Ciocca-Koch Gift

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On Thursday, May 30, SCU President Michael Engh, SJ, announced a $7 million gift from Carlyse Franzi Ciocca (’77) and her husband Art Ciocca, coupled with a supporting $4 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation, to expand and re-envision the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  The gift agreement with the Charles Koch Foundation, made public in the announcement, includes “strict language to protect academic integrity and academic freedom at all junctures,” and reserves “all decision-making (including hiring, curricular, programming, research topics, and other decisions)” to the University.  A document with more information was linked to the announcement.

However, the history of Charles Koch Foundation gifts and the causes they support raise alarms for many on campus and beyond, including our campus chapter of the AAUP. SCU faculty and students are circulating resources and, in the students’ case, a petition, against the acceptance of the gifts.

The linked donations trigger several concerns for AAUP specifically. First, Santa Clara University administrators did not openly and transparently consult with faculty about a decision that directly affects both faculty and students, as well as the reputation of the University. Secondly, the track record of the Charles Koch Foundation reveals they have sought to undercut academic freedom at universities across the US. Accepting the support of the Charles Koch Foundation ethically aligns Santa Clara University with their policies—a stance that flies in the face of the values of shared governance and academic freedom.

Below we provide a link to The Charles Koch Foundation website, as well as other links and articles about their gift history, the Foundation’s underlying aims, and critiques that have emerged.


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2015 Chapter Progress Report

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2014–15 Academic Year Accomplishments.

Our chapter has:

  1. Presented a Forum on Faculty Salaries and University Budget Priorities on October 1, 2014, showing that faculty salaries have fallen significantly below the Bay Area cost of living since 2008-09. Forum recommendations were reported to the November 12, 2014 Faculty Senate Council (FSC), and considered by the University Budget Council and the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC). At the request of Vice President for Finance Mike Hindery, Faculty Senate President James Lai appointed a Faculty Task Force on Salaries and Budget Priorities (with AAUP members Bill Sundstrom, Linda Kamas, and Diane Dreher). In May 2015, the provost announced a 3.5% merit pool for faculty salaries. Our chapter will continue to work for greater transparency and ongoing review of faculty salaries and university budget priorities. (See our issues page on faculty compensation and our blog page on related issues.)
  2. Recommended improvements in faculty housing policy. Our October forum pointed out the need to update SCU’s housing policy in the wake of escalating housing prices and rising rents in the Bay area. Currently, many faculty cannot use the purchase plan because their salaries are too low to qualify for a loan. This Spring the FAC recommended increased rental assistance and extension of the rental program beyond tenure. In May 2015 the provost announced a $100 monthly increase in rental assistance and the formation of a new Faculty Housing Working Group to explore improvements to the housing purchase and rental assistance programs.
  3. Worked to support the rights of contingent faculty. We endorsed the COLA (Committee on Lecturers and Adjuncts) evaluation guidelines, which were approved by the FSC on November 12 and presented to the school deans for implementation. Our chapter VP has been serving as the AAUP COLA liaison. Next year, we will invite a COLA representative to attend chapter meetings.
  4. Prepared resolutions on implications of the increased undergraduate student body and the current classroom shortage. Resolutions sent to the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) on December 2, 2104 and the Student Affairs Committee on January 8, 2015. At the May 13 2015 FSC, President Engh announced no further increase in the undergraduate student body until completion of STEM construction, reporting on the university’s plans to build additional classrooms and use the old art building for temporary classrooms in the meantime. (See our issues page on Enrollment Expansion.)
  5. Surveyed SCU faculty about major needs and concerns. Worked with Faculty Senate President and President-Elect to prepare the survey and collate the data in January, 2015; reported results at the January 14th FSC and posted survey data and comments on our AAUP web site. We will continue to follow up on these issues.
  6. Presented Faculty Retirement Support resolution to the FSC calling for a task force to create a comprehensive and supportive plan for faculty retirement; passed unanimously at the May 13, 2015 FSC, sent to the UCC for implementation. (See our issues page on Retirement.)
  7. Prepared a resolution for a task force to review SCU’s Rank and Tenure process in the light of current research and national best practices; passed unanimously at the May 13, 2015 FSC, sent to the UCC for implementation. (See our issues page on Assessing Tenure & Promotion Procedures.)
  8. Prepared resolution re: department faculty’s role in selection of department chairs for the October 2015 FSC.
  9. Drafted resolution asking for clear and academically sound standards for online education to present at the October 2015 FSC for action by the AAC.

2015-16 Academic Year Plans and Priorities

  1. Continue our successful membership campaign.
  2. Maintain oversight of faculty salaries and university budget priorities.
  3. Extend shared governance to include departmental and school deliberations.
  4. Work to increase the number of tenure-track lines.
  5. Continue working with COLA to promote better salaries and working conditions for contingent faculty.
  6. Host a forum with representatives from AAUP National on the One Faculty Campaign and advocacy for the rights of college faculty.
  7. Establish annual faculty evaluations of administrators.
  8. Ongoing work to support academic freedom and a strong faculty voice in governance.

In addition, we will continue moving forward on our Platform issues and respond to faculty needs as they arise.

Faculty Salaries and University Budget Priorities: An AAUP Call to Action

On Oct 1, 2014, Santa Clara’s AAUP chapter held a forum on Faculty Salaries and University Budget Priorities. Our panel described disturbing national trends in higher education, pointing out parallels at Santa Clara.

As AAUP’s national survey reveals, despite a dramatic increase in students attending college from the mid-1970s to 2011, there has been only a 23% increase in tenure track faculty contrasted with a 369% increase in non-faculty professionals (administrative managers and staff), a 141% increase in upper administrators, and an explosive increase in contingent faculty—259% full-time and 286% part-time (Curtis & Thornton, 2014, p. 7; the New England Center for Investigative Reporting reports similar figures).

Too many American colleges and universities have reversed their priorities, investing less in academics and more in “administrative bloat” (Curtis & Thornton, 2014), resulting in the proliferation of what Benjamin Ginsberg (2011) calls highly-paid “deanlets” (deans, associate deans, assistant deans, associate provosts, associate vice provosts, assistant provosts, and their staffs). As former AAUP national president Barbara Bergman has pointed out, universities have spent millions of dollars on administrative positions “that a few years ago would have been thought unnecessary,” money spent on burgeoning bureaucracies that could have been better invested in academics, including faculty salaries (Curtis & Thornton, 2014, p. 7).

Here at Santa Clara, our Faculty Handbook states that maintaining competitive and equitable faculty salaries is a “high priority” at the university. Yet data from the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences reveals not only stagnant faculty salaries but that for the past five years, faculty with “excellent” performance ratings have actually gotten a real pay cut, their minimal percentage increases falling well below the Bay area cost of living. Data from IRS 990 forms indicates that while tenure-track faculty have lost nearly 4% in buying power from 2008-09 to 2012-13, top administrators’ (VP level and deans’) mean salaries have increased by 6%.

Tenure-track salary losses, Administrative salary gains
Our chapter web site offers a salary calculator for faculty to determine the rise or fall of their own real wages over the past seven years, factoring in the San Francisco Consumer Price Index (CPI) over that same time period.

The Faculty Forum concluded with a lively discussion and recommendations, including greater transparency in budget deliberations and greater emphasis on faculty salaries. These recommendations should help remedy the current imbalance and get the university back on track with its academic mission of education and research, and the Teaching Scholar model presented in our WASC report. The recommendations from the forum will be presented at the Faculty Senate Council meeting in November and sent to the Faculty Affairs UPC and the University Budget Council for further action.



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Chapter Progress Report & Future Plans

2013–14 Academic Year Accomplishments.

Our chapter has:

  1. Worked with the Faculty Affairs University Policy Committee to eliminate the 6-year term limit for annual lecturers, submitting our proposal in September, 2013, approved by Faculty Senate vote in April, 2014;
  2. Successfully submitted a proposal to the November 13, 2013 Faculty Senate Council to set up a Faculty Senate committee to review the Mid-Probationary Review (MPR) procedure;
  3. Coordinated the petition to convene a special full Faculty Senate meeting on November 20, 2013, to respond to Pres. Engh’s decision to limit health care coverage;
  4. Hosted a statewide annual AAUP conference on February 8, 2014;
  5. Prepared a position paper on faculty role in selection of department chairs in March, 2014; in consideration of our proposal, Dean Yee of the College of Arts and Sciences modified his proposed appointment plan;
  6. Successfully submitted a proposal to the April 9, 2014 Faculty Senate Council calling for faculty to evaluate top administrators annually;
  7. Increased our chapter membership by 70%;
  8. Developed a chapter platform and launched a chapter website to provide resources for the university community and promote open and transparent communication.

2013-14 Academic Year Plans and Priorities

  1. Ongoing campaign to build membership
  2. Review of faculty salaries and university budget priorities. (Task Force: Dreher, Kamas, Numan, Murphy)
  3. Contingent faculty support: work with COLA re: salary, working conditions.
  4. Investigate issues of academic freedom regarding on-line courses: AAUP Standards.
  5. Evaluation of rank and tenure policy and procedures: AAUP National Best Practices.
  6. AAUP chapter participation in ongoing governance discussions.

In addition, we will continue moving forward on our Platform issues and respond to faculty needs as they arise.

Chapter Platform Published

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Chapter members collaborated to develop a platform of priorities for 2014–2015.  Issues we are working on include:

  1. academic freedom in light of mission and identity issues
  2. increasing the proportion of tenure-track faculty
  3. improving shared governance
  4. working to improve faculty salaries, benefits, stipends, and working conditions
  5. increasing faculty participation in the university budget process
  6. improving the autonomy of departments in hiring, promotion, and curricular decisions
  7. reducing the teaching load of tenure-stream faculty
  8. assuring greater transparency and rationality in appointment, retention and promotion decisions

Use the link to the left to register (or log in if you’re already a registered WordPress user). That will allow you to comment on our platform. We welcome comments from SCU Faculty and staff.