Academic Senate

Reports from the Standing Committees:
Faculty Affairs Committee (FA)

Thomas Norman (Dominguez Hills), Chair
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Reports from Standing Committees

Academic Affairs
Academic Preparation &
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Faculty Affairs
Fiscal and Governmental

Talking about General Education: The first in a series of courageous conversations
Capitol Watch
The California State University Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association (CSUERFA)
STAR act (SB 1440): Call for discipline faculty course reviewers
Resolution Summaries

The Faculty Affairs Committee met face-to-face on September 14, 2016 in Long Beach to discuss plans for the coming year and to begin work on related resolutions.  The Committee welcomed one of our past Chancellor’s Office liaisons, Assistant Vice Chancellor, International and Off-Campus Programs, Dr. Leo Van Cleve and our new liaison, Vice Chancellor of Research Dr. Ganesh Raman.  We also welcomed one guest, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Human Resources, Margaret Merrifield.  Interim Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, Andrew Jones and California Faculty Association (CFA) President, Dr. Jennifer Eagan were invited to address the Committee, but had scheduling conflicts and were not able to do so.
Assistant Vice Chancellor Merrifield discussed system plans related to Academic Human Resources (HR).  She updated the Committee on upgrades to the HR system and the need to report to the legislature our plans and programs in place to recruit and retain underrepresented faculty. This effort attracted some one-time funding which could be used to identify campus best practices.   She answered questions on the background check for job applicants and reported little has changed with respect to faculty hiring.  The Annual Chairs’ Institute will be held at CSU Long Beach on October 6th and 7th to support new department Chairs and a new program has been developed for more experienced Chairs.  Her group also created an academy for new Deans that was held in August.  The HR team was sorry to see Lori Lamb leave.
Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Ganesh Raman shared his plans to present a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.  Senator Brodowsky suggested that it would be worthwhile to assemble what research is going on within the system to show the benefit of research to the state and connect scholars within the system who might wish to work on collaborative projects.
The Committee discussed the Chancellor’s response to AS-3251-16/FA (Rev) “In Support of Increased Funding for the Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (RSCA) Program” inferring that the response said little more than that there is a new Vice Chancellor for Research with whom we can work to achieve our stated objectives and jointly work together to obtain increased funding.  Senator Davis noted that faculty are interested in developing research, but inadequate funding is the primary issue.  The Committee noted wide variations in the amount of research support for newly hired tenure-track faculty.
Committee Chair Norman updated the group on the ASCSU theme of balance for this year along with Committee priorities.  An update on the current pause in work by the Workplace Environment Task Force was provided along with the news that the Tenure Density Task Force has been appointed and will have its first meeting soon. The status of the Academic Freedom Task Force is less certain, but the area of Intellectual Property will be carved out into its own Task Force.  The Committee hopes that the Academic Freedom Task Force will meet in October with members from the Chancellor’s Office, CFA and ASCSU.
Eager to launch into new business, the Faculty Affairs Committee prepared a commendation for past Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Lori Lamb praising the significant accomplishments occurring during her short tenure.  The Committee discussed creating a resolution to examine how to create better job security for lecturers along with an examination of alternative employment models for part-time faculty members and appointed Senator Yudleson to prepare the first draft. 
Senator Foroohar updated the Committee on events that created concern about the influence of outside money on academic speech and in particular about students and faculty who are attacked by groups making untrue statements and publicly listing names, addresses and contact information of members of university groups in an effort to silence their speech.  Some of the tactics described are intimidating. Senator Foroohar will bring a resolution forward that addresses system-wide concerns in this area.
For more information, please contact Faculty Affairs Committee ChairThomas Norman