Monday, October 13, 2014

Really? How will UF Survive?

So the UF presidential search is in its final stages, and it's astounding: a Florida politician is not on the short list. How can this be? How will UF get any money from the legislature? How will a distinguished academic like the three finalists UF will interview be able to navigate the corrupt, I mean complicated, Florida legislative process?

The differences between the searches are really startling and reveal the illogical arguments made by the FSU PSAC and FSU BOT for what they really are: an excuse for blatant political cronyism. Be sure to see for a discussion of the UF presidential search and to review the caliber of finalists.

UF gets it. Why doesn't FSU? 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Student Art Event, Presidential Search

I thought you might be interested in a student art project event that will be held on Monday, October 13. There will be two performances: 9:45-10:15 and 1:30-2:00. The performances will take place at the Westcott fountain.

This is version two of the cardboard heads project Anne Stagg's summer 3D Foundations art class performed regarding the presidential search (the students worked in groups to create two candidates for the president position--

According to Anne Stagg, "In preparation for this project, each student wrote an individual letter to Sen Thrasher after his appointment. From those letters, we extracted bits and pieces from each letter to construct a composite letter that will be presented on Monday. The idea of this project is to continue to give a voice to our students' concerns in a creative and engaging way. While there is plenty of frustration with the election process, we are moving forward and using creativity as an outlet for positive and forward-looking conversation."

I have to say that I was inspired by the students' summer performance and am looking so forward to Monday's projects.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Excerpts of an email to UFF-FSU members last week

I sent the following note to union members last week, but I think the info is useful for anyone who has followed our presidential search:

Over the past week or so, ever since FSU’s Board of Trustees voted for John Thrasher to be our next President, I have received correspondence from many of faculty members inquiring about next steps. First, let me thank all of you who have expressed an interest in the Presidential Search and helped and supported us in our many struggles along the way. I am so glad that many of you remain committed to reverse the course the Board of Trustees have set, and I share your commitment.

There has been a great deal of discussion among our union's Executive Council about shifting our focus to two areas.

First and most immediate is working to get all of our members and their families out to vote in the upcoming elections.  What we just witnessed with the search process is a direct result of Florida’s political systems, and we must work to change them. This election affords us that opportunity, so please keep an eye out for information regarding the various races and how you can get involved.

Second, many have also suggested that we need to work on building our membership so that we as an organization have the strength to continue to protect each other and the university, and I agree wholeheartedly.  If you are willing to help us with this effort, please contact me and I'll forward your message to our membership committee.

And since I've been asked about this several times, please know that we cannot organize any actions that resemble a work stoppage (e.g., a walk-out). It is unconstitutional to do so.

On the presidential search question, there is still plenty that can be done by individual faculty as members of the university, taxpayers, and voters.  The Board of Governors has not made a decision yet, and they are a political body subject to the will of those who appoint them, who are in turn accountable to all of us.  I hope you will continue to raise your voices as I will continue to raise my own as an individual.

You can contact the Board of Governors at:

Florida Board of Governors
State University System
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1614
Tallahassee, Fl 32399-0400
Phone (850) 245-0466
Fax (850) 245-9685

The Board of Governors plans to vote on Thrasher's appointment at the November 5-6 meeting.