Public Education Leadership and Political Neutrality

AS-2976-10/FA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) endorse the principle that administrators in public higher education systems should clearly divorce their official public roles from any endorsement of specific candidates; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this resolution be distributed to Chancellor Reed, the CSU Board of Trustees, Chancellor Scott, President Yudof, and the board of directors of the California Chamber of Commerce.

RATIONALE: The ASCSU acknowledges that it is completely appropriate for the leadership of the California State University, as well as leaders of local campuses, to forge meaningful relationships with community and business organizations in interests that further the institution, the state of California, and its citizens.  However, leaders of public education institutions need to be mindful that there are certain aspects of the work of various organizations and their boards that are not appropriate for CSU leaders, as public servants, to engage in.  Most notably, as modeled by the actions of Chancellor Reed’s peers, leaders of public education institutions participating in external organizations should decline to be associated with actions taken by those external organizations that may be deemed partisan. Chancellor Scott and President Yudof resigned or suspended their positions on the Board of Directors of the California Chamber of Commerce after the Chamber backed a specific gubernatorial candidate. Further, the ASCSU affirms this stance regardless of whether such partisan activities favor or run counter to the interests of the public institutions they lead.

Approved – November 4-5, 2010

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