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 deducted monthly, typically 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.
A Letter from the President
Welcome to the University of Oregon and welcome to United Academics at the University of Oregon (UAUO). We are comprised of over 1700 members across six classifications of faculty. Our members also serve our state and national unions, the American Association of University Professors and the American Federation of Teachers (AAUP and AFT). Simply put, we fight at multiple scales to ensure healthy and equitable working conditions while fulfilling the mission of our education institution. We advocate for our researchers, teacher-scholars, and librarians so they can do what they do best: produce, disseminate, and challenge knowledge(s) in order to make this place we call home into a true community of support for all our endeavors.
We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and we hope you will join us as we push forward. There are so many ways you can both offer support and receive support. Please take the time to peruse or website and chat with any of us; me, our staff, members of our Executive Council, or Representative or Stewards from your home department or unit.
We’ve got a bargaining year, re-opening, and the business-as-usual challenges of equitable pay and attacks on academic freedom. Working conditions, especially for those tasked with caring for others, are not as accommodating as they need to be. And of course, in our hyper-productive society, we have yet to truly push the bounds of how best we can advocate for ourselves, our own health and well-being, as we seek to stake out a career foothold in our University. Furthermore, despite grand gestures and kind intentions, structural and historical conditions haunt our moment; those of us from communities dismissed, neglected, and ostracized in Higher Ed are still fighting for our rightful place in discourses often about us, but rarely led by us.
As for me, I’m an Instructor. My academic and political work has always centered on students. Students, like myself, who had their life and the lives of those I help care for, radically changed because of my time in higher ed. I want to make sure those opportunities are always there for our students. That can’t happen if we faculty are not supported in the ways we need to be, if we continually have roadblocks and hurdles thrown at us as we work. That can’t happen if we faculty are not actively involved in shared governance. And that’s why I joined up and got involved. UAUO is one of the few avenues left on campus where we got a shot at doing things differently. So let’s get it done.
Avinnash P. Tiwari
Instructor, ENG & President, UAUO
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.
General Membership Meetings
Even if you don't have time to serve, you can stay informed by attending our regular membership meetings.
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).
Please join the virtual bargaining sessions happening AY 2021-22.
Find your community here!
Stewards & Representatives
Share what's happening in your unit by becoming a steward or rep!