|United Faculty of Florida – Florida International University
Primera Casa – Charles Perry Building Room 111
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
Dear Eli Deville,
It has come to the attention of the Faculty Union (UFF-FIU) that Dr. Bejar has put forward regulation No.: FIU-2508, Post Tenure Faculty Review, to be approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT) at the upcoming meeting on September 14th, 2023.
We are alarmed that this regulation has been submitted without following the BOG Regulation Development Procedures. This includes failing to provide faculty with (i) required notice (30 days by the BOG Regulation Development Procedures, AND 60 days by our Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 1, Section 1.2(C)); and (ii) access to the regulation on a “clearly marked area” on FIU’s website. Further, by failing to both provide faculty sufficient notice and make the regulation easily accessible, this has undermined the opportunity for faculty and members of the university community to provide comments on the regulation currently being proposed.
In addition to these procedural issues, the proposed regulation also fails to comply with the University’s duty to bargain, and would vest unbridled discretion in the BOT on mandatory subjects of bargaining. Additional matters which are subject to bargaining include, but are not limited to:
(1) The mechanism for selecting faculty going up for review;
(2) Exceptions to the timing of review for extenuating, unforeseen circumstances;
(3) The meaning of “professional conduct,” “academic responsibilities,” “performance concerns” and identification of the records or documents that are applicable in relation to those matters; and
(4) The substance of “recognition and/or compensation.”
Further, the proposed regulation attempts to abrogate the University’s duty to bargain. For instance, § VI(a)(4)(v) of the proposed regulation states that “[n]othing in this regulation is intended to prevent the BOT from instituting additional evaluation processes, criteria, or standards […]” Additional evaluation processes, etc. are bargainable. Minimally, therefore, the proposed regulation should include the phrase “subject to the University’s duty to bargain.” As it stands, however, this regulation would seemingly have the effect of removing evaluations as a whole from bargaining and violates faculty’s collective bargaining rights on its face.
Finally, Article 16 of our collective bargaining agreement requires immediate negotiations if a provision of the agreement is invalid by reason of subsequently enacted legislation. Section 1.2(e) also states that if any proposed rule modifies an express agreement, the board shall notify the chapter and shall engage in bargaining prior to the change. Here, the proposed regulation purports to modify or replace a policy on sustained evaluations, which the parties expressly agreed are binding on the parties and bargainable, yet the BOT never notified UFF-FIU nor sought to engage in bargaining prior to the change.
UFF-FIU is committed to working collaboratively with the University and BOT to come to an agreement as to how Florida Board of Governors (BOG) Regulation 10.003 and Florida Statutes Section 1001.706(6)(b) can be fairly implemented at FIU. Our union has stated repeatedly that post-tenure review is subject to bargaining, and believe we are well-positioned to engage in these discussions as we look toward negotiating a new contract for 2024-27.
Dr. Eric Scarffe