Salary increases totaling over $10 million were approved during the collective bargaining agreement between the Board of Trustees and the faculty union on Friday.
The Board of Trustees met to discuss multiple topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, tenure with hire and the collective bargaining agreement between the Board of Trustees and the United Faculty of Florida. They met at the Live Oak Center, with two rooms being filled entirely by the Board of Trustees, media and protestors.
Collective bargaining agreements are contracts between the faculty union, which represents 1,604 employees at UCF, and the Board of Trustees that discuss benefits, salaries and layoffs, according to the United Faculty of Florida at UCF’s website.
In September, Article 23 of their three-year bargaining agreement was reopened to amend salary increases equaling $10.3 million, with it being ratified Feb. 3, according to the meeting’s agenda.
The money that will be used for salary increases will come from educational and general funds, contract and grant funds and auxiliary funds, according to the agenda’s memo.
The Board of Trustees mentioned that these salary increases will only happen to those auxiliary and contract and grant-funded employees if there is sufficient funding available within those units, meaning only educational and general-funded employees are certain to receive these raises.
Educational and general funds are partially made up of student tuition and will go toward increasing instructors’ and faculty salaries, according to the 2022-2023 State University System of Florida’s budget report. Meanwhile, auxiliary and contract and grant-funded employees, such as custodians, will only receive a raise if leftover funds are available, according to the agenda.
Article 23 was amended to a three-part salary package that includes a one-time payment of $3,000 to all in-unit employees. It also includes a 1% across-the-board increase for all continuing in-unit educational and general-funded employees with satisfactory or above ratings for the annual evaluation for the years 2021-2022. There is also a 2% merit increase in each unit or department for continuing in-unit employees with above satisfactory ratings for the assessment year 2021-2022, according to the agenda.
During the meeting, the board also discussed new professors at UCF that were hired with tenure.
The motion to hire with tenure was approved last October, according to a previous NSM Today report. This means that new faculty members who are tenured upon hiring can focus on their research and UCF’s strategic plan rather than academic freedom, as that is the primary purpose of hiring with tenure, according to the Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee’s agenda.
“These faculty are carefully evaluated at multiple levels before being presented to the board,” said Tiffany Altizer, new chair of the Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee.
Hiring new senior faculty members is fundamental to elevate the departments and units they join, and they normally have already earned tenure at institutions prior to coming to UCF, according to the agenda. New employees hired with tenure also meet all requirements at UCF for tenure, while other senior faculty members are awarded tenure when hired for administrative positions.
Kibibi Mack-Shelton was the first faculty member to be hired with tenure in November, a month after the motion was approved, according to the Nov. 16 Board of Trustees meeting. Andrea Blanco Redondo and Darren D. Hudson are the first members since November to be hired with tenure, according to the meeting’s agenda. Mack-Shelton is joining the College of Arts and Humanities, while Redondo and Hudson are joining the College of Optics and Photonics.
Redondo was hired as a professor and Hudson is joining as an associate professor.
“Recommended to the board today are two faculty members with exceptional qualifications,” Altizer said.
Redondo came from Nokia Bell Labs, where she was the head of the Silicon photonics department. She was also a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney in Australia; she will be joining the College of Optics and Photonics, according to the agenda.
Hudson will also be joining the College of Optics and Photonics, with his most recent experience being a senior technical manager at CACI – Photonics Solutions. He was previously a senior lecturer in the department of physics and astronomy at Macquarie University.