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Welcome back!


Dear Colleague,

Welcome back to the spring semester.  For those of you just joining us, welcome to UMass Boston! 

Here are some updates and reminders:

► FSU internal organizer for this semester.  Sandra (Sandy) Howland, FSU member and union activist, (Senior Lecturer II, English), will be an FSU internal organizer this semester. Sandy will be working with the FSU to discuss with members their concerns and issues on campus and to increase membership involvement. 

►Your health care premiums will increase an average of 3.3%:  Some will increase more, some less.  This is the recommendation to be made this Thursday, February 7 at the Group Insurance Commission (the GIC is the state agency that provides our health insurance).  Don’t like this, especially with another surplus this year in the GIC and $100 million surplus total?  Let them know your thoughts by emailing them here:

►FSU elections will be underway this semester, and nomination forms are available and due this Friday.  See here for more information. 

Don’t park in the West Garage:  This Wednesday, February 6.  Support our sister unions.  See here for more information, see here to sign up to help.

►We have heard that parking passes were bought back at the wrong rates.  You should have been reimbursed what you paid.  If this did not occur, contact the parking and transportation director, Chris Sweeney.

►Tenure track faculty: Our current contract allows for up to $1000 in travel money per year for presenting research, scholarship, or creative activity at conferences (see Article 26.6.1(b) of the contract).  We encourage you to use these funds. 

Fourth year/tenure review workshop:  by the Office for Faculty Development and the FSU will be Thursday, March 28 at 2 pm.  More details will follow. 


Additional students above course capacities: For both in-person and distance learning courses, once course capacities are reached, only the individual faculty member may admit additional students (see Article 15.4 of the contract for more information). Faculty members have full discretion in this regard. We are aware that CAPS is asking faculty to admit more students.  You don’t have to.  (We are monitoring a situation where the administration is requesting to add students above the listed course capacities on a temporary basis for a particular course).

Enrollment caps increased for CAPS: Departments and faculty, not the Administration, set enrollment caps for all courses (see the language in Article 15.4 of the contract). Unfortunately, CAPS has automatically increased student enrollment caps for spring courses to match those of on-ground courses. Department chairs may be unaware of this or think these are mandatory increases.  They are not. Departments and faculty should be aware of these changes and that they, not the administration, are supposed to determine these. Should you disagree with these new imposed enrollment caps, talk to your department and have them contact CAPs and change these back.  

Template for evaluating teaching for tenure cases:  We are aware that departments are being asked to assemble new information (for many departments) for faculty who are up for promotion. This information includes teaching evaluation averages in the department and for the classes taught by the faculty member who is going up for promotion.  Know that the contract says that departments have the right to decide how to evaluate teaching (see Article 33.4 of the contract). So if this is not information that you utilize in your own tenure reviews and do not collect this, you need not collect these information.


Marlene Kim

FSU President

Professor, Economics

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