Professional Development Funds for PT faculty

Greetings Part-Time faculty members of United Academics,

We have recently received a few questions about Professional Development Funds, and want to let you know about eligibility so you can take advantage of these funds designated just for part-time faculty. Part-time faculty members at UVM are entitled to to Professional Development Funds after having taught at least 18 credits. The part-time Collective Bargaining Agreement that governs this and other aspects of part-time faculty work can be found at the link below, and the details of the PDF application process are outlined in Article 19:

http://www.unitedacademics.org/current-contracts 

I would encourage you to apply soon if you can, since there is a balance of roughly $10,000 in that part-time faculty PDF pool still to be used, and it will expire on May 1. In our experience, it is helpful to remind Chairs and Deans of this provision and include reference to the contract when applying for these funds. 

Please reach out to us if you encounter any challenges in the process, and let us know if you have any questions. We do hope you'll take advantage of this provision that we've worked to get into the contract! 

Best wishes,

Katlyn Morris

UA Executive Director

Revised meetings for changes in retirement management

I’m sorry for the second email, but, apparently, more meetings have been added, so I'm sending them along. Thank you!

Below is the revised public meeting schedule:

•    Wednesday, April 24, 11:30 AM -12:30 PM, Silver Maple Room (Davis Center)
•    Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 – 4:30 PM, Memorial Lounge (Waterman Building)
•    Thursday, April 25, 12:30 - 1:30 PM, Memorial Lounge (Waterman Building)
•    Thursday, May 2, 8:30 – 9:30 AM, Sugar Maple Room (Davis Center)
•    Thursday, May 2, 10:30 - 11:30 AM, Sugar Maple Room (Davis Center)

Possible changes to faculty/staff retirement account management

Hello, Everyone.

You may have heard that there is a plan to reduce the choices for managing faculty and staff retirement accounts to one: TIAA. Faculty have expressed concerns about this, many of which you may read (or have read) on UA Discuss. It is strongly recommended that you attend one of the upcoming informational meetings. I am pasting below part of the email sent by Jes Kraus to faculty and staff announcing these meetings:

Three public meetings have been scheduled to provide an update on the results of the RFP process to employees who participate in UVM’s retirement plan. Retirement Plan Oversight Committee members, as well as the principal consultant from Cammack Retirement Group, will present information and be available to answer any questions you may have:

•    Wednesday, April 24, 11:30 AM -12:30 PM, Silver Maple Room (Davis Center)
•    Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 – 4:30 PM, Memorial Lounge (Waterman Building)
•    Thursday, April 25, 12:30-1:30 PM, Memorial Lounge (Waterman Building) 

All employees who participate in UVM’s retirement plan are encouraged to attend one of these public meetings.  Please coordinate attendance with your department supervisor as needed, and feel free to contact hrsinfo@uvm.edu or call 802-656-3150 if you have any questions.  If you need an accommodation to participate, please contact the University’s ADA Coordinator, Amber Fulcher, at (802) 656-0945.

Again, please think about attending one of these sessions and see UA Discuss for  more information as well.

In solidarity,

Julie Roberts

President-elect, VP

United Academics

julie.roberts.uvm@gmail.com

Tomorrow: Part-time contract highlights- 4/10 at noon

Dear United Academics part-time faculty members,

We are hosting another event for UVM part-time faculty who are UA members to learn how to take advantage of the benefits we’ve fought to get into our Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will discuss Professional Development Funds, the new Part Time faculty teaching award, per diem payment for additional work, and more! I've attached a document with some of our contract highlights, and this meeting will be an opportunity to ask questions about these and other provisions in the contract.

When: Wednesday, April 10 from 12-1pm

Join us in person! In Howe library, 001B (basement level), OR

Join virtually! We will set up an option to call in or video in, for those who won't be on campus but would like to join. Please let me know if you plan to join virtually and I'll send the Zoom link.

Please RSVP and direct questions to: Katlyn.Morris@aftvermont.org

If you are unable to attend but would like more information, want to schedule another time for a chat, or have ideas for a future event for part-time faculty, please let us know!

Sincerely,

Katlyn Morris, UA Executive Director

Katherine Elmer, UA Part-time faculty Executive Council member

Brian Tokar, UA Part-time faculty contract bargaining team member

Patrick Brown, UA Part-time faculty Delegate


This week: Student Teach-In and UA Members Meeting

Dear United Academics faculty,

Please join us this week for a student Teach-In Wednesday and the United Academics Spring Members meeting Thursday. 

Event details below; hope to see you there!

Best wishes,

Katlyn Morris

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Student Teach-In: Wednedsay, April 3, 2:30-3:30pm

Lafayette 207
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Join the UVM Coalition for Student and Faculty Rights and United Academics UVM for a teach-in on what's been happening on-campus, what to do next, and countering what the administration has been claiming is "misinformation."

While class sizes are increasing, programs are being defunded and cut, and faculty are getting laid off, the administration has been silencing, threatening, and sanctioning faculty and students for daring to voice their opposition to the current administration. They have claimed that there has been "misinformation" going around, all while circulating their own misleading information. This event intends to correct the record and give us an opportunity to consider the data and the story it tells.

Background:
http://www.unitedacademics.org/facts-about-uvm-spending
Info on student sanctions:
https://vtdigger.org/2019/03/28/uvm-students-used-megaphones-indoor-protest-face-discipline/amp/  

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United Academics Spring Members Meeting: Thursday April 4, 3:30-5:30pm

John Dewey Lounge

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All United Academics members: We invite you to join us this Thursday for refreshments, updates on contract bargaining plans and UA staffing, and voting on the important business of your faculty union. 

Feel free to drop in for any part of the meeting you're available.  

Members Meeting agenda and Fall meeting minutes


Tomorrow's Event and Next Week's Members Meeting

Greetings United Academics faculty,

Stand up in support of our colleagues and programs

Tomorrow, Tuesday 3/26, we will be delivering over 950 petition signatures from faculty, students, alums, and community members to the UVM administration. Please plan to join us at 2:30 p.m. on the green in front of Waterman to stand in solidarity with our faculty colleagues and in support of maintaining strong liberal arts at UVM. 

United Academics Spring Members Meeting

Please mark your calendar for the United Academics Spring Members Meeting next Thursday, April 4 from 3:30-5:30pm. Join us for refreshments, updates on contract bargaining plans and UA staffing, and voting on the important business of your faculty union. Feel free to drop in for any part of the meeting you're available.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow and next Thursday!

Best wishes,

Katlyn Morris

Executive Director, UVM United Academics

www.unitedacademics.org 

AFT-Vermont 

Part-Time Faculty Contract Benefits Event Tomorrow

Hi all, Reminder to please join us tomorrow, Thursday, from 1:30-2:30pm. 

Hope to see many of you then!

Dear United Academics part-time faculty members,

Please join us next Thursday to learn how to take advantage of the benefits we’ve fought to get into our Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will discuss Professional Development Funds, the new Part Time faculty teaching award, per diem payment for additional work, and more!

Join us on Thursday, March 21 from 1:30-2:30pm, in Waterman 427A.

Please RSVP and direct questions to: Katlyn.Morris@aftvermont.org

If you are unable to attend but would like more information, want to schedule another time for a chat, or have ideas for a spring/summer event for part-time faculty, please let us know!

Sincerely,

Katlyn Morris, UA Executive Director

Katherine Elmer, UA Executive Council member

Brian Tokar, UA Part-time faculty contract bargaining team member

UA Scholarships and Petition

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable break. As we head into this last stretch of the Spring Semester, I am writing with a few upcoming opportunities.

United Academics scholarships for students working on social and economic justice

Please encourage your students to apply for one of our United Academics scholarships. Applications are due this Friday, March 22. These annual scholarships support students who are pursuing social and economic justice. Please share the attached scholarship flyer with students, and direct any questions to Vijay Kanagala.

Petition to save the liberal arts at UVM

Thanks to all who have signed the petition to reinstate lecturers, freeze introductory course caps, and preserve the liberal arts at UVM. If you have not yet signed and shared, please take 30 seconds to sign now. The petition has been signed by nearly 500 students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. Be sure to add your name.

Stand up in support of our colleagues and programs

We will be delivering petition signatures to the administration on Tuesday, March 26. Please plan to join us at 2:30 p.m. in front of Waterman to stand in solidarity with our faculty colleagues and in support of maintaining strong liberal arts at UVM. 

All best,

Sarah Alexander

President, United Academics


Save the Liberal Arts Petition

Dear faculty, students, staff, and supporters of the liberal arts at UVM,

Please consider adding your name to a petition to save the liberal arts at UVM. The petition, which you can link to below, is sponsored by United Academics, the union of faculty at the University of Vermont. We will present the petition to senior administration and to the press. We also plan to publish it, with the names of all who sign, as a full-page ad in the Vermont Cynic. For more information, see some FAQ about the crisis in CAS.

Sincerely,
Sarah Alexander
President, Untied Academics

Save Liberal Arts Education at UVM!

We, the undersigned members of the University of Vermont community, know that students’ academic experience depends on a vibrant liberal arts curriculum, small classes, and mentoring by experienced faculty. All are under attack by an administration that has

• increased class sizes for many Arts and Sciences introductory classes
• terminated lecturers and senior lecturers
• downsized the positions of 10 continuing faculty to less than full-time
• embraced a five-year budget plan for the College of Arts and Sciences that will result in further layoffs, position reductions, class size increases, and decreased course access and choices for students

We call on the UVM Administration to immediately:

• Reinstate laid-off faculty in Classics and Romance Languages
• Freeze course caps on introductory courses campus-wide
• Commit to preserving UVM’s language, arts, and humanities programs

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

United Academics Condemns Threats to Free Speech

Dear UA faculty members,

United Academics is issuing a statement in response to recent warnings made to faculty members and students by administrators. See below. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Katlyn Morris

UA Executive Director

This week, individual students and faculty have been subject to warnings or reprimands from UVM administrators about possible sanctions for speech and assembly. As the faculty union at UVM, United Academics stands for the rights of faculty and the students we serve, and condemns the University administration’s attempts to silence members of the community who wish to advocate for ourselves and our programs.

Many of these threats of discipline made by the administration were not in response to anything that had occurred. They were not based on evidence of any actual violations of code. Rather they were in anticipation of something that could potentially result in what the administration would classify as disruption. This sends a loud, clear message, which ripples through our community: You will be punished for speaking out against the administration.

The AAUP Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom, incorporated in our faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement provides: “Faculty are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of the University. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline.” 

The administration’s threats to discipline faculty and students have a chilling effect on our community’s ability to question, express disagreement, and speak freely. In some cases these tactics have been effective in silencing community members. Many faculty at UVM are feeling particularly insecure about their jobs, in light of recent layoffs and expected further layoffs. We urge the administration to cultivate an atmosphere that promotes free speech, academic freedom, and shared governance. 

UA Condemns Threat to Free Speech

Letter to Suresh Garimella

Dear Colleagues,

I am forwarding an email from department chairs in the College of Arts and Sciences. They are asking faculty to sign a letter to Suresh Garimella. Please see their cover email below with a link to a Google Doc if you'd like to sign the letter. The letter to Garimella is linked here

All best,
Sarah Alexander

President, United Academics

Dear Colleagues,

Here you will find a letter to Dr. Suresh Garimella drafted by department chairs in the College of Arts and Sciences. We are respectfully asking our faculty colleagues across the university to read the letter and to consider adding their names to it through this Google Docs site by noon next Friday, 2/22: Sign the UVM Faculty Letter to Dr. Suresh Garimella

As department chairs, we are not members of the collective-bargaining unit, and we are accordingly very grateful to the faculty union for helping us to get this message out to the largest number of faculty in the shortest possible time. We are, moreover, eager to enlist the support of faculty who are not members of United Academics, and we will be grateful if those on the UA mailing list who support us will pass this appeal on to faculty administrators in their units, including department chairs, and to members of the faculty who are not members of the union (e.g., those in the Larner College of Medicine).

Dr. Garimella spoke in his public forum about his vision of UVM’s special combination of Land-Grant mission and commitment to the liberal arts in the New England tradition. The letter we are asking fellow faculty to consider signing greets that vision with enthusiasm and calls on Dr. Garimella to act on it at a moment when the entire University is at risk due to the ongoing budget crisis at its liberal arts core, which generates the great plurality of tuition dollars in UVM’s General Fund Revenue Budget.

We respectfully commend to your attention the letter we are asking you to sign. Thank you very much. 

Sincerely,

Joseph Acquisto, Professor and Chair, Romance Languages and Linguistics

Paul Besaw, Professor and Chair, Music and Dance

Thomas Borchert, Professor, Interim Chair and Director of Asian Studies, Religion

Terence Cuneo, Marsh Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Interim Chair, Philosophy

Daniel Fogel, Professor and Chair, English

John Franklin, Professor and Chair, Classics

Jack Gierzynski, Professor and Chair, Political Science

John Green, Professor and Chair, Psychological Science

Randall Headrick, Professor and Associate Chair, Physics

Sara Helms Cahan, Associate Professor and Chair, Biology

Dale Jaffe, Professor and Chair, Sociology

Jane Kent, Professor and Chair, Art and Art History

Christopher Landry, Professor and Chair, Chemistry

Andrea Lini, Associate Professor and Chair, Geology

Emily Manetta, Associate Professor and Chair, Anthropology

Gregory Ramos, Professor and Chair, Theatre

Helga Schreckenberger, Professor and Chair, German and Russian

Sara Solnick, Associate Professor and Chair, Economics

Sean Stilwell, Professor and Acting Chair, History

Beverley Wemple, Professor and Chair, Geography

John Jing-hua Yin, Professor and Chair, Asian Languages and Literatures

Email Exchange with President Sullivan

Dear members,

Some of you may have heard about an email exchange between President Sullivan and UA leadership. I am copying the emails below for your information.

All best,

Sarah Alexander

President, United Academics

_______

Dear President Sullivan:

Thank you for your email and for the opportunity to respond to you and the others copied about your concerns. We have heard from many in the university community, students and faculty, both within and outside the bargaining unit, about the following issues of critical concern:

  1. the non-renewals and reductions to the FTE of faculty in CAS, the proposed increase to course capacities in CAS with its far ranging impacts on the morale and work life of faculty, both those directly affected by these changes and those indirectly so, and on the education of the students we serve;

  2. the presidential search process that has, in spite of the open search process outlined last year, resulted in inviting a single finalist to campus and the delay in informing the university community about this change until February, a change that negatively affects both the shared governance and transparency that we value on this campus;

  3. the exclusion of United Academics, an organization that represents the vast majority of faculty at UVM, 623 of which are its members, from the smaller meetings with Dr. Garimella.

As a result of these concerns, we invite all community members to attend a rally and teach-in on Thursday at noon on the green between the Howe Library and the Davis Center. Secondly, we encourage faculty, staff, and students to attend the forum with Dr. Garimella to ask their questions and articulate their concerns to him directly.

We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss any and all of these concerns. We also hope that as leaders of the faculty union, we will be invited to meet with Dr. Garimella, as have many other student and faculty groups.

Sincerely,

Sarah Alexander and Julie Roberts

President and President-elect, United Academics


Valentine's Rally and Teach-In to Defend UVM Education

Dear members,

Many of you have been in touch with me about recent announcements by the administration: the single finalist for president, the layoffs and cuts in CAS, and the proposed increases to course caps in CAS. At the special meeting we held on Tuesday to discuss these administrative decisions, I heard very clearly from the faculty and students who packed John Dewey Lounge that we need to act now and collectively to defend education at UVM. 

In response to your calls for action, we have planned a Valentine's Day rally and teach-in. We hope you will attend next week on Thursday, February 14 at 12 noon. We will gather between Howe Library and the Davis Center. We encourage faculty who feel comfortable with doing so to suspend their classes during the noon hour, so you and your students can attend this critically important campus-wide convocation.

Please share this invitation widely among colleagues, students, staff, and all concerned community members. Attached is a poster you can print as well. And be sure to join and share the Facebook event page widely too!

All best,
Sarah Alexander

President, United Academics

Reminder: Special Meeting, Tuesday, 4-6 pm, John Dewey Lounge

Dear members and supporters of UA,

UVM’s faculty union, United Academics, is holding a special meeting—inviting faculty, students and community members—to discuss the layoffs and position reductions in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the CAS Dean’s announcement that starting next fall the minimum size for nearly all introductory classes will be 60 students. (That means courses doubling and even tripling in size in some instances—and it means that lecturers whose positions and pay have been reduced by 25% to 50% might still teach the same number of students!) The meeting will be on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in John Dewey Lounge (Old Mill). Come for any part of the meeting.

 

Please invite students and colleagues—and please announce in your classes and at club meetings. We want to make sure students and faculty know what is going on. We also want to strategize about responses. Although Arts and Sciences is most directly affected at this moment, other colleges have also been told they must increase their student numbers. These layoffs and curricular changes pose threats to all faculty, and they are a threat to the education and future of students too.

See you on Tuesday.

All best,
Sarah Alexander

President, United Academics

sarah.alexander@uvm.edu 

 

Special Meeting to Discuss Layoffs and Class Sizes

Dear colleagues,

I write to alert you about a Special Members Meeting we are holding to discuss the layoffs and cuts to FTEs, as well as the CAS Dean’s announcement that many introductory classes will now have much larger caps of 60 students. The meeting will be on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in John Dewey Lounge (Old Mill). Come for any part of the meeting. Please invite your students and colleagues. We want to make sure students and faculty know what is going on. We also want to strategize about responses. Although CAS is most directly affected at this moment, these layoffs and curricular changes pose threats to all faculty and have ripple effects across all ranks and units.

And a reminder about more opportunities to get involved in the union . . .

We currently have the following office/seats open

Full-time Member at large of the Executive Council (one-semester replacement and/or 2 year-term)

Delegates Assembly (Delegates for Rubenstein, CEMS, CALS, and CAS)

Get involved in union leadership! It’s meaningful service that makes a difference in our working conditions and campus culture.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

All best,
Sarah Alexander

sarah.alexander@uvm.edu

Welcome to Spring Semester

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the new semester. I hope you all had a nice break. Today I write with an update and two opportunities for you to get involved.

As many of you know, Tom Streeter has left UVM to take a position at Western University in London, Ontario. I want to thank Tom for his excellent leadership as our president over the past couple of years and his long service to the union in many capacities over the years.

Last semester you elected new delegates and officers for the two-year term beginning July 1, 2019. Until the new term begins, I will be serving as the president of United Academics. As of July 1, Julie Roberts will begin her term as president, and I will return to the role of vice president.

One of UA’s most important tasks this semester will be to appoint a Bargaining Team for the next round of negotiations beginning in Spring 2020 for the full-time bargaining unit. I’d like to put out a call to anyone interested in serving on the next Bargaining Team. Please contact me directly at sarah.alexander@uvm.edu if you’d like to be considered for a position on the team.

Another one of our goals this semester is to fill the vacant seats on the Delegates Assembly (DA). Serving on the DA is an opportunity to represent the concerns and issues of your unit and to participate in decision-making within our union. To that end, we will soon hold a special election to fill seats on the DA for the term July 1, 2019-June 30, 2021. The DA meets once monthly during the regular semesters. We currently have open seats for

Grossman School of Business

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Education and Social Services

Rubenstein School

If you are a member in any of these units and would like to serve as delegate, please email me at sarah.alexander@uvm.edu and tell me you’d like to run for the DA. Serving as a delegate is a great way to engage in service that really makes a difference. To read more about getting involved in UA, see our website: http://www.unitedacademics.org/get-involved/.

Finally, I’d like to invite you to get in touch with me if you have any questions or concerns.

All best,

Sarah Alexander

President, United Academics

sarah.alexander@uvm.edu

Worried About UVM's Future?

Dear colleagues,

As you finish up the semester with a flurry of exams and grading, consider taking a break to provide your input on the State of Vermont's budget, particularly regarding higher education. Governor Scott has opened his public budget forum inviting comments on the budget. The forum page is here: https://finance.vermont.gov/budget/public-forum

I get it: this does not sound fun or relaxing. But particularly if more than a few of us weigh in, we could have an effect. As I've said before, life is better if you care. 

Why should UVM faculty care about Vermont's budget? It's about money and vision. Regarding money: Vermont spends less per capita on higher ed than almost all other states in the country. In spite of what folks may tell you, this can and must change. 

Regarding vision: encouraging the state to invest in higher ed would affirm the principle that higher ed is a public good, that it is good for everyone, not just a private benefit. UVM is increasingly being pushed in the direction of thinking of itself as providing private benefits for pay: if the market demands a playground for the children of the wealthy or heavily indebted, so be it. If the state invests more in higher ed, perhaps by way of a "free tuition" plan for Vermonters, that would push an idea of education as a public good more to the fore. 

If you do weigh in on the state budget, you might consider the following points: 

  • Vermont has the highest family share for student tuition (meaning VT families pay 82% of the tuition burden for public institutions) (SHEF report)

  • Vermont has the highest high school graduation rate of the smaller New England states (87.7%), but one of the lowest rates for 5 year enrollment rate to post-secondary education, just over 50% (Common Data Project 2016)

  • Vermont ranks 47th out of 50 states for state support for higher education per $1,000 household income ($3.12) – Bureau of Economic Analysis

  • Vermont has one of the highest rates of students leaving Vermont for college (only Washington DC is higher) – Institute of Education Sciences

  • Because of the high cost of tuition at the VSC and UVM, economically disadvantaged students are disproportionately affected. Only 38.1% of students who are economically disadvantaged go on to college. (Common Data Project 2016)

  1. Thanks for considering this. I will probably have only one more message to send out to faculty before I leave UVM for Western University, but I know that your union and your colleagues are strong and active, and will continue to work to make UVM a better place. 

    Best,

    Tom Streeter

    President, United Academics

    thomas.streeter@uvm.edu 

Minutes for tomorrow's UA member's meeting, Wed at 3:30

Dear colleagues,

With apologies for adding yet another missive to your inboxes, attached please find the minutes from last spring for approval at our Fall Member’s meeting, this Wednesday (tomorrow) at 3:30 in Waterman Manor (note the new location: it has been moved from Waterman 413).  

Again, this should be both informative and fun, with a reception for outgoing staffer Steve Finner following the meeting. 

Best,

Tom Streeter

President, United Academics

thomas.streeter@uvm.edu 

Essential UA member’s meeting 11/7, 3:30, Waterman Manor

Dear colleagues,

As a follow up to VP and Prof. Sarah Alexander’s recent email, I write to remind you to attend our Fall Member’s meeting, this Wednesday at 3:30 in Waterman Manor (note the new location: it has been moved from Waterman 413). There is union business to be conducted, an important discussion to be had about the future structure of UA, colleagues from around campus to meet or catch up with, and a celebration of Steve Finner upon his retirement. (Agenda below.)

But also, if you believe in academic professionalism, in science, in sustained critical reflection, in the life of the mind, come to support UA. All of those values are under serious threat in the U.S., and we cannot take them for granted at UVM. United Academics, through contract administration and more, is a crucial legal bulwark of support for those values. I truly believe that. UA provides strong legal protections of academic freedom and rigorous peer-reviewed promotion standards. UA constantly reminds UVM, sometimes using its legal powers, that UVM’s mission is to educate and inquire, not merely to entertain or extract tuition money.

So if you want your work to be supported and respected, come to the meeting on Wednesday. If you can’t come at 3:30, come later; we will be in the Manor until 6:00, and drinks and refreshments will be served. If you are not a member, you can join at the door.

And whether or not you can attend, consider serving UA in a leadership role and encourage your colleagues to do so. Newly elected positions start in July 2019. We need a new President and more. It’s work, but it’s satisfying work, it’s not overwhelming, and it counts as university service. Do not take UA for granted; it will only be as good as the faculty who step up to serve it. There are 800 faculty represented by UA, so I can’t personally reach out individually to you all, but please contact me to discuss possibilities. For many of you who have not been involved before, especially if you are tenured, it’s time to do your part.

Of course, I also expect the meeting to be fun. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

Best,

Tom Streeter

President, United Academics

thomas.streeter@uvm.edu

Regarding Recent Events and Elections

Dear Colleagues,

It is impossible to find words adequate to the horrors of the racist shootings in Pittsburgh and Kentucky and other recent events, and yet impossible not to mention them. The horrors are clear. The question is what can we as faculty do? There is no one answer, but UA has long had a commitment to ending racism at UVM and beyond. If you are interested in participating in UA’s Civil Rights Committee, contact CRC Chair Leon Walls (lwalls@uvm.edu) to share your thoughts and let him know you would like to be put on the email list. You also might consider donating to the global refugee support organization that has been reported as a target of the Pittsburgh shooter, HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society https://www.hias.org/.

Meanwhile, elections are coming up—across  the nation on Nov. 6 and not long thereafter for United Academics. I do not need to remind UVM faculty of the importance of voting, but I offer the statements we solicited last August during the primaries from gubernatorial candidates Phil Scott and Christine Hallquist regarding their views on higher education funding, unions, and more. Both statements are attached to this message, and are revealing about the candidates and about the state of the debate about higher education in Vermont. 

Our own elections for UA officers are scheduled for mid-November. Please consider running for a position with UA in this fall’s elections, which will be held shortly after the Nov. 7 Member’s Meeting for terms running from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021. Serving as a Delegate for your college or a representative for your department is a modest time commitment (meetings once a month) and a good way to get to know UA and colleagues from around campus. There is still room to run for a position on the Executive Council, for Vice President, President, or more. Email our Nominations and Elections Chair Charles-Louis Morand Métivier at cmorandm@uvm.edu, and/or read about opportunities with UA here: http://www.unitedacademics.org/descriptions-of-elected-positions/.   

I’m one of the 293 faculty at UVM with tenure. Given that extraordinary security, I believe it is critical to try to do something about the problems of people outside my immediate circles of family, career, and self-care. If you agree, please consider involvement in UA, especially if you are tenured.

As always, keep in touch.

Tom Streeter

President, United Academics

thomas.streeter@uvm.edu