We wanted to get to get the results of the faculty poll and Robert Shelton's comments up immediately. Feel free to comment.
The raw numbers are below. Here is our first overall view of the poll results. The tally figures are here.
To: General Faculty
From: Wanda H Howell, Chair of the Faculty
Lynn Nadal, Chair of the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee
Robert P Mitchell, Vice Chair of the Faculty and Presiding Officer of the Faculty Senate
J C Mutchler, Secretary of the Faculty
Michael A Cusanovich, Chair, Committee of Eleven
Javier Duran, Vice Chair, Committee of Eleven
Re: Faculty Poll
We report below the results of the faculty poll held last week. Given the nine-day timeline, we ran into some technical issues carrying out the poll. We gratefully acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the Faculty Center staff and UITS, who rose to the challenge at a time when they were already dealing with a major transition. Although a small number of faculty experienced difficulties voting, the majority of these problems were resolved within the voting period.
Eligibility to vote is described in Article II of the Constitution of the General Faculty at http://fp.arizona.edu/senate/
a. Faculty members who hold half-time or more tenured or tenure-eligible appointments,
b. Academic professionals who hold half-time or more continuing or continuing-eligible appointments,
c. Lecturers (including Senior and Principal Lecturers) holding half-time or more multi-year appointments,
d. Clinical professors, research professors and professors of practice holding half-time or more multi-year appointments.
In the spirit of shared governance, we have communicated the results of this poll to the President and the Provost. We are in the process of reviewing the hundreds of comments and will release an executive summary as soon as possible, no later than the end of the week. The full text of the comments will be posted on the Faculty Governance website at http://fp.arizona.edu/senate/ by the end of the week as well.
We would like to thank our colleagues for their engagement in this process and their active participation in shared governance. We would also like to encourage even more faculty to participate in the days to come. In that regard, we remind everyone of the next Faculty Forum to be held on Thursday, October 1st, at 4:00 p.m. in Family and Consumer Sciences 202 (campus map http://iiewww.ccit.arizona.
September 18-25, 2009 UA Faculty Poll Participation:
Eligible Voters: 2754 (includes approximately 750 emeriti faculty)
Ballots cast: 858 Percentage of eligible voters: 31.1%
College -- Eligible Voters -- Votes Cast -- Voter Rate
CALS: 377 -- 106 --28.1%
CALA: 32 -- 1 -- 3.1%
EDUCATION: 104 -- 15 -- 14.4%
ENGINEERING: 179 --
COFA: 156 --
COH: 185 -- 104 --
LAW: 53 --
COM: 380 --
NUR: 72 -- 5 --
OPT SCI: 41 -- 5 -- 12.2%
PHARM: 46 --13 -- 28.3%
MEZCOPH: 39 -- 6 --
COS: -- 473 -- 144 -- 30.4%
ELLER : 123 -- 58 -- 47.2%
NON-COLLEGE: 158 -- 56 -- 35.4%
September 18-25, 2009 UA Faculty Poll Results:
Question 1. Do you support the way the President has carried out the Transformation Process? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 2. Do you support the way the President has handled the recent budget cuts? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 3. Do you support the way the Provost has carried out the Transformation Process? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 4. Do you support the way the Provost has handled the recent budget cuts? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 5. Do you support the principle of differential cuts? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 6. Do you believe that the central administration has communicated adequately concerning recent changes at the UA? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
Question 7. Do you believe Open Forums would be important in improving communication between the central administration and the campus community? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
2 .... 155
3 .... 264
4 .... 172
5 .... 165
Question 8. Do you believe More Email and Other Digital Messages would be important in improving communication between the central administration and the campus community? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
2 .... 141
3 .... 243
4 .... 175
5 .... 124
Question 9. Do you think central administrator should be more visible on the University Campus? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
Question 10. How much confidence do you have in the ability of central administration to lead us through the tough challenges we face now and in the foreseeable future? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No confidence, 5=Full confidence
TO: Campus Community
FROM: Robert N. Shelton, President
Many people on campus are frustrated. Many feel that they have not been heard. Others feel that the Provost and I should have provided more detail on how we planned to approach the differential cuts that most (though not all) believe are the best way to tackle the enormous challenge before us. For some, personality and personal communication style are the issues.
While we have attempted to be as transparent in this process as possible, it is apparent that we need to do more, both in sharing details of the monumental budget dilemma that we face, and in engaging our faculty in the search for solutions.
To that end, we are planning two immediate steps. First, I have asked our faculty leadership to schedule a Presidential Forum with the faculty of each college. This will provide an opportunity for me to hear from and engage the faculty in each area of our University. I expect those to be frank conversations with no topic off the table. It will also afford the opportunity to discuss how we, as a University community, can confront the very real political obstacles that all of us in education face in this State.
Second, Provost Hay has already begun planning to meet with smaller groups of faculty leaders to discuss the continuing actions that are being taken to deal with the cuts that we have already received from the state (approximately $100 million). Even more critical will be talking through the possible options for dealing with what will undoubtedly be more devastating cuts in the coming years. How we go about decentralizing unit budgets and implementing a tuition funds flow model will be critical components of those conversations.
Issues that we face in this state are not only about money, but about our values. Partisan state politics intrude on both of those areas on a constant basis. In virtually every corner of the country there has been a shift away from state support for public universities. This trend is probably most evident in Arizona, where over the past two decades the portion of the state budget dedicated to higher education has decreased by half. By all accounts that trend will continue, and how we as a University replace those revenues is critical to the future viability of our institution. I cannot emphasize enough that the status quo will not hold.
Let me conclude by saying that I take the comments that were shared in the poll to heart. This has been a frustrating time for the administration as well as the faculty. We want to do everything possible to sustain the greatness of the University of Arizona. Finding the right path in a time of historic revenue reductions is not easy, and not everyone is going to agree on whatever path is chosen.
As I have said many times, in the face of these state budget cuts we cannot continue with business as usual nor do everything that we have done in the past. That is a sad reality, but it is the reality nonetheless. How we arrive at a model that will preserve the University as the type of
institution we all want it to be will take time and enormous effort. I very much welcome the best thinking of everyone on campus to help inform the approach we take. I will work hard in the months ahead to seek out those ideas, and I pledge to greater engagement of faculty leadership at the stage of taking quantitative decisions.