From UFF-FIU Grievance Chair Eric Dwyer
Assignments and evaluations: Be vigilant, even though it’s summer!
While a good number of faculty do not have summer assignments, you still have summer obligations, namely to your annual evaluation and to your next assignment.
For those of you on 9-month contracts, your evaluation is due no later than June 25. According to the CBA, page 63, you have an opportunity to respond to the evaluation within 30 days of your receiving it. In other words, if you’ve already received your evaluation and you have queries, the 30-day clock has already started!
If you are on a 12-month contract, the rules still apply, but your evaluation is due no later than September 25.
Many of you have already drafted a proposed assignment with your chair. Others are awaiting determination from your chair. Either way, while the chair may allocate assignments with the needs of the department in mind, you may still have an opportunity to discuss the assignment in the spirit of assisting administration with edits that support department and program needs. Such may entail the allocation of teaching, research, and service within your assignment, preferably calculated in light of your department’s differentiated assignment policy.
Please double check Service!!!
Of particular interest this year to the union is your Service allocation. For many, Service represents .10 FTE. However, a number of colleagues this past year have reported that they end up doing way more service, feeling that they cannot say no to tasks needed by chairs and evaluators, especially when requests are made in the name of supporting students.
This issue becomes amplified at promotion and tenure time when colleagues have reported accomplishing more service at the expense (usually) of research and scholarship. Many reviewers will go old school and base promotion solely on scholarship. (Even the provost’s sample review letter currently suggests such.) However, let’s be clear: The first criterion for promotion indicated in the CBA, page 18, is your annual assignment, meaning considerations of proportions of teaching, research, and service are critical.
In other words, saying yes to service leading you beyond a 1.00 FTE may result in (a) shorter time to devote to scholarship you promised, (b) unpaid work, or (c) both.
If your differentiated assignment policy includes consideration for tasks – for example, search committees, program leadership, document creation – then you can refer to it easily and assert that work is appropriately compensated for should your complete FTE exceed 1.00. If this is unclear, our suggestion is to have a conversation with your chair about the quantity of service you’re expected to accomplish this next year. Then please accept our strong recommendation to place the topic on your next department meeting agenda such that Service may be addressed, detailed, and updated in your department’s differentiated assignment policy.
The assignment is due July 1.
NOTE: Assignment due dates have been postponed to July 8th account for modality changes and other impacts from COVID-19. Concurrently, the last date to file a grievance regarding to assignments to August 22nd.
Reminder: If you do not receive an official assignment, one that you ultimately sign and document in Panther180, we would ask that you contact the Grievance Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org. You have only until August 15 to sort that out.
A number of colleagues at promotion time have discovered, even after years of work and successfully scheduled classes, that no official assignment is in their file. Such may cause difficulty for evaluators and leave faculty vulnerable to disappointing and seemingly arbitrary decisions for which there is no supporting documentation. Thus, it behooves faculty each year to be forthright during the summer to assert that they have an officially signed assignment on file.