Professor of Literature Jody Blanco Steps in as Interim President of the SDFA

On October 3rd, the board unanimously approved the selection of Assoc. Prof. John “Jody” Blanco (Literature) as Interim President of the San Diego Faculty Association, while President Ivan Evans (Sociology) takes a hiatus to focus on his research.

A message from the outgoing President Ivan Evans:

I would like to announce that I have stepped down from the Presidency of the SDFA to concentrate on my own work. It has been a pleasure to work with an active group of Board members. After many years of dormancy, the SDFA doubled its membership over the past year and sought to engage the Hydra-headed change that is so visibly transforming the UCs, ofen for the worse. Mounting concern amongst the faculty about the ravaging impact of “privatization” is palpable and demoralization has never been higher as UCs shrink their budgets and staff, increase tuition, fail to replace lost FTEs, and imperil those Departments that “don’t make money”. More than ever, faculty need to consolidate their voice and play a much greater role in defining the way forward. I look forward to promoting these goals on campus from my position on the Board of the SDFA for the rest of the year.

A message from Interim President Jody Blanco:

It’s my pleasure to serve as interim president for the UCSD Faculty Association (SDFA) for the 2012-2013 academic year, and to (belatedly) welcome everyone back after what was hopefully a relaxing summer. The appointment of a new chancellor to our campus serves as an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the SDFA over the past two years; more importantly, however, it allows us to consider the mission and goals of the Faculty Association, particularly in building faculty community and strengthening our collective voice in a university whose original plan calls for strong faculty governance in the administration of the university’s academic mission. Questions like our relationship with the university Academic Senate and administration in advancing the academic mission thus become more prominent as we continue to expand our membership and encourage future leaders to tell us where faculty community and a faculty voice is strongest, where it is most absent, and what specific issues and questions allow us to best contribute positively and collectively to the university. The question, as always, isn’t simply what we know about our university, but what we can and ought to do about what we know. It is here the SDFA hopes to make its greatest contribution.