Prof. Catherine Nelson, the inimitable vice-chair of the statewide senate has compiled the following brief summary of the highlights of the Jan/Feb 2017 Board of Trustees for statewide senators. I’m thus happy to share this with you:
A few highlights of the Trustees meeting. Underlying themes included the Graduation Initiative and integral to it hiring more faculty, hiring more advisors and providing more classes so students graduate in a timely manner; and student opposition to the “Tuition Adjustment Proposal” (as one student said, “call it what it is, an increase”). The full Trustees Agenda is available at:
Committee on Collective Bargaining
In the public comment section several union representatives spoke about compensation, the need to value duration of service for the institutional memory it provides, career advancement, and the need for a systemwide policy about the time, place and manner of expression that protects union activity and provides for an appeal process for administrative decisions made under the policy. Successor CBAs with units 2, 5, 7 and 9 were approved (CSUEU, SEIU Local 2579).
Committee on Finance
There was extensive discussion of the CSU 2017-18 support budget request and the “tuition adjustment proposal.” The CSU Administration reported that the governor’s budget proposes a recurring augmentation of $157.2 m of state general fund monies. That amount is $167.7 less than the trustees’ support budget request of $324.9m. The governor also proposed phasing out the Middle Class Scholarship Program (http://www.csac.ca.gov/mcs.asp). Given that the Department of Finance has not forecast an economic downturn, the Administration suggested it is reasonable to argue that the additional reserve funds Governor Brown wants can go to other purposes. Board discussion included whether financial aid would cover the increase and for whom, the need to fund mandatory costs and the Graduation Initiative, the fact that even with the tuition increase funding for the CSU would still fall $90.2m short of the full support budget request, and the possibility that if the Trustees approve the increase in March, they could revise it during the summer if more funding is forthcoming from the state.
During the committee’s public comment period, students spoke movingly about the need for sanctuary campuses and talked about the direct, negative impact the tuition increase would have on them. Themes included educational costs, working two or more jobs, student homelessness and food insecurity, and the state legislature’s responsibility to fund public higher education. Jen Eagan, CFA President, introduced the CFA’s report “Equity, Interrupted: How California is Cheating It’s Future” that documents the state’s disinvestment in higher education (report available at http://www.calfac.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/equity_interrupted_1.12.2017.pdf ). In particular the authors find that as the number of students of color has increased, public funding for the CSU has decreased. During Board discussion of the increase, Trustees Morales, White, Abrego and Norton expressed varying degrees of opposition, concern or ambivalence about the increase.
Wang Family Excellence Awards 2017
- Dr. Debra Y. Griffith, SJSU, Outstanding Administrator
- Dr. Mariappan Jawaharlal, Cal Poly Pomona, Outstanding Faculty, Natural Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering;
- Dr. Anita Silvers, SFSU, Outstanding Faculty, Visual and Performing Arts and Letters
- Dr. Keith A. Trujillo, CSUSM, Outstanding Faculty, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Services;
- Dr. Ruth H. Yopp-Edwards, CSU Fullerton, Outstanding Faculty, Education and Professional and Applied Sciences.
ASCSU Chair Miller’s Report
Using the theme of a meme of a meme about celebrity deaths to frame her report, Chair Miller reported on AS 3282 Opposition to the Proposed Tuition Increase in the California State University (CSU); AS 3281 Advice to the CSU Tenure Density Task Force.AS 3276 Academic Freedom Policy; AS 3274 Support for the CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL) Summer Institute; AS 3279 Support for the Letter to President Trump from the Leaders of California’s Systems of Higher Education ant the Continuance of DACA; AS 3280 Opposition to the Appointment of Betsy DeVos as US Secretary of Education; and AS 3277 Lactation Resource Policy and Practices in the California State University. Chair Miller summarized issues addressed by resolutions in first reading including job security for contingent workers, tax reform and funding the Master Plan, and support for DACA students. She discussed progress on establishing the GE Task Force and expressed concern that the Chancellor’s Office was not open to ASCSU recommendations on how best to implement the Quantitative Reasoning Task Force’s recommendations. She also reminded everyone about the Academic Conference on February 9-10.
CSSA President David Lopez (CSU East Bay) highlighted CSSA opposition to the tuition increase and their advocacy plan to oppose it. Two major themes were the need for the state to understand that the CSU is a public institution and should be funded by the state and the need for a sustainable funding model that doesn’t include a tuition increase but relies on state funding.
Chancellor White’s State of the CSU Address
As of this writing the video of the address or print were not available on the CSU website. When it is posted, it should be available at: https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/chancellor/the-chancellors-communications/Pages/chancellors-communications.aspx