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.

November 2019 ASCSU Plenary Report

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The following report is intended to update you on some the important happenings in the statewide academic senate.

ASCSU Chair’s Report November 2019

ASCSU Resolutions

The ASCSU passed two resolutions during the November 2019 plenary. Copies of these and other resolutions can be found at http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/.

    1. Increasing Access and Success Through Additional Preparation in Quantitative Reasoning. This resolution supports an amended proposal that again will be before the Board next week as an information item, designed to increase the quantitative reasoning preparation of incoming freshmen. The resolution urges both support for teacher preparation in this area and flexibility in implementing the requirement for students attending high schools, which are unable to support the requirement with appropriate course offerings. Passed.
    2. Land Acknowledgment and Statement. (Introduced by Senator Lopez-Littleton, CSUMB, Faculty Affairs Committee). This resolution acknowledges that many CSU facilities are located on traditional Native American lands and encourages the CSU to incorporate acknowledgment of this fact in their formal senate meetings. Passed with dissent.
  1. We introduced the following resolutions that will be considered for adoption at our January plenary. Copies of these resolutions should be available shortly for campus review.
    1. Creation of an Ad Hoc Committee to Advance Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Within the Academic Senate CSU urges the creation of such a committee to examine many of our practices for potential adverse impacts on equity, diversity and inclusion with the expectation that there will be annual reports to the Executive Committee of their findings. (This effort was headed by CSUMB Senators Scott Waltz and Vanessa Lopez-Littleton.)
    2. Creating a Holistic and Humane Educational Environment in the California State University (CSU) is a request to the system to focus on creating such an environment to support student learning.
    3. Recommended Implementation of an Ethnic Studies System Requirement recommends the adoption of related system-wide learning outcomes and curricular guidelines. (These outcomes and guidelines are found at the end of this report.)

Feedback on​​​​ ASCSU​ Resolution: Recommended Implementation of an Ethnic Studies System Requirement

The Academic Affairs (AA) Committee introduced in first reading AS-3403-19/AA Recommended Implementation of an Ethnic Studies System Requirement.  The resolution lays out learning outcomes and an implementation framework for a systemwide ethnic studies graduation requirement.

The resolution is posted here.  ​​Any suggested change to the resolution must be made to the Academic Affairs Committee prior to January 15, 2020 for consideration for the Second Reading at the January 23-24, 2020 Plenary. The feedback with “read only” access is posted here. Campus senate feedback on our initial request in AS-3397-19/AA is archived in a separate Dropbox folder here.

Recommended Implementation of an Ethnic Studies System Requirement recommends the adoption of related system-wide learning outcomes and curricular guidelines as noted below.

Ethnic Studies Requirement: Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completing their ethnic studies requirement, students will be able to:

  1. analyze and articulate core concepts of ethnic studies, including but not limited to race and ethnicity, racialization, equity, ethno-centrism, Eurocentrism, and white supremacy;
  2. apply theory to describe critical events in the histories, cultures, and intellectual traditions of communities of color with a particular emphasis on agency and self-affirmation;
  3. describe the intersection of race and ethnicity with other forms of difference affected by hierarchy and oppression, such as class, gender, sexuality, ability, and/or age;
  4. describe how resistance, social justice, and liberation as experienced by communities of color are relevant to current issues (communal, national, and international); and
  5. act to engage with issues of race and ethnicity to build diverse, just, and equitable communities beyond the classroom.

Ethnic Studies Requirement: Implementation

  1. The primary ethnic studies requirement will be implemented as an overlay as part of lower division GE (ethnic studies outcomes 1-5 as a requirement of lower division GE)
  2. The secondary (additional scaffolded) requirement is for a reflective element (reinforcing any two of ethnic studies outcomes 2-5) overlaying upper division GE.
  3. Either (1) or (2) above may be met by not-otherwise-GE courses with campus approval (provided such courses meet the ethnic studies outcomes; i.e.,  the ethnic studies requirement could be met or partially met with existing campus requirements and/or courses that were developed to meet local requirements)
  4. Campuses may determine additional requirements (outcomes or implementation) beyond the minimal list provided.

Upcoming Topics

In the upcoming months, the ASCSU will be discussing a variety of topics relevant to the CSU. If you are interested or would like to chat about any of these topics, please feel free to reach out to your CSUMB statewide senators (Scott or Vanessa). The next plenary is scheduled for January 22-24.

More Details

A more detailed review of Plenary business can be found here: Campus Report November 19

ASCSU September 2019 Update

Greetings,

The following report is intended to update you on some the conversations happening in the statewide academic senate.

ASCSU Chair’s Report September2019

BoT Report July 2019

Qualitative Reasoning Requirement Update

The September Board of Trustees has proposed adding a 4th year of quantitative reasoning to CSU admissions requirements.  Many, including representatives from CFA and California Teachers Association (CTA), are concerned with the disparate impact this policy may have students of color (Latinx, African American) and students who attend school in underserved communities. Click here to access the CSU Board of Trustee’s Committee on Educational Policy video (September 24-25, 2019)

AB 1460

The ASCSU passed Towards Implementation of an Ethnic Studies System Requirement. This resolution is the first step in fulfilling the ASCSU promise made during our advocacy against AB 1460 (Weber) to take up the Ethnic Studies Task Force Report recommendation for a systemwide ethnic studies graduation requirement. That promise was made in response to legislative pressure to take up the issue, intense legislative support for some version of such a requirement and as a strategy to stave off legislative intrusion into the curriculum. AB1460 did not make it out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, but it was designated as a “two year bill,” which means that the author has an opportunity to bring the bill back to try and get it through the legislature a second time. The campuses are in the process of responding to requests from the Chancellor’s office on the ethnic studies requirements at CSUMB. If you have questions or comments, please connect with one of your campus senators.

Anti-bias Training for the CSU and UC campuses

As you may recall, the 2018 California Budget Act included an appropriation of $1,200,000 on a one-time basis to “contract for a two-year pilot program to provide anti-bias training for administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders at campuses of the University of California and the California State University.”

The UC/CSU anti-bias training pilot program has four key learning outcomes:

1) Raising Awareness: This includes learning about personal biases and
understanding how biases may influence behavior and decision making at the
University.

2) Application to Organizational-Level Change: Participants will be able to draw a
connection between social group biases (positive and negative) and the impact
they have on university policies, procedures and population-specific outcomes.

3) Tools and Strategies for Disrupting Bias: The training will introduce participants to
tools and strategies for mitigating harmful bias in their functional area. They will
learn how to change or disrupt attitudinal and procedural patterns that perpetuate
multiple forms of biases.

4) Practice: Participants will receive ample opportunities to practice the tools and
strategies for disrupting multiple forms of biases.

More Information

For more information on the actions of the ASCSU, a detailed report is provided here.

Resolutions passed during the September plenary may be found here. (Sort by date.)

If you have questions, require more detailed information, or would like to have an issue taken to statewide senate, please reach out to one or both of your statewide senators (Scott Waltz and Vanessa Lopez-Littleton).

Have a wonderful semester!

Vanessa Lopez-Littleton & Scott Waltz

ASCSU Report on May 2019 Plenary

ASCSU Chair’s Report May 2019

 The ASCSU passed the following resolutions:

Fostering a Welcoming and Safe Campus Climate for African American Students requests that all mission statements and strategic planning documents espouse the importance of recruiting, retaining and graduating students of African descent, that CSU campuses continue to report racist incidents directed towards persons of African descent, and recommends that campus presidents, provosts, others adopt a list of specific actions to address related concerns. This was deemed urgent due to recent incidents on CSU campuses.

Appreciation for the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation’s Partnership with The California State University to Improve the Preparation of K-12 Teachers Across the State of California is self-explanatory and echoes previous resolutions of appreciation. The foundation is closing its doors soon and will be recognized at the BOT meeting next week. 

In Support of Ethnic Studies Programs in the CSU affirms a commitment to Ethnic Studies as beneficial curricula, shares the concerns that led to AB 1460 and  recommends that campus senates revisit the Ethnic Studies Task Force Report to implement recommendations for Ethnic Studies curricula through faculty-driven processes of shared governance. This was deemed urgent given the aforementioned bill currently being considered in the legislature. 

Endorsement of Criteria for Engineering Model Curricula (MC) for Transfer to Receive the Same Admission Advantage as for Transfer Model Curricula (TMC) urges campuses to grant students completing associate degrees aligned with one of the four Engineering Model Curricula (MC) for Transfer the same admission eligibility advantage as for students who have completed a Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC) yielding an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) so long as no more than three lower-division GE courses be postponed to post-transfer as per prior ASCSU resolution. This was deemed urgent due to a desire to give encouragement to engineering faculty to continue doing work on this proposal in order to benefit transfer students as soon as is feasible.

In Support of “The Strategic Advantage of the Distinctiveness of the Twenty-three Campuses of the California State University System” (Board of Trustees, Nov., 2008) reminds system leaders of this principle enunciated by the Board which has seemingly been violated by recent administrative actions and in responses to ASCSU resolutions. The urgency stems from recent developments including a response to an ASCSU request that variations in campus Early Start programs be allowed.

On the Academic Senate CCC Resolution 5.02 S19 “Support for the CSU United States History, Constitution and American Ideals Commonly known as the American Institutions Requirement” thanks the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges (ASCCC) for its interest in exploring the inclusion of a requirement similar to the existing CSU United States History, Constitution, and American Ideals (“American Institutions”) requirement into the CCC associate’s degree. This is urgent because these considerations are ongoing.

Call for the Establishment of a Working Group on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Higher Education accepts a white paper on the impact of AI on employment, education, and life-long learning; it calls for the creation of a working group to study the implications of the themes from this white paper and to develop possible recommendations to address them.

Request That the ASCSU Schedule an Interrupting Racism Training Session in September 2019 recognizes the compelling need to recognize many forms of bias and requests that the training that ASCSU began this academic year be completed next year.

Endorsement of the Student Success White Paper Process—Student Perspectives encourages consultation with students during the completion of this white paper which recognizes that student success is multi-faceted and involves many constituents.

Preference for Consulting Assignments for CSU Faculty, Librarians, Coaches, and Counselors encourages the publication of consulting opportunities internally and the utilization of internal CSU expertise in these assignments.

Special Rule of Order Governing Debate on Substantive Motions: 3 For/3 Against formalizes this rule which has been followed by ASCSU without apparent documentation of its adoption.

Resolution in Support of Faculty Publication Rights with a Green Open Access Policy for the California State University urges central administration to review policies at the University of California and Harvard and to develop a similar policy for campuses to consider which supports open access.

Recommending a Fourth-Year Quantitative Reasoning Requirement for Admission to the California State University: Towards a Responsible and Responsive Policy commends the policy development process and urges that steps be taken to ensure that any policies developed to reform the a-g standards with respect to this requirement mitigate any adverse impact on underserved students.(Note: there appears to be more support across the state for a fourth year of quantitative reasoning overall rather than a senior year requirement. This requirement will likely not increase the number of required a-g courses. It likely will require that the elective course have a quantitative reasoning component. The proposed policy is still being refined.) The Board will take up this issue in July.

For a more detailed report on the May 2019 ASCSU plenary session, see the Campus Report May 16-17, 2019. If you have questions, feedback, or comments, please contact Vanessa or Scott.