Welcome New Faculty
Welcome to United Academics! By joining your union, you are strengthening our collective voice and ability to enact positive change for our colleagues and our students.
Once you’ve filled out the form linked below, our staff organizer Heather will confirm your intent via email. Dues are 1.1% of salary and are typically deducted starting the first paycheck after joining.
If you were previously a member of the union and are rejoining the bargaining unit (for instance, after being department head) you do not need to re-join.
Faculty Office Hours
We always look forward to meeting new colleagues during New Faculty Onboarding and the accompanying social hour. This year, we’ll be relying on Zoom to make those connections! Please join us at one of the office hours, where your colleagues will be available to chat about all things Eugene, UO, and United Academics.
We look forward to meeting you!
A Letter from the President
What a time to join the University of Oregon! Welcome.
United Academics is your faculty union and we are here to help new faculty get settled in to faculty life at the University of Oregon. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is some aspect of UO or Eugene you need help figuring out. We can also connect you with other resources like social events, community organizations and faculty groups with common interests.
We encourage you to get involved, if for no other reason than to discover the huge network of faculty-to-faculty support that is available but often invisible to new folks. One easy way to meet a few UO faces each week is Lunch with your Local every Tuesday and Thursday during the quarter from noon-1pm. This is a recurring Zoom meeting where faculty can pop in and out and discuss the issues of the day. Come by and introduce yourself and meet a few other officers and members of United Academics. Another way to get connected is through virtual office hours. Each of our VPs, and our staff have regular Zoom office hours. If you have questions, or just want to meet a friendly (and knowledgable) fellow faculty member, please stop by.
You can find these and other opportunities to meet on the Events page.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the current stress on higher education and the University of Oregon due to COVID-19 and the resulting economic disruption. The university is not in a good financial situation. They have already negotiated upcoming temporary pay decreases, and have proposed increasing course sizes, and decreasing numbers of faculty to address the financial shock. Meanwhile, the work of faculty has already increased due all the complexities that come with working remotely–including managing work and family life in the same space.
We will be negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement starting in winter, and will have the opportunity to address faculty wages, working conditions and academic freedom at the bargaining table. We need your voice in those discussions.
All this is to say, that now is the time that faculty join together and protect our profession and protect higher education. I urge you to join us as we unite around a future where the University of Oregon is financially secure, resourced to provide the 21st century education Oregonians deserve, and is a center of cutting-edge research and creative output among the best on the West Coast.
President of United Academics
Reasons to Join
Keep United Academics Strong
UA is a strong union with a good contract because faculty join the union. Members keep the union strong through their participation and dues dollars. We know we speak for the faculty because we are a member-run union. Your membership is vital.
Gain a Stronger Voice
United Academics works closely and cooperatively with the University Senate and Administration to find creative solutions to the challenges facing our university. Membership in the union allows you the opportunity to participate in these conversations.
Protect Your Rights
As a union, we work together to stand up for our rights. We all deserve clear expectations, fair treatment, and an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Our grievance procedure established a clearly written, progressive policy, and our grievance committee members solve cases quickly and confidentially.
Guarantee Working Conditions
The United Academics contract is a legally binding document that determines raises, cost of living adjustments, a grievance procedure, benefits including health insurance, and job protection for all faculty at the UO. Because of the union, faculty have received raises every year since we have formed, and we have guaranteed cost of living adjustments and merit pools for the next three years.
Advocate for Public Education
As part of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Associate of University Professors (AAUP), we directly support efforts across the state of Oregon and nationwide to uphold public education and academic freedom. We stand in solidarity with thousands of other teachers and public workers in Oregon who lobby for legislation that benefits workers and all the citizens of Oregon. Joining the union strengthens these efforts.
Welcome New Researchers!
Research Assistants and Research Associates are critical to the university’s research mission. Research assistants and associates come to the UO with varying skill sets and expertise, and develop additional important skills over time. Research assistant positions are diverse ranging from recent graduates gaining research experience before graduate school to directors of centers who are already experts in their field. Research Associate positions may include directors of externally funded projects or experts in their research area. As such, clear job descriptions, development plans, and performance evaluations are important for the careers of research assistants and associates.
As a union we want to ensure that you are treated fairly and that title, pay, and rank is appropriate for your position. We also want to make sure positions are appropriately categorized, for example as pro tem or career appointments.
Research Professors are critical to the university’s research mission. Research professors typically develop and direct externally funded projects. Funding may come from various sources.
As a union we want to ensure that all faculty are treated fairly and that pay and rank is appropriate for your level. We also want to make sure positions are appropriately categorized and that promotion and review processes are clear.
Meet your VP
Your VP for NTT Research Affairs is our specialist on the issues that affect research faculty. Typically research faculty positions are Research Assistants, Research Associates, Post Docs, and Research Professors, among others. They are often funding contingent positions. You can contact your VP or our union office for advice, information, and assistance with navigating any issues that arise with your research faculty position.
Vice President for Non-Tenure-Track Research Faculty Affairs
Christina Karns is an Assistant Research Professor in Psychology with the Center for Brain Injury Research and Training.
She uses human neuroimaging, behavior, and interventions in kids and adults (with and without disability) to clarify how attention and self-regulation support development. What brain systems support positive social interactions, how do they affect stress systems in the body, and to what degree are these interactions changeable, demonstrating neuroplasticity?
Good science can be a powerful force toward social justice, an ethos she brings to her teaching and her research.
Welcome New Postdocs!
Postdoctoral researchers are short-term mentored positions with a faculty advisor, that do not exceed 5 years. Postdoctoral research positions may be funded through external grants through the UO, or funding may be from foundations or fellowship grants to the individual. This creates complexity for postdocs in terms of employee status and benefits as funding may shift over time.
We work with postdocs and the administration to ensure that postdocs are treated fairly, that processes are transparent, and that mentorship plans are appropriate to ensure postdocs transition successfully to the next stage of their careers.
Welcome New Instructors!
Career instructional faculty are an integral part of the University of Oregon. They fulfill an enormous amount of this public institution’s central teaching mission. They are on the leading edge when it comes to pedagogy and professional development of teaching. They work behind the scenes to keep the institution running by mentoring students and colleagues alike, helping to advise students either formally or informally, and serving in an endless variety of campus committees.
Since its inception in 2012 United Academics has accomplished an amazing amount on behalf of Career instructors and lecturers in terms of transparent promotion procedures, regular pay raises in equivalent proportions to tenure-track faculty, a larger role in shared governance at the unit level, and a noticeably positive cultural shift in how Career faculty are perceived and respected by colleagues across campus.
There is much work yet to be done. Our union strives to expand and enhance the support provided by the institution so that our instructors and lecturers can become ever more effective in their teaching while having scope for growth in their careers.
Meet your VP
Vice President for Non-Tenure-Track Instructional Faculty Affairs
Mike Urbancic is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Economics, where he has been teaching both large lower-division courses and smaller upper-division electives since 2012.
He is passionate about teaching, and he loves making connections across campus both through his work with United Academics and in a variety of service roles across campus. He currently serves on the Undergraduate Council, the Committee for Academic Infrastructure, and the Board of the Provost’s Teaching Academy.
In each of these spheres—and at the bargaining table—he works to highlight and elevate the teaching mission of the university, enhance the profile of our dedicated instructors, and strengthen our institutional support and job security.
Welcome New Librarians!
Librarians directly support the research and teaching missions of the University of Oregon. They have long been at the forefront of the transition in higher education from traditional media to new media. They deliver subject-specific expertise. They help connect researchers and their questions to resources and answers. They work with instructors to navigate the boundless possibilities and potential pitfalls of digital content. They support the software and platforms that underpin today’s teaching and learning. They assist students class-by-class and individually.
Throughout the country university libraries have been asked to do more with ever shrinking resources. United Academics strives to defend this crucial work and those engaged in it—in all its myriad facets—here at the University of Oregon.
Welcome New Pro Tems!
Pro tem faculty have a lot to contribute to campus, even if they are here only for a time: pro tempore. They are professionals bringing real-world experiences and expertise. They are researchers working on specific projects. They are instructors helping to fulfill a programmatic need. They are librarians tackling challenging projects.
Those serving in pro tem positions come from a variety of backgrounds and have different goals. For some their primary career is ongoing and external to campus. For others the University of Oregon is a waystation to new opportunities elsewhere in academia or industry. Some end up in Career or tenure-track positions. Regardless of journey or trajectory, those working as pro tem faculty impact students and colleagues.
During their stay with us—however long or short that might be—United Academics represents pro tem faculty in every respect. Reach out with any questions or concerns!
Welcome New Tenure-Track Faculty!
Tenure-track faculty embody the university’s dedication to the generation of knowledge, its dissemination, preservation, and application. Together, they form both the largest category in our bargaining unit and the largest constituency among active members of United Academics. Our union’s mission is to protect and preserve academic freedom, to defend the integrity of peer review for tenure and promotion, and to uphold the university’s standing in American higher education.
United Academics strives to ensure that the expectations for tenure are made clear to newly hired faculty at the time of appointment and that midterm reviews are conducted fairly and objectively. To secure fairness and equity in the process of tenure and promotion, we help departments, programs, and colleges develop clear criteria for evaluation. We strive to correct disparities of pay and compensation on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, and national origin. In mid-term reviews, tenure, and promotion, we work to ensure that full consideration is given to all faculty for the effects of ill health and the burdens of family.
Meet your VP
Vice President for Tenure-Track Faculty Affairs
David M. Luebke is a professor in the Department of History whose research and writing focuses on the religions and political cultures of ordinary people in the German-speaking lands of central Europe.
He has been a member of the UO faculty since 1997 and has supported the formation of a faculty union since beginning, way back in 2007.
David is especially interested in ensuring that procedures for the review and promotion of faculty members are conducted fairly, according to clear and transparent criteria, and with proper respect for the value that departments place on scholarship, teaching, and service.
Office Hours with the Chair of Grievances & Contract Administration
Nathan Whalen, Chair of the Grievances & Contract Administration Committee, hosts office hours on odd week Thursdays from 1-2pm. Do not hesitate to pop in to ask any questions, big or small!
Office Hours with UA Staff
Staff members Kristy Hammond, Heather Wolford and/or Dave Cecil host office hours every Wednesday from 10-11pm for the Winter Term. Pop in to say hello or to ask questions!
Lunch with your Local
UA leadership meets over lunch to discuss issues as they arise (and sometimes just socialize). You’re invited to join our Tuesday Zoom lunches at noon!
Weekly Social Hour
Time to get together and socialize with colleagues from across campus. Winter Term Fridays starting at 4:00pm.
Spring Representative Assembly II
Representative Assemblies are for UA Representatives and Stewards. They occur during Week 3 and Week 7 of each quarter. More details will be availible closer to the event.
General Membership Meetings
Even if you don't have time to serve, you can stay informed by attending our regular membership meetings.
UA has committees on Politics, Communications, Organizing & Membership and more!
Get Involved ...
There are lots of ways to make a difference in our community. United Academics offers opportunities to work with other good people doing good things.
We have three standing caucuses—some meet to solve issues, others meet to find community—which get together quarterly.
We have faculty representatives, stewards, committees, and bargaining teams. There's always something to do around here! (Even if "here" means via Zoom).
We're bargaining a new Collective Bargaining Agreement this Winter.
Find your community here!
Stewards & Representatives
Share what's happening in your unit by becoming a steward or rep!