Headlines

Reopening update

This message contains important information for those with underlying health conditions, or family members with underlying health conditions; please read through to the end. A working group of UA Executive Council members have been meeting weekly with Executive Vice Provost Janet Woodruff-Borden and Chief Human Resource Officer Mark Schmelz to work through ongoing workplace and safety issues as the majority of faculty, staff, and students return to in-person business. As you may recall, we supported the CSWS petition to allow caregivers of children 12 and under, who cannot yet receive the vaccine, the option to teach remotely. Central administration will not honor this…

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COVID Planning: The Work Continues

Dear colleagues, Many of you have read the petition sent by CSWS recently to the Office of the Provost. UAUO fully agrees with the concerns Professors Escallón, McKinley, and Stephen articulated, and we are also in full support of their ask that “caregivers of unvaccinated children (children under 12) can continue to teach and attend meetings [remotely] at least until their family members receive the vaccine.” We’ve also heard from faculty whose health puts them at serious risk by being in-person, yet they cannot qualify for ADA accommodations. And for those of us who are able to come back to campus, we…

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COVID Concerns

As the summer has progressed, it has become obvious that our hopes for an end to the pandemic will need to be delayed for the foreseeable future. While we support many of the steps the administration has taken, we have received communications from many faculty over the past few weeks expressing concern about the plan to have an in-person “return-to-normal” fall reopening at our residential campus, considering that many states, including Oregon, are seeing some of their highest rates of COVID infection during the pandemic. We believe faculty are right to be concerned. Last week, Christina Karns, Lynn Fujiwara, Dave…

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2021 Legislative Session: Not too bad…

No major walkouts or other shenanigans. In other words, we actually got down to business. With a healthy budget to lean on, UAUO (myself and President Chris Sinclair) collaborated with the President’s office to make the final push for the Public University Support Fund (PUSF; $900m) and the Oregon Opportunity Grants (OOG; $200m), among other things (see below), and we got what we asked for. It took several sessions and a lot of conversations, but we finally got through the Part-Time Faculty Health Care bill. Senate Bill 551 guarantees faculty who teach part-time across multiple institutions will now be covered…

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UAUO Protest Pollack-Pelzner Linfield University

Recently the President of Linfield University, Miles K. Davis, summarily fired Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a Shakespeare scholar who had held an endowed chair in the Department of English and had represented the faculty as a member of the Board of Trustees. According to the university administration, Pollack-Pelzner was terminated for reasons unrelated to his achievements as a teacher, researcher, or publishing scholar. Rather, the administration states that he was sacked because he had “engaged in conduct that is harmful to the university,” specifically that he had “violated instructions to preserve the attorney-client privilege” and that he had “circulated false statements…

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Reflections from UA’s new president

Dear Bargaining Unit Members, I am incredibly honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to serve as your President. I promise you I don’t take this lightly and will work my ass off to do what I can do. Besides, I still suffer from the “gotta work twice as hard and expect half as much” motto that I’ve known from too early. We’ve got a bargaining year, re-opening, and the business-as-usual challenges of equitable pay and attacks on academic freedom. Working conditions, especially for those tasked with caring for others, are not as accommodating as they need to be….

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United Academics Outstanding Contributions Award Winners

United Academics Strong Voice Award Nomination  We, the undersigned, are nominating our colleagues Elizabeth Peterson, Kate Thornhill, and Ann Shaffer for the United Academics Strong Voice Award. While many union members showed extraordinary leadership and advocacy this past year, we believe that our librarian colleagues responded to this crisis with fierce resilience and sustained support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Like many career faculty across campus during the 2020 spring and summer terms, 15 librarians were at risk of being demoted to 0.1 FTE due to the administration’s perceived budget shortfalls. Additionally, five librarians who were up for promotion were put…

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Upcoming Unit-level Policymaking Workshop and much more!

Join us Tuesday, May 25 for a themed Lunch with your Local: Unit-level Policymaking. We will discuss process and best practices for creating and revising unit-level policies, with plenty of time for Q&A. Zoom in from noon-1pm.   AAUP Oregon will be hosting a meeting on May 20th from 4 pm – 5 pm PT to make concrete plans for legislative outreach, particularly to our Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. We need as many faculty, staff, students, and community members taking part as possible to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear! Register here for the AAUP…

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Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month! Various departments and programs on campus have put out lists of resources that we encourage you to share with your students as appropriate, but if you haven’t already seen some of those, here are some you may choose to share. Note that UA’s board and staff have not personally used all of these services and resources. UO Student Resources list: https://blogs.uoregon.edu/online/uo-resources/ This list has resources for navigating your student experience not limited to mental health; being aware of some of these programs and services, including tutoring, technical support, and more, may help some students address and…

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A positive path forward

Dear Colleague, With the recent victory of the pay reduction plan being rescinded, and given that the financial outlook for state appropriations looks good (though still uncertain), the Executive Council of United Academics has agreed with the university to pause bargaining until this summer. At that point we’ll have a better idea of enrollment and know state appropriation numbers. It will also give us an opportunity to partner with the university in securing those financial resources from the state and recruiting a large, diverse student body. We hope this, in turn, will allow the administration more of a sense of…

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Solidarity and Community Events

COVID Planning: The Work Continues

Dear colleagues, Many of you have read the petition sent by CSWS recently to the Office of the Provost. UAUO fully agrees with the concerns Professors Escallón, McKinley, and Stephen articulated, and we are also in full support of their ask that “caregivers of unvaccinated children (children under 12) can continue to teach and attend meetings [remotely] at least until their family members receive the vaccine.” We’ve also heard from faculty whose health puts them at serious risk by being in-person, yet they cannot qualify for ADA accommodations. And for those of us who are able to come back to campus, we…


UAUO Protest Pollack-Pelzner Linfield University

Recently the President of Linfield University, Miles K. Davis, summarily fired Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a Shakespeare scholar who had held an endowed chair in the Department of English and had represented the faculty as a member of the Board of Trustees. According to the university administration, Pollack-Pelzner was terminated for reasons unrelated to his achievements as a teacher, researcher, or publishing scholar. Rather, the administration states that he was sacked because he had “engaged in conduct that is harmful to the university,” specifically that he had “violated instructions to preserve the attorney-client privilege” and that he had “circulated false statements…


Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month! Various departments and programs on campus have put out lists of resources that we encourage you to share with your students as appropriate, but if you haven’t already seen some of those, here are some you may choose to share. Note that UA’s board and staff have not personally used all of these services and resources. UO Student Resources list: https://blogs.uoregon.edu/online/uo-resources/ This list has resources for navigating your student experience not limited to mental health; being aware of some of these programs and services, including tutoring, technical support, and more, may help some students address and…


Statement of Support

Dear Colleagues, Members of our campus community and your wider communities have no doubt been shaken and distressed by last week’s attacks in Georgia. Our thoughts, grief, and sympathy go out to the victims, their families, and the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. We remember those who have been lost: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue, and those injured, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, in the Atlanta-area shootings. We know that this incident cuts deeply into the Asian community. These deaths are a reminder…


Campaign for Caregivers: Please sign the petition!

Recently, the Center for the Study of Women in Society sent an urgent request to University of Oregon leadership asking for action to alleviate labor inequities for faculty, staff, and GEs that have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic. As the faculty testimonials  below demonstrate, COVID-19 has uncovered many aspects of our institutional practice that have historically rendered the labor of caregivers invisible and left them more vulnerable. By “caregiver,” we mean anyone who regularly looks after a child, a dependent, and/or a sick, elderly, or disabled person without pay. Caregivers can be of any gender and are usually members of…