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February 2019 Newsletter - Issue 4

Message from the Academic Senate Chair

As I eat my pie (and still have some too!), I thought it appropriate to use the Featured Pie to inform my message this month. The pie is Uhuru’s exceptional Georgia pecan pie. Uhuru Pies is all about engagement; in its case, engagement with the African community worldwide. Now more than ever, when the leadership of our country rejects science at the risk of our planet, tries to deny women their right to choose, and promotes nationalism over inclusion, it is a moral necessity that we engage as much as possible in our own communities, as best as we can.

Engagement has its personal upsides as well. The yearly Gallup survey of UCSF staff is focused on engagement metrics rather than those of satisfaction. This is predicated on the concept that engagement is a higher bar for organizations to achieve, because it is based on an emotional connection between the employee and the organization. And that connection correlates with both business and clinical outcomes of our programs. Engagement is associated with a higher sense of well-being and improves performance. Taking that concept out of the workplace, engagement in any area, or community, impacts one’s own life; strengthening emotional ties to a community improves an individual’s sense of well-being while benefitting the community at large.

I see one of the major roles of the Academic Senate as fostering engagement in all of the communities to which our faculty belong. Through participation in one of the 20+ committees of the Senate, the faculty can make positive change in our students’ education, our research environment, our clinical enterprise, our personal well-being, and academic freedom, equity, diversity and inclusion in the University, and more. Via the Chancellor’s Funds, the Senate offers faculty awards for volunteering in the community, and supports dependent care as faculty members engage in extra-University activities that promote their academic societies. And via the Memorial on Fossil Fuel Divestment, the Senate is using its voice to petition the UC Regents to engage in solutions to the existential problem of climate change. I am happy to report that UCSF faculty overwhelmingly endorsed the Memorial, and it will now be forwarded to the systemwide Senate in order for it to begin the formal process of ratification by the entire UC Academic Senate per Bylaw 90.

Wonderful examples of faculty engagement in the Senate are presented in “Why I Serve in the Academic Senate.” I urge all Senate members to consider participation in the Senate, though I do appreciate that there must be limits to that form of engagement (and if I don’t spontaneously consider that caveat, my wife ensures that I do). She pointed me to a thoughtful piece in Academic Medicine, which worries about overburdening historically underrepresented groups such as women, people from racial/ethnic minority populations, persons with disabilities—on University service activities, particularly those who are early-career faculty, Most constructively, it provides recommendations to the University leaders aimed at preventing such early-career faculty from becoming overburdened with service while supporting meaningful engagement.
As the chair of the Academic Senate, I would love for all of the UCSF faculty to engage in Senate activities, in any or all of the forms I described above. That being said, as a member of many communities, local and global, while understanding that the most important community in which to fully engage is your family, I urge you to engage in any activities which benefit the communities in which you belong.

ADDENDUM: For those of you who love science for science sake, or who want more data to support their love of Canada, or who have children living in university dorms looking to impress their room-mates, check out this article from PNAS, published on February 19, ahead of print.
The videos alone are a blast, literally…

Uhuru Chocolate Pecan Pie

Featured Pie: Uhuru Food & Pies Georgia pecan pie

This delicious pecan pie* from Uhuru Pies has become, along with other Uhuru pies, a Northern California holiday tradition.

Named for the Swahili word for freedom, Uhuru Foods & Pies is one of the economic development institutions of Black Star Industries, and is co-sponsored by the African People's Education and Development Fund. Their goal is “to meet the needs of their own people everywhere for prosperity, decent housing, health and the ability to follow their own aspirations to contribute to the development and well-being of African people and our society: a vision that we can all support.”

Uhuru pies can be bought at many farmers markets, festivals, and street fairs throughout the Bay Area, and at their store in Oakland, at 7911 MacArthur Boulevard.

* best enjoyed with coffee (#DLo)

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Why I Serve in the Academic Senate (print)

In our last issue of Slice of Pie, Senate Chair David Teitel spoke passionately about why he serves in the Academic Senate, and particularly how UC’s unique model of “shared governance” has evolved. Over time, shared governance has allowed the various committees, task forces and councils of the Senate to achieve remarkable gains for the faculty and the University.

The UCSF Senate is currently in the middle of its annual Call to Service, which asks faculty members to indicate their interest in standing committees, for appointments beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. The UCSF Senate is very inclusive, and includes all faculty series – Adjunct, Clinical X, Health Sciences Clinical, Ladder-Rank, and In-Residence.

As part of the series highlighting the importance of shared governance, the Senate approached faculty who have been active within the Senate, focusing on faculty within the School of Dentistry for this article. They spoke on the critical need for each School to contribute to discussions on long range planning and the implementation of campus-wide and systemwide initiatives.

Effective Collaboration: UCSF’s Partnership Model of Shared Governance
Effective shared governance represents a true partnership. In his “Overview of Shared Governance,” Daniel L. Simmons, two-time Chair of the systemwide UC Senate remarked:

The relationship between the Academic Senate and the administration, both systemwide and on the campuses, has evolved over the past few years into a partnership that works to bring the faculty into decision making processes at the formulation stage. The faculty becomes a partner with the administration in working out common ground from which to face the challenges of the times. Standing on that common ground, it becomes difficult for one side or the other to pull the rug out from under a policy direction.

This “partnership” that Professor Simmons describes is alive and well at UCSF. In recent years the Senate Office has transformed itself into a professional services group that partners with the faculty and the UCSF Administration, facilitating effective collaboration for the good of the University.

The School of Dentistry’s Arthur Miller, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Division of Orthodontics, Department of Orofacial Sciences, is a faculty member who has served on numerous committees during his tenure at UCSF. He stresses the value of service to the institution. “In the Academic Senate, you meet faculty across all of the schools and programs, and you begin to realize why UCSF achieves so much. It is this diverse group of faculty, in multiple programs, who also give time through committees in the Academic Senate and complement the many who grow beyond their original work and responsibilities to leadership and collaborative interaction that drives much of UCSF.”

Open & Transparent Dialogue on Complex Issues
Above all else, the Senate’s commitment to a transparent dialogue, encouraging open discourse on complicated and challenging issues from a variety of viewpoints, helps to build a comprehensive plan addressing a number of grand challenges.

“With so many complex challenges facing University faculty both in our disciplinary fields and across the institution, I serve because I want to be part of the solution,” said Elizabeth Mertz, Professor, PRDS and Vice Chair, SOD Faculty Council. “These problems aren’t going to solve themselves, and you need to know how the system works to drive toward improvements.”

Participation in the Senate also affords early-career faculty members the opportunity to better acquaint themselves with their colleagues and their University as a whole. “Personally, as someone relatively new to UCSF, I see serving on the SOD Faculty Council as a way to learn about the different aspects of School of Dentistry and to meet other faculty members whom I would otherwise not intersect with,” says Frederick Chang, SOD Professor in the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology

Service within the Senate also gives faculty the opportunity to serve at the systemwide level, as many of the local committees have systemwide counterparts. As a recent example, Roberta Rehm (SON) and Henry Sanchez (SOM) served as the respective systemwide Chairs of the University Committee of Faculty Welfare (UCFW) and the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS). Both committees have made important contributions to UC policy over the years. Most recently, past UCFW Chair Rehm led the effort for a multi-year salary plan, as well as the creation of a Senate-Administration task force to make recommendations to ensure the sustainability of Retiree Health, which is a vital component of UCSF faculty’s total retirement benefit.

Professor Rehm remarked: “Serving in the Senate at the campus and system-wide levels has helped me to see how UC works locally and as a system. I’ve had the opportunity to work with other Senate members from UCSF and across the system to take an active role in faculty governance. […]The Senate is a powerful entity when members work towards a common goal.”

Issues Important to UCSF Faculty
The dedicated participation of the faculty within the Senate’s committees can lead to significant changes at UCSF. In the past decade, the decision to pursue furloughs rather than salary cuts during the 2010 financial crisis was discussed in Senate committees and councils. Many faculty advancements and promotions are processed through the Committee on Academic Personnel annually, as are intramural research grants, through the Committee on Research.

In more recent years, the Senate and its committees and councils have been particularly engaged on space issues at UCSF, including the creation of two separate task forces to focus on Academic Space and Education Space in spring 2018, and of a Senate Committee on Space. During the past year, representatives from the Senate’s Committee on Space played a key role in the formulation of new metrics associated with research space on the UCSF Research & Administrative Space Policy Working Group (RASP), which are currently being considered by UCSF leadership.

The UCSF Senate has also been at the vanguard of the Open Access movement. Beginning in 2010, UCSF led the call for a boycott of the Nature Publishing Group, when it insisted on increasing the price of UC’s license for its affiliated journals by 400 percent. Just a few years later, in 2012, UCSF faculty voted for the first open access policy, making it the first UC campus to do so, and paving the way for an eventual Open Access Presidential Policy in 2015. The Senate was most recently active in the Elsevier negotiations, with University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communications Chair, and UCSF faculty member, Rich Schneider, taking a leadership role on UC’s negotiating team. Characteristic of the faculty’s central role in University affairs, UC’s progress in this area has been through a faculty-led, bottom-up approach.

Indeed, many prominent senior Senate leaders view their Senate service as an important aspect of their academic life, as echoed by former UCSF Senate Divisional Chair Deborah Greenspan.

“At first, I was surprised to realize how little I knew about how the University worked. I also quickly came to understand how powerful the Academic Senate could be in influencing and facilitating major decisions. I learned to appreciate the opportunity to work with colleagues from other departments, Schools and Campuses as well as with campus leadership. I have so many warm memories of friendships and collaborations built. Together we met and surmounted many challenges. I will always treasure my Senate service.”

At all levels, the Senate empowers the faculty to exercise their right to participate in governance and the management of their University. In doing so, the Senate relies upon UCSF’s high quality faculty to work on its diverse committees to achieve long-lasting gains for the faculty and the institution as a whole. This is a model that has served UCSF well, and will become even more important given the ever-changing academic landscape.

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Responding to Faculty Needs: Changes in the Senate’s Chancellor’s Funds (print)

The UCSF Division of the Academic Senate is pleased to announce its 2019 Senate’s Chancellor’s Funds Awards are open for application as of January 22, 2019.

Since 2015, Chancellor Hawgood has provided $500K, generally known as the Senate’s Chancellor’s Funds, to the UCSF Academic Senate to use in support of faculty. These funds are derived from the Campus Core Fund and are generated from a portion of assessments on gifts and endowments. They are intended to be renewed annually and expended within the fiscal year in which they are awarded.

Since its creation, these funds have been split between funding pre-existing campus units and sourcing individual faculty awards. Some examples of campus units the Senate has funded include emergency backup child, elder, and dependent care, open access/open science fund, and the Healthforce Center to fund two cohorts of C-Flex.

The individual awards have typically been divided into four pathways:

  • Community Service & Volunteering - reimbursing faculty for non-academic, non-clinical volunteering efforts in the community.
  • Enrichment Awards – funding non-academic items or opportunities, such as software or training in public speaking.
  • Learning & Development Awards – funding academic opportunities for individual faculty that will directly benefit their School, Department, or Division, including “train the trainer” initiatives. Some School Faculty Councils also support travel within this pathway for attendance at conferences; check with your respective Faculty Council to verify.
  • Travel Grants – registration and travel (flight/hotel) funds for faculty giving presentations at conferences (Education Curriculum- or Research-focused)

Because of the great interest of the faculty in support of their academic travel, the Senate has allocated a larger proportion of the funds to travel grants and have added support for elder, child, or dependent care costs during the conference, and a second round of funding, to cover conferences in the fall.

For all conference travel grants, a presentation must be given. Travel grant award opportunities include the following:

  1. Education curriculum-focused Travel Grants
  2. Research-focused Travel Grants
  3. Dependent Care Faculty Travel Grants [not open to SOM Faculty]
  4. Fall Travel Grants (education curriculum, research, or clinical care conference training) – opens September 1, 2019.
    • The Senate recognizes that travel grants offered in winter do not address the need for similar funds for conferences in the fall. This new opportunity provides funding for faculty in those situations.

The Academic Senate also emphasizes that Learning & Development Awards should support “train the trainer” opportunities wherever possible. In the past the Senate has sourced new mentorship programs within departments, as well as diversity trainings within the Schools through these awards. The Senate Office looks forward to supporting similar opportunities in 2019, and strongly encourages faculty to submit such applications via the Senate Service Portal (MyAccess single sign-on).

Under UC Regents Bylaw 40, the Academic Senate is empowered to exercise direct control over such academic matters as the conditions for admission, certificates, and degrees, and the supervision of all courses and curricula. In all other areas of University affairs, the Senate exercises an important advisory role. Its aims are to provide the faculty a structure in which to contribute to the governance of the University and a mechanism to ensure their advancement and well-being.

For more information on participating with the Academic Senate, please respond to our Call for Service. If you’d like additional information about any of the Senate’s Chancellor’s Funds, click here.

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Faculty Take the Lead in Elsevier Negotiations (print)

The UCSF Division of the Academic Senate is pleased to announce its 2019 Senate’s Chancellor’s Funds Awards are open for application as of January 22, 2019.

As was recently reported by the EVCP’s Expresso newsletter, UC is currently in ongoing good faith negotiations with Elsevier. Prompted by the end of UC’s contract with Elsevier on December 31st, 2018, these negotiations are driven by a need to hold down the rapidly escalating costs associated with scholarly publishing while aligning UC’s journal contracts with the principles of open access (OA).

What is less well known, however, is the leading role that faculty within the Academic Senate have taken in these negotiations. Indeed, the UCSF Senate has led the way in developing UC’s OA general framework and policy – initially creating UCSF’s OA Policy in 2012, followed by the systemwide Academic Senate’s OA Policy in 2013, and eventually the OA Presidential Policy in 2015. Leading much of this work has been Dr. Richard Schneider, a UCSF Associate Professor within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, who has engaged in issues related to the library, commercial publishing, OA, new publishing models, information technologies, and scholarly communications since 2004. He chaired both the local Senate Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (COLASC) and its systemwide counterpart, the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC), during that time. In addition to advising the campus and administration on issues and policies regarding library space utilization and collections, both committees participate in shared governance with respect to OA publishing models for UC authors and journal subscriptions for our institution.

It was in this capacity that led UCOLASC Chair Schneider to author and lead the effort across the Academic Senate to endorse a “Declaration of Principles for Transforming Scholarly Communication,” which laid out 18 negotiating principles that hold the potential to transform the system of scholarly communication from one that remains closed and unaffordable, to one that is more open, fair, transparent, and sustainable. Among others, these principles include such concepts as no copyright transfers, no barriers to data availability, no free labor (e.g., UC authors, peer reviewers, editorial boards, etc.), no double payments, and no non-disclosure agreements.

In order to maintain a leadership role for the systemwide Senate, and at the request of the Council of University Librarians (CoUL), Dr. Schneider became one of two faculty representatives on the library team that is negotiating for a transformative license agreement with the publishing giant Elsevier. A major goal of these negotiations is to end the current financial model where UC essentially pays for some content twice – once through high institutional subscription fees and then again through author OA fees (article processing charges, or APCs). In its new contract with Elsevier, UC wants to redirect subscription money to support OA publishing for all UC corresponding authors, and receive get a discounted APC for publishing OA articles in Elsevier journals.

Dr. Schneider recently commented on the gravitas of these negotiations. “For the first time, the UC is negotiating based on the OA principles that we as faculty have been championing for more than a decade. The transformative agreement that we are seeking would enable UC corresponding authors to continue publishing in any Elsevier journal but provide the resources and infrastructure to make such publications immediately and freely available to the world. UC authors would also retain their right to share and re-use their own work widely.”

In moving the needle of the scholarly communication model forward, Professor Schneider has always taken a grassroots approach on these issues, and one that is rooted in the traditions of shared governance. In doing so, he has vigorously engaged with faculty on multiple Senate committees and School Faculty Councils, as well as other groups, on important policy OA initiatives. For instance, immediately preceding his current role on the Elsevier negotiating team, Dr. Schneider utilized this consensus-building strategy to facilitate UCSF signing onto a global OA initiative called OA2020. Speaking to the success of this strategy, he was a UC faculty representative at the OA2020 meeting in Berlin, which not only brought UCSF additional prestige as a leader in OA, but laid the groundwork for other UC campuses to sign onto the agreement.

The significance of involving faculty in these negotiations cannot be overstated, by inserting the faculty voice directly into the discussion that will ultimately lead to an agreement. UCSF University Librarian (UL) Chris Shaffer sees this as a natural progression of shared governance.

“The Council of University Librarians (CoUL) partnered with the UC Systemwide Academic Senate and the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee (SLASIAC) to identify the best ways to make the results of UC research widely available at the moment of publication. Our faculty, students, and librarians have been working together for many years in support of open access and increasing the visibility of UC research,” says UL Shaffer.

In partnership with the UCSF Library, the UCSF Senate’s COLASC led campus outreach efforts on the negotiations to 15 Senate committees, the Graduate Professional Student’s Association, and a campus town hall. COLASC Chair Diana Laird is proud of these outreach efforts undertaken by her committee.

Chair Laird, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, recently commented, “I am inspired to be part of an institution where taking a stand for your values is in the cultural fabric. COLASC is committed to advancing open access publishing but is also working to build awareness and solicit feedback from the research community at UCSF. […] Faculty members are willing to look past a little personal inconvenience now to recognize that the publishing model will ultimately change, that UC’s position is important, and that we will be on the right side of history.”

Dr. Schneider remains hopeful that these negotiations with Elsevier will bear fruit, and feels that significant progress has already been made in terms of conveying a clear message about what UC wants to achieve both in the short and long-term. “The importance of UC’s leadership in this effort cannot be overstated. We are at the forefront of a global movement. Academic institutions across the US and around the world are watching closely as we leverage the power of our ten campuses to transform the system of scholarly communication into alignment with our public mission, and for the betterment of society at large.”


Division MeetingThursday, March 28 at 12:00 pm in Rock Hall (view)
• Health Sciences Compensation Plan •

Created by UC Board of Regents Standing Order 105, the UC San Francisco (UCSF) Academic Senate is empowered to exercise direct control over such academic matters as admissions for degrees and curricula, which are of central importance to the University. The UCSF Division of Academic Senate provides an independent forum to discuss faculty-related campus wide academic concerns. In other areas, the Senate exercises an active advisory role. The Academic Senate works within the larger body of UCSF, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

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