Academic Senate Update – Summer 2020

The ASEC officers met on June 17, July 9, July 30, and August 5, and there was a full ASEC (includes President, Provost, and others) meeting on July 30. The draft minutes from the full ASEC meeting are available at ASEC-minutes 2020-07-30 DRAFT. ASEC officers’ meetings are among faculty members of ASEC for discussion and preparation of full ASEC meetings where no formal Senate decisions are made, so minutes are not kept. Below is a list of the items discussed or worked on during those summer meetings:

  • Letter on Systemic and Historical Racism and State-Sanctioned Racial Violence in the United States. This letter was read at the East Campus Black Lives Matter and Pride March/Rally on 6/19/2020 and sent out to all CSUMB faculty on June 23, 2020.
  • Letter from Provost to be Included in Personnel Action File (PAF) of Tenure Track Faculty. The purpose of this letter is to provide context and guidelines to be used in the evaluation of tenure-track and tenured faculty during retention, tenure, and promotion reviews in which the period of review included the Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and, likely, the Spring 2021 semesters. A similar letter for lecturer faculty is planned to be developed later this fall. This letter is still in draft form and ASEC is working with the Faculty Affairs Committee, and getting input from members of the Jr. Tenure Track Faculty Support & Networking Co-Op, and members of the University Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Committee. This letter is planned to be presented to the Academic Senate during its September 11th meeting.
  • Distance Learning Survey Results. ASEC Officers viewed a presentation on the Distance Survey Results presented by representatives from the Office of Inclusive Excellence.
  • Faculty Concerns about the Canvas Trial. A number of faculty brought forward concerns about converting courses to Canvas without knowing if a decision to actually transition to Canvas will be supported. A joint message from the President and Academic Senate Chair was sent to all faculty to address these concerns on July 21, 2020 from academicsenate@csumb.edu with the subject line, “Canvas Trial Message.”
  • Student Technology Requirement for Virtual Learning. ASEC provided input to Provost Kantardjieff on the student technology requirement and advocated for internet access to be provided on campus. I commend Provost Kantardjieff for making a strong effort to make this happen.
  • Black Faculty Letter on Systemic Racism.  In its July 30 meeting, ASEC formally supported Black Faculty Calls to Action in Response to Systemic Racism at CSUMB.
  • Paperless Options for Student Evaluations and Faculty Evaluations.  The administration requested the Academic Senate develop paperless options for student evaluations and faculty evaluations (RTP and Lecturers) due to the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. ASEC will begin a formal process for considering these options during its meeting on August 24.
  • Faculty Survey Fall 2020. ASEC worked with the CFA and the Provost’s office to develop the Faculty Survey Fall 2020, which was sent out to all faculty on Friday, August 14 and ends on Friday, August 21.  Please participate in the survey, if you have not already done so.
  • GE and UR Interim Learning Outcomes and Criteria Master 2020-21. This document has been updated for the coming year. There is a new Pre-Review Option for courses meeting General Education (GE) or University Requirement (UR) courses. All current GE or UR courses are not required to be recertified during this Course Consent cycle. Also, there are now specific sets of conditions for existing GE and UR courses submitted to Course Consent that allow an expedited review, that is, a Course Proposal Form and a syllabus are not required to be submitted. See Expedited Review for GE and UR Courses for more information. The Course Consent Timeline has been challenging due to switching our software platform to Curriculog and we are not expecting a significant number of GE or UR courses requiring certification this year. If you are submitting such a course and find the timeline difficult to adhere to please email academicsenate@csumb.edu and we can assist you.

More communications will follow describing what will be happening during the upcoming year. The Academic Senate here to support and advocate for our faculty in CSUMB’s shared governance process. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

ASEC Letter on Systemic and Historical Racism and State-Sanctioned Racial Violence in the United States

Please see the letter, copied below, from the Academic Senate Executive Committee (ASEC) on the systemic and historical racism and state-sanctioned racial violence in the United States. This letter was read at the East Campus Black Lives Matter and Pride March/Rally on 6/19/2020 and sent out to all CSUMB faculty on June 23, 2020. There is a also a link to a copy of the letter at the Academic Senate website.

Click to access letter-from-asec-systemic-and-historical-racism-final.pdf

 

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 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.

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.