Thursday, August 27, 2009

UNLV Faculty Alliance welcomes UNLV faculty back for 2009-2010

As we return for the 2009-2010 school year, it hardly feels like there was a summer break for the UNLV Faculty Alliance.

During last spring’s legislative session, we played a part in defending PEBP health insurance coverage from the crippling cuts that the Governor had proposed and in helping NSHE and UNLV reduce by about 2/3 the devastating cuts that the Governor had proposed. We also undertook a membership drive on campus which increased our effectives by 35%.

But before even the 2008-2009 academic year ended, we faced the System’s implementation of the state-mandated furloughs on faculty and pro-staff and then in July, the replacement of UNLV’s president by the Board of Regents.

The NFA on a state level, and our UNLV chapter, engaged fully in defense of faculty and pro-staff rights and protections under the System Code. We had active, forceful and responsible representation on the System’s ad hoc task force which developed recommendations to the Board of Regents – and which, due in part to our efforts, avoided financial exigency and suspension of the Code.

We also made the case, jointly with the Faculty Senates and campus administrations across the System, to the Regents at their June meeting that tenure-track faculty should be included in the workload adjustment. Although the Regents did not adopt our position, we did make clear the importance of retention of junior faculty.

In July, our chapter convened one of many focus groups with which Chancellor Klaich conferred in searching for a new president for UNLV, which culminated in the selection of Neal Smatresk (whose interview with NFA appears in the upcoming issue of the Alliance.) Thanks to those who participated for helping make the faculty’s voice heard.

Later in July, our chapter co-vice president, John Farley, attended the AAUP Summer Institute, on which he reports in the upcoming issue of the Alliance.

Now as we return for the 2009-2010 academic year, the UNLV Faculty Alliance is preparing for an active year.

We anticipate working closely with the Senate to ensure a faculty voice on two important issues before the System, a review of the state’s funding formulas for its institutions of Higher Education and a review of the System Code. We are also gearing up for an especially active election cycle, as our PAC will be considering candidates and endorsing candidates in a record number of races for Regent and state legislature due to the large number of open seats caused by resignations and term limits. Please let me know if you're interested in participating in our PAC effort.

On campus, we will continue our efforts to build our chapter’s visibility and membership and to make it more responsive to the faculty. We’ve expanded our Legal Defense committee statewide and on campus, led by UNLV Law faculty member Rob Correales.

Having elected a new and energetic chapter Executive Committee last year – Al Izzolo (Hotel), John Farley (Chemistry), Sandra Owens (Urban Affairs), Wolf Bein (Engineering) and myself (Liberal Arts) -- this year we plan to build out a chapter Liason Committee.

This committee will serve as a link between the membership and the executive committee, featuring at least one representative from each of UNLV’s colleges as well as representatives from constituencies of our membership – administrative faculty, non-tenure track academic faculty, part-time instructors, graduate student instructors, etc, and (we hope) various other faculty groups on campus. This committee will also include a member from the Faculty Senate executive committee. Committee members will also take charge of membership recruitment within their colleges or liason groups. (If you are interested in serving on this committee, or would like to know who is your liason, please contact us at

Later this fall, once the Liason Committee is in place, we'll hold our fall membership meeting. But in the meantime, please get in touch and get involved. Continue to follow us on And tell your colleagues that if they did not join this year, now is the time to join the UNLV Faculty Alliance.

In solidarity,

Gregory Brown

President, UNLV Faculty Alliance

Vice-President, Nevada Faculty Alliance

Co-Chair, NFA PAC

(702) 580-7798

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