CSUN faculty take a stand

[Here is the note I sent to the campus and other stakeholders announcing and contextualizing the Senate’s decision.]

Colleagues,

CSUN has led the CSU with an innovative GE program that makes cross-cultural competence an essential area of study for all students, exactly on a par with the natural sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences. Our program was approved, with praise, by the Chancellor’s Office in 2005. We have similarly taught thousands of FTES in upper-division Lifelong-Learning (GE area E), with nary a peep from the Chancellor’s Office.

In two extraordinary moves this summer, the Chancellor upended the curriculum at every CSU on an impossible timeline given campus curricular processes and the multiple responsibilities of every faculty member. With our innovative curriculum, CSUN has been hit particularly hard.

As a Chancellor’s Office staff member admitted on the floor of the ASCSU plenary, there is no pedagogical justification for the changes in EO1100 (revised). The demand for homogeneity between every CSU GE program from Humboldt to San Diego is based in the belief that it is unfair to require a transferring student to learn anything extra when they arrive from a different part of the state.

It is against this background of extraordinary behavior by the Chancellor’s Office that I report the Faculty of CSUN have chosen an extraordinary response.

At its September 28th meeting, the CSUN Faculty Senate, which is the only official voice of the Faculty at CSUN, passed the following motion:

The Faculty Senate of CSU Northridge and its Standing Committees will not participate in the implementation of Executive Order 1100 (revised) and Executive Order 1110.

Any changes to curriculum, including GE, must be approved by the Senate. Proposals to alter the curriculum must come to the Senate from the Standing Committees (including any task forces created under Bylaws V.1.2). Therefore, this decision prevents any action by the Faculty in implementing these Executive Orders.

However, a procedural motion was introduced which effectively freezes the implementation of this decision until the next Senate meeting (on October 26th). At the next meeting, the above motion will be reconsidered as a regular agenda item. If it passes then, the decision is locked in —it cannot be reconsidered during this academic year.

Sincerely,

Adam