Nevada Faculty Alliance
 

NFA News Archive

  • 15 Sep 2016 10:45 AM | David Steel (Administrator)

    The NFA southern PAC has been active this election cycle, interviewing and endorsing candidates.

    PAC members have questioned candidates on issues relating to higher education, from funding, including faculty pay, to the potential restructuring of NSHE. So far, SPAC endorsed candidates, all of whom have spoken face-to-face with PAC members, include: 


    Senate:

    Joyce Woodhouse

    Nicole Cannizzaro

    Alexander Marks

    Aaron Ford

    Tick Segerblom


    Assembly:

    Ozzie Fumo

    Elliot Anderson

    Nelson Araujo

    Tyrone Thompson

    Steve Yeager

    Lesley Cohen

    Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod

    John Piro

    Jason Frierson

    Ellen Spiegel

    Chris Brooks

    William McCurdy II


    The NFA northern PAC has also been active. We will be releasing a full list of endorsements prior to the election.

  • 18 Aug 2016 4:59 PM | David Steel (Administrator)

    Cross-posted from NFA-UNLV blog:

    http://nfaunlv.blogspot.com/2016/08/nfa-unlv-table-at-new-faculty.html

  • 17 Aug 2016 5:28 PM | David Steel (Administrator)

    The Nevada State College NFA Chapter has launched a new chapter website. It can be found at: http://www.nfa-nsc.org/

  • 11 Jul 2016 10:46 AM | David Steel (Administrator)

    The results of the bylaws election are in, and the revisions have passed with 93% voting "yes." Thanks to all who took the time to look over the changes and vote on this matter.

  • 22 Jun 2016 6:34 PM | David Steel (Administrator)
    The NFA State Board has initiated a full membership election to ratify changes to the NFA bylaws. These changes were approved unanimously by the NFA State Board at the Spring 2016 meeting.

    The election will be held shortly. A two thirds majority "yes" vote will be required to enact the changes. On behalf of the State Board, I encourage everyone to vote.

    Changes and explanation:

    Article V.F.2, Quorum: Currently, a requirement for a quorum is one board member from the universities, one from the community colleges, and one from the state college. This has proved problematic because there is only one state college, meaning that the absence of one individual could prevent a quorum. The proposed amendment is to change this requirement to one board member from a northern institution and one from a southern institution.

    Article V.B, Composition of the Board: The proposed amendment moves legal defense coordinator, legal defense evaluator, and past president from voting to non-voting members of the State Board. This was felt appropriate because none of these positions derive from a current election. They are preserved as non-voting members of the Board because they can offer valuable insight and continuity of experience.

    Article V.D, Vacancies: The proposed amendment clarifies that vacancy in the Chapter President position is to be filled by the chapter itself, and not the State Board. This is current practice but the wording in the bylaws was unclear. It also clarifies that vacancies in the State Executive Board are to be filled by the Executive Board itself, also current practice.

    VII.D, VII.F, VII.G, Committees: These are various tweaks to committee composition, intended to make the committees more functional.

    You can view the full text of the bylaws, with the proposed additions in red and deletions struck through, by clicking the following:

    NFA Bylaws with Proposed Revision 6 19 2016.doc


  • 08 Jun 2016 3:00 PM | David Steel (Administrator)

    After the last legislative session, NFA applauded the compensation increases that were given for faculty, while stressing the need for full funding of merit, as had been our position during the session. We argued that if the state did not fund merit, the system or the institutions should.

    The following was NFA testimony to the Regents, delivered by NFA President Jim Strange shortly after the end of the legislative session. We continue to adhere to this position and fight for merit.

    Statement:

    The Nevada Faculty Alliance urges the NSHE Board of Regents, Chancellor Klaich and the Institution presidents to fund a 2.5% merit increase for NSHE professional staff for each year of the coming biennium. Awarding of merit should proceed according to policies approved at each institution. Awarding of meritshould under no circumstances be detrimental to existing professional positions.

    • Since 2008, NSHE professional staff have endured reduced salaries due to reductions to base pay, furloughs, and a lack of merit pay funding or COLA, while experiencing higher workload.

    • All NSHE employees should be treated equally in terms of merit funding. Nevada classified employees received a merit (step) increase of 2.5% in each year of the coming biennium, whereas NSHE professionals received no merit increase. Awarding merit unequally to NSHE employees will not be beneficial to morale, and could negatively impact our service to students and communities.

    • As Nevada recovers economically, it’s only fair for NSHE professionals be recognized and compensated for their sacrifices during the recession.

    • Nevada is losing its regional competitiveness in its ability to attract and retain high quality professional staff. This has left NSHE institutions at risk of not achieving the levels of student success, transformational research, commercialization of technologies and workforce development which are crucial to Nevada’s economic future.

    • Community college faculty have recently moved from the traditional step system for salaries, and revised evaluation systems to accommodate a true merit-based salary system. Failing to award merit in the first year of full implementation of the new true merit system would be detrimental to morale and call into question the validity of the new system.  

  • 18 Apr 2016 2:39 PM | David Steel (Administrator)

    In an election held in late March and early April, full-time faculty at College of Southern Nevada voted for collective bargaining, 263-126. On April 15th, the American Arbitration Association counted the votes and certified the result.

    "We are very proud and excited that our colleagues at the College of Southern Nevada have chosen to stand together and form a union with AAUP. We look forward to working with them to ensure faculty has a strong voice on campus," commented Howard Bunsis, Chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress.

    "We look forward to sitting down at the table with the administration in the fall to discuss faculty working conditions and student learning conditions," said David Steel, NFA-AAUP Executive Director.

  • 14 Oct 2015 1:17 PM | David Steel (Administrator)

    NFA Position on Part-Time Faculty


    Whereas part-time faculty contribute professional knowledge and experience in their disciplines to higher education in Nevada, provide vital support to students’ learning and degree-seeking or other program-completion goals, and collaborate with full-time faculty and other NSHE colleagues in common cause to fulfill their institutions’ mission; yet, whereas in recent decades, part-time faculty have seen greater institutional reliance on their services be rewarded by increasing levels of economic exploitation and unprofessional treatment accompanied by decreasing levels of work and career support; and, whereas this widening gap of inequities dividing part-time and full-time faculty threatens the commonality of professional interests shared by all classifications of faculty--academic freedom, shared governance, protection of tenure rights, and employment due process--

    Be it resolved that Nevada Faculty Alliance will advocate on behalf of part-time faculty by promoting on campus, before the Regents, and in the state legislature those policies, programs, and values that will improve pay, working conditions, and other key aspects of contingent employment in NSHE colleges and universities. NFA further resolves to invite its part-time faculty members into the advocacy process, as consultants and voters in determining priorities for activism, and to represent agreed-upon proposals as a strong voice for our colleagues who, in just concern for reprisal or retribution against them for supporting their own cause, are willing to be so represented. NFA believes that strengthening our alliance with part-time faculty can in time reverse the trend in NSHE toward hiring disproportionately high numbers of non-tenure-track faculty and will preserve the traditional model and values of tenure, the keystone to academic freedom in higher education.

    In accordance with this resolution, we adopt the following five-point program as a guide to our advocacy work on behalf of part-time faculty employed at NSHE institutions:


    Pay

    1. Part-time faculty salaries should be incrementally raised until such time as part-time faculty are paid a salary proportional to that paid full-time tenure-track faculty of the same qualifications for the same classroom work, bearing in mind that full-time faculty perform numerous non-teaching duties. If part-time faculty are required to do non-teaching work, they should be compensated for those tasks


    Working conditions

    2. Part-time faculty should receive a full orientation and should be eligible for professional development opportunities. They should be provided suitable office space, office supplies, and library and other campus privileges, and should have access to secretarial and technological support services including computers and copying machines. Part-time faculty may have to cobble together several jobs to sustain themselves and, therefore, NSHE institutions should provide them with priority parking or discounts on parking permits where appropriate to help offset their time demands and to help them meet their teaching duties


    Categorization

    3. Part-time faculty should be defined as employees of the college or university, not as independent contractors. Accordingly, they should have unemployment insurance available to them when they are not on the college payroll.


    Seniority

    4. Part-time faculty who have passed a probationary period should achieve a form of seniority, including longer contracts and priority in class assignment over less senior part-time/adjunct faculty. Part-time faculty with a successful track record in teaching should be given special consideration in evaluation for full-time positions for which they are qualified.


    Collective bargaining

    5. Part-time faculty should have the right to choose collective bargaining.  


  • 14 Sep 2015 4:30 PM | David Steel (Administrator)

    Nevada Faculty Alliance

    Statement on the Proposal to Reduce the Notice of Dismissal of

    Administrative Faculty

     

    Glenn C. Miller, President, UNR Nevada Faculty Alliance, for the

    Nevada Chapter of the Faculty Alliance

     

    The NSHE Regent Agenda lists a discussion item regarding the reduction of notice for dismissal ofadministrative faculty from up to a year to 30 to 45 days.   The Nevada Faculty Alliance strongly opposes this change in policy for the following reasons.

     

    1.  Administrative faculty are critical to the functioning of each unit of the NSHE and need to have the ability to make decisions and recommendations that are thoughtful and independent, even if they do not always agree with the respective central administration.   Administrative faculty are highly trained professionals and the decision on whether they should be terminated should have a high barrier.  Most go through national searches, and can be dismissed early following their hiring, or even later if severe issues arise, similar to academic faculty.   But, reducing their job security based on the whim of an upper administrator is entirely wrong.   These people have functions that are critically important in many functions of the university, from protecting students from harm, or ensuring that we are in compliance with local, state and federal laws.    We should not have them looking around to determine if they are going to do something that is not supported by the upper administration, and have a threat of being dismissed within 30-45 days.

     

    2.   What is the problem that is being solved by this new dismissal policy?   This has worked well for many years, although we know that the administration of several (if not all) of the NSHE units would have liked to have this policy in place during the difficult recession times.   But, we survived those very difficult times, and there is no reason to change the policy at this time.    For the remainingadministrative faculty on state-funded positions who make decisions that are critical to the operation of the university, we need to maintain a high barrier for their dismissal.   30-45 days is not a high barrier.

     

    3.   Hiring highly qualified people in these positions will be increasingly difficult if they are subject to the whims of the upper administrations.   While a president, provost or dean may be in their positions for a long time, they change on a regular basis, and a highly qualified person may be reluctant to come to UNR if they know they can be dismissed on a whim in 30-45 days for no reason if a new supervisor is hired.   The best people will come to the best institutions of higher education when they know they will have time to find a new position of the current position is untenable.  If there is not security in a position, then they simply are unlikely to come to units of the NSHE.

     

    4.  This policy change will increase the ability of the central administration of each unit to increase what faculty perceive as a top-down management style.   If administrative faculty need to look over their shoulder each time to determine if their decisions are supported by the upper administration, they are unlikely to make difficult decisions that are correct, but controversial.   At UNR when the funding formulas were changed and now depend on student tuition, many administrative faculty were converted from a 1 year dismissal policy to 30-45 day.  We have seen administrative faculty dismissed following that conversion.  Two examples- one was the very able legal staff who helped faculty secure patents for intellectual property.   They went form 1 year dismissals to 30 day dismissal contracts, although they were generously give 60 day dismissals.    One administrative faculty member who had worked for 25 years in the seismology department came up against a new administration, and she was dismissed with the simple statement that the funds supporting her position were being redirected.   She had never been criticized for her scientific ability or her work ethic, but had a strong personality.   She was dismissed under the 30 day policy. 

     

    The regents simply should not change the policy for new administrative faculty.   It is contrary to the notion that a unit of Nevada’s higher education system has independent minds working for teaching, research and service to one that has a top down management with narrow vision that one view of the world is how higher education will be delivered.    Diversity of opinion is a critical component of higher education and we all need to protect this core vision.


  • 01 Jul 2015 6:45 PM | David Steel (Administrator)

    "I would like to thank you and the other members of the NFA leadership for the advice and counsel during the last academic year regarding Faculty-in-Residence workload issues.  I appreciated receiving objective and fact-based opinions that assisted in resolving the issue amicably."  


    Prof X, UNLV


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