- Media Spotlight on Reappointment Hypocrisy: The Sun Times covered our faculty retention event during last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, calling out the hypocrisy of UIC celebrating enrollment increases while refusing to commit to NTT reappointments.
- Reappointment Deadline: Tuesday, June 1, is the primary deadline for the university to notify NTT faculty of reappointment decisions (or to defer that decision to July 16). We will poll to determine compliance and next steps if needed to get these notices ASAP.
- Professional Development Fund Deadlines: Annual travel funds guaranteed in our contract from 2019-20, which rolled over to this year because of the pandemic, will expire June 30th. All annual PD funds for (2020-21) expire August 15th. We highly recommend spending or pre-approving all funds by June 30th to avoid complications.
We held a powerful media event last week during the U of I Board of Trustees meeting, hearing from our indispensable non-tenure track faculty about the frustrating hypocrisy of our university championing growing enrollments while failing to commit to faculty reappointments. As you can read in the Chicago Sun Times article covering the event, just under half of all full time faculty at UIC are now non-tenure track, and many of them are waiting to hear if they will have a job next year.
Per our contract (Article IX.B.3), the primary deadline for reappointment notification is June 1st, and the university often exercises its option to defer decisions until as late as July 16th. We’ve been campaigning for more timely reappointment decisions from the UIC Administration and will be watching with keen interest to see how they respond next Tuesday.
If you are an NTT faculty member, you should expect a form letter informing you either that you will be reappointed, not reappointed, or that the university is deferring the decision to a later date. This is a formal notification, but not your official Notice of Appointment (NOA) which is signed by the board in August. Note that faculty on multi-year contracts that continue through the next academic year may not necessarily receive this notice, as their appointment is ongoing.
UICUF will issue a poll to NTT faculty to monitor university compliance, and to allow members to report problems or request assistance. Look out for the poll in the next weekly update.
Professional Development Deadlines
Annual travel funds outlined in our union contract, and held over from last year (2019-20) due to the pandemic, are set to EXPIRE on June 30th. Because the university halted support for travel under covid, 2019-2020 travel funds may be used instead to reimburse expenses for equipment and services supporting your remote work. This year the administration has refused to allow alternative uses for funds designated specifically for travel.
All contractually guaranteed research and professional development funds for the current academic year (2020-21) will expire August 15th. We cannot say enough, however, that you should plan to use or have pre-authorization for these funds before June 30 if possible, to avoid problems with accessing them. These funds are yours to use for research and/or teaching-related professional development, and are contractually protected. However, you must use-it-or-lose-it by the above deadlines!
If you encounter any problems getting approval to use your funds, let us know ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com, as denial of funds intended for legitimate purposes may represent a breach of contract.
Vaccine Mandate Poll
UICUF leadership wants to know how our members feel about a vaccine mandate for all UIC students, staff, and faculty (with possible health/religious exemptions). We’ve created a brief, confidential, 2-question poll for you to let us know what you think, and in particular let us know whether you believe UICUF should endorse such a measure being put in place if and when it becomes possible. Please note that at this time, the UIC administration and U of I system leadership have asserted that they cannot legally enforce a vaccine mandate, and that they would need further authorization from the state to do so. It is unclear whether or how this will be addressed by state legislators and/or the governor.
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!