March 2020 ASCSU Plenary Report

The ASCSU met virtually, conducted business accordingly.

As with so much University business in these days of the COVID-19 virus, the ASCSU met via Zoom for the March Plenary. In an effort to relieve the stress of working remotely, in general, the Senate Committees deferred resolutions that can wait until the May Plenary, pared down the list of floor speakers, and scheduled more frequent breaks throughout the day.

 

ASCSU Calls for Appropriate Practices and Policies in light of the COVID-19 Emergency

Given the current safeguards in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, ASCSU has requested that the CSU pursue a number of efforts to support both faculty and staff. These are captured in “Resolution on CSU Accommodations to Faculty Due to the COVID-19 Emergency,” (AS-3418-20/FA) which passed without dissent. These include:

  • Faculty control over student perceptions placed in personnel file
  • Faculty not penalized for removing student perceptions from their personnel file
  • Tenure-track faculty option to add a year toward time to tenure, with no penalty
  • Provosts placing a letter in all faculty Personnel Action File explaining conditions in place during the COVID-19 Emergency.
  • The right to a safe and clean campus and associated supports.
  • Affirmation that faculty-created content is the property of faculty.
  • Instructional materials, software, hardware be made readily available
  • A return to normal conditions when the COVID Emergency ends.

Please see the Resolution itself for more details on each of the bullets above. The Resolution was approved without dissent.

 

ASCSU supports progress towards Ethnic Studies requirement.

Having received feedback from the individual campuses, the Chancellor’s Office reached out to ASCSU with regard to firming up what the requirements and implementation of Ethnic Studies might look like. The ASCSU response is captured in the resolution Response to the CSU Chancellor’s Office Memo on Recommended Implementation of a California State University (CSU) Ethnic Studies Requirement (March 17, 2020) (AS-3420-20/AA), which reflected a Senate effort to:

  1.  provide increased flexibility for individual campuses as to both how implementation
  2. Increased latitude as to the breadth of historically oppressed groups (e.g. Jewish, Muslim, LGBTQ, women, etc.) that  they include in their curriculum. 

ASCSU endorses the importance of facts and expertise.

The Statewide Senate affirmed “the foundational importance of facts and expertise to the national conversation,” as expressed by the American Association of University Professors by passing the resolution (AS3408-20/FA) Academic Senate CSU (ASCSU) Endorsement of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Statement “In Defense of Knowledge and Higher Education.  The resolution was unanimously approved.

 

Call for increased cooperation in establishing transfer pathways

Recently, there has been increased effort between the Community Colleges and the UCs to establish transfer pathways. The ASCSU became concerned that the CSU, which has a long history of designing and implementing transfer pathways, was not participating in this effort as a full intersegmental partner. To change this, the ASCSU passed both Exploring Common Pathways for Transfer to the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) (AS-3413-20/APEP)  and Resources to Support CSU Faculty Participation in the Course-Identification Numbering System (C-ID) Process (AS-3414-20/APEP). The combined effect of this part of resolution is to call for increased inclusion of the CSU disciplinary faculty in establishing intersegmental pathways, and for increased financial support to do so from the Chancellor’s Office. Both resolutions were unanimously approved.

 

The ASCSU established its legislative agenda for the year.

The eleven (11) bills selected for advocacy (support or opposition) are included in the chart addendum to the resolution: 2020 Legislative Advocacy Positions of the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU)(AS-3419-20/FGA), approved without dissent. Please see chart addendum for more details on each.


Chancellor White’s Forewarning about Reduced Funding and Student Enrollment

The Chancellor emphasized that in the face of the current COVID-19 Emergency restrictions, the CSU will be losing funding from a variety of sources, including but not limited to the General Fund due to shifting State priorities. Relatedly, the Chancellor’s Office is planning for a possible student enrollment drop of 20-25%.  That statistic is merely a guess at this point, but Chancellor White noted that planning for such a reduction should inform System-wide planning efforts in the short term. He also pointed out that all this will have a long-term as well as a short effect on the System. 

It is also possible that changes to how CSU business will get done will be directed by the Governor, rather than the regular channels.

In the meantime, despite the recent CSU hiring slow down, the selection of a new Chancellor is underway.

More Details

A more detailed review of Plenary business can be found here: Campus Report March 2020.

CSUMB Senator gathers Womxn’s Caucus

In an effort to advance the voices of women in the ASCSU, CSUMB Senator Vanessa Lopez-Littleton recently organized the Womxn’s Caucus that would meet during the ASCSU Plenary sessions. This diversity of senators from across the system are gathering to strengthen relationships and support leadership among members of their community, thereby providing a counterbalance to the biases baked into the institutional status quo.

 

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January 2020 ASCSU Plenary Report

Ethnic Studies Implementation

ASCSU engaged in a many-layered discussion on the floor regarding the resolution for Recommended Implementation of a CSU Ethnic Studies Requirement, which was finally approved by the ASCSU. The considerations ranged from the faculty taking back curricular decision-making from the Legislature, to the autonomy of campuses in configuring their own requirements, to the definition of Ethnic Studies itself.

Notice that the resolution and attachment go beyond a mere approval of outcomes to include system-wide provisions regarding implementation itself. For example, including “ a reflective element (reinforcing any two of ethnic studies outcomes 2-5) in the upper-division.” Contact your Statewide Senator for more information or if you have any questions.

 

Additional Requirement for Quantitative Reasoning for CSU Admission

[10 February 2020 Update: At the CSU Trustees recent meeting, the Board voted 20-1, with one abstention, to adopt Chancellor White’s plan for “phased implementation” of the Quantitative Reasoning admission requirement.  The final vote will not come until spring 2022. In the meantime, the Chancellor’s Office will be engaged in further discussion and study of the matter.]

The Board of Trustees continues to wrestle with the proposal for a CO-proposed additional high school requirement for Quantitative Reasoning for admission to the CSU.  However, an initial decision is imminent as they will be voting on the following proposal on Wednesday 29th January, the day after this blog is being posted. The key elements of the QR proposal is as follows:

  1. The Board of Trustees seeks to have all incoming first year students complete, in addition to the current ‘a-g’ high school course requirements, a fourth year quantitative reasoning course, selecting from a wide range of courses as described in this agenda item, and will consider approving such a requirement and Title 5 change by spring 2022 to be effective fall 2027.
  2. The Chancellor shall submit to the Board a progress report in March 2021 and a final report by January 2022 that includes:
    • a third-party independent analysis of the planned implementation and potential impact of the proposed requirement on high school students’ application to the CSU,
    • the progress on doubling the number of STEM qualified teachers annually prepared by the CSU,
    • clarity of the charge, role and composition of a steering committee that reports to the EVC of Academic and Student Affairs,
    • clarity on exemptions for students whose public schools do not provide sufficient courses, and the progress on increasing outreach and awareness of the proposed requirement with schools, counselors, and families.
    • the progress on increasing outreach and awareness of the proposed requirement with schools, counselors, and families.

 The main argument of the CO (and ASCSU) is that a required additional (preferable final year) requirement will better prepare disadvantaged students to be successful in higher education and career preparation (particularly regarding the STEM-related fields). The main argument of the groups opposed to the requirement claim that this unfunded mandate will disadvantage those schools that do not have the budget or access to capable teaching personnel to meet the requirement for their students. Both of these arguments are much more complicated and detailed than presented here. Contact your Statewide Senator for more information.

Database Resource of Tenure-Track Opening for contingent Faculty

In an effort to support incumbent contingent CSU faculty in being properly considered for tenure-track openings, the ASCSU passed Notification of Tenure-Track Openings to the Incumbent Contingent Faculty, Librarians, Coaches, and Counselors.  This resolution requests that the Chancellor’s Office set up a database of contingent faculty, librarians, coaches and counselors who are interested in tenure-track positions in the CSU, and use that database to inform those populating it of position openings. The database could also serve hiring committees as a resources during a search.

 

ASCSU Moves to Examine its Own Practices to Ensure Greater Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Over the past year, the ASCSU membership has participated in both an anti-bias training, and an interrupting racism workshop. To complement these efforts, the ASCSU approved a resolution for the Creation of an Ad Hoc Committee to Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The role of this committee will be to example the practices and policies of the ASCSU itself and make recommendations as to how they can be improved in order to attain greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in the body. The effort to undertake such an effort grew out of a conversation spear-headed by your own CSUMB Statewide Senators.

 

More Details.

A more detailed review of Plenary business can be found here: Campus Report 20 January 2020.

ASCSU report on January 2019 Plenary

 

Preliminary results following EO1110 changes

The Chancellor’s Office has been analyzing the result of the new EO 1110 courses (especially those in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning). They are still waiting on further data from one or two campuses, but the preliminary results are positive (higher rates of passage for math courses).

Governor Newsoms’ proposed budget

Governor Newsom proposed an increase 6x higher that former Gov. Brown’s recommended increase: $300 million increase for the general fund, and $262 million in one-time funds. This represents a 6% augmentation for CSUs (vs. 4% for UCs). The Governor’s expectation is that tuition will remain flat and that CSU will grow in student headcount. At the same time, the Governor’s proposed increase was less than what the CSU Board of Trustees requested. For more details, see Governor’s Budget Summary link.

Chancellor plans to introduce bond

Chancellor White intends to place an $8 billion general obligation bond on the ballot for 2020, largely  for facilities. The funds would be shared between UC and CSU. The Chancellor did qualify these plans by noting there was much work that will need to be done both politically and strategically to make this happen. In describing the need for these funds, the Chancellor pointed out that 60% of the buildings in the CSU were 30 years or older, and there is a need to update classroom design for 21st century.

Tenets of System Level Shared Governance in the CSU approved

The resolution to adopt the Tenets of System Level Shared Governance in the California State University passed. However, it is worth noting that the resolution included a clause a guiding principle that states:  “The Chancellor shall not unilaterally decide what form the expedited consultation process should take or when it should be used.” Relatedly, the Encouraging Responsible Curriculum Development and Modification under HEERA resolution also passed. That resolution included the stipulation “that ASCSU reassert our objection to the severely time constrained and flawed shared governance process and consultation surrounding Executive Order 1100 (revised) and Executive Order (EO) 1110 and insist that the practice of joint decision making mandated in HEERA be respected and adhered to.” The next step will be for the Chancellor to approve the Tenets document, which he is expected to do.

For a more detailed report on the January ASCSU plenary session, see the detailed report.  If you have questions, feedback, or comments on the resolution, please be in contact with Vanessa or Scott.

November ASCSU Plenary Report

CSU Basic Needs Initiative

The deadlines for the CSU Basic Needs Initiative mini- grants are fast approaching: Due 20/21 December, depending on grant. The Basic Needs Initiative is a CSU effort to study and address the problem of food and housing insecurity in higher education. The following grants are available:

  1. Faculty (-student) research, up to $15K
  2. Campus Community Garden enhancement ($3K)
  3. Student Research, $1,000 and $2,500

Addressing Bias in the CSU

The ASCSU membership participated in a truncated Unconscious Bias training in an effort to move towards more equitable membership and processes as a body.

Tenets of Shared Governance Resolution Update

Resolution to adopt the Tenets of Shared Governance was discussed as a first read. Concerns about adopting the Tenets primarily revolved around the perception that the Chancellor’s Office has more authority regarding“expedited consultation” that faculty were satisfied with. However, there was also discussion about how adopting the Tenets does not close the process of discussion of consultation; additional action can always take place.

20th Anniversary of the CSU Center for Community Engagement

ASCSU passed the Observing the 20th Anniversary of the CSU Center for Community Engagement, and Student Success in Service Learning and Community Engagement resolution. Copies of this and other resolutions can be found at http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/.

More Details

A more detailed review of Plenary business can be found here.

Anticipating the November ASCSU Plenary

8 October 2018 report

Celebrating CSU Community Engagement & Service Learning Centers

At the upcoming November Plenary, The Senate is scheduled to take action on the Resolution Observing the 20th Anniversary of the CSU Centers for Community Engagement and Student Success in Service Learning and Community Engagement. This is a quite brief resolutions and the key elements are that the ASCSU encourages both the Chancellor, Board of Trustees, every campus Senate and campus President to “plan for and carry out an appropriate observation of the 20th anniversary of the CSU Center for Community Engagement.” (Also mentioned in the 10 September Report on the Senate blog).

If you have questions, feedback, or comments on the resolution, please be in contact with Vanessa or Scott.

 

ASCSU Action on Shared Governance

Also at the November Plenary, the Senate is scheduled to take action on the Tenets of System Level Governance in the California State University. This document is the outcome of intensive discussions  between the ASCSU Executive team and the Chancellor’s Office and it outlines baseline tenets regarding how shared governance between the ASCSU and the Chancellor’s Offices should occur. These discussions and the resulting Tenets document represent ASCSU’s effort to call the Chancellor’s Office to account for breakdown in appropriate consultation around implementation of EO1100/1110. (Also mentioned in the 10 September Report on the Senate blog).

Since the Tenets documents itself represents an agreed-upon commitment by both the ASCSU Executive team and the Chancellor’s Office, it is unlikely the Tenets document itself will be modified. However, it is likely that the Tenets will be accompanied by a resolution, which can provide further commentary on behalf of the Senate.

If you have questions, feedback, or comments on the resolution, please be in contact with Vanessa or Scott.

 

CSU Faculty needed for Five-Year Review of Transfer Courses

The C-ID (Course Identification System) group is looking for CSU faculty to participate in the Five-Year Review process.  This review process both approves courses and ensures proper descriptors for system-wide Community College courses that transfer to the CSU. There is often a shortage of CSU faculty participating in the review process, even though their expertise is greatly needed.

Currently, C-ID initiated the 5-Year Review of the TMC and descriptors for Biology, Chemistry, and Agriculture in fall 2017 and remains in need of additional CSU faculty feedback for the following disciplines:

Agriculture Animal Science, Agriculture Business, Agriculture Plant Science, Agriculture Descriptors

Further, C-ID is initiating the 5-year review of the descriptors and transfer model curriculum (TMC) for six disciplines during the fall 2018 term, and is now seeking input to determine whether or not changes are warranted and, if so, what those changes should be. The information gathered from the surveys will be reviewed by the FDRG for each discipline and used to guide the 5-year review process.

Links to the 5-year surveys are accessible below. The deadline for feedback is October 25, 2018:

Accounting (descriptors only)

Communications Studies

Economics

Film, Television, and Electronic Media

Nutrition and Dietetics

Psychology

If you are interested in participating or would like more information regarding these roles, please send an email to support@c-id.net.