Academic Affairs to Former Administrators: Just Keep The Money!

Administrators (who are also faculty) are, overall, paid significantly more than their departmental same-rank peers. This makes sense. The former’s workload and hours change when going into administration. What makes little sense is that when those administrators go back to faculty roles–voluntarily or not–they keep their administrative salary rate adjusted to nine months and all or part of their stipends. Academic Affairs policy ensures that once one joins the ranks of administration, one enjoys the financial perks of administration forever. Not only is this policy unjust and inequitable, it is financially irresponsible.

Administrators who move back into full time faculty roles assume the same duties, responsibilities, and work hours as their departmental peers. When returning to the faculty ranks, a former administrator’s workload is reduced (assuming that we buy into the notion that administrators earn so much because they must work harder and face more stress than do faculty). At the same time, such a change in position provides the former administrator greater job/time flexibility. Nonetheless, former administrators are paid significantly more than their same-rank departmental peers (on top of having received far greater compensation while an administrator).

This policy is also fiscally irresponsible. In the current era of budget shortfalls and virtually no funding to improve faculty and staff salaries or to hire new faculty lines, UNF sees fit to pay exponentially greater salaries to former administrators. These costs are significant (see chart attached). Such salary discrepancies not only reek of cronyism, they add significantly to low faculty morale.

Finally, the oft-cited argument for this policy has little merit in our contexts. The policy is predicated upon the notion that in becoming an administrator, a faculty member must give up on her/his research agenda (i.e., they ‘sacrifice’ their research/scholarship to serve as administrators). While this may be true at research-intensive (R-1) universities, this is not the reality at UNF. Any number of administrators continue their scholarship while serving as administrators. Numerous UNF faculty have taken on administrative roles (chairs, deans, vice presidents) as Associate Professors only to be promoted to Professor while serving in the administrative role (thereby increasing their salary all the more). Similarly, most administrators at UNF have ample opportunities to teach and to do college, university, or community service. As administrators, they also have additional opportunities that are not available to their faculty peers (including an automatic sabbatical).

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Sign Faculty Letter Opposing Appointment of Adam Hollingsworth to UNF Board of Trustees

We are circulating a letter opposing the appointment of Adam Hollingsworth to the UNF Board of Trustees. We ask that you, our UNF faculty, sign onto this letter. The greater the objection to this cronyism appointee–by a man who lied about his own academic background in order to obtain numerous jobs–the greater our impact. 


If you are willing to be a signatory to the letter, please contact John W White.





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UNF faculty union president objects to governor’s trustee appointment

Posted January 11, 2017 05:19 pm
By  Amanda Williamson

Governor Rick Scott appointed his former chief of staff to University of North Florida’s Board of Trustees at the end of December, but members of the school’s faculty union question that decision.

Adam Hollingsworth, 48, left the governor’s office shortly after Scott’s re-election in 2014 — approximately a year after the Miami Herald-Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee bureau exposed him for lying about earning a public relations degree from the University of Alabama in 1990.

Aside from Hollingsworth’s casual comments referencing his degree, the newspaper said, he also allowed his former employer, CSX Corporation, to issue press releases 1998 and 2002 saying he’d graduated from Alabama. He hadn’t, the Herald reported.

In 2009, Hollingsworth did in fact earn his degree.

That fact, however, causes more than a little bit of unease for John White, president of the United Faculty of Florida, UNF chapter.

“It seems to me someone should be disqualified from overseeing or evaluating the value of the degrees that we grant at UNF if they lied about having one,” White said. “Granted, that was a long time ago, but it seems to me it is an egregious affront to what we stand for at this university.”

UNF faculty want Hollingsworth to recuse himself from serving on the board.

White said he doesn’t expect that to happen — and if it doesn’t, union members will urge the Florida Senate to vote no on Hollingsworth’s confirmation.

Hollingsworth refused to comment about his UNF Board of Trustees goals, and whether his past would impact his performance at the university.

He did say in an e-mail to the Times-Union, “The University of North Florida is a terrific institution. I am grateful to have been appointed to the Board and I look forward to serving to the best of my ability.”

UNF President John Delaney also stands by the appointment. In a Jan. 10 email, he wrote: “[Hollingsworth] attended his first meeting today and was a significant contributor. What is past is past, and he will be a great Board member.”

Hollingsworth came clean in 2013 as newspapers questioned the degree. He called his actions then a failure in judgement.

In a statement issued at the time, he said: “For many years, I publicly stated that I was a graduate of the University of Alabama, however, I did not complete my degree until 2009. I am not proud of this and I deeply apologize for this misrepresentation.”

Hollingsworth continued to deny his sudden departure from CSX to work for Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton had any connection to his inflated resume, the Herald said.

The Herald also reported Hollingsworth allegedly lied on a 2011 application for an appointment to the board of Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s public-private economic development agency. A year later, he replaced Steve MacNamara as Scott’s chief of staff.

Comments from the governor’s office at the time indicated Hollingsworth never tried to hide anything in his applications — and when applying for the chief of staff position — did disclose his degree was not official until 2009.

While the degree looms largest in White’s concerns, he said Hollingsworth also appears to have no experience in higher education.

According to the UNF website, the Board of Trustees is responsible for cost-effective policy, implementing and maintaining high-quality education programs consistent with the university’s mission, performance evaluation, and developing a process, meeting state policy, budgeting and education standards.

For White, that process should be independent of the governor’s office. Instead, he sees this as a way for Scott to extend his influence.

“Seems to me to be cronyism,” White said. “The government is increasingly controlled by one person, and that person is no friend to higher education.”

Rumors in 2014 placed Hollingsworth’s future post-Scott at Florida State University. Student groups were angry, White said in an email.

FSU President John Thrasher called Hollingsworth a friend — but said a job in the school’s administration was not available for Hollingsworth at the time.

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Man Who Lied About College Degree Appointed to UNF Board of Trustees


Posted Monday, January 9, 2017 5:22 pm


A little more than three years ago, Adam Hollingsworth got caught in a whopper while he was serving as Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff. In Dec. 2013, the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times’ Capitol bureau revealed that Hollingsworth had lied about earning a public relations degree from the University of Alabama in 1990 when he actually graduated nearly two decades later in 2009. The Herald reported that Hollingsworth originally artificially inflated his resume when he was working for CSX Corporation, with which he was employed from 1995-2000 and again from 2002-2004.

In a written statement to the Times/Herald, Hollingsworth said, “For many years, I publicly stated that I was a graduate of the University of Alabama, however, I did not complete my degree until 2009. I am not proud of this and I deeply apologize for this misrepresentation. I have learned from this failure in judgment and know that, over the last several years, my life and character have and will continue to grow from this.”

Scott, who was then gearing up to run for reelection, stood by Hollingsworth and kept him on staff until after his win the following November, when his office tucked Hollingsworth’s departure into the bottom of a press release announcing the promotion of Melissa Sellers to chief of staff.

Hollingsworth, a Jacksonville native who previously worked for numerous local politicians, including Corrine Brown, Ed Austin and John Peyton, subsequently seemingly dropped out of sight until last month when Scott appointed him to the University of North Florida Board of Trustees. The appointment is subject to approval of the Florida Senate.

In an email to Folio Weekly, John W. White, president of the United Faculty of Florida, UNF Chapter, objected to Hollingsworth’s appointment and questioned whether someone who had previously been caught lying about their academic credentials was a suitable choice for the board.

“Such a brazen lie about academic credentials should, by default, disqualify Hollingsworth from serving on the university’s Board of Trustees,” White wrote. “…Someone who has failed to adhere to the most basic ethical standards regarding his own academic achievement should not be entrusted to oversee the academic programs of and degrees awarded by a major university.”

The board is subject to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida, which states in part, “The educator values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship.” [Emphasis added]

The university website states that the board is “responsible for cost-effective policy, implementing and maintaining high-quality education programs consistent with the university’s mission, performance evaluation, and developing a process, meeting state policy, budgeting and education standards.”

In an email, UNF President John Delaney wrote to FW, “Adam is a longtime friend of Jacksonville and of me personally.  He has great work experience, and he will bring deep knowledge to the UNF Board of Trustees.  He is a moral and spiritual person, and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Via email Hollingsworth told FW, “The University of North Florida is a terrific institution and I look forward to serving as a Trustee to the best of my ability.”


An Invigorated Fight for Guns on Campus in Tallahassee

guns-campus-imageFormer Florida Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R- Miami) was defeated in his reelection bid after the NRA turned its sights (pun intended) on him. He had enjoyed a solid A rating with the NRA until he decided not to schedule hearings on the guns on campus bill last year, stating that “I don’t think any of these bills have anything to do with gun rights. They have to do with public safety, and I don’t think any of these bills make us any safer. In fact, quite the opposite.” His decision effectively killed the bill in the Senate.

Representative Greg Steube, the former Florida House representative who sponsored the guns on campus bill each of the last two years, was elected to the Florida Senate in November. Even though brand new to the Senate, he was nonetheless appointed Chair of the Judiciary Committee, where he has already scheduled hearings on his bill.

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Sign Letter Opposing Attacks on Public Education & Trump’s Choice for Secretary of Education

Dear Friend,

Our public schools are the place where we prepare the nation’s young people to contribute to our society, economy and citizenry. It’s a tall task. So we expect our elected leaders and policymakers, regardless of political affiliation, to fundamentally believe in and value a strong and inclusive public education system that ensures every student can succeed, no matter their ZIP code.

Unfortunately, with the recent nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education, the nation is entering dangerous, uncharted territory.

For the first time ever, our Secretary of Education could be an anti-public education activist whose sole “qualification” for the job is the two decades she has spent attempting to dismantle, destabilize, and defund the American vision of public education.

That’s why, together with the American Federation of Teachers, we’re calling on Betsy DeVos and political leaders at every level to commit to a public education system that welcomes students of all backgrounds, identities, origins, and abilities.

Will you help us issue this call?

Sign our open letter. Declare your commitment to a public education system that opens doors to all, and demand that our Secretary of Education and elected leaders make that commitment too.

By signing this letter, you’re sharing in the vision that student success should not depend on living in advantaged circumstances, getting accepted by a private school, or winning a charter school lottery.

Betsy DeVos has championed every kind of scheme to dismantle this vision. Not only do these divisive policies not work, they actively harm our most vulnerable students by ignoring and exacerbating glaring opportunity gaps.

Act now and sign on to this letter today. Your voice will make a difference.

Thank you for stepping up to protect public education, the bedrock of our democracy. And thanks for everything you do. 

Lily Eskelsen García, President, National Education Association



UNF Administration Finalizes “Banking” Policy

On November 28, 2016, Provost Earle Traynham sent our chapter of the union the Administration’s finalized policy regarding banking credits (to be accumulated for course releases) for faculty who conduct Directed Independent Studies and who direct theses and dissertations. Academic Affairs made numerous changes to the prior version of the policy; in doing so, the administration addressed some of the union’s biggest concerns with that model.

Click Banking Policy to see the newest policy proposal.



UFF-UNF Answers to Faculty Association Questions (posed at October 14, 2016 meeting)


Our Long National Nightmare

Has Just Begun


On August 9, 1974, the newly sworn in Gerald Ford said in his first words as President that “our long national nightmare is over.”  He was of course referring to the Watergate scandal that brought down a president and disgraced the presidency itself. On November 9, 2016, his words should be reversed. We very well may be entering what might easily become a long national nightmare ahead. In January, a grossly-unqualified demagogue was elected president. What he represents should be of no surprise to the American people; his one attribute is that he never sought to hide his baser beliefs and instincts. Instead, he celebrated a platform of fear, hate, ethnocentrism, and uber-nationalism. Regardless, he will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.

If the new president remains true to his words, we all have much to fear–especially our fellow citizens who have long been disenfranchised and repressed by institutional racism and sexism. They were the obvious “other” at the brunt of his campaign attacks. At the same time, academics and union members have much to fear as well. The president-elect has derided public education and the professoriate on numerous occasions. He has nominated a Secretary of Education with no education experience who has used her considerable wealth to attack public schools and promote vouchers (public funding for private schools). The president-elect has also publicly and vehemently attacked unions and their workers. He holds up as a model people like Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, who destroyed public employee unions despite overwhelming opposition to that goal. He has a history of refusing to pay employees for work completed and then insulting those who complain. He has repeatedly called for the ability to “sue” the press (and, by extension, other professionals engaged in searches for truth). He even publicly stated his desire to imprison his opponent in the presidential campaign.

While we should lament the state of the nation (a nation that obviously harbors far more racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, and fear than most of us wanted to believe), we cannot merely complain. We must engage and advocate for change now like never before. We must work collectively to refocus attention on the real problems we face–to focus attention on the very issues that the president-elect tries to obfuscate with bloviation and misdirection.

I ask that you join with us in fighting for social justice both within the academy and without. Everything the professoriate cherishes is at stake.

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State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Faculty Votes to Unionize

The faculty of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has spoken and by a vote of 75-24 becomes the newest United Faculty of Florida (UFF) chapter. The faculty voted 75.8 percent for UFF with 92.5 percent of the faculty voting. The vote count followed a three-week period of balloting by mail and was certified by the Florida Public Employees Relations Committee today.

“The State College of Florida faculty, over campuses and through departments, have come together to support each other in gaining a seat at the table,” said Dr. Courtney Ruffner, professor of English. “We have asked to be heard, to be taken seriously, to be respected by our Board of Trustees and administration and have been met with silence. Our community has come together to complete our college family by showing its support in our decision to unionize. It is clear that we all want to better the working and learning environment for our faculty, our students and our community at large. Our union with the United Faculty of Florida can help us achieve that desire.”

“I want to congratulate the dedicated faculty at the State College of Florida as they become a part of the United Faculty of Florida,” said Dr. Jennifer Proffitt, UFF president. “This vote is based on the premise that the faculty, who are the cornerstone of this institution, should have a collective voice in determining what is best for the college and the students it serves.  This isn’t about confrontation; it is about ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in determining the future of this great college and ensuring that its core mission — the education of the next generation of leaders — is fulfilled to its greatest potential.  We look forward to working with these committed and dynamic faculty members for the betterment of the State College of Florida and higher education around the state.”

“This effort also stands as an example to other colleges that are beset with Boards of Trustees whose awareness of educational imperatives is little or none, and beholden to political and business interests that appoint them. We look forward to working with the board in negotiating the future for SCF and its teachers, students, and stakeholders,” said Del Jacobs, director of Film and Media Studies.

UFF represents more than 20,000 faculty members at 11 state universities, St. Leo University, ten colleges, and at four graduate assistant chapters.


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UFF Statement Regarding Governor Scott’s “Degrees to Jobs Summit”

May 23, 2016

The very premise of Rick Scott’s summit is problematic in that the mission of higher education is much more than just jobs. While obtaining a job after graduation is important, higher education is about developing educated, well-rounded citizens and future leaders who are able to communicate and write effectively, think critically, and solve problems – skills that are also important criteria for those who do the hiring.

If Governor Scott is serious about improving higher education, then he needs to make sure that our university and college systems are funded properly, not relying on gimmicks such as one-size-fits-all performance funding.

If Governor Scott is serious about improving higher education, then he would work to protect the institutions that nurture rigorous inquiry and strong research that will attract and retain the best faculty, such as tenure and continuing contracts.

Perhaps most importantly, if Governor Scott is serious about improving higher education, then he would have a real summit that includes our faculty members, who are critical stakeholders in any discussion of higher education and higher education curriculum.  Unfortunately, no faculty members are listed in the agenda for the summit, which is incredibly problematic as we are in the classrooms and in the labs teaching these future leaders the skills necessary to succeed, and we serve as mentors and as references for our students when they apply for jobs or continue on for graduate school.

The United Faculty of Florida, which represents more than 22,000 faculty members, was not invited to the summit, even though we have the knowledge, the research, the experience, and the networks to serve as meaningful partners in the summit. 

Without meaningful faculty participation, this summit does little to move Florida’s higher education system to the next level of excellence.

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NEA Higher Education Advocate

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Data show that in terms of annual compensation, UNF faculty are last place in the state university system (SUS). These numbers are not adjusted for region and cost of living.

Click HERE for more detailed and disaggregated salary data.

The Chronicle of Higher Education also publishes salary data. Their database is useful for disaggregating faculty groups, comparisons to private institutions, etc. You may access their database HERE.

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An Open Letter to Governor Scott On How to Improve the State University System

Click on the title above to review a letter that chapter president John White sent to Governor Scott in the fall of 2015. White sent the letter in response to the Governor’s request for feedback from faculty on how we might make our universities stronger and more efficient.

Although the letter was mailed in the early fall of 2015, White received neither a response nor an acknowledgement of receipt of the letter. He emailed the letter again in late May 2016 and received an automated response that it was received. We will keep you posted when or if we receive a true response.

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Help Us Reach > 50% Membership

There is strength in numbers; the stronger we stand, the louder and more powerful our voice. We need strength now more than ever as we are in the midst of a time of unprecedented attacks on public employee unions, on faculty tenure, on academic freedom, and on equitable funding to public universities. We ask that you, our members, get more involved in the union, primarily by encouraging your colleagues to join our ranks. Doing so would help us in our efforts to ensure that UNF is an institution where:

  • Students have a high quality education and opportunities to engage in research.
  • Faculty have academic freedom and their intellectual property is protected.
  • Administration recognizes the need to prioritize family during emergency situations.
  • Salaries are corrected for inversion, compression, merit, and cost of living.
  • We lead in the governance of the university and in guiding its mission.

Encourage fellow faculty to join. There is no better time to join than now!

Membership Form

Recruitment Letter

Reasons to Join

Costs of Membership

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Where Does the Money Go?

can-losing-140-million-be-a-blessing-burning-money-449826The UNF family has been repeatedly reminded over the past academic year that the university’s financial situation is dire. There is “no money” for any of the proposals our bargaining team has put forth, virtually all faculty searches have been canceled, and departments have been asked to remit unused department funds back to the university. There have even been vague references to layoffs or cutting programs.

While my union colleagues and I understand that the Board of Governors’ metrics have hurt our funding–and we are harshly critical of the punitive measures they attach to performance assessments–we nonetheless continue to question where and how UNF does spend money.

For example, we question the need for one administrator for every three faculty. We question the exorbitant rate at which a bevy of administrators are paid. We question why former administrators take with them a much higher rate and stipends when they revert back to faculty roles. We question why some offices (e.g., Deans’ Offices) need four or more secretaries. We question why the university spends exponentially more on distance learning than face-to-face course development (e.g., CIRT funding verses OFE funding) when DL courses make up less than 5% of the university’s course delivery and when we cannot compete with Florida’s “preeminent” universities in this regard. We also question why UNF has paid exorbitant fees to outside legal counsel (to lead its bargaining team with numerous constituent groups) when the university maintains four full time attorneys while our side contains no attorneys (does no one in the Office of Legal Counsel have expertise in contracts and contract negotiations?). We conservatively estimate that since the summer of 2014, UNF has paid Carson & Adkins far in excess of $250,000, a sum that does not include what UNF has spent on the administrators who sit on their bargaining team (a group that includes a UNF attorney, a college dean, the director of HR, a vice president, etc.).

To be clear, my colleagues and I are very sympathetic to the financial challenges President Delaney and other top UNF administrators are currently facing. We also very much respect that President Delaney has consistently avoided layoffs during these troublesome financial years. However, it is important that in discussions about our university’s financial condition, we all start to recognize and begin to address the administrative bloat that has sucked up a huge percentage of the funding we do have.


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UNF-UFF Family Leave Proposal

In this year’s contract reopeners, our bargaining team put forward proposals for a paid family leave policy. Our argument is that the plan–which we believe would prove to be revenue neutral–would benefit not just UNF faculty but the university community more widely. It would ensure that newer faculty (who have little to no accumulated sick leave) would not be forced to choose between work and family needs.

Click Family Leave Proposal to see the article in its entirety.

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Outstanding Faculty Service Award, 2015-2016

Mark Ari, COAS


John W. White, COEHS


                                                                           Mark Ari                                                        John White

Two of the union’s most active members/officers were selected as recipients of this year’s Outstanding Faculty Service Awards. Mark Ari (“Ari” to all who know him) is a senior instructor in the English Department and has served–among many other roles–as Grievance Officer, as Senator, and on the Bargaining Team for our chapter. Most recently he made a presentation to the National Education Association about his work to help create promotable ranks (and raises) for non-tenure-track faculty. Joining him in that presentation was the other service award winner, John White, chapter President 2014-2017 (as well as past Grievance Officer, Senator, Secretary, current web master, state Government Relations Committee, and AFL-CIO representative).

It is a testament to the hard work and the resulting successes of myriad people in the UNF chapter that both of this year’s service award winners are union officers and that last year’s recipient of the award was Susan Perez (chapter Vice President).

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2016-2017 UNF-UFF Officers

UNF-UFF held chapter officers last week. The results are below:

Chapter Officers:
President:  John W White
Vice President:  Susan Perez
Secretary:  Bess Wilson
Treasurer:  Caroline Guardino

Mark Ari
Dan Dinsmore
James Hall
Chau Kelly
Jamie Moon
Susan Perez

Alternate Senators:
Juliana Leding
Peter Magyari
Rebecca Marcon
Bess Wilson

FEA Representative:
Paul Clark
Sophie Maxis
Bess Wilson

FEA Alternates:

Juliana Leding, Rebecca Marcon, Hope “Bess” Wilson, Peter Magyari

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UNF-UFF Budget Information Request

To better understand the financial climate in which UNF seems to be struggling, we have sought out information from the university. Attached HERE is our budget information request and the relatively cryptic response we received. Attached below is UNF financial data regarding “deferred inflows” and “deferred outflows.”

In addition, we have been working with union colleagues at the other SUS institutions to get their interpretation of the Board of Governors’ metrics, scoring formula, and actual rules around funding.

Click Board of Governors for BOG information including terms, metrics, and performance funding.


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logo‘Predatory’ Publishing Up

The study described in this article shows how open-access journals–with questionable peer-review and marketing processes–have attracted a vulnerable audience (scholars under pressure to publish as much as possible in as short a time as possible. The result has been hundreds of thousands of articles a year (a huge jump in only a few years) with many of them never having been peer reviewed in any true sense of the concept.  

Click title above or click HERE for the article.

Predatory Journals: What Faculty Need to Know

“Predatory open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. That is to say, they operate as scholarly vanity presses and publish articles in exchange for the author fee. They are characterized by various level of deception and lack of transparency in their operations.  For example, some publishers may misrepresent their location, stating New York instead of Nigeria, or they may claim a stringent peer-review where none really exists.”                           – Professor Jeffrey Beall (Chronicle of Higher Education)

         Predatory publishers began proliferating in the past few years with the increase in open access publishing. These journals claim peer-review, scholarly integrity, and have titles that often sound impressive despite their predatory nature. There has also been a sharp rise in predatory conferences, some which choose a name nearly identical to an established, well-respected conference. Traits common to predatory publishers and conferences are high acceptance rates (for manuscripts or proposals), quick turnaround, and fees to publish or present. It is important to note that predatory publishers may also claim to be included in directories and indexes when they are not. Some claim to have prominent university faculty on their editorial boards even when those individuals have never agreed to serve in that capacity. See also Open Access, Open Education, & More: Predatory Publishing.

How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher

Check with departmental colleagues or discipline-area peers elsewhere to see if the journal is reputable. It is critical that faculty members differentiate between open access, fee-based journals, and predatory journals (there are distinctions of varying degrees between each of these). Also, look for the publisher and the journal on the predatory publishing lists linked below.

You may also contact the University Library for a second (or first) opinion about the authenticity of a publisher or journal. The library has numerous resources, the most valuable of which is Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters.

In addition:

  • Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including  a physical address, on the journal site. Be cautious of outlets that provide only web contact forms.
  • Check that a journal’s editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. If in doubt, contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher.
  • Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees. Avoid outlets that require author fees (except when explicitly accepted within the discipline).  While some disciplines may find author-fee associated journals acceptable, most do not. Check with experts in your discipline to learn about which fee-based journals–if any–are legitimate.
  • Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members. Such solicitations have become ubiquitous in recent years. In short, if you receive a mass email about publishing in a journal, be skeptical!
  • Generally, avoid open access (and even print) journals that have published very few volumes and issues. While some highly reputable organizations (e.g., the American Educational Research Association) have recently started new open-access journals, predatory journals are notorious for having very few volumes.
  • Read some of the journal’s published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experiences.
  • Check that a journal’s peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.  Avoid journals that have low impact factors or have no impact factor.  You can confirm Impact Factor via Journal Citation Reports.  Impact factors are, most simply, a ratio of citations per article per journal issue. For more on Impact Factor, click HERE.
  • Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals ( or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association ( [Some questionable journals appear in directories such as DOAJ and Cabell’s; we don’t advise using this as your sole criteria.] Be especially cautious of journals that are not affiliated with a scholarly or professional organization.
  • Be cautious about open-access journals published in developing nations. This is not to suggest that these countries do not have reputable journals or that you should not seek publishing opportunities in foreign presses. Nonetheless, predatory journals based in developing nations (e.g., India, Nigeria) have flourished in recent years.
  • Be skeptical of journals with dubious titles or claims that are too grandiose (e.g., The International Journal of…, The Universal Journal of…). While some reputable journals have such titles, this is also a hallmark of predatory journals.
  • Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.
  • Contact your librarian!

Resources for Scholars

Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers 2015

Scholarly Open Access on Predatory Journals

Journal Citation Reports (available at Carpenter Library & other university libraries)

Recent Articles & Research Papers on Predatory Publishers

On Predatory Publishers: a Q&A With Jeffrey Beall, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing, Nature

Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too), New York Times

Sham Journals Scam Authors, Nature

“Predatory” Open Access Publishers — The Natural Extreme of an Author-Pays Model

‘Predatory’ open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics

Also see our recommendations for writing a strong curriculum vita and preparing one’s dossier for promotion and tenure. Visit our Promotion and Tenure Page.

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Enough is Enough Rally

By Jennifer Proffitt, UFF President

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On January 14, 2016, the Florida Education Association (FEA) held an historic rally titled, “Enough is Enough.” Thousands of teachers, education staff professionals, parents, college and university students, faculty members, sister unions, and community supporters from around the state attended. Speakers included FEA officers President Joanne McCall, Vice President Fedrick Ingram, and Secretary-Treasurer Luke Flynt; Mindy Haas, President of the Florida PTA; Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida NAACP; Wendy Bradshaw, former teacher; Karla Hernandez-Mats, UTD secretary-treasurer; Tiffany McClary, president of the FAMU Student FEA; Lynnita Lucas, secretary of LESPA; and Monica Russo, Florida SEIU president. Participants rallied behind the theme, “Enough is Enough,” in response to more than a decade of legislative tinkering with Florida’s K-20 education that has focused on dismantling our public institutions in favor of for-profit education schemes. I was fortunate to have been asked to speak at the rally, and I focused on the corporatization and privatization of our public higher education institutions. The text of my speech is below. A video of the rally highlights can be found here.

That same day, UFF First Vice President Elizabeth Davenport, UFF Government Relations Chair Teresa Lucas, and I visited Senate offices to explain our opposition to the guns on campus bill. A special thanks to Elizabeth and Teresa for their work on this important issue!

Click HERE for Jennifer’s Prepared Remarks

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Beware: “Study Sites” Posting Final Exams and Faculty-Owned Materials

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In recent years, a number of websites have been created that ostensibly help college students study more efficiently and effectively. Sites such as offer students a means for accessing materials posted by other (generally former) students in a particular class. In other words, the site posts class notes, powerpoint slides, and even midterm and final exams from prior semesters. They do so without the knowledge or consent of the faculty who created those materials. Furthermore, these sites publish exams that in many cases could only have been copied through cheating.

When one of our chapter’s officers contacted to ask that her materials be removed from the site, she was told that the onus was on her to determine which specific materials needed to be removed and why (which itself requires creating an account through the site). She was also told that they would not remove materials without copyright and that even those materials that were copyrighted might not be removed (citing “fair use”). 

A preliminary search shows that a number of UNF faculty members’ midterm and final exams are posted on the site.

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ALEC-led Attack on State Employees and the Florida Constitution

“It is going to be a nuclear war between the government, the unions, the Republicans and the Democrats,” Trujillo said on the air Sept. 30. “That war is coming.”

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When Teaching Becomes a Crime

A proposed Kansas bill would make it easy for educators to face jail time for showing “harmful materials.” Lawmakers say they are only trying to protect students, but are they really trying to discredit public school educators?

Click HERE to read full article.  Read an article in The Atlantic about parents and students increasing desire to avoid new or potentially controversial ideas on college campuses.  Also see satire of this and  similar actions  in The Onion.


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Law Defines Professors as Management

(and thus not eligible for collective bargaining)

Full-time faculty members at Ohio public institutions are objecting to proposed legislation with big implications for their right to organize unions. Tucked deep into a 3,090-page budget bill pending before the state’s House Finance Committee is language that would reclassify professors who participate in virtually anything other than teaching and research as supervisors or managers, and therefore exempt from collective bargaining. So serving on a committee, for example, turns a professor into a manager. 

For the entire text of the article, click HERE.

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