Thursday, January 29, 2009

Welcome to UNLV-NFA

Dear NFA-UNLV members,

With Paul Aizley's retirement from UNLV to serve in the state legislature, I have effectively inherited the title of "Interim President" for our chapter. Later this spring, in accordance with our by-laws, we will hold elections for new chapter officers. In the meantime, I will serve out Paul's term, with the assitance of Bernard Malamud of Economics and Ibrahim Salehi of Mathematics as other members of our executive board.

During this spring, our highest priority will be to mobilize ourselves to educate our representatives in Carson City about the dire threat to UNLV posed not only by the Governor's proposed cuts to the institutional base budget but also the proposed steep cuts to our salaries and health benefits. I have been working closely with the Faculty Senate chair, with the University's government-relations officer and with the state board of the NFA to prepare a coordinated response on behalf of faculty. You can read a summary of that effort here.

Today is the first day of the state legislative session and so a very good time to contact your state legislators with a polite, thoughtful email or phone call that reminds them not only of the serious threat posed to the Nevada System of Higher Education and UNLV budgets but also the threat posed by the prospect of proposed cuts to faculty salaries and health care benefits. Please feel free to use the "faculty talking points" that I drew up and other documents produced by the NFA in consultation with the Faculty Senate available here (in Word format). It is crucial that faculty speak to their elected representatives about our concerns -- the more informed, the more constructive, and the more consistent our communications, the more effective they will be. And if you get any substantive response, or better yet, a request for more information, I hope you'll let me know. Because many at UNLV have felt that our institution has not always been as well represented in the NFA's legislative efforts in the past, I'll be taking as active a role as possible, including a trip to Carson City next week to meet with several southern Nevada legislators about our concerns.

Moreover, I hope this spring to get our chapter a bit more active and prominent and to not only build our membership but to get our members more involved in both our campus efforts and our off-campus efforts.

To this end, I'm hoping to communicate more regularly to you and encourage you to communicate with me, and each other. To contact me, please feel free to write me here ( or to call me anytime on 580-7798.

The first step will be regular email updates, which will come from this address. If you don't want to receive them, please let me know and I'll remove your address from my list - or if you want to receive them at a different address,let me know that too. And feel free to forward and recirculate any membership-wide message from me to your colleagues, esp if you think it might entice them to consider joining the NFA.

The second step is that I've established for UNLV-NFA a blog, which resides at This will be a site to post regular updates for our members, colleagues, the press and the general community. I hope you'll consult it regularly and encourage others to do so. I have also created a Facebook page for the NFA, which I encourage you to visit if you have a Facebook account.

A more traditional static website will be launched later this spring, at an address to be announced.

In the meantime, if you do visit the blog, you'll notice my solicitation for new members, which was circulated to the entire univerity faculty by the AAUP office in Washington, and which includes a link to the registration page for new members and the online membership form (in PDF format). Until February 15, we are still offering half-price dues to new members for this first year, so now is the time to encourage colleagues to become active in the fight to save UNLV, our salaries and our benefits from the Governor's proposed cuts. And of course feel free to encourage anyone with questions about membership to contact me.

In solidarity,
Gregory Brown

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