A new academic year with new challenges. We’re here to help.

Dear Colleague,

It’s a new academic year and there are new challenges to face. United Academics is here to support you.

Who YOU are.

You are the faculty represented by United Academics! You are tenure track faculty at the assistant, associate, and full professor levels. You are research faculty such as research assistants, associates, technicians, and research professors. You are librarians and you are instructors. You are Career faculty and you are pro tems. Together we are UNITED ACADEMICS!

Who we are.

We are a community of scholars and our (proverbial) doors are open to discuss issues that arise on the job. We are UO faculty who come together in solidarity to work for fair pay and fair working conditions across campus. We also work together to promote and defend our shared teaching and research mission by demanding of our University democracy, fairness, transparency, academic excellence, diversity, access to education, and economic opportunity.  Our fabulous staff assist with day to day operations and implementing our strategic initiatives.

What we do.

For faculty new to campus, we are happy to answer questions, point you to appropriate offices and help you get started at UO. For those of us who are continuing, many aspects of our jobs have changed due to COVID, and it can sometimes feel like we all have new jobs. If you have challenges working in this new environment, or just want to chat through issues that arise, we’re here to help. And, as always, we help faculty with grievances and violations of the collective bargaining agreement.

How to connect.

New this year, we offer many informal virtual spaces to hang out with other faculty.

  • We have twice weekly Lunches with Your Local, where you can meet other faculty (over Zoom) and discuss the issues of the day (national politics seems to be on everybody’s minds right now for some reason).
  • We have quarterly caucus meetings (Pride, Faculty of Color, and Working Families) to discuss more specific issues and develop community.
  • We have a weekly afternoon Social Hour (you provide the tea, coffee or something stronger).
  • We also have a plethora (of piñatas) of office hours to pop in and meet some officers of United Academics (all of whom are faculty with vast collective experience at UO).
  • Finally, we have quarterly General Membership Meetings. The first GMM is Thursday, October 8, from noon to 2pm. You will need to be a member of UA to attend, but new folks can sign up in the waiting room and then join the meeting. In addition to the usual updates on bargaining and other union activities, we’ll have breakout discussions on topics including racial justice, caregiver needs, and review criteria and processes in the time of COVID.

All of these events can be found on our new webpage uauoregon.org. Officers and staff spent the summer designing opportunities for faculty engagement and community, and we encourage you to explore the web page and come visit us virtually at a Lunch, Caucus, GMM, Office hour, etc.

Why we do it.

This will be an important year to be engaged. We will be bargaining a new collective bargaining agreement with important issues to protect our profession such as:

  • The right of faculty to be evaluated by their community of scholars in academic matters such as scholarship and teaching — rather than being subjected to arbitrary administrative decisions in promotion and tenure decisions.
  • Recognizing the professional contributions of Career faculty through reform of the contract system by instituting an expectation of continued employment for those faculty.
  • To advocate collectively for faculty who are marginalized on campus and in the community due to their racial, ethnic, gender, disability status or sexual identities. 

The budget is uncertain in this time of austerity due to COVID-19, but it is critical that we continue to push for transparency, shared governance, and decisions that prioritize education, equity, and scholarship.

We do not want to dwell on the negative in this message, but faculty need to be aware of and engaged to protect our profession from those looking to exploit the current crisis.

Please do reach out and say hello. We too crave human interaction and fresh faces in this difficult time.

In Solidarity,

Executive Council
United Academics