Tenets of System Level Governance in the CSU

On January 17th, the ASCSU will be taking action on a resolution to adopt the Tenets of System Level Governance in the CSU. Several campuses have already provided their Sense of the Senate responses when the Tenets came up for a first read in November. Your Statewide Senators would benefit from both individual feedback as well as a CSUMB Senate statement regarding the position of the campus faculty.

The Tenets represent an agreement between the ASCSU and the Chancellor’s Office that reaffirms guidelines for shared governance. It captures the outcome of six two-hour meetings between the CO’s representatives (including the Chancellor, himself, at two meetings) and the ASCSU Executive Committee. These meetings were initiated by ASCSU in response to the egregious disregard for consultation on EO1100 and EO1110. As a result, the Tenets represent an effort to remind the CO that the faculty play a primary and invaluable role in establishing curriculum in the CSU.

One of the points in favor of adopting the Tenets is that they embody a good faith effort between the ASCSU Executive Committee and the Chancellor’s Office to affirm a sense of shared governance. Further, the Tenets can stand as a first step, not a final step, in holding the CO accountable for its actions. Adopting them also affirms the actions of the Executive Committee and conveys a sense of solidarity and follow-through on behalf of CSU faculty to the CO.

On the other hand, the Tenets do not expand the rights of the faculty in any formal way; they are a negotiated understanding on the order of an MOU. And they include elements that some faculty have concerns about. Specifically, the following is raising concerns (italics added by blog author):

The formal consultation process will therefore make provision to allow for an explicit agreement between the ASCSU and the chancellor to engage in a mutually agreed-upon process of expedited consultation in such cases, while still recognizing the formal role of the academic senates as the faculty voice on the matters under consideration. In the unlikely event that agreement cannot be reached, the chancellor will decide. Because an expedited process is not the most optimal form of consultation and shortchanges a robust shared governance process, its use should be limited to those rare circumstances that justify departing from the more comprehensive process intended by this document.

The CO position is that there will be rare instances when action cannot wait for the processes of ASCSU to produce a representative response. The ASCSU pushed back and stated that even in those circumstances, the CO would work with the ASCSU to define an expedited process. Regardless, some faculty are still concerned about the possible implications of this paragraph (i.e., its concessions to the CO).

CSUMB faculty are encouraged to read through the Tenets document, as well as the response from sister campuses (given below) and provide feedback to Vanessa and Scott both as individuals and as members of the Academic Assembly. Please feel free to contact Vanessa, Scott or the Senate Chair, Michael, if you have questions.

Tenets of System Level Governance in the CSU

Responses from other campuses:

CSUS Resolution (In Support)

CSUDH Resolution (Opposed)

1985 Trustees Statement

2001 Document

Stanislaus Resolution (Opposed)

Author: Michael B. Scott

Professor of Mathematics and Academic Senate Chair at California State University, Monterey Bay