibility for contributions to UCRS.
We operated within a political structure and a campus climate that no longer obtains. With the exception of this topic, the fate of UCRP, FA activities over the past few years have become limited to our Blog site (of which we are very proud) and an occasional campus event, often poorly attended. Our membership now numbers about 225 plus 75 emeriti.
We are an aging organization. Many members of the current Executive Board are retired or near retirement. The UCLA FA is in need of either a quiet burial with high honors for past achievements or new blood. During many Executive Board discussions of the changing environment, a new group of seven (names listed below) has stepped forward with the idea of reviving the existing organization and taking it in a new direction. Toby Higbie, one member of this group, is currently on the Executive Board, three others are former members of the Board, and three are new to the UCLA FA.
This new group believes it can be effective in addressing certain administrative initiatives presently underway, for instance, the question of on-line instruction. They believe they can build a deeper community among faculty by making the FA more of an activist organization. This new group has also been exploring whether it is in the interest of the UCLA FA to merge with AAUP or CUCFA (a system-wide group of UC Faculty Associations), but that is a matter to be taken up in the future. Note: a brief statement of goals is included below.
As a Board, we take no official position on this change. It is, however, important to us to inform members about this proposed change in leadership and in focus. Those members receiving this email can decide either to give this new group an opportunity to revitalize the UCLA Faculty Association with their continued support or to resign. If it is the former option, then you can sit tight and see how this new group represents faculty interests. If it is the latter route you wish to take, then fill out the form below for canceling payroll deductions.
If any FA member would like to join this new Board, please let us know by
writing to Susan Gallick at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The FA also welcomes any feedback you have regarding the issues touched upon in this memo.
Chair, UCLA FA
and the Current Executive Board
- Michael Allen (English)
- Ian Coulter (Dentistry-Public Health)
- Sheila Greibach (Emeritus, Math)
- Tobias Higbie (History)
- Jody Kreiman (Surgery-Head & Neck)
- Thomas Liggett (Emeritus, Math)
- Michael Lofchie (Political Science)
- John Merriam, Mol Cell Dvlmt Biology
- Daniel Mitchell (Emeritus, Management, Public Affairs, Blog Master)
- Karen Orren (Political Science)
- Dwight Read (Emeritus, Anthropology)
- Stephen Cederbaum (Emeritus Rep., Psychia.)
Individuals who will join the UCLA FA Executive Board after June 30, 2013
- Jean-François Blanchette (Information Science)
- Phil Bonacich (Sociology)
- Christian Haesemeyer (Math)
- Tobias Higbie (History)
- Michael Meranze (History)
- Malina Stefanovska (French)
- Roger Waldinger (Sociology)
UCLA Faculty Association: A Statement of Modest Goals
1. We support the continued existence of the UCLA Faculty Association. We believe there are a number of difficult issues that an organization acting outside of (and at times in collaboration with) the Academic Senate may usefully address.
2. Among these issues are the rapid expansion of online education, the impact of budget austerity on the teaching and research environment, legislative and political challenges to the faculty role in defining the curriculum, and the need for greater communication among faculty about these and other issues. We do not expect to resolve these issues. We do believe an organization is a necessary resource for effective faculty participation in the ongoing debate about the future of public higher education in California.
3. We support the return of the FA to electing its leadership on the basis of membership votes. Our goal is to find more faculty members who will step up to leadership, and we want to hold elections as soon as practical.
4. We sense a deep lack of community among UCLA faculty. We want to find ways to build faculty community and we believe the Faculty Association could be one vehicle for this goal.
5. In the service of these goals we hope to cultivate dialogue among faculty about the state of the university, to bring new members to the Faculty Association, to deepen the engagement of current members, and to work with other groups to further the interests of UCLA faculty.