29 Jan Answering the Provost’s Question on Post-Pandemic Teaching
- The Conversation is Already Happening: Did you know that the Provost has asked the deans to answer a series of questions about the bounds of pedagogical autonomy (i.e. who decides whether a class, office hour, advising session etc. should be online)?
- Faculty Must Be Included in Decision Making: Your Deans were instructed to include you in the conversation. If they have not already done so, we strongly encourage faculty to be proactive and engage with leadership through shared governance mechanisms.
- 1B Vaccine Priority Petition: Please consider signing IFT’s petition asking the state to include higher ed workers in the 1B vaccine distribution taking place right now.
- Office Hours with Our Treasurer: Our Treasurer, Michael Scott, will join us for office hours Wed, 2/3/21, 12-1pm. Come with your thoughts or questions! Engineering folks are especially welcome to make use of Michael’s experience as the former College Rep.
- A Victory for Our Hospital Workers: Our colleagues at the hospital have confirmed that since the petitions and other actions demanding their back pay, Admin has finally made their plans and timelines available. Thanks to all who signed!
First, please consider signing IFT’s petition to expedite vaccine priority for higher ed workers (faculty, grad workers, and staff) who are slated to be included in the 1C vaccine distribution, estimated to be 1-2 months away. The petition asks for higher ed workers to join K-12 teachers and other public facing essential employees in the 1B vaccine distribution that is occurring right now. Many staff members and some faculty are even now working on campus and in public-facing capacities, and many more are doing so at other institutions across the state. We are asking that these individuals be prioritized as other essential workers are, in the current round of vaccinations.
Teaching Autonomy is an Academic Freedom Issue
Recently the union learned of a memo, sent by Provost Poser to college deans, asking them to consult with their faculty and report back by February 19th on how the university should think about delivering curriculum post-pandemic. On its face, this is not an unreasonable thing to be thinking about, but the details bear examining.
Several questions revolve around whether an individual faculty member should ever be required to teach or perform other duties online. We have a number of concerns with the framing of this issue, which we will elaborate on in an open letter to be published shortly. However, for now, we’ve seen some evidence of deans bringing these discussions to their faculty – and some evidence quite to the contrary. Deans were instructed to consult you, their faculty, and if they haven’t done so, we strongly encourage members to bring these issues to the fore through your shared governance channels where possible. If you would like help determining the best way of introducing this topic before Feb. 19th, please email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
Office Hours with Our College Reps
Next week, we welcome our Treasurer and former College of Engineering Representative, Michael Scott, to our office hour. Michael, is a long-time member and officer of the union, and we look forward to making his experience and expertise available to you. We encourage anyone interested to drop in, especially if you are an Engineering member with questions, concerns, or other ideas. As a reminder, office hours are held every week, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12-1pm. See links above for the zoom invite, and links at the bottom of this email to add the sessions to your calendar.
Hospital Workers Won Unprecedented Transparency
Over the last several weeks, over 675 faculty and community members signed our petition demanding the administration honor hospital worker contracts and share their plans for executing promised pay increases that have been slow to materialize. This week, admin responded, and our union colleagues confirmed, that the process of distributing raises is now underway, with a detailed outline of their implementation plan. Our allies from SEIU have said that this is a level of transparency that they have never seen before, and they thank all their supporters. So thank you to everyone who signed our petition or took other actions!
UIC United Faculty
We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!