It appears we have an agreement with the Chancellor’s Office (the CO) which averts the crisis facing the ethnic studies departments, gender and women’s studies, queer studies, and other departments with heavy enrollment in area F of GE.
It looks like we will be able to come into compliance with EO1100 by removing F without harming departments/programs with heavy enrollment in it. It looks like we can do this without diluting FTES in departments who teach in areas C (Arts and Humanities) and D (Social Science).
However, nothing is a done deal until it has been passed by the Senate and signed by President Harrison. It will take a great deal of effort to make sure this works. But I’m cautiously breathing a small sigh of relief over what would’ve been catastrophic implications of EO1100’s proscription of section F.
That relief cannot last for long. EO1100’s prescriptions in area E (lifelong learning) still look likely to do terrible, though probably not existential, damage to many departments across the university. HHD seems likely to be hardest hit.
The danger has not passed. A patchy or incoherent curriculum harms our students. I cannot believe that is what the Legislature intends for us to provide. Yet it is what EO1100 still threatens. I know we will rise to the challenge; if only because we must.
Before we jump into the next challenge, I want to acknowledge that the agreement over F is the result of an extraordinary effort by many people at CSUN and their allies.
To their credit as leaders, Chancellor Tim White and Executive Vice Chancellor Loren Blanchard were willing to change their minds and pursue a solution. They worked closely with President Dianne Harrison, Provost Yi Li, and AVP Elizabeth Adams to hash out an agreement based in part on an idea suggested by Sheena Mahotra (Gender & Women’s Studies) and Scott Andrews (American Indian Studies).
Until yesterday, there was no indication that we would receive any accommodation from the CO. When EO1100 was issued, the CO knew the effects on our programs. They calculated that the benefits of easily transferring between campuses outweighed the harms. Thus a great deal of the credit for changing their calculus must go to activism by faculty, administrators and staff, students, and allies.
This debacle has revealed a clear path for protecting ethnic studies, gender and women’s studies, queer studies, and similar programs across the entire CSU:
legislators the Board of Trustees to include CSUN’s GE section F (Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages) in Title 5.
CSUN’s successful experience with redistributing units from other areas of GE shows that this can be done without increasing the total unit load. Let us be the laboratory of the State.
Here, for posterity, is how we’ve been doing it: General Education
Important update: In the original post I recommended convincing the legislature about changing Title 5. I’ve since learned that Title 5 is Trustees policy. It is thus administrative law, not the sort made by the legislature. Legislators can be our allies. But they are not the people who would have to be convinced. Sorry for the error.