Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Message from new NFA-UNLV President Sandra Owens

Dear NFA-UNLV Chapter Members,

Welcome back for the fall 2016 semester! During the summer we held elections and I am pleased to announce our slate of new chapter officers:
Sandra Owens, President https://www.unlv.edu/people/sandra-owens;
Al Izzolo, Vice President https://www.unlv.edu/people/al-izzolo;
Barbara Luke, Treasurer https://www.unlv.edu/people/barbara-luke;
and Nate Bynum, Secretary https://www.unlv.edu/people/nate-bynum.

We are all long time members of the chapter and we are honored and eager to serve you. We are inviting all members and potential members to our first chapter meeting of the semester. The meeting will be held at noon on Friday, September 23, 2016 in the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Dean’s Conference Room, 5th floor. Come to the meeting to discuss our/your plans for the chapter, and to enjoy a lunch that will be catered by Stefano’s Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine.

This year our UNLV chapter and NV state activities will continue to be focused on advancing the academic freedom, shared governance and financial security of full-time and part-time faculty and academic staff through advocacy, organizing, and nurturing strong alliances http://www.nevadafacultyalliance.org.

NFA-UNLV has a membership seat on the UNLV President’s Advisory Council (PAC) http://www.unlv.edu/president/advisory-council and we will continue to be active participants in the PAC discussions and decisions of the UNLV President and his cabinet members. At our membership meeting we will discuss items that members what me to bring to the next PAC meeting. In August the NFA state board met in Reno and among other items we accepted the endorsement recommendations from the members of our Southern and Northern Political Action Committees. Come to the meeting to learn the details of the endorsed races and the various amounts of money we have thus far donated to individual candidates. We will also have a couple of as yet unendorsed candidates attend the meeting.

As your new NFA - UNLV chapter president I am committed to improving the employment experiences of our faculty via confidential consultations, supportive advocacy, and policy change. And I invite you to contact me in confidence regarding any matter that may be of concern to you or your colleagues. We want to hear about the problems, solutions, questions, and successes related to your working conditions as UNLV faculty, academic professionals and graduate students. Thank you in advance for your time and energy to be focused our NFA activities in the coming year.

In Solidarity,

Sandra Owens, NFA - UNLV President Sandra.owens@unlv.edu (702) 612-6371
David Steel, NFA Nevada Executive Director (Dsteel@Nevadafacultyalliance.org) Steven Cohen, NFA - UNLV Part-time Organizer (CohenS3@Unlv.nevada.edu)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

NFA-UNLV table at new faculty orientation

NFA-UNLV President Sandra Owens and former President John Farley, along with NFA Executive Director David Steel, tabled at the UNLV new faculty orientation. The strength of NFA-UNLV comes from its members, and Owens and Farley were keen to explain the collective and individual benefits of membership to new faculty. NFA-UNLV is looking forward to building momentum this year and this event was the first step.

Thursday, October 1, 2015



1. The NFA protects academic freedom.

2.  The NFA advocates for faculty to the administration.

3.  The NFA provides a voice for faculty and higher education in the Nevada Legislature.

4.  The NFA is an advocate and watchdog for decent faculty salary and benefits and, for several years, has had an NFA member on the PEBP Board.

5.  The NFA provides legal advice and representation for members.

6.   The NFA was directly involved in originally establishing the NSHE merit pool, and competitive salaries for faculty.

7.  The NFA is the Nevada affiliate of the American Association of University Professors, the longest existing national organization advocating for faculty.

8. NFA members receive the AAUP publication ACADEME, and the NFA publication ALLIANCE that keeps members up to date on national and state faculty employment issues.

9. NFA-UNLV has a track record of success.

10. NFA-UNLV needs your support to grow stronger.

For more information, contact:
John Farley, NFA-UNLV President

or see: nevadafacultyalliance.org

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Statement from an NFA member

" I would like to thank you and the other members of the NFA leadership for the advice and counsel during the last academic year regarding Faculty-in-Residence workload issues.  I appreciated receiving objective and fact-based opinions that assisted in resolving the issue amicably."  

Prof X, UNLV

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chapter officers as of 7/1/2015

Here are the NFA-UNLV Chapter officers as of 7/1/2015:

President John Farley

Dept of Physics



Vice President Sandra Owens

School of Social Work



Secretary Al Izzolo

Hotel College



Treasurer Barbara Luke

Civil and Environmental Engineering



Monday, March 23, 2015

Guns on campus?

by John W. Farley, President UNLV chapter of NFA and Tim Bungum, Professor, UNLV Dept of Health Promotion

A number of bills have been drafted or proposed in Carson City that might result in more guns on campus.  Current Nevada law allows anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring a gun onto an NSHE campus only if the gun owner has the explicit permission of the college or university president. In practice, the president delegates that decision to the campus chief of police.  The UNLV chief of police explained to a meeting of the UNLV Faculty Senate that  if an incident occurs, the campus police chief wants his officers to be the only armed force on the scene.  The task of the university police would be hindered, not helped, by the presence of other armed individuals. In real life, as opposed to the movies, it is not always easy to distinguish immediately a good guy from a bad guy. 

While NFA has not developed a position on every proposed bill, in the past NFA has strongly supported the existing law, and strongly opposed changing the law to make it easier to bring a gun on campus.  In the last legislature, NFA, the NSHE presidents, and the Chancellor and the Board of Regents were all in agreement on this issue.

A useful perspective that has too often been absent from the debate is the public health perspective, aimed at harm reduction. David Hemenway is a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he directs the Injury Control Research Center. His research on gun violence was reported in his 2006 book, Private Guns, Public Health. Hemenway seeks pragmatic solutions that reduce the number of gun deaths, rather than assigning blame. His is a public health perspective, not a crime perspective. Hemenway found that  homicides are frequently impulsive acts, in which the convenience and ready availability of guns allows a confrontation that otherwise would result in a black eye or broken tooth to results instead in a tragedy.

The Hemenway book has a chapter on guns in school, including the following important points:
1. Our schools are safe, but not as safe as schools in other similar countries.
2. 30-35 students are killed by guns in a typical school years (at school).
3. All school killings involved guns (in one study).
4. About 6000 kids a year are expelled for bringing guns to school.
5. Kids who bring guns to school are more apt to smoke, receive poor grades and have guns in the home.
6. All kids who killed at school had easy access to guns.
7. College males who own a gun are more apt to engage in reckless behavior involving alcohol, drive while intoxicated, distrust the police, damage property and sustain an alcohol-related injury.
8. In places with more guns, more students report being victims of gun threats than in other places.
9. Surveys show that most people believe that they will be less safe if more people have guns.
10. Most states that made carrying laws more permissive showed slight increases in homicides.

A summary of the entire Hemenway book includes three documented findings:

1. Arming citizens appears to increase rather than decrease lethal violence.

2. Permissive gun laws appear to be detrimental to the health of the public. 

3. More than 90% of adults in one survey expressed the desire to outlaw guns on campus.