Friday, April 22, 2011

UNLV NFA chapter update

Dear UNLV-NFA members,

The UNLV chapter has been, along with the rest of the faculty, both deeply engaged in and deeply saddened by the state's Higher Education crisis. 


Our efforts have been on three levels -- the state legislature, the Board of Regents and on campus.


At the state legislative level, we have organized faculty to call key legislators and deliver a message that calls for a balanced solution that includes broad-based, fair and stable revenue reform to secure the state's future by escaping the boom-and-bust cycle of the past. That effort has been carried out in alliance with student leaders, especially those who organized the "Shut Down the Strip" rally in early March and the Carson City rally on March 21. Our "33 minutes for 33 programs" campaign, remains actively and has produced several thousand calls from faculty and staff to key legislators and the Governor.  See more on our blog, at We will be continuing this effort beginning next week in a coordinated effort with students to focus on key legislators.

At the Board level, we have urged faculty to communicate not only their concerns but also their achievements -- in teaching, research and state service -- to the Regents, especially to those less familiar with the work of the UNLV faculty. Most recently, we had a very strong UNLV faculty turnout at the April 9 Board meeting and we will be calling upon NFA members and UNLV faculty generally to continue this presence at future Board meetings as the spring continues. (Note that special Board meetings are scheduled, tentativley, for May 6 and May 18, and the regular Board meeting will be at UNR on June 16-17).

In our communications to Regents and the Chancellor, we have called for clear priorities of instruction and research and to develop a System-wide retrenchment plan that would ensure the overall impact of the cuts at the least maintains, if not improving, the balance across the System of state expenditures on academics with administrative and support expenditures. We have expressed concern that merely assigning cut targets to each campus does not nothing to encourage or reward administrative efficiency around the state.


On campus, since last December, our chapter leadership has been involved in consultations with the administration through both the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Advisory Committee and through direct consultations. We have consistently urged the administration to 1) follow the NSHE Code and UNLV by-laws 2) set clear proportional targets, which reflect academic priorities of instruction and research over administration and support, in distributing the cuts across campus 3) seek wherever possible to consider broad reorganizations of administrative and academic units to limit the number of programs, and current faculty, who would have to be cut 4) urge greater consultation at the college level by deans of their faculty. We have also advised a large number of faculty concerned about their positions being cut on both political strategies (ie, all of the above) to preserve their programs and also, in the case of tenured faculty, how to prepare for legal defense if necessary.


We have also worked on campus to build the chapter, through our electronic communications, through regular board meetings, and through shoe-leather recruitment efforts. The chapter membership grew by another 10% this spring, a general membership meeting was held in February, and another is scheduled for April 28. By vote of the members, we broadened our chapter board to make it more inclusive and representative.


As for 1 July, the chapter will have a new board. I will not serve in an elected office on that board, though I will offer advise when sought as immediate past president. The new officers, who were nominated by an open nomination process in early March and (since each office received only one nominee) they are elected by acclamation. The new board will be as follows


President: John Farley, Physics (College of Sciences). John has served as a very active chapter vice-president for the past two years and as a thoughtful, well-spoken and highly respected member of the Faculty Senate this year.


Vice-President for Events: Al Izzolo, College of Hotel Administration. Al has been a long-time member of the NFA and prominent representative for the chapter in the Hotel College, served as vice-president for the past two years. In his newly defined office, he will be in charge of organizing membership and board meetings and other chapter events.


Vice-President for Member Services: Jeff Waddoups, Economics (College of Business). Jeff, formerly a chapter and state board officer, returns to NFA leadership and will be responsible for monitoring membership, recruitment and for chapter governance activities. 


Vice-President for Outreach and Communications: Amy Bouchard Brooks, Alumni Association (Advancement). Amy, a highly-respected administrative faculty member at UNLV, has recently completed a term on the Faculty Senate executive committee and this spring joined NFA to expand her efforts on behalf of the institution and its faculty and staff. She brings extensive experience in the areas of public relations, government relations and organizational communications. She will also provide a prominent liason for the chapter to the administrative faculty in the support divisions of the university.


Secretary/Treasurer: Sandra Owens, Social Work (College of Urban Affairs). Sandra has been chapter secretary for the past two years and also provided valuable guidance on a number of important university-wide issues, as well as leading outreach efforts to the Urban Affairs college. She will continue to serve in a newly defined seat on the board, which combines the chapter Secretary and Treasurer functions.


Legal Defense Chair: Rob Correales (Law). A specialist in employment law, and a longtime NFA member, Rob has advised countless UNLV faculty members and has advised the chapter on legal questions pertaining to employment issues. In addition to serving as the chair of the UNLV Presidential Advisory Committee, Rob remains truly indispensible as campus legal defense chair.


In addition, consistent with our revised by-laws, the chapter board will also include at-large members.


At-large member: Wolf Bein, Computer Science (Engineering). A prominent member of the Faculty Senate, Wolf has served on the chapter board for the past two years and will remain as a valued voice.


At-large member: Raquel Casas, History (College of Liberal Arts). A widely respected faculty member, and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council, Raquel joined the NFA this year and has stepped forward to provide advise and serve as a liason to various constituencies on campus. 


At-large member: Kendall Hartley, Curriculum & Instruction (College of Education). Another widely respected scholar and teacher, Kendall brings not only his stellar reputation but extensive knowledge of communication issues. 


We still have open seats on the board for members from other colleges not represented --  Allied Health Sciences, Community Health, Dental, Fine Arts, and Libraries. Our by-laws allow the elected executive committee can appoint members to these open seats, so if you are interested in representing your college, please contact me or John Farley.

Finally, Al Izzolo is organizing a general membership meeting for next Thursday April 28 at noon. Watch for additional details concerning location and agenda early next week.

In solidarity,

Gregory Brown
Professor, Department of History, UNLV

President, UNLV Faculty Alliance
Vice-President, Nevada Faculty Alliance
Co-chair, NFA PAC

PH (702) 580 - 7798
FAX (702) 458 - 4290

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