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Updated MOU on Teaching/Research Evals, Tenure & Promotion, and Remote Teaching

As we continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 and act to minimize its disruption to our students and our own work, it is important that faculty rights established in the Collective Bargaining Agreement are not overlooked. With this in mind, the UFF-FIU bargaining team and the FIU Administration bargaining team have agreed to a second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

This MOU restates our previous agreement on instructional assignment, evaluations, and course ownershipand adds language on research evaluations and access to research spaces, as well as details the process for requesting a pause/extension of the tenure/promotion clock.

Apologies in advance for the long message, but we want to communicate the parameters of the MOU in detail and directly to the faculty.


During the current health emergency, UFF-FIU and the Board of Trustees are committed to maintaining a productive and efficient operation of the University in a safe and healthy environment. State, federal, and international health organizations recommend social distancing as the most effective immediate response to this pandemic. This agreement acknowledges those recommendations. To this end, we agree that the following terms and conditions shall remain in effect until the state of Florida declares an end to the emergency, escalates the emergency, or August 10, 2020. During this period, the University agrees to consult with a representative from UFF-FIU on its crisis management response.

Instructional Assignment/Evaluation

1. Faculty migrated all Spring classes to remote instruction starting on Thursday March 12, 2020. All classes scheduled for Summer A, B, or C sessions will be conducted remotely as well. The University will continue to provide support and training for remote instruction.

2. Faculty shall maintain ownership of all course content, even if it is presented in an online format.

3. Remote instruction and online presentations as mandated by the University shall not negatively impact supervisory review or annual evaluations. However, they may be used to positive effect.

4. The presentation of course content will be affected dramatically by the shift to online platforms. Therefore, student course evaluations shall not negatively impact annual evaluations. However, they may be used to positive effect. There shall be no adverse action arising from the sudden online transition of classes that were not designed for this format.

5. Moving to temporary remote instruction does not set precedents for or inherently consent to future remote instructional work. The decision to move to remote instruction arises only from the unique circumstances arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic. ​

Research Assignment/Evaluation

6. The COVID-19 health emergency and its many ramifications will undoubtedly affect scholarship and creative activity for faculty. As such, any lack of research productivity as impacted by this situation for faculty with research assignments during AY19-20 shall not negatively impact annual evaluations. Faculty are encouraged to report their prior scholarship and creative activity which can be used to positive effect.

7. Request for access to different laboratories and research spaces will be reviewed and communicated following university processes established by ORED and AA. These processes are based on the best interests in the safety of the faculty and staff as conditions allow.

Tenure & Promotion

8. Tenure Clock Pause and Extension: As we are still uncertain as to the length of the COVID-19 health emergency, the University recognizes that many pre-tenure faculty may not yet know the impact it will have on their scholarship and creative activities. To ensure affected faculty’s tenure progression is not negatively impacted from the sudden and substantial disruptions to their research productivity, and to ensure faculty whose research productivity has not been substantially disrupted are not required to extend their clock, the following process has been created to facilitate changes to the current tenure-clock timeline:

a) Pre-tenure faculty who are concerned about their scholarship     and creative activities have or will potentially be substantially impacted by the current health emergency may request a temporary pause of their tenure-clock. Such requests shall be made to their department chair no later than August 10, 2020.

b) A temporary pause does not necessarily indicate a request for or approval of a tenure clock extension. Instead, it identifies potentially impacted faculty and begins the process for potential tenure clock extensions.

c) During the period of the temporary pause, faculty will consult     with their department chair about the impact the health emergency has had on their scholarship and creative activity and if a tenure-clock extension is both warranted and advisable.

d) Faculty have until December 31, 2020 to either stop the pause   on their tenure clock or to request a formal extension of their   tenure clock due to the reasons related to the COVID-19 health emergency.

e) No negative action shall be taken against a faculty member who requests a temporary pause and does not formally request a tenure-clock extension. Their tenure clock will continue as   normal and no time will be lost due to the temporary pause.

f) Faculty who wish to request a tenure-clock extension should follow established processes outlined in the Tenure and Promotion Manual.

9. Future Promotion Decisions for Both Tenure-Earning and Non-tenure Earning Faculty: Faculty AY19-20 annual evaluations shall not negatively impact third year reviews or future tenure and/or promotion recommendations from Department Committees, Department Chairs, College Committees, Deans, the Provost, and the President. They may be used for positive effect.

10. General Remote Work Agreement

2020 CBA Amendments Ratification Vote

Under the remote-work order, UFF-FIU will proceed with an online ratification vote to be held the following week from Wednesday, April 29th to Friday, May 1st.

Please review the summary of changes: Summary of 2020 Tentative BOT-UFF Agreement.

The Bargaining Team is still discussing the best tool for voting to ensure the ratification process is easily accessible and secure. Please look for an email next week with more detailed voting instructions!

CBA Ratification Meeting & Voting

Prior to the ratification, all in-unit faculty are invited to attend a virtual ratification meeting on Thursday, April 23rd from 11am-1pm via Zoom(link and password sent to faculty emails). At this meeting, representatives from the UFF-FIU Bargaining Team will be available to answer any questions about the bargaining process and the tentative agreement. Furthermore, under the remote-work order, UFF-FIU will proceed with an online ratification vote to be held the following week from Wednesday, April 29th to Friday, May 1st.

The Bargaining Team is still discussing the best tool for voting to ensure the ratification process is easily accessible and secure. Please look for an email next week with more detailed voting instructions!

Summary of 2020 Tentative BOT-UFF Agreement

Based upon our bargaining sessions during Spring 2020, the FIU Administration and the United Faculty of Florida-FIU have reached a tentative agreement on the following re-openers of the 2018-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Both parties will move forward with scheduling ratification votes of the following items. The articles and policies have been placed in the order they appear in the CBA, with the detailed language changes following the bullet-point summary. All additions are in blue while deletions are stricken through in red.

Summary of Changes:

  • Article 11 – Salaries (on page 2)
    • Added the Associate Teaching Professor and Teaching Professor titles to the listing of faculty awarded promotion increases.
  • Appendix A (on page 6)
    • Added Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, and Assistant Teaching Professor to the list of positions in the bargaining unit.
  • Policy – Appointment (on page 8)
    • Added clarity that a multi-year contract is a  type of position.
    • Added that a Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, or an Assistant Teaching Professor can be appointed to a multi-year contract.
  • Policy – Assignment of Responsibilities (on page 15)
    • Updated the numbering in Assignment to be consistent throughout the agreement.
    • Under item 3C, clarified that ‘unit’ is ‘department/unit’, consistent with the CBA defined definitions. Revised the referenced document name to “Differential Assignment Policies”.
    • Defined the process for the development of the Differential Assignment Policies.
    • Revised item 10bii, to ensure faculty shall receive University support in creating and facilitating online courses. Removed the language referencing that faculty could not be required to teach online.
    • Defined appreciable university support as it relates to online instruction.
  • Policy – Non-Reappointment (on page 24)
    • Revised the notice provision for non-tenure track faculty.
  • Policy – Promotions (on page 28)
    • Added the titles of Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, and Assistant Teaching Professor to the list of faculty eligible for promotion
    • Added the titles of Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, and Assistant Teaching Professor under the section for promotion criteria and procedures. Clarified years of service credit toward promotion for those transferred to newly created titles.

ARTICLE 11 Salaries

11.6 Promotion Increases. Effective at the beginning of the academic year in which their promotions are effective, employees shall be awarded promotion increases as follows:

(a) To Assistant University Librarian or Assistant Professor a eleven percent (11%) increase;

(b) To Senior Lecturer, Senior Instructor, Associate Scholar/Scientist/Engineer (Research Associate Professor), Associate University Librarian, Associate Teaching Professor, or Associate Professor, a twelve percent (12%) increase;

(c) To University Lecturer, University Instructor, Scholar/Scientist/Engineer (Research Professor), University Librarian, Teaching Professor, or Professor, a fourteen percent (14%)

APPENDIX A Position Classification in the Bargaining Unit

All full time and regular part-time employees in the following classifications:

9001 – Professor

9002 – Associate Professor

9003 – Assistant Professor

9xxx- Teaching Professor

9xxx- Associate Teaching Professor

9xxx – Assistant Teaching Professor

BOT-UFF POLICY Appointment

Procedures:

(3) Initial Appointment

(g) A statement that the position is (1) tenured, (2) non-tenure earning, (3) tenure-earning (specifying prior service in another institution to be credited toward tenure), or (4) a fixed multi-year appointment;

(5) Appointments

(f) Fixed Multi-Year Appointments

(1) Two- to five-year multi-year appointments may be offered for the following:

(a) Instructors, Senior Instructors, University Instructors, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and University Lecturers;
(b) Assistant Teaching Professors, Associate Teaching Professors, and Teaching Professors;
(c) Non-tenured or non-tenure earning Assistant Librarians

BOT-UFF POLICY Assignment of Responsibilities

(3) Consideration in Assignment

(C) Although the Legislature has described the minimum full academic assignment in terms of twelve (12) contact hours of instruction or equivalent research/scholarship and service, the professional obligation undertaken by an employee will ordinarily be broader than that minimum. In making assignments, the University has the right to determine the types of duties and responsibilities that comprise the professional obligation and to determine the mix or relative proportion of effort an employee may be required to expend on the various components of the obligation. These assignments, including platform of delivery, shall accord with the written policies and/or procedures developed by each department/unit and approved by the university (“Differential Assignment Policies”). The employees of each department/unit who are eligible to vote in department/unit governance shall participate in the development of these policies and shall recommend implementation by vote of a majority of at least a quorum of those employees.

(i) The proposed policies, or revisions thereof, shall be first reviewed at the College level by the Dean for consistency with College missions and goals and then reviewed by the Provost or designee to ensure that they are consistent with the mission and goals of the University and that they comply with the BOT-UFF Agreement and all relevant University policies.

(ii) If the Provost or designee determines that the recommended policies are not consistent with the missions and goals of the University, the BOT-UFF Agreement, or relevant University policies, the proposal shall be referred to the department/unit for revision with a written statement of reasons for non-approval. Upon final approval of the Provost or designee, the policies will become effective at the beginning of the next evaluation period unless otherwise agreed.

(iii) All approved policies, and revisions thereof, shall be kept on file in the department/unit office and may be placed on the University website for access by employees and the UFF chapter. Upon request, employees in each department/unit shall be provided a copy of that department/unit’s current policies for differential assignment.

(10) Instructional Technology

(B) Online Courses

(ii) Faculty who are assigned an online course shall receive university support in creating and facilitating that course. For the purpose of this subsection only, “university support” shall mean: No employee shall be required to teach a course as an online course, nor shall an employee be excluded from teaching a course that he or she is otherwise qualified to teach because he or she does not agree to teach the course as an online course unless the course is only offered online.

a. Access to and use of readily available technology (i.e. laptops, video/audio recording) and information technology support
b. FIU Online instructional designer basic support (i.e. syllabus and assignment formatting, LMS navigation) FIU Online instructional design services (i.e. Course design and pedagogical consultation, best practice recommendations, capacity building, course formatting and maintenance support)
c. Access to FIU Online training and development opportunities
d. Any support related to structural course requirements as determined by the Board of Governors, Board of Trustees, or relevant accrediting agencies

(iii) For purposes of this subsection only, the term “appreciable University support” shall mean the use of special services (such as the FIU online instructional design services), equipment, or facilities provided by the University beyond those outlined in 10.B.ii. for the preparation of online course materials. No faculty member shall be compelled to use appreciable university support in their online instruction, and all faculty must positively affirm their use of appreciable support

a. Online Course Rights and Releases Without Extra Compensation or Course Release.
Employees who develop or substantially revise instructional materials for an online course without extra compensation, course release or without appreciable University support the use of FIU online instructional design services provided by the University maintain full ownership of those online courses. Employees who develop or substantially revise instructional materials for an online course without extra compensation or course release, but with appreciable University support the use of FIU online instructional design services provided by the University maintain full ownership of those online courses, but grants FIU a limited three-year non-exclusive license to allow others to use such course materials to teach an online section of the same course.

d. Compensation for Online Course Development
Employees who develop or substantially revise instructional materials for an online course without extra compensation, course release, or without appreciable University support the use of FIU online instructional design services provided by the University and has another individual use substantially all of such materials in a course, will be paid $500 for each time a section of the course is offered up to a maximum of $5,000 per course during the three year limited non-exclusive license period. …

BOT-UFF POLICY on Non-Reappointment

(2) Notice

(a) All employees, except those described in (b)(i) and (c) below are entitled to the following written notice that they will not be offered further appointment:

(iii) For non-tenure track faculty members who are not on a fixed multi-year or visiting appointment the non-reappointment process will be the following.

(a) Probation. If a non-tenure track faculty member receives an “Unsatisfactory” overall rating on their Annual Evaluation, they will be placed on a Continued Employment Probation. A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) shall be required during the Continued Employment Probation period.

(i) The PIP will be developed by the faculty member’s supervisor in concert with the faculty member and will be communicated in writing.

(a) The PIP will address deficiency that caused the overall “Unsatisfactory” rating and identify specific performance goals for the following year that, if met, will result in at least a “Satisfactory” overall rating on the faculty member’s subsequent Annual Evaluation.
(b) The PIP will provide specific performance goals agreed to by the faculty member, the chair and the dean.
(c) The PIP must be developed and agreed to in writing by both the faculty member and department chair no later than 30 days prior to the start of the contract period in which the Continued Employment Probation will occur.
(d) The PIP will require at least two periodic meetings between the faculty member and the department chair to review the faculty member’s progress. Written appraisals of the progress will be produced by the department chair and shared with the faculty member and dean.

(ii) In the first Annual Performance Evaluation under the Continued Employment Probation period, the department chair will review the faculty member’s progress in meeting the performance goals agreed to in the PIP. If the performance goals have been met, the Probation will be lifted and the faculty member restored to a normal faculty contract. No additional penalties will attach to the faculty member’s appointment as a result of the probationary term.

(b) Non-Reappointment. Notice of non-reappointment may be given to non-tenure track faculty members in accordance with (2)(a)(i) and (ii) above only after: 1) the faculty member has been placed on Continued Employment Probation for a year; and 2) over the course of a year of evaluation and consultation, the faculty member on Continued Employment Probation has not met the agreed upon goals of the Performance Improvement Plan; and 3) the faculty member has received a second consecutive “Unsatisfactory” overall rating on their Annual Evaluation or three “Unsatisfactory” overall ratings on their Annual Evaluations over a consecutive five-year period.

BOT-UFF POLICY Promotions

Procedures:

(1) Eligibility: Employees classified as Instructor, Lecturer, Senior Instructor, Senior Lecturer, Instructor Librarian, Assistant University Librarian, Associate University Librarian, Assistant Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, …

(3) Promotion Criteria and Procedures.

Each college/school and/or department/unit, as its faculty deem appropriate, subject to the approval of the Dean/Director and Provost, shall adopt its own promotion criteria and procedures, consistent with University-wide criteria and procedures, and reflecting the particular mission and disciplinary requirements specific to the academic unit. Policies on the promotion process must include a poll by secret ballot of the members of the employee’s department/unit concerning the employee’s promotion application, in accordance with criteria for voting set out by the employee’s department/unit. Such criteria and procedures, as appropriate to the academic unit, shall provide for promotion to Senior Lecturer, Senior Instructor, University Lecturer, University Instructor, Associate Teaching Professor, Teaching Professor, Assistant University Librarian, Associate University Librarian, University Librarian, Associate Scholar/Scientist/Engineer (Research Associate Professor), Scholar/Scientist/Engineer (Research Professor), Associate Professor, Professor, Research Associate, Senior Research Associate, Instructional Specialist, and Senior Instructional Specialist. In the event that through the University’s Strategic Planning process there is a recommendation different than the process defined in this policy, the parties agree to renegotiate this policy without the use of a reopener.

(b) In the matter of promotion to Senior Lecturer, Senior Instructor, University Lecturer and University Instructor, Associate Teaching Professor, and Teaching Professor, the Provost, in accordance with the university governance process and subject to consultation with UFF, shall determine the criteria and procedures. All faculty in the instructor ranks before September 2020 shall be laterally reclassified to an equivalent teaching professor rank. When a lateral reclassification occurs and there is no break in service, time in the Instructor rank shall count towards promotion. In no case will a faculty member be reclassified to an equivalently higher rank without going through the promotion process.

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