News

Upcoming Event

AAUP forum on faculty rights in context of Palestine work

Friday, March 8 / 3:30 PM

An AAUP-sponsored Interactive Panel Discussion

Featuring

Smadar Ben-Natan and Liora Halperin

1.  Understand the context of past and ongoing attacks on university faculty, staff, and students over issues pertaining to Israel/Palestine speech and scholarship.

2.  Learn about Academia for Equality, an Israeli organization of academics, who collectively promote democratization, equality and access to higher education, resist the silencing of critical voices and complicity with injustices in academia.

3.  Survive doxxing and other attacks on academic freedom and learn what we can do as a community to protect ourselves and our rights.

REGISTER FOR ZOOM EVENT:

 https://washington.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAocu-grTsiHtH8YRvlRfUtP6hy5lotY-iM

AAUP-UW STATE OF THE FACULTY REPORT 2023

On our UW-AAUP faculty listserv, we often touch on issues related to salary, equity, and other aspects of working conditions for faculty at UW. The UW AAUP chapter is more than 100 years old and has served countless faculty by advocating for their rights both individually and collectively in relation to tenure, promotion, academic freedom, shared governance, and due process. While some AAUP chapters across the U.S. serve as faculty union collective bargaining units, ours has been an “advocacy” chapter with members who elect to pay dues and/or join our email listserv to participate in conversations on matters of concern to faculty.

In this report, we draw on a range of publicly available data to offer a big picture – a snapshot of where we are and where we seem to be going. UW salaries are low; we know that. But how exactly are we doing relative to our peers? The UW has an institutional responsibility to value the role of every faculty member. How well does it meet this obligation? How many of us still carry the protections of tenure – and how many don’t? At what pace and at what cost are the administrative ranks increasing? In the last decade, how much progress has the UW made on achieving gender parity and racial equity? These are some of the questions our report addresses.

DOWNLOAD REPORT HERE

VIEW FORUM VIDEO HERE

News report on retirement contribution snafu, from Profesor Marshall Horwitz (School of Medicine):

See attached UW internal audit, which recently concluded with three findings:

“The Internal Revenue Code annual contribution limits were exceeded for certain UWRP and VIP participants and the excess contributions were not timely detected and corrected.”

“Contributions for certain VIP participants were calculated in Workday at a percentage or dollar amount that differed from the employee election in the Fidelity files. Additionally, we noted elections in Workday that were not in the Fidelity election files and vice versa.”

“Certain UWRP and VIP contributions did not appear to be calculated in accordance with the plan provisions.”

If the findings can be believed, about 6% of the approximately 7,300 plan participants (~440) did not receive expected contributions. (The report says 5%; I am told it is 6%. The UW’s definition of “expected” remains elusive.)

Some people received too little; others received more than the IRS allows.

Facuty Discipline & Disputes policy

AAUP forum on faculty discipline and disputes, and the failure of efforts to revise faculty code to improve these procedures, held 19 April 2023, is now on YouTube:

UPDATE: on the below discussion re. merit reviews and salary distribution. At its April 6, 2023, meeting, the UW faculty senate voted to send the legislation back to the Faculty Committee on Faculty Affairs for further work. That was the recommendation of the AAUP board, and we are delighted at this outcome.

Further good news from the 4/6 meeting: our own AAUP member and board member, Professor Louisa Mackenzie, was elected to the Senate’s Vice-Chair Position for the 2023-2024 year (previewing her stepping into the chair position in 2024).

On Thu, Mar 30, 2023 at 8:00 PM James N. Gregory <gregoryj@uw.edu> wrote:

A conversation about the UW faculty Senate Class A legislation on the faculty merit/salary system, April 2023

Next Thursday (4/6/2023), the faculty senate will vote on a drastic revision of the faculty merit/salary system. Please pay attention. It will affect all of us. 
The proposal is derived from the UC Berkeley system where every two or three years all faculty undergo a performance review. I recognize the formula because I earned tenure at Berkeley. But this is an alarmingly deficient version. Deficient because in the UC version, successful performance reviews lead to a guaranteed salary increase of at least $4000 (and up to $15,000 at the full professor level). The guaranteed increases are listed in this published schedule
The proposal coming to the Senate includes no commitments about raises. 
And it is also deficient in another way.  We will face annual reviews in addition to the 3-year reviews. At Berkeley (and other UC campuses) there are no annual reviews. All faculty receive a cost-of-living increase. Imagine that! 
So what will this mean? Professor Vigdor and the Provost Richards think that in addition to the 2% which will go to those who pass the annual “ordinary” review, a faculty-wide total of another 1-2% may be available for “extraordinary” raises. That is not much. The strenuous three-year performance reviews will be very strenuous indeed if the majority of faculty are rejected and condemned to a perpetual cycle of 2% salary decreases. 
I know the current salary system is an abomination. We endure annual reviews only to earn 2% raises some years, 0% others, and modest sums doled out to departments under the labels “extra merit” or “unit adjustment” when we are lucky. If the new proposal promised to add money to the current system, I would support it. But it doesn’t. It merely rearranges the categories while adding an onerous new level of performance reviews.  
EQUITY 
The proposal strips away language about compression and equity. Read the track changes and see how language about compression and equity in the current merit review is deleted (lines 65-67). Under the current system, departments like mine have tried to fight compression by allocating the occasional pots of extra money (extra merit, unit adjustment) for that purpose. But the proposed system will reduce a department’s ability to do that or anything else. Salary issues will be decided by deans not departments. This is not stated outright. You need to read the code revisions closely to see how that will happen.  
Here is how things will work in practice: All funds beyond 2% will be siphoned into the “extraordinary” category. Where until now we have occasionally received extra merit and unit adjustment funds, those will disappear. And to pool money for extraordinary raises, the provost will decide that “ordinary” means 2% and only 2%, year after year. 
SERVICE BURDEN 
Finally think about the added service burden on senior colleagues who will be called upon to conduct these performance reviews, rigorous reviews for 1/3 of the department each year. And think about the new responsibilities for department chairs. Notice the 78 lines of code specifying the duties of department chairs to meet with each person under review, to provide detailed feedback and instructions about future duties, and then to write and share a careful account of the meeting and expectations. And those reviewed have the right to appeal an evaluation after which colleges must appoint an ad hoc committee of full professors (more service) to review the matter. See lines 235 to 313 of Section 24-57.   
This proposal is badly conceived and ripe with unintended consequences.  The Berkeley model of strenuous performance evaluations works because it delivers promised raises. To impose it without similar resources would be cruel and disastrous. 
Please contact your faculty senator and ask them to vote against this legislation.  
https://www.washington.edu/faculty/senate/issues/
https://apo.berkeley.edu/compensation/currentcompensation

 Jim
James N. Gregory
———————–
Professor, History
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-7792
http://faculty.washington.edu/gregoryj/
_______________________________________________
AAUP-UW FACULTY ISSUES AND CONCERNS listserve
aaup@u.washington.edu
Listserve guidelines and information about AAUP-UW:  http://depts.washington.edu/uwaaup/wordpress/listserver/
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Dear Jim,
Thank you for raising these concerns. I would like to raise a couple issues as well. I’ll try to keep this brief.

On page 2 under the “Background and Rationale” section, it states, “These ratings would help establish a faculty member’s prioritization for salary adjustment via the mechanisms we currently refer to as “extra merit” and “unit adjustment.” Unit adjustments, in particular, may consider equity in addition to performance ratings and this would continue to be the case.” In the next paragraph it states, “Thus faculty at the rank of associate or full receiving an outstanding performance assessment in a year where budget restrictions do not permit the funding of raises beyond merit can continue to be prioritized in the following 1-2 years.”

In the decade that I’ve been at UW, literally no one in my unit has been awarded extra merit (that’s our own doing) and we have never experienced a unit adjustment. In addition, we are always in a position where budgets are restricted. In lean years, they’re restricted. In fat years they are restricted. When enrollment was booming and we had more students than we knew what to do with, we were somehow still in a budget crisis.

So this means in my unit, and units similar to mine, is that we can expect to take a pay cut, in real wages, year over year with no hopes for raises that even come close to cost of living (set aside inflation). Am I correct in this calculation? 

Simon Sinek has a wonderful book called, “Leaders Eat Last,” which means that leaders of organizations make sacrifices before rank and file members. I might feel better about this policy (and policies like this) if our leaders (i.e., administrators) “ate last,” but I suspect that, on average, their pay has not only kept up with inflation, but has surpassed it. 

We, faculty and staff, have been called upon by the administration to make extraordinary sacrifices over the past three years. This seems to be just one more sacrifice that administrators are asking of us that they are unwilling to make themselves.    

******************************************
“I acknowledge that the land on which I live is within the aboriginal territory of the suq̀ʷabš “People of Clear Salt Water” (Suquamish People). Expert fisherman, canoe builders and basket weavers, the suq̀ʷabš live in harmony with the lands and waterways along Washington’s Central Salish Sea as they have for thousands of years. Here, the suq̀ʷabš live and protect the land and waters of their ancestors for future generations as promised by the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855.” Suquamish People
******************************************
Salude,

Charlie R. Collins, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of Washington Bothell
School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Director, Collaboratory for Community Transformation
Zoom Meeting Room: https://washington.zoom.us/j/3414103139
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On Mar 31, 2023, at 9:24 AM, Duane W Storti <storti@uw.edu> wrote:
Kudos to Jim Gregory for another insightful analysis of proposed legislation.

Now allow me to offer a somewhat more emotional perspective. Here is a recounting of my experience reading the proposal:
I read through the initial bland paragraph regarding emeritus status, and then I came to the beginning of the gist which involves revision of Section 24-55 whose current title, “Procedure for Salary Increases Based Upon Merit”, is replaced by “Procedure for Salary Increases Based Upon Annual Review.” The first sentence of that section, which currently reads:

“Faculty at the University of Washington shall be reviewed annually by their colleagues, according to the procedures detailed in this section, to evaluate their merit and to arrive at a recommendation for an appropriate merit salary increase.”

was changed by striking out the second comma and everything after it to become:

“Faculty at the University of Washington shall be reviewed annually by their colleagues, according to the procedures detailed in this section.”

The effect of this change is to wipe out the last vestige of recommendations by faculty of salary increases to address merit, including equity considerations. The faculty role in making salary increase recommendations is something that faculty worked long and hard to establish, and this proposal would give it away for no good reason.

At that point, I thought the proposal was a joke. 

Not only does it eradicate the role of the faculty in merit and equity recommendations, it eradicates the merit-based salary system itself; the very system that we have long (and proudly) touted. The one serious problem that the merit-based salary system has suffered from is underfunding, and this proposal does nothing to address that issue.

But despite what I see as no real upside and ample downside, the Senate Executive Committee has acted to forward this proposal to the Senate for consideration without crucial amendments that Jim submitted that could have made the proposal at least palatable.

The bottom line is that if this proposal is not a bad joke, it is at least a very bad deal. I join in urging you to learn what is in the proposal and to contact your senator about voting to prevent enactment.

Sincerely,
Duane Storti
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
UW-Seattle 
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On Mar 31, 2023, at 3:03 PM, Pedro J Verdugo <verdugo@uw.edu> wrote:

How about proposing a periodical performance evaluation of all administrators every 3 years, conducted by a panel of full professors? With the authority to recommend even  dismissals of people like the collection of itinerant Presidents we suffer for ten or more consecutive years, or of chaps like Richards for that matter?
History demonstrate that the UW attained an extraordinary degree of faculty excellence without the need of input from imported administrators. It’s time to reconnect with our roots; when the government of the UW was in the hands of our colleagues, not of foreigners with initiative. 
Pedro
Pedro Verdugo MD FRSC
Emeritus Professor
Depts. of Internal Medicine & Bioengineering
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On Mar 31, 2023, at 6:57 PM, Eva Cherniavsky (president of the AAUP chapter) wrote:

Dear Colleagues, 
My thanks to Jim Gregory, Charlie Collins, and Duane Storti for their astute and cogent analyses of the Class A legislation regarding the faculty merit/salary system. 
Our current salary “system” (if it even merits that designation) is an affront:  every year, we work to document merit in order to receive less than a cost-of-living increase.   I did not think it was possible to come up with anything worse, until I read the proposed legislation.  
I won’t repeat what has already been so well said, but I do want to summarize some main take-aways. 
·         The proposed legislation leaves the current review process in place.  (It merely substitutes the word “satisfactory” for the word “merit.” 
·         On top of the existing structure of annual reviews, it imposes mandatory Career Development Reviews (CDRs)– annually for assistant professors, ever two years for associates, and every three for full.  Depending on the composition of a department faculty, somewhere between half to a third will undergo this considerably more arduous review in any given year. 
·         The payoff for this extraordinary workload escalation:   exactly nothing.    A CDR that determines “outstanding performance” means that the faculty member is “prioritized” for an extraordinary salary increase.   Outstanding performance makes you eligible for an “extraordinary” (more than 2%) raise If there’s money in the budget.  But as Charlie points out, there simply never is.   Inasmuch as the gambit is to fund these “extraordinary” raises with a faculty-wide total of another 1%-2%, then, as Jim correctly observes, the majority of faculty in line for such raises will be turned down. 
In my view, the weakness of the proposal – and, indeed, the real damage it threatens to inflict – cannot be addressed via tweaks and amendments.   It should be voted down.   Administrators and faculty leaders invested in repairing our broken salary system need to go back to the drawing board and come up with something that is actually reparative.   An unfunded version of the UC review system, layered on top of our current annual review, is the worst of all possible worlds. 
Respectfully, Eva 
Eva Cherniavsky
Andrew R. Hilen Professor of American Studies
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English 
Box 354330
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
https://washington.zoom.us/j/9500707851
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On Apr 1, 2023, at 3:28 PM, Jack Lee <johnmlee@uw.edu> wrote:

Dear colleagues,

I’d like to offer a little historical perspective on the proposed revisions to the merit review process. (This message is kind of long, so for those who want the punch line up front, I recommend voting against it.)

The faculty senate and the UW AAUP chapter have been sounding alarms since the mid-1990s about the dysfunctionality of our faculty salary system. The basic problem was then, and I think still is, that we hire new faculty members at competitive market salaries, but then raises over the course of most faculty members’ careers are too small, with the result that most senior faculty members end up with salaries that are far below peer averages, and often barely higher than the initial salaries of new assistant professors (the problem of “compression”).

The first attempt to address the problem was when the current salary and merit review system was enacted, around 2000. That policy is the result of extensive negotiations between the faculty senate and the administration — the administration (and the state government) wanted some form of post-tenure review, while the faculty senate wanted some commitment to regular salary increases for those whose reviews deemed them to be meritorious. The result was the current code language mandating annual merit reviews coupled to at least 2% annual raises supplemented when possible by other kinds of raises (“additional merit” and “unit adjustments”). It was very clear to the faculty who passed the policy that this was a quid-pro-quo agreement.

That policy was a step in the right direction. But the first decade’s worth of experience proved that the mandated raises were still far too small to address the compression problem, as well as exposing a number of other problems with the policy, including widespread resentment of the annual review process that too often resulted in zero or trivial additional raises, over-reliance on pre-emptive retention raises to get around the faculty’s role in deciding how to allocate available salary funds, and too many opportunities for even the inadequate 2% to be canceled.

The situation came to a head around 2011, when, after several years of salary freezes and minuscule raises, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling on then-President Young to establish a task force to design a “sound and fair faculty salary policy.” The task force consisted of six faculty members appointed by the faculty senate leadership, and six administrators appointed by the president (including then-Provost Ana Mari Cauce). I ended up co-chairing the task force along with Bob Stacey, then dean of CAS. 

After four years of work, that task force proposed a major revision to our salary and merit-review procedures, which you can read about here. The main ingredients were (1) annual cost-of-living raises based on CPI, (2) 12% promotion raises, (3) significant performance reviews only every four years on average, (4) a system of “tiers” (more or less like the UC’s “steps”), with tier advancements occurring every four years on average (faster for those whose performance reviews are very high, slower for those whose performance is rated lower), and coming with 8% raises on top of the CPI adjustments. In addition, there was a flexible category called “variable raises” that could be used in various ways if funds were available, and some procedures whereby the president, in consultation with the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, could lessen or postpone parts of the mandated raises in times of severe financial distress (without which the regents would never have agreed to the policy). 

Our task force did extensive financial modeling, based on detailed data about UW faculty salaries coupled with all the data we could find from peer institutions. From that modeling we drew a few crucial conclusions: (1) The amount of additional funds going into the UW salary pool each year, on a percentage basis, was essentially identical to the corresponding average amount at peer institutions (this is visible in the fact that while our salaries were not catching up with peers over time, they weren’t falling farther behind either); (2) The mandated raises in our proposed system could be funded without any increase in the overall additional funds going into salaries annually (the main source of additional funds would be a vast decrease in the need for retention raises); and (3) with as little as an extra 0.5% per year invested in “variable raises,” the system would not cure existing compression but could ensure that the next generation of faculty members will not experience the same level of compression.

Our philosophy was that hundreds of little decisions are made each year by the president, the provost, and the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting about how to allocate each new chunk of funds that comes in from the legislature, tuition, and other sources, and our goal in codifying the various mandated raises was to put a thumb on the scale when those decisions are made. Instead of raises being the last thing funded after allocating money to other priorities (new programs, new buildings, new administrative positions, etc.), funding for the salary system would have to be one of the first things allocated. I was also told by a state legislator that this kind of system might actually influence state appropriations by establishing regular raises as a necessary expense rather than as an optional afterthought.

In the end, the senate passed the policy, but the faculty voted it down. (My own explanation for why that happened was that faculty and deans in most of the professional schools, which were much less afflicted by compression, didn’t see much advantage to the policy, and managed to convince enough other faculty members that the proposal was too complicated and labor-intensive to justify the anticipated advantages. But others may have different analyses.)

Anyway, I’m not writing to try to convince you to revisit our salary proposal. Instead, my point is this: The current proposal is all about strengthening the performance review system without any corresponding strengthening of the tools to fight salary compression. The special committee that developed this proposal made the point that it is not within the authority of the faculty to make more money available for salaries. This is certainly true. However, the experience of both the 2000 proposal and our 2016 proposal demonstrates that it is within the faculty’s authority (subject of course to presidential approval) to stipulate how salary funds are distributed, and this can have an effect on how much money goes to salaries as opposed to other priorities. President Cauce (she was president by the time our salary policy came to a vote) said she would sign our proposal if the faculty passed it, so such priority changes are not outside the realm of possibility. 

I’m no longer eligible to vote. But if I were, I would vote against this proposal, and I encourage you to do so too. If there is going to be a major overhaul of faculty performance reviews, it’s in the best interest of the faculty to ensure that it’s coupled with an overhaul of the salary system that might finally start making progress against compression.

Stay well,
Jack Lee
_______________________________________________
John M Lee, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics 
Box 354350, University of Washington 
Seattle, WA 98195-4350
johnmlee@uw.edu
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On Apr 1, 2023, at 10:45 PM, Aaron B Katz {he, him, his} <garlyk@uw.edu> wrote:

To state the obvious, in response to Jack Lee’s one point, that “it is not within the authority of the faculty to make more money available for salaries” … it would be within the scope of contractual negotiations if the faculty had a recognized union with such authority.

Aaron

Aaron Katz, Principal Lecturer Emeritus
School of Public Health
University of Washington

On Apr 2, 2023, at 9:47 AM, Robert Wood <robwood2@uw.edu> wrote:
I was a member of the Senate Special Committee on Merit Review (SCMR) that formulated the problem statement that was supposed to inform this new legislation. I felt that the statement produced by the SCMR in December 2022 effectively outlined the major issues with the current merit review process. 

In the feedback from faculty that the SCMR reviewed, the issue that was repeatedly raised is that merit review is never going to be viewed as a legitimate and useful process if it is not tied to meaningful raises. There is nothing in the proposed legislation that addresses this, and there is even less in there about addressing salary compression and inequity than there is in the current (poor) code.
I was actually quite surprised at how quickly this Class A legislation has been drafted following the committee’s report. It doesn’t feel that the proposed legislation actually responds appropriately and effectively to the SCMR committee report. Here is one example from the report: In recent years, funds available to be allocated via merit review have defaulted to uniform raises that most other state employees receive as cost-of-living adjustments. Merit review has even been implemented in a scenario where no funding was available for merit increases. Workload concerns are particularly acute in large departments or reviewing units. I don’t understand how the new legislation addresses any of these issues. There needs to be meaningful funding attached to it, or it will simply make more work for faculty with little reward to show for it. 
Regards
Rob_______________________________________________

Robert WoodProfessor, Atmospheric SciencesDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences,
718 ATG Building University of Washington, SeattleWA 98195-1640


From: AAUP Executive Board, Thursday, February 9, 2023 6:24 PM
To: Faculty Issues and Concerns Listserver
Subject: UW administration’s response to the Class A dispute resolution legislation

Dear Colleagues,

We write to bring to your attention the rather disturbing turn of events with respect to the proposed Class A legislation concerning revisions to the faculty code in matters of dispute resolution.  This legislation has been five years in the making and was intended to address (among other urgent concerns) the power of chairs and deans to unilaterally impose punishment  on faculty, including salary-related penalties.  Remarkably, this piece of legislation has been essentially squashed by President Cauce, who has indicated she would exercise her power of veto if it were brought forward.  The reasons for this decision, detailed in a letter to senate leadership co-signed by President Cauce and Provost Richards, deserve scrutiny.   Clarifying an earlier verbal comment pertaining to the draft legislation’s “fatal flaws,” the letter explains that these flaws consist in proposing the “erosion, degradation, or change in administrative (e.g., Dean, Provostial, Presidential authority” and in “expand[ing] the scope of the term ‘injustice.’”   In the letter, President Cauce and Provost Richards also aver that the draft legislation creates additional burdens on “chairs and faculty,” which may “lead to higher administrative costs.”  

The letter goes on to outline a plan for implementing a handful of modest reforms “that may promote positive outcomes within our existing framework.” (You can see the full text of the letter here). To make these changes, a seven-person working group will be formed, including three members of the Faculty Senate (Mike Townsend, Secretary of the Faculty; Jacob Vigdor, Faculty Legislative Representative; Cynthia Dougherty, Vice Chair of the Senate), and four administrators (Margaret Shepherd, Chief Strategy Officer, Office of the President; Fred Nafukho, incoming Vice Provost for Academic Personnel; Shelley Kostrinsky, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Personnel, and Hilary Godwin, Dean of  the School of Public Health and Chair of the Board of Deans and Chancellors).

We think a few points are worth highlighting.

1.      It would appear that the faculty senate, as the representative of the faculty, has no capacity whatsoever to address administrative overreach,because any effort to abridge, alter, or in any way rethink the scope of administrative power can only occur at the pleasure of the administration.   We can hardly imagine a clearer demonstration of the limitations of what we call “shared governance.”    The extent of faculty power is to make suggestions, which the administration accepts or rejects at will.  This administration regards any proposal to set limits on administrative power as “fatally flawed.”

2.      UW-AAUP is routinely called on to support colleagues embroiled in disciplinary and grievance processes.  Based on our experience, we can attest that the proposed new process could hardly be more burdensome and punitive to faculty than what is currently in place.  The real concern would seem to pertain to “administrative costs.” It is worth considering when cost is cited as an impediment – and when it is not.  The university does not seem to lack funds to pay lawyers (to represent the university in all those disputes that end up being litigated), hire public relations firms, or create ever more, highly-paid administrative positions.  But it is just too costly to support due process for faculty. 

3.      On what principles has the seven-person working group been selected?  What exactly – and whose interests, exactly – does this group represent?  Any adequately representative task force or working group on dispute resolution ought to include at least one or two faculty who have had Kafkaesque disciplinary proceedings initiated against them on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations, or who have endured months-long grievance proceedings, won their case, only to find that the same administrators who violated their rights in the first place are placed in charge of delivering the remedy.   As a faculty organization that supports our colleagues in such cases, we know that these scenarios are all too common.  We would be happy to make some appropriate nominations to the working group – if anyone were asking for faculty input into its constitution.  (At a bare minimum, we hope the full Faculty Senate will have the opportunity to vet and vote on whatever proposals this body generates.)

UW-AAUP believes that we need a more – not less – ambitious and thorough-going revision of the faculty code pertaining to conduct and dispute resolution. For this reason, we are planning a forum where we will learn about how other institutions have developed equitable and effective frameworks for dispute resolution, grounded in principles of restorative justice.   Please mark your calendars and join us for this event on Wednesday, April 19th, 4:00-5:30 PM (in Allen Library and on zoom).  

Respectfully, the UW-AAUP Executive Board  Eva Cherniavsky
Andrew R. Hilen Professor of American Studies
Director of Graduate Studies

response:

From: “James N. Gregory”
Subject: Discipline and Grievance legislation veto
Date: February 10, 2023

It is shocking to learn that the effort to reform the discipline and grievance system has been shut down by President Cauce. Work on this began five years ago with the President’s enthusiastic support. Led by former Senate Chair Zoe Barsness and Secretary of the Faculty Mike Townsend, the committee involved as many administrators as faculty members and the task of drafting code language was handled by the President’s representative. Dozens of people have worked on this, resulting in a proposal that represented a workable compromise between the due process that the faculty seek and the concerns of the administration.

Let me remind everyone what is at stake. In recent years certain deans and department chairs have unilaterally imposed, without due process of any kind, significant sanctions including suspension of duties and suspension of pay. The faculty members involved have had no recourse except to request a full-blown adjudication trial (involving thousands of dollars in legal fees).

And I don’t understand the president’s claim that the proposed changes would amount to a surrender of presidential authority. Some of us pushed for a provision to limit the President’s ability to veto decisions made by the joint Faculty-Administrator panels that would hear serious cases. But that was rejected by the planning committee. The only provision that remained was the very modest requirement that the President provide a written explanation when vetoing a panel decision.

As one of the dozens of faculty members who have worked on this over the past five years, I can only say that this feels like a betrayal — a betrayal of our time, of our expertise, and of the expectations that should anchor a system of shared governance.

Respectfully,

James N. Gregory
———————–Professor, History


Faculty Senate Task Force on Dispute Resolution: proposed legislation update

Link to Senate document

Academic Freedom statement from the UW AAUP board

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, we have noticed a number of postings to this UW-AAUP listserv referring to academic freedom without clarifying what is meant by the concept – or sometimes, simply, conflating tacademic freedom with free speech. As decades of published work on the topic indicates, there can certainly be differences of opinion on how precisely to understand and to assert academic freedom, particularly in this moment where tenured faculty comprise a minority of the professoriate.  Nevertheless, as the national organization committed to the protection of academic freedom, the AAUP offers both framing language and critical resources for understanding academic freedom.  Henry Reichman, professor emeritus, California State University, and chair of the AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure from 2012 to 2021, provides a compact list of 45 important principles in an Appendix to his recent book Understanding Academic Freedom.  We present a few here as examples that can provide guidance “to the application of appropriate professional judgment”: Academic freedom, Reichman reminds us, is the collective freedom of the scholarly community to govern itself, in the interest of serving the common good in a democratic society.

1.      Academic freedom comprises three elements: freedom of inquiry and research, freedom of teaching, and freedom of expression as citizens. 

2.      Academic freedom belongs to the academic profession as a whole to pursue inquiry and teach freely, limited and guided only by principles of that profession. It is not a civil right like freedom of speech, nor is it simply an individual employment benefit provided to those in a restricted number of academic appointments.  Although it grants considerable scope to the consciences of individual scholars, it is not an individual right of professors to do whatever they wish in their research and teaching or to say whatever they might in public remarks

3.      There should be no distinction between those who teach or conduct research in higher education, regardless of whether they hold full-time or part-time appointments or whether their appointments are tenured, tenure-track, or contingent. All faculty members should have access to the same academic freedom and due-process protections and procedures. 

There is no question that in the future there will be contentious incidents that prompt ongoing debates on the core meaning of academic freedom.  In the current era of political polarization there is good reason to expect these challenges may increase.  Hence, in the opinion of the executive board of the UW-AAUP, now is a good time to provide our readers with some informational sources dealing with academic freedom.  

For over a century, the AAUP has devoted a considerable effort to explore, formulate, and refine notions about what academic freedom means. This body of knowledge, generated by ongoing inquiry, is quite extensive. Access to it can be found in the AAUP web site, https://www.aaup.org, under the tab ISSUES, then ACADEMIC FREEDOM.  In this section, a link to many citations can be found using the links: FAQS on academic freedom and more resources.  In addition, under the tab REPORTS/PUBS, then JOURNAL OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM, a list of 13 volumes of this journal each with a table of contents listing titles of articles.

Recently, on Nov. 10, 2022, the AAUP held an informational webinar entitled What is Academic Freedom.  Neil Fleisher, Univ. of Wisc. – Milwaukee and Greg Scholtz, AAUP, Dept. of Academic Freedom, Tenure and Governance were the presenters.  The 28 slides used in this webinar provide an excellent overview of academic freedom status. A link to these slides is given below, as is a link to a video recording of the webinar. 

It is the hope of the UW-AAUP executive board that these references to scholarly work will be helpful to those wishing to inform themselves and to formulate their own opinions on this important topic; one unique to professionals in the ranks of higher education.

A short list of noteworthy references

1.      AAUP Policy Documents and Reports (John Hopkins Univ. Press)  [the REDBOOK]

2.       Micheal Berube and Jennifer Ruth, It’s Not Free Speech:  Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2022)

3.       Henry Reichman, Understanding Academic Freedom (John Hopkins Univ. Press, 2021)

4.       Joan Scott, Knowledge, Power, and Academic Freedom (Columbia University Press, 2019).   

5.       Eva Cherniavsky, Against Common Sense: Academic Freedom as a Collective Right

https://www.aaup.org/reportspubs/journal-academic-freedom/volume-12

6.       Julia Schleck, Dirty Knowledge:  Academic Freedom in the Age of Neoliberalism University of 

Nebraska Press, 2022).

7.       AAUP, What is Academic Freedom? (webinar, Nov 10, 2022)            

video recording:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozayxc1VFJg  slides:https://actionnetwork.org/user_files/user_files/000/084/233/original/What_Is_Academic_Freedom_Nov_2022.pdf?link_id=2&can_id=b317515f63a57663f0a3c0c7932134e4&source=email-recording-and-material-from-aft-member-benefits-webinar&email_referrer=email_1741720&email_subject=recording-and-material-from-academic-freedom-webinar

Respectfully,

The UW-AAUP Executive Board
Eva Cherniavsky
Andrew R. Hilen Professor of American Studies
——————————————————————————————————————-

Update on the retirement plan lawsuit (3 February 2023):

US District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein ruled in favor of UW retirement plan participants in a class action lawsuit against the UW Thursday.

To recap, several of us filed a class action lawsuit last September, arguing that UW preferentially used voluntary contributions to reach IRS annual limits, reneging on its obligations to provide employer-matched contributions. Further, UW failed to inform plan participants when this occurred, as is specified in the plan, thereby depriving plan participants an opportunity to adjust contributions and avoid being shortchanged. The UW has sent mixed messages as to whether these changes resulted from software errors during the transition to the Workday payroll system or, instead, represent a deliberate policy shift. In either event, UW has sadly felt there is no need to inform employees of how unwritten changes to longstanding rules adversely impacts their retirement savings.

The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court. The UW removed the case to federal court, which can be done in an incontestable manner, and apparently felt they would be treated more favorably there. UW then immediately moved for dismissal. We moved to remand the case back to King County Superior Court, and the judge granted our motion today.

I am attaching both the judge’s ruling and our reply to the UW’s response to our motion to remand. All the docket entries can be viewed on the Court Listener website:  https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/65663985/horwitz-v-university-of-washington/

Here are some choice bits from the ruling today:

“Defendant’s [UW’s] argument lacks merit. As an initial matter, it makes little sense.”

“In view of the identified plan provisions that do not incorporate federal tax law, and the duty of good faith and fair dealing implied in the plans, the Court finds that the Complaint articulates an independent contractual duty on UW’s part to advise plan participants of – and take certain actions to address – excess contributions. Although the precise contours of UW’s duty will be determined at a later time, and may ultimately be shaped in part by reference to federal tax law, it is clear that Plaintiffs’ breach-of-contract claim is independently supported by ordinary contractual obligations.”

I believe the UW administration’s choice of legal representation is emblematic of their level of respect for UW staff and faculty and for the services we provide and the students we educate.

Despite possessing an in-house battalion of attorneys, UW further diverted institutional resources to pay for costly outside representation from Ropes & Gray, one of the nation’s oldest white shoe law firms, drawing a dream team from their offices in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.

We were proudly represented by 2015 UW Law School grad, Alex Strong, in Fremont. I encourage you to read his latest filing, which I found to be remarkable in its clarity and logic. Obviously, Judge Rothstein did, too. Way to go, Alex! You schooled the Ivy Leaguers. And for insomniacs looking for a fairy tale to put them to sleep, you can read the UW’s filings.

Nevertheless, it’s too early to take a victory lap.

What’s next? The case will return to King County Superior Court.

It may be too much to hope that the UW will take this judicial spanking to heart and come to its senses.

Marshall

Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Physician-Scientist Education
Director, Medical Scientist Training Program
Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology

Adjunct Professor, Medicine and Genome Sciences


Dear Colleagues,

As the search for a new Provost to succeed Mark Richards commences, the UW-AAUP Executive Board recently conducted a survey regarding the qualities we would hope to see in our provost.  We also invited your thoughts on what an open and transparent search process would entail.

We write now to share with you some results of the survey: The report below shares the numbers – which qualities were ranked as most important by the largest number of respondents; we have also sought to capture some of the wide-ranging narrative comments.  Unsurprisingly, respondents raised a broad variety of issues and concerns in the comment boxes.  In seeking to summarize them, we have sought to foreground the keynotes – priorities expressed repeatedly and in multiple ways by numerous respondents.   We have also sought to curate these responses in ways that contextualize the rankings – e.g., when respondents set as their highest priority a provost who embraces meaningful shared governance, we wanted to suggest how, more specifically, our respondents envision such a collaborative relationship.

The report follows.  We will be sharing it shortly with the members of the Provost Search Committee.

Warmly,

The UW-AAUP Executive Board

Report on the UW-AAUP Provost Survey

The qualities that respondents deemed most critical in a provost were, by rank:

  1. Fully embraces meaningful shared governance (86.7%)
  2. Is accessible to faculty, respects faculty representative bodies (82.6%)
  3. Appreciates…faculty involvement in selecting and evaluating unit-level leadership (82%)
  4. Will work tirelessly to improve faculty teaching and working conditions (81.3%)

With respect to the search itself, respondents’ most important priorities were that the search committee be broadly representative of faculty interests (85.5%), and that the process be open and transparent (77.2%). SEE MORE HERE

Dear UW Colleagues,

UW Faculty sue re. retirement contribution failures

I, along with two colleagues (Dr. Richard Johnson, Research Scientist in the Department of Genome Sciences, and Dr. David Layton, Professor in the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance), filed a class action complaint against the UW on September 22, 2022 (attached).

The issues revolve around how software and other errors in the payroll system that the UW has admitted to making yet has failed to disclose and refused to correct have potentially diminished individual and matched employee retirement contributions by hundreds to thousands of dollars annually.

We are represented by Bendich, Stobaugh & Strong, a small Seattle firm that previously represented Mechanical Engineering Professor Duane Storti in his successful class action lawsuit against the UW over withholding of employee annual merit salary increases.

The UW will continue to be represented by Boston-based Ropes & Gray, one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious law firms, which they retained nearly two-years before we filed our lawsuit and had initially declined to identify by name. The UW has additionally recruited local powerhouse Davis Wright Tremaine, among the largest law firms in the country, to join their in-house team of attorneys and Assistant Washington State Attorney Generals.

After initially refusing to perform an audit, the University has since initiated an internal audit, overseen by KPMG, which for decades has certified our institution’s financial statements. You can read more about some of KPMG’s recent work involving colleges (https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2021-32 [sec.gov]) and corporations (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/12/kpmg-fined-frc-audit-carillion [theguardian.com]), as well as their training standards (https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2019-95 [sec.gov]).

The University has refused to disclose the findings of its audit to the Faculty Senate’s Faculty Council on Benefits and Retirement (FCBR), citing the pending litigation as the reason for doing so.

More information is available in a recording of a presentation that I made to the FCBR nearly a year ago, along with a response from UW VP for Human Resources, Mindy Kornberg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z5N1RCcFUc [youtube.com]).

Sincerely,

Marshall

Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Physician-Scientist Education
Director, Medical Scientist Training Program
Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology

Adjunct Professor, Medicine & Genome Sciences

University of Washington School of Medicine

Mail: Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM), Box 358056, Seattle, Washington 98195-4725

Street:  UW Medicine – South Lake Union, 850 Republican Street, N435

206.616.4566 – Fax 206.897.1775 – horwitz@uw.edu 

When donor pressure threatens to erase Palestine from academia

An accounting of the UW’s donor pressure campaign, in which AAUP issued a statement supporting the academic freedom of the Distinguished Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies, Liora Halperin. Reporting by Alice Rothchild, https://mondoweiss.net/2022/10/when-donor-pressure-threatens-to-erase-palestine-from-academia/

UW-AAUP urges National Human Rights Council intervention on behalf of UW doctoral student Waleed K. Salem

7 September, 2022

The UW Chapter of the AAUP wrote to the National Human Rights Council on behalf of Waleed K Salem, a doctoral student in Political Science at the University of Washington in Seattle, who was arrested on baseless charges in May 2018 while conducting field work for his doctoral dissertation on the Egyptian judiciary.  Released from Tora prison after seven months of detention, he has remained incarcerated in Egypt.  He has twice been barred from boarding a plane to the U.S. (in May 2020 and May 2021), and on the second attempt his passport was confiscated.  He remains unable to pursue his academic work, complete his doctorate, or to reunite with his fourteen-year-old daughter, whom he has not seen in person in more than four years. 

See the full letter here

AAUP proposed Class C Resolution on Faculty Conduct/Grievance/Restorative Justice Legislation at the University of Washington

14 May, 2022.

WHEREAS, the University administration has abused and possibly wielded illegally the current Faculty Code, especially Section 25-71,  in cases concerning faculty conduct, bringing grievous harm to dozens of UW faculty in recent years;

Whereas University administration revised Faculty Code and curtailed processes for faculty to challenge allegations of misconduct and pursue grievances.  This act was censured by the full Faculty Senate, which passed a (nonbinding) Class C Resolution rejecting the changes (Concerning faculty disciplinary and dispute resolution processes, passed May 14, 2020).

WHEREAS, the UW administration cannot produce a comprehensive or ordered list of faculty who have had 25-71 charges brought against them, having delegated the matter to individual units without any centralized analysis;

WHEREAS, the current process of bringing charges against faculty members fails to define “harm,” which is determined at the discretion of administrators,  does not mandate a has no fact finding process,  element, and confuses the charge of wrong-doing with the demonstration of assumes guilt;

WHEREAS, a better approach to resolving inter-faculty and faculty-administration conflicts would be to employ a restorative and transformative justice approach;

WHEREAS, a restorative and transformative justice approach to resolving such conflicts would entail [some brief description of key elements] a process overseen overseen by trained facilitators, not themselves a party to the conflict,  which addresses whether a harm was committed, by whom, and what forms of redress are sought;

WHEREAS, the Faculty Senate-led task force has developed a proposal on Faculty Discipline and Dispute Resolution that improves upon existing code but does not further the greater goal of restorative and transformative justice;

Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED, the Faculty Senate should set aside the [NAME OF THE PREVIOUS TASK FORCE PROCESS] and initiate a task force to develop a conflict resolution process based on restorative and transformative justice.  This task force should comprise representatives from across the three campuses and include individuals who have been harmed by current practices.


AAUP statement on Class A Senate resolution on faculty contributions to equity and inclusion

Posted to AAUP-UW Listserver on April 15, 2022

Dear Colleagues, 

Recently, Cliff Mass posted to this list a petition, which alleges that the proposed Class A legislation mandating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statements as part of the promotion process violates academic freedom.  Since Professor Mass’s petition cites AAUP principles, the Executive Board of the UW-AAUP chapter wishes to make crystal clear that we strongly disagree with the analysis of the legislation offered in the petition.  We do not believe that the proposed Class A legislation in any way compromises academic freedom and unequivocally support its passage.

At the level of institutional values, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” strike us as fundamentally aligned with the principles of academic freedom.  We assume we can agree that mono-cultural institutions with no stated commitment to the equitable and inclusive treatment of under-represented faculty are far more likely to violate principles of academic freedom than institutions which value faculty diversity.  

In terms of the proposed legislation itself (thank you to Emily Bender for asking and to Abie Flaxman for sharing the actual language), we find no merit to the claim that the proposed legislation imposes a political litmus test.  The requirement to describe one’s contributions to DEI at UW is no more “compelled speech” than (for example) the requirement to describe one’s contribution to student learning and engagement in one’s teaching statement.  Faculty remain at liberty to define in their own terms what DEI means for their teaching, mentoring, research, as well as institutional and professional service.   What the legislation compels all of us to do is think about what these values mean for us, which seems altogether appropriate (if not long overdue) in the current historical moment.  

There are certainly some questions that this new legislation raises, which tie to much larger, structural concerns:  Will the actual promotion or merit pay decisions at the unit level reward DEI work?  Currently, we are asked to demonstrate “merit” on an annual basis in order to achieve 2% salary increments that lag behind the cost of living (or in other words, year by year, the salaries of “meritorious” faculty take a hit).  We are also in a spiral of faculty workload escalation, in which the absence of adequate resources to support such things as student mental health, student access, new modalities of hybrid teaching, and, yes, diversity, equity, and inclusion means that the work of addressing these vital concerns is simply off-loaded onto individual units and faculty, producing what have become truly alarming levels of burnout.  These are serious concerns on which UW-AAUP will continue to focus its attention.  However, we stress that the issue is not whether to embrace the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but to ensure that we have the means to support and reward this work. 

Respectfully,

The UW-AAUP Executive Board

Eva Cherniavsky


AAUP statement on donor attempt to impose faculty support for Israel as a condition of her endowment for Israeli Studies Program

March 11, 2022

Dear President Cauce,

Not quite a week ago, several of us on the UW-AAUP Executive Board were astonished to receive a barrage of email from colleagues at other institutions across the U.S.  These messages expressed concern and dismay at the news that UW had returned to the donor, Becky Benaroya, the endowment that, since 2016, has supported the UW’s Israel Studies Program.  As a result, the program’s director, Liora Halperin, was stripped of her chaired position and the program itself was essentially stripped of funding. 

We believe chapter 26 of the Faculty Code requires that appropriate faculty governance bodies review any decision to eliminate or reorganize a program.  It is our understanding that representatives of the organization Stand with Us Israel (a political advocacy group with no ties to or standing within the university) were involved in the discussion of the decision to return to the endowment, and even invited into negotiations about the matter. However, it would appear that faculty governance bodies were not consulted.

Moreover, the facts of the case raise serious concerns about the violation of Professor Halperin’s academic freedom and, indeed, of the crucial principle that academic programs are not beholden to the ideological positions of university donors.  

Here are the facts as we understand them:   In 2016, Seattle philanthropist Becky Benaroya donated five million dollars to the UW to create an Israel Studies Program that would be housed within the UW’s already highly reputed Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.   The UW provided a 2.5 million dollar match.  This endowment supported the creation of the Jack and Rebecca Benaroya endowed chair in Israel Studies, to which Professor Halperin was recruited in 2017, and provided funds for vibrant public programming.  In addition, endowment revenue was used to hire a part-time staff person, provide graduate student support, create a post-doctoral position, and support the training of undergraduate students in Hebrew. 

In May 2021 Professor Halperin (as well as several other faculty at UW), signed a letter along with several hundred Jewish Studies and Israel Studies scholars nation-wide, condemning the renewed Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, and other ongoing acts of state violence.  The content of this public letter did not accord with Ms. Benaroya’s views and, as a result, Professor Halperin was summoned to a series of meetings to discuss the direction of the program.   Reporting in the publication Jewish Telegraphic Agency suggests that the donor was also unhappy with the use of the term “Israel/Palestine” in course descriptions and other program materials – a term (and a concept) widely employed within scholarly work on modern Israel.

 It bears emphasis that nothing in the terms of the endowment stipulated that the program (or its faculty) were committed to the support of Israeli state policy – and of course, the endowment agreement could not legally have done so.  As the JTA article notes, “the endowment language instructs the program ‘to promote the study of Israel through multiple disciplinary perspectives’ and ‘to integrate the study of Israel into a global context, highlighting the comparative and international relevance of Israel in the Middle East and beyond.’”  The program unquestionably met this mandate – indeed, no one would seem to be disputing this point. 

Inasmuch as the terms of the agreement were met, we can see no grounds for the donor’s intervention in the Israel Studies curriculum, its programming, or in Professor Halperin’s statements of conscience on Israeli state policy, and we are simply astounded and alarmed that Professor Halperin would have been summoned to what amount to disciplinary meetings with the donor’s ideological partner (Stand With Us).  

Still more alarming is what ensued – an event that to the best of our knowledge is without precedent at this institution:  Although the terms of the endowment had been honored and, in fact, under Professor Halperin’s able and innovative direction, the Israel Studies program had flourished, you made the decision, on behalf of the UW, to return the endowment to the donor without a concomitant agreement to make the program whole with institutional or other donor resources.

The effect of this decision is plainly punitive:   Professor Halperin loses her chair and (after a period of three years) will lose her research funding; the funding for the Israel studies program is gutted and while it may perhaps continue to exist on paper, in the absence of actual resources, the students it supported financially and the faculty it supported intellectually are arbitrarily stripped of what the program afforded, and indeed stripped of the confidence in a collaborative endeavor that accrues when one knows that resources are not contingent from year to year.   In this context, it is especially disturbing to hear that the return of the endowment has been described to Professor Halperin as an effort to protect her from outside interference in her work.  Had the UW opted to fund the program by other means, such a rationale might have some credibility.  But something is seriously amiss at the UW if we are now “protecting” donor-supported researchers and programs by defunding them. 
In an open letter in support of Professor Halperin now accumulating signatures from faculty across the country, the authors write:

The right to free expression is the foundation of the modern university. But the actions of the University of Washington administration in response to donor discontent over the letter Prof. Halperin signed marks a dangerous capitulation and violation of that bedrock principle. Ideas generated within the academy—and by academics outside of the university–may break with received patterns of thought. That kind of iconoclasm is not to be discouraged or penalized; it is a key part of the advancement of knowledge for the betterment of society.
We can hardly put the case better than that.  In this context, then, we write to request an explanation.

As all terms of the endowment were met, we ask on what grounds was this wholly exceptional decision made to return the endowment?

Why were outside political and ideological organizations invited into the conversations?

Once the decision was made to return the endowment, was the UW concerned to honor the commitments made to Professor Halperin, to the students in the program, and to the program’s other constituents and therefore to support their work by other means? And if so, why have these commitments not been honored?  

Was there any consultation with appropriate faculty governance bodies in this decision to effectively terminate a program?    

We acknowledge the increasingly bold and intrusive power of donors in the era of insufficient public support for higher education. Nonetheless, this decision will undoubtedly prove highly damaging to the University of Washington’s academic reputation, marking us an institution where ideologically-driven donors can first create academic units to suit their interests, and then withdraw funding from such units when the faculty fail to jump to their demands. This was a highly ill-advised set of decisions, and the AAUP urges an immediate review and reconsideration of the entire matter.



A win! Faculty Regent will be added to the UW Board of Regents

March 11, 2022

The AAUP and UW Faculty Forward worked for several years to advance legislation to establish a seat for UW Faculty on our Board of Regents. Finally, the 2022 Washington State Legislature adopted legislature adopted HB 1051, with the following provisions:

·      Governor appoints a faculty member to the board of regents at the research universities (UW and WSU, presumably), with the approval of the State Senate.

·      Governor will choose a faculty member from a list of 2-5 candidates provided by the Faculty Senate

·      Board of Regents expands from 10 to 11 with the addition of a full-time or emeritus faculty member six members is a quorum)

·      Faculty member shall hold a 6-year term

·      Faculty member may not vote on hiring, discipline or tenure of specific faculty members

 There is no treatment of how the faculty member, if they are working full time as faculty, would cover the cost of their time.


UW AAUP Executive Board commentary on the proposed revisions to the UW’s Faculty Code on faculty discipline and grievance policies

March 11, 2022

Rehistoricizing the Background

The current draft of the UW Faculty Disciplinary Taskforce neglects to mention events critical to fully understanding a key motivator for the faculty code revision process now underway.  Under the guise of “house-keeping,” UW administrators, including the President, improperly tampered with the UW Faculty Code (and, thus, state law) without involving official shared government structures, including the SEC and the full Senate. These revisions curtailed processes for faculty to challenge allegations of misconduct and pursue grievances.  This act was censured by the full Faculty Senate, which passed a (nonbinding) Class C Resolution rejecting the changes (Concerning faculty disciplinary and dispute resolution processes, passed May 14, 2020). This led to a faculty-led process to recommend comprehensive revisions to the faculty code in relation to faculty grievances, allegations of misconduct and interpersonal conflict. 

Uprooting Hierarchies of Harm and Punishment

The Faculty Disciplinary Task Force has worked diligently for nearly two years to achieve five key objectives: 1) separate the faculty grievance process from the faculty misconduct process and establish separate kinds of sanctions and structures; 2) clarify transitions between procedural steps and stages of each protocol; 3) outline clear structures and actions within each protocol; 4) identify decision-makers at each stage of each protocol; and 5) create mechanisms to engage in continuous improvement of processes and policies while implementing the protocol outlined in the faculty code through mechanisms of feedback and evaluation of outcomes for consistency and fairness. 

On careful review, the AAUP Executive Board finds embedded at the heart of both the original and revised chapters of the Faculty Code, six core contradictions that undermine Senate objectives, and prevent proposed changes from truly protecting faculty from present or future harm and restoring affinity when it has been broken by conflict and unaddressed grievances.  Rather, we assert that a complete reframing of the endeavor is needed, a reframing which will facilitate addressing, undoing and even preventing some of the harm built into the title of the task force and the current approach itself.

  1. Throughout the Code, the definitions of “University rules and regulations”,  and definitions of “faculty misconduct”, “wrong-doing” and “seriousness” of both, are vague, subjective or absent altogether, yet these concepts are assumed to have shared meaning across all sites and actors, and to be accurately and evenly deployed, especially by administrators, to initiate, implement and escalate processes of evaluation and sanction. This makes inconsistent and capricious any evaluation or assessment of allegations, or pursuit of sanctions for allegations, for conduct that has “broken University rules or regulations” (25-51), is “repeated or escalating” or, “as alleged, negatively impacts the work or academic environment” (28-56A 71-21: 871-1). We believe the proposed (and existing) language risks the perpetuation of deep structural and institutional inequities along all axes of devalued difference, regardless of intentions. 

This vacuum of clarity leaves the process open for weaponization by those with power over others as a form of control, harm and retaliation based on the consolidation and production of domination, pleasure in some cases, community, prestige, self-worth and self-promotion through control and punishment.

  1. Meanwhile, the list of “grievances” that faculty can bring forward regarding harmful treatment by administrative policies, and the actions and inactions of non-faculty administrative actors, is very prescriptive and narrowly defined.  The language throughout the proposed changes is biased towards administrative and management perspectives, and is not open to faculty experience or autonomy to define harm.  The protocol for controlling faculty grievance options does not make adequate space for addressing harm to faculty by professional staff administrators or Unit faculty administrators (such as department chairs) who are also a source of harm to faculty. 
  1. While what is labeled “faculty-conduct-” related procedures has now been separated from “faculty grievance processes,” this separation tends to overlook the interconnections between them: after all, an important category of grievance involves faculty who have been wrongly and harmfully charged with “misconduct” by faculty administrators abusing their power.

The overarching umbrella of faculty safety and harm, moving in whichever direction it is being alleged, is the umbrella under which misconduct, grievances and interpersonal conflict all fall.  We call for a new, overarching framework to hold these related and often overlapping processes[st4] . Through such a framework we can imagine a restorative and transformative justice approach to all breaches of safety, loss of affinity and experiences of harm and conflict related to faculty at UW.

  1. Despite the existence of “faculty panels”, and the role of Conciliators and Conciliator Boards in “University Alternative Dispute Resolution Resources” (27-42 D), both ultimately serve at the behest of the administration who can assign and remove conciliators without any clear set of reasons or faculty or conciliator recourse.   Administrative decision-makers continue to wield decision-making power in and control over most, and especially major sanctioning stages of both processes.
  1. There is a missing, critical first stage before any informal or formal processes are engendered by an allegation of harm or conflict, that leads immediately to a restorative and transformative process to evaluate the nature of the allegations, which themselves may be a mechanism and site of harm to faculty.  Instead, Unit Level review processes, the level where a large percentage of faculty claims and counterclaims of harm/conflict are part of each protocol, are currently the first step of dealing with making reports and allegations, processes which may, themselves, be the site of faculty conflict and harm.  Therefore, the Unit, whether department, program or Dean’s level, may need to recuse themselves or be removed in the presence of other resources for establishing the legitimacy of any allegation of harm/conflict/grievance.  Another step for reporting and reviewing allegations must be available to all faculty.
  1. The current “grievance” and “conduct” processes facilitate and focus on the escalation of imposing sanction in the case of misconduct procedures.   Simultaneously, both processes facilitate and focus escalation of avoiding sanction of the institution and its administrators for harm they perpetrate on faculty.  This observation can be widened to include the orientation of the current UCIRO and Ombud’s Office towards protection of administrative interests at the expense of faculty, and whose ultimate objectives seem to be geared to avoidance of legal suit against the institutional and not faculty protection, restoration, reconciliation, repair or transformation in the face of and aftermath of institutional and interpersonal harm and conflict.

In the current moment of reckoning with, analysis and critique of the US prison industrial complex and carceral injustice system, we are called to build new systems of community safety for the survival and thriving of all people.  This system must be based on “radical freedom, mutual accountability, and passionate reciprocity” instead of dehumanization, isolation, punishment and disposability.  In order to achieve this goal, it is crucial to challenge not only existing, but new and emerging forms of domination, discipline and escalation of punishment, and to take up new tools and approaches that center de-escalation, reconciliation, restoration, reparation and transformation.   At this moment, by revisioning the Faculty Code we have such an opportunity.

Reframing for Processes Faculty Equity and Justice

The following framework institutionalizes an equity-based framework of restorative and transformative justice for addressing faculty conflict and harm.  This framework is centered on creating and sustaining an environment at UW of academic freedom that is race, gender, class and disability accessible, equitable, just, safe and welcoming for all faculty in all their endeavors, including research, teaching, learning and service. It acknowledges as foundational that claims and experiences of, and responses to conflict and harm, emerge in historically patterned ways. These patterns are perpetuated by new and longstanding institutional practices of social hierarchy and affect members of a community in uneven and inequitable ways.

Therefore, this approach seeks to address the structural and systemic issues underlying faculty conflict and harm that arise in relationships and communities at UW with a commitment to transforming them – Transformative Justice (TJ).   A Transformative Justice approach to conflict and harm necessitates committing to the institutionalization of expert resources and to the exhaustive pursuit of restorative justice for those who experience harm, cause harm, and the communities affected by the identified harm and conflict.  Restorative Justice (RJ) is a term that includes a broad range of approaches, activities and applications, but all of which have at the core, commitment to bringing together those who have been harmed with those who have done harm in the presence of community members affected by the conflict and committed to accountability, to see if there can be a mutual process of accountability, reconciliation, restoration and reparation, but minimally accountability and reparation, even when reconciliation and restoration are elusive or impossible. 

Through truth-telling and listening to understand and contextualize, restorative justice sessions can: 1) surface remorse, empathy, responsibility, accountability as well as the structures of inequity that condition them; 2) enable interactions that tend to the wounds of the wounded and begin healing processes for what can be healed; 3) inspire imaginative proposals for restoration of what has been lost and repair for what has been damaged; and 4) whenever possible, facilitate wounded and wounders working together to build bridges that create conditions to prevent future harm. 

This last step in the work that seeks to transform conditions that led to conflict and harm and co-create means for equity, dignity, justice and collective action, rather than restoring oppressive, inequitable conditions to what they were before the harm, is what is increasingly called Transformative Justice (TJ).

Growing Affinity

Given the above framing considerations, we suggest that besides embedding the two protocols for addressing faculty harm in a restorative, transformative justice oriented approach to harm and conflict, we must also shift language throughout the faculty code in consistent ways to reflect this new orientation.  Such revisions are needed to help align the structure and content of the Faculty Code policies with the overall reframing of the processes.  Below are the kinds of systemic changes needed to realign, restructure and integrate the values and practical implications of the new framework into the Faculty Code..

  1. In every place where there is an assumption that sanctions are the only option, there should be a preliminary step that assumes the potential for restorative and transformative justice leading to community accountability through reconciliation, restoration, reparation and transformation (RRRT).
  2. All steps and processes that outline escalation of sanctions and formalization of punishment and isolation of faculty (including written warnings) must have the concrete mandate to offer RRRT and de-escalation to all parties.[st9] 
  3. All processes that end with decision-making power in the hands of administration that may itself be the source of conflict and harm to faculty must be revised to allow for true shared governance between faculty and administration.  [st10] In this context, shared governance means implementation of restorative, transformative justice pathways where faculty and administration participate on equal terms and in which both faculty and administration are held accountable.
  4. All steps and processes that outline escalation of sanctions and formalization of punishment and isolation of faculty (including written warnings) must have the formal mandate to option RRRT and de-escalation to all parties first until exhausted before any escalation or punishment.
  5. Prevent processes where administrative decision-makers or offices who are the source of faculty harm and conflict retain decision-making power or have the capacity to protect other administrative decision-makers who have caused harm or conflict.[st12] 

All processes that begin or end with decision-making power in the hands of administration that may itself be the source of conflict and harm to faculty must be revised to allow for true shared governance between faculty and administration, and for implementation of an equally shared accountability process for assessing and addressing harm and conflict through restorative, transformative justice pathways in which both faculty and administrative actors (faculty or non-faculty) are held accountable to center faculty self-determination and accountability to the collective good,  

  1. All instances of administrative acts that de facto create further harm to any faculty pursuing a claim or claims of harm must be removed and revised to be an opportunity for exhaustive for restorative and transformative justice leading to community accountability through reconciliation, restoration, reparation and transformation (RRRT).
  1. Upend administrative domination and violence masquerading as administrative responsibility substitute steps in the process that override faculty autonomy with administrative decision-making power with processes that require mutual accountability.

 [st1] The phrase “a rule or regulation of the University, its schools, colleges, or departments” is taken from the current Code Section 25-71:B (FCG, Faculty Code, Chapter 25, Tenure of the Faculty (washington.edu) ).   There is no current compendium.   The dispute resolution task force did not work creating such a collection.  There is a separate working group, based in the President’s Office, tasked with doing so.   Section 28-61 of the draft requires specification of the rules/regulations at issue.   Moreover, Chapter 28 provides for faculty input in punishment cases.   I don’ see that much more can be done beyond this.

The phrase “negatively impacts the work or academic environment” stems from more general language in 25-71:A that “[T]he University is governed by rules and regulations which safeguard its functions, and which, at the same time, protect the rights and freedoms of all members of the academic community.”   The phrase was originally chosen because there was an argument that the current Section 24-33 (FCG, Faculty Code, Chapter 24, Appointment and Promotion of Faculty Members (washington.edu) ) and Regent’s Policy 2:2 (BRG, Regent Policy No. 2, Statement of Ethical Principles (washington.edu) ), which it was felt would justify a unit involvement, did not state rules or regulations.  Perhaps more can be done here, but I’m afraid that the sort of precision you might want will not be forthcoming and may not even be theoretically possible according to post-modern theory.  Put more bluntly, any phraseology can be perverted.


19 January 2022 Message to AAUP’s faculty listserver from AAUP president Eva Cherniavsky, and the UW faculty union organizer, Alex Miller

Dear Colleagues, 

We thought you might be interested in knowing that the UAW 4121, which represents Academic Student Employees at UW, has filed a grievance regarding safe working conditions for ASEs.  The supporting petition can be found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5QiRQ42YmLGfujIOzG73FdevvWo5X_x2OnepOehvWMdmzgQ/viewform

The issues raised in the petition resonate with concerns raised on other listserv, and it may be that some of you are interested in signing on. 

In this context, it seems worth underscoring how collective bargaining rights allow faculty and other university constituencies to have a real say in our working conditions.  At Western Washington University, for example, the MOU with United Faculty of WWU specifies that “no instructor will be required to teach a section including both remote and in-person students,” and will be compensated if they choose to do so for programmatic reasons.  The MOU also stipulates that the university will provide all supplies, including masks, and that it will make on-campus testing available to all vaccinated faculty on a voluntary basis (or, if not possible, will provide transportation to a testing site).  Oregon’s faculty union, United Academics, has continued to advocate for its members, amplifying the concerns of faculty from under-represented backgrounds and successfully lobbying for paid leave beyond FMLA. Finally, AFT Washington bargained to receive compensation for moving classes online in 2020 at Seattle Colleges, Shoreline Community College, and Green River College. 

It’s also worth noting that the Rutgers faculty union just negotiated a 5% raise for faculty which goes into effect this month.  At Western, faculty received 3% this year, retroactive to last spring, and will receive another 4.25% next September.  In recognition of how faculty have gone above and beyond while teaching during the pandemic, Oregon’s union recently negotiated front loaded salary increases of 5%, 3%, and 2% over the next three years. While faculty everywhere are struggling with escalating workloads related to remote “pivots,” supporting students in crisis, formulating and implementing pandemic-related policies, and so forth, it’s notable that at unionized institutions, compensation is not continually falling behind regional cost of living, but exceeding it.   

Best, 

Eva Cherniavsky, UW-AAUP

Alex Miller, Ethnic Gender and Labor Studies, UWT


Errors in UW faculty retirement contributions

On Nov 30, 2021, at 3:03 PM, Amy Hagopian <hagopian@uw.edu> wrote:

Dear AAUP faculty list server subscribers, 

The UW Chapter of the American Association of University Professors has been tracking how the UW proposes to cure its errors in our retirement account contributions.

We are fortunate that two of our members, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology professor (and associate dean) Marshall Horwitz and Accounting professor Rajib Doogar, have investigated the problem and documented both the causes and solutions. What’s next is for the UW to deliver on those solutions, but it’s not yet clear whether or how that will happen.

Professors Horwitz and Doogar testified to the UW Board of Regents Nov. 9 (I was there to cheer them on, see photo below), and they followed up with some correspondence with UW administration. Below is an update on the details. 

For those whose eyes glaze over even at the suggestion of an accounting problem (thank the lord for the Doogars of the world who are fascinated by these things), the bottom line is the UW acknowledges there is a problem, is in the process of retaining an accounting firm (KPMG) to look into it, has no plan yet to correct its errors, and will not consider allowing any input from the Faculty Senate Council on Benefits and Retirement in defining the scope or supervising the audit. There’s not even a plan to prevent the problem from continuing while past errors are corrected.

Recap of the problem

Following an initial post from Dr. Ed Lazowska on this listserv, Dr. Marshall Horwitz discovered problems with his own retirement account, which upon investigation he realized could also affect some of the approximately 7000 other staff and faculty (and retirees) who participate. He found four problems, which he brought to the attention of the AAUP, and subsequently presented to the Faculty Council on Benefits and Retirements Nov. 1*:

1. UW matching contributions were short-changed (in Marshall’s case, more than $14,000, unadjusted for years of growth)

2. A faulty cap on contributions before the IRS limit is reached (in Marshall’s case, underfunding his account by $4,000 without compounding)

3. Failure to exempt UW employees from IRS contribution limits when appropriate to do so

4. Making illegally excessive contributions, placing some participants at risk for back taxes and penalties for unwittingly violating tax laws.

By the way, Washington State University has a similarly structured retirement plan and pre-emptively handles Problem 1 on behalf of its faculty and staff, while the UW’s cure is something more along the lines of, “this is an employee responsibility to figure out.”

Testimony to the Regents

Professor Horwitz described for the Regents his experience of attempting to work with UW administration on this problem. He had assumed Mindy Kornberg, HR VP, would be grateful to learn of these problems in time to solve them before they turned into a PR or legal liability. But instead of promptly agreeing to an audit, they hired a white shoe Boston law firm (Ropes and Gray, who they initially would not name).

Dr. Horwitz testified that “Budgeting matching contributions should be easy to calculate on an enterprise-wide scale—Where did that money go, if not into the accounts of UW employees?” Unfortunately, the UW incorrectly maintains employees are responsible for keeping tab of their contributions, but has not alerted us to these issues so that we may more carefully check (and how to check!).

He implored the Regents to address this problem with some urgency, and with the full involvement of the plan participants (who are vital to the UW’s mission of teaching, research, and patient care).

Bothell Associate Professor (tenured, with UW since 2013) Rajib Doogar also testified. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the Washington Board of Accountancy, where he serves as the incoming Chair, and his area of research is in the functioning of US audit markets.

He testified to the importance of not letting errors linger. He said:

The problems that Marshall has outlined for you concern me for four reasons.  As an accounting professor it took me about an hour to identify the basic fix, 5-10 hours to program an initial solution and then some more hours of back and forth with various parties to come up with the correct family of solutions for the UW plan. 

So it bothers me that the ensemble of problems he has laid out all stem from the same basic process failure and have gone unattended for mutiple years, specifically across mutiple financial reporting and audit cycles.  I find this to be troubling because it indicates a lack of attention at the senior levels of the administration tasked with management of the payroll, HR and legal processes to (a) freeing UW faculty and staff to focus on the real and value-added component of their jobs, and (b) to fixing a lost shoe-nail before it becomes a lost cause.  

Aside from the insights about the tone at the top, because both the scope of the problem and its financial implications remain unascertained over multiple years, the University’s internal controls over the payroll system, and possibly its financial reporting can be questioned and affect its standing in the capital markets.  Finally it opens up a suite of litigation and reputational risks that could readily have been timely mitigated much earlier. These are all concerns about the overall welfare of UW that I have and that I know you too will care about.

Follow up to the testimony

Horwitz corresponded with VP Mindy Kornberg following the Regents presentation, attempting to clarify which of three ways (allowed by the IRS) the UW intends to use to correct mistakes. The pathways available are laid out by the IRS’ Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), and include 1) Self-Correction, 2) Voluntary Correction, and 3)  Audit Closing Agreement (https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/epcrs-overview). They differ with respect to the severity and duration of the problems and how much information, if any, is disclosed to the IRS. It was Horwitz’s impression that the duration of the problems restricts the UW options to only those pathways requiring IRS supervision of the audit.

Apparently the UW has refused to commit to a pathway, and consequently is avoiding notification of the IRS, while awaiting a report from the firm KPMG.

Worth noting: Under Interpretation 101-3 of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Code of Conduct an auditor can do work such as the UW is requesting of KPMG here, but it requires someone internal to the UW to review the work and take responsibility.  As such it is important to ensure that any work KPMG does be performed under the direct supervision of the President and the Board of Regents—and in a way transparent to faculty and staff charged with overseeing the retirement plan (i.e., the Faculty Council on Benefits & Retirement)–and not UW employees with direct or ultimate supervision responsibilities over payroll operations.

We will keep you updated, Amy Hagopian (AAUP Secretary)

*Link to Horwitz’s FCBR presentation, response from HR VP Mindy Kornberg, and discussion: https://www.washington.edu/faculty/councils/fcbr/events/

The PowerPoint (along with a transcript in the notes of each slide): https://1drv.ms/p/s!AlgrJWjJY7iGgcpVauFOsvN_w3iCyw?e=3bBl7bAmy Hagopian, PhD



AAUP forum on the future of the University of Washington police force.

Video of Nov. 18, 2021, event on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tyhLmYpPTcc

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Letter to UW President Cauce, Faculty Senate Chair Angotti, incoming Faculty Senate Chair Laws, Incoming Faculty Senate Vice-Chair Reddy, and the UW Board of Regents, dated 23 July 2021.

Recent communication (both on and off our listserv) from our UW-AAUP membership and list subscribers, alongside countless conversations we have held with colleagues in our units and networks, has made apparent to us the extent of faculty worry and dismay at the conditions of our planned return to campus in the fall.   The UW-AAUP Executive Board joins our members and colleagues in affirming that the currently existing plans and guidelines for an autumn return are inadequate, as we do not have in place the measures necessary to ensure faculty and students have the safety and support we need and deserve. READ MORE HERE.

And President Cauce’s response 2 August 2021, reassuring us the experts have things well in hand, no need for the faculty to be worriedREAD HERE.

And now our reply to President Cauce: With all due respect, it appears to us that your reply devotes considerable space to addressing concerns we did not raise – and leaves largely unanswered the many concerns we did.  …READ HERE

July 2021–AAUP’s UW Board corresponds with Provost Richards on expectations for fall teaching. Read these letters here:
1) AAUP board’s original letter: Regarding instruction in Fall 2021, we have received guidelines only from the Center for Teaching and Learning (https://teaching.washington.edu/topics/preparing-for-autumn-2021/). Most of the CTL recommendations are open to a range of interpretations READ MORE HERE
2) Provost Richards’ reply:The intent was to provide suggestions – not directives – on ways to accommodate remote learning in an existing in-person course. These suggestions do not include creating two courses, but instead incorporating evidenced-based approaches to teaching that were already designed and incorporated by many instructors prior to the pandemic. READ MORE HERE
3) AAUP’s reply to Provost’s reply: Thank you for your reply to the AAUP board letter requesting clarification on expectations of faculty for delivering our courses simultaneously in both online and in-person versions in the fall. As you may be aware, the questions we posed in our earlier message emerged from our discussion on our faculty listserv. READ MORE HERE
Sept 1, 2020: AAUP statement on avoiding austerity in the wake of COVID
See our meeting schedule HERE.
Join our Listserver HERE.

Recording of the event here for those with a UW Net ID (Zoom link expires July 23, 2021): https://docs.google.com/document/d/172MZX979FrdiXrSNARNr1I0-E3dnK495I3SshiDMywM/edit?usp=sharing

University authorities generally acknowledge the principles of academic freedom, as laid out in the AAUP’s  1940 statement. However, the growing ranks of precariat faculty, the erosion of meaningful shared governance, and the increasingly managerial culture of the university all conspire to erode tenure protections for academic freedom. At UW, for example, administrators enjoy outsized power to impose arbitrary disciplinary sanctions, especially imperiling women and BIPOC faculty who speak out.  A recent issue of the AAUP’s Journal of Academic Freedom explores the implications of a shift from the “governed” to the “managed” university.

As we face a fresh round of austerity in the wake of pandemic, and as our Faculty Senate considers revisions to the Code regarding grievance and discipline, it seems particularly timely to revisit the question of academic freedom at our annual meeting.

Emily M. Bender is the Howard and Frances Nostrand Endowed Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Washington, where she has been on the faculty since 2003. Her research interests include the societal impact of language technology and the interaction between linguistics and natural language processing. She is the founding faculty director of UW’s professional masters program in computational linguistics (CLMS), established in 2005.

Rachel Chapman is an associate professor of Anthropology at UW, and adjunct faculty in the Departments of Global Health and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Her research, teaching and service address the intersections of race, class and gender in the politics of health justice within and outside of the U.S.  She serves on the governing board of the UW’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Kelly McElroy is an associate professor and the Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian at Oregon State University. She was a member of the bargaining team for the inaugural collective bargaining agreement for her union, United Academics OSU, and currently serves as its Executive Vice-President.

One of the speakers on our annual meeting panel will be UW Linguistics faculty member Emily M. Bender,  has collaborated with Dr. Timnit Gebru at Google on the ethics of AI research. Check out the NY Times piece on Dr. Gebru, linked here.

UW Faculty Senate adopts resolution on merit reviews

Class C Resolution adopted 25 Feb 2021; Language includes: “The merit evaluation system should provide more agency and flexibility to faculty to choose the work they believe illuminates their meritorious contribution to students, colleagues, their department, the university, and/or the community during times when the normal operation of the university, or their regular function as a faculty person are interrupted or compromised. In particular, departments, units, and schools should work with faculty to approve alternative structures/systems/procedures for student evaluation of teaching during these unprecedented times (as allowed under Faculty Code Section 24-57, Subsection A).” Read more.

AAUP’s reflections on the proposed new faculty grievance policies in the Faculty Code – 22 Feb 2021

The Faculty Senate has been working on revising the sections of the Faculty Code pertaining to grievances and disciplinary processes.  The current proposal for revising the Code around grievance proceedings makes some very valuable improvements, particularly with respect to codifying a structure of mediation that might, in many cases, forestall the need to proceed to a formal grievance.  But UW-AAUP believes further changes are required to ensure the grievance process, and all related processes, repair harm and restore justice, rather than erode community and exacerbate injustice.

This is a phased project: one portion of the work, in the form of a Class A resolution regarding grievance proceedings, is up for consideration at the Senate meeting this coming Thursday, February 25, at 2:30 at 2:30 (on zoom or dial 1.408.638.0968, agenda on line). If approved by the Senate, it would come to a faculty vote in Spring.  Other portions of this work are still in progress, including faculty disciplinary processes. See more: UW AAUP statement on faculty grievance revisions Feb2021

UW’s Planning and Budgeting analysis for the current legislative session

Governor Inslee’s 2021-23 biennial budget assumes new revenue from the creation of both a capital gains tax and a tax on health insurers. The proposed budgets would increase state funding for the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, and would fulfill a number of the University administration’s priorities. Still, the budget requires furloughs and suspends regular merit increases for University staff throughout the biennium. The Governor did not propose any changes to the state’s current tuition policy. UW’s analysis here.

Bill Lyne, our faculty colleague at Western Washington University and President of the state’s faculty union (United Faculty of Washington) shared his analysis of Gov. Inslee’s alarming reversal on higher ed funding in the biennium: https://www.ufws.org/2020/12/21/the-ways-of-white-folks/
 

Announcing Scholars for a New Deal for Higher ed

https://scholarsforanewdealforhighered.org/our-work/

White paper: A TRUE NEW DEAL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION: HOW A STIMULUS FOR HIGHER ED CAN ADVANCE PROGRESSIVE POLICY GOALS

Austerity is not an option: some resources

National AAUP is organizing a New Deal for Higher Education campaign. Organizing meeting 1/16–stay tuned for reports.

“Making the Invisible Visible” University Institutional Debt Research Workshop-January 13 from 1- 5 PM eastern = 4 – 8 pm Pacific. Register here.

Nation article by Eleni Shirmer (part of the PHEW and Debt Collective): https://www.thenation.com/article/society/student-debt-university-credit/

Recorded webinar – The Neoliberal University: How to Defend Education, Programs, and Jobs – sponsored by Haymarket Books and Spectre.

Chronicle brief on faculty burnout (in which UW faculty quoted). You can download it here https://connect.chronicle.com/CovidFacultyResearchBrief.html

Some other news clips and commentary:

How Covid-19 Exposed the Cracks in a Public-Private Housing Deal at a university: https://www.chronicle.com/article/how-covid-19-exposed-the-cracks-in-a-public-private-housing-deal?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_sign_in

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren Pushes For Answers From Georgia Dorm Operator – https://www.gpb.org/news/2020/09/02/us-sen-elizabeth-warren-pushes-for-answers-georgia-dorm-operator

Housing Developer Pressured Universities on Fall Plans in Rhode Island – https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/08/07/housing-developer-reminded-universities-about-project-debt-they-mulled-fall-plans

Reopening Plans for Georgia’s Public Universities Are Under Fire from Students and Faculty – https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/georgia-public-university-dorm-covid-19-precaution-masks-distancing-corvias-1039809/

UW Faculty Senate Class C legislation, encouraging faculty caregiver supports, passes 3 Dec 2020

This Faculty Senate Class C Resolution promotes measures to support instructors (part-time, full-time, graduate students) and faculty influenced by the COVID pandemic; it passed out of the Senate on 3 Dec 2020. Noted, of course, this is unenforceable without a collective bargaining agreement, which would require having a UNION.

1 Sept, 2020: AAUP calls for caregiver accommodations

UW can only continue to ensure excellence in teaching, research, service, and community partnerships if it provides sustainable, safe, and accessible assistance to caregiving faculty.  We call for the following principles and action steps in achieving this goal: Equity is essential, Creativity is our strength, Policies alone are not enough, Lead from the top and Flexibility is key. See full statement: AAUP statement on childcare 2020Sep 1

UW AAUP Chapter signs on to Decriminalize UW Petition (September 2020)

#GeorgeFloyd #Breonna Taylor #CharleenaLyles #JTWilliams #TommyLe #ShaunFuhr #MannyEllis

As members of the University of Washington (Seattle) community, we call on President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark Richards to take immediate action to ensure the health and safety of people on campus, particularly Black and other persons of color, by protecting them from police violence by 1) the Seattle Police Department and 2) the UW Police Department.

Specifically, we call on UW to break all ties (both informal and formal in the form of contracts, agreements, and MOUs) with Seattle Police Department by taking the following steps:

  1. Immediately stop handing over people detained by UW Police Department to SPD custody.
  2. Stop using SPD to respond to public safety needs, including referrals for welfare checks under the Safe Campus program.
  3. Stop using SPD for additional security for any events, including football games, concerts, and ceremonies.

Further, we call on UW Seattle to reimagine a Safe Campus as follows:

  1. Disarm UWPD officers.
  2. Ban the use of police dogs, which many communities of color in the US associate with the terror of state violence.
  3. Publicly commit to not hiring former police officers with disciplinary records as UW Police Officers.

Petition is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S4RPR9wfPdwEjcLLWUNJ3ESQCytslcBn9A_6RIxvxpc/edit

July, 2020: AAUP supports letter urging UW leadership to invest in caregiver accommodations

We are writing with an urgent request to University leadership and the Faculty Senate of the University of Washington, deans, and department heads. COVID-19 has uncovered many aspects of our institutional practice that have historically rendered certain labor invisible and left others more vulnerable. Now, more than ever, the structure and expectations of research productivity and teaching quality overwhelmingly privilege those who do not have to consider caring for family members. SEE MORE

Does UW need all the fiscal reserves we are hoarding?

Using a template provided by Howard Bunsis, Professor of Accounting at Easter Michigan University and a nationally recognized expert in higher education finances, and inputting figures from UW’s 2019 audited financial report, we have attempted (in the attached document) to calculate UW’s true unrestricted reserves, which we estimate at 1.98 billion.  Do we need all that money? AAUP statement on avoiding austerity in the wake of COVID 2020

August 2020: Inquiry on AAUP list server prompts UW administration response about what is (and is not) discoverable from faculty email through the state’s public records act.

from our UW president, Ana Mari Cauce: I understand that there have been lots of concerns about how we access emails for public records requests and/or legal proceedings. Unfortunately, the answer is not a straightforward one – we work through schools and colleges, which have their own procedures. I’ve tried to boil things down to the main issues. 2020.08.20 Public Records AAUP Response

August 2020: AAUP registers support for restorative justice approach to conflict in UW School of Medicine

Dear UW Leadership,

The board of the University of Washington chapter of the American Association of University Professors has become aware of a situation concerning climate, student/faculty/administration relations, due process, and ongoing issues of anti-Black racism in the School of Medicine (SOM). The situation that has unfolded in the SOM highlights the dearth of resources for managing conflicts between students and professors (among colleagues, or with administration), especially when the underlying driver is racism.We write this letter to support the people at the heart of this struggle who are working to uphold the values of racial justice, shared faculty governance, and academic freedom. See full exchange of communications: BAMM – UWSOM 2020 controversy, and our  letter: AAUP letter re UWSOM concerns Aug2020

July 2020: The DigiPen Institute of Technology faculty creates a local AAUP chapter, inducts officers.

DigiPen Institute of Technology faculty have voted to create a local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and induced officers elected during their first chapter meeting. DigiPen is a private, forprofit university in Redmond, Washington. DigiPen offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Computer Science, Animation, Video Game Development, Game Design, Sound Design, and Computer Engineering.

Avoiding financial catastrophe for the UW during the epidemic.

Analysis of options provided by our friends at the Economic Opportunity Institute.EOI Memo to Legislators July 2020

Only Free College Can Save Us From This Crisis — The situation on demands bold action on par with the New Deal, By Christopher Newfield Chronicle of Higher Ed article here

Christopher Newfield blogs on governance troubles: https://bit.ly/3l7k5mW and budget troubles: https://bit.ly/31DrJwm.

UW is participating in the national Public Higher Ed Network, where public universities across the country talk about strategies to keep their institutions alive during the coming austerity pressures.  For example, Penn State community is organizing under the Coalition for a Just University (CJU/PSU), using regularly meetings to bring people together, holding a virtual rally, demanding a compact and presenting their own modeling system for the spread of the virus on campus – about which the university admin flipped out. Jerry from Shippensburg Univ has been working with K-12 educators under the group PA for a Safe Return to Schools to educate them on the law and reopening especially in terms of ADA and FMLA. Join Slack, or check out this statement about what a union can and should be. Please complete this form to join the network, chaired by Barbara Madeloni.

April-May, 2020: AAUP urges Faculty Senate to interrupt the termination of the UW’s Intensive English Language Program.

Dear Professor Sandison, Thank you for your reply on the issue of whether the Continuum College may close the Intensive English Program without triggering the RCEP process in the Faculty Code. Unfortunately, this interpretation of the Faculty Code is difficult to reconcile with the actual contributions of IELP.

Faculty Code Section 26-41 (Section A) on “Reorganization, Consolidation, and Elimination Procedures” (RCEP) calls for a process to be launched for termination of any “distinct option in the University Catalog,” which this certainly is. The relevant Catalog entry is HEREThe entry for IELP advertises five levels of instruction, and “experienced instructors with advanced degrees in teaching English as a second language.” SEE MORE

…And state legislators agree! SEE THEIR LETTER HERE.

See an analysis of the administrative bloat in the Continuum College, which decimated IELP. UWC2-salaries-org chart

March 23, 2020: AAUP Board Communication to UW administration during COVID-19

For over a century, the AAUP has advocated for a strong university, operating on principles of shared governance and in service to the public good.  In that spirit, we write to ask for immediate measures we deem essential to sustain our institution through this crisis.  The UW is on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic and vital to the economy of our region; its continuing institutional strength will be key to the recovery of the State of Washington.   SEE MORE

March 21, 2020: AAUP Statement of Support for our brave, beloved UW health workers!

THANK YOU to the heroic teams at UW Medicine and the schools of Nursing and Public Health who are doing so much to protect us all as we live through the pandemic.

Here are some ways to follow their work:

UW Virology lab website dashboard, which has tested about 25,000 people (finding 7.5% positive): http://depts.washington.edu/labmed/covid19/
Twitter feed from the UW Virology lab, with regular vignettes throughout the day. Go to Twitter and follow: @UWVirology

UW Medical Center’s nurses’ union (WSNA) website has regular updates
Harborview’s 1199 Nurses’ union page, HERE.

Another link to follow–Inside Higher Ed’s catalogue of university responses.

And AAUP national’s Statement on COVID-19 and the Faculty Role in Decision-Making

February 6: AAUP forum in conjunction with Faculty Forward, New Titles for UW lecturers? Parity for lecturers will require more than a name change, but it’s a start…

Panel included: Linda Hurley Ishem, urban studies (UW-Tacoma), Aaron Katz, public health (UW-Seattle), Carrie Lanza, social work (UW-Seattle), Annie Nguyen, interdisciplinary A&S (UW-Tacoma), Moderator: James Rush Daniel, Dept of English (UW-Seattle), Eva Cherniavsky, host on behalf of AAUP & Faculty Forward. See notes on discussion: Notes of 6Feb2020 AAUP lecturer forum

January 20, 2020: AAUP Statement of Support for UPass benefits for all UW employees.

We, the undersigned, write to you to request fully subsidized transit passes for all University of Washington employees. UPASSForAllStatement


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