Academic Senate

Report from the Faculty Trustee

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This Month's Issue
Front Page
Message from the ASCSU Chair
Message From the Chancellor
Reports from Standing Committees

Academic Affairs
Faculty Affairs
Fiscal & Governmental

The Continuing Need to Hire More Faculty
An Early Assessment of the Early Start Program
Resolution Summaries

Bernadette Cheyne (Humboldt)

May CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
As you know, the Board meetings are live-streamed via the internet and can be accessed for up to 12 months after the meeting.  The May meeting is available at the following link:  The Board met on May 20-22, 2013.  On May 20 it met at the Hilton Long Beach Hotel and the day was devoted to interviews and discussion of presidential candidates for the positions at Los Angeles and Fresno.  The meeting continued in closed session the following morning (8:00-9:00 a.m.) at the Chancellor’s Office and included discussion of the interim positions at Dominguez Hills, Monterey Bay and Stanislaus.  The outcome of those discussions will be covered later in this report.  The regular meeting of the Board occurred on May 21-22.  A detailed report of that meeting has been prepared by me and is available on the ASCSU website.  In addition, the Board’s agenda and attachments also are available at the website link above, which also includes additional links to some of the PowerPoints and other presentations that were made during the various committee meetings.   

After attending three consecutive Board meetings, Governor Brown was not present for this meeting, nor was Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.  I remain hopeful that they will attend subsequent meetings since their input has proved most valuable.

Of the many agenda items discussed, there are three in particular that I will highlight here:

  • Budget:  My last report included a proposed allocation of the $125.1 million increase to the CSU contained in the Governor’s 2013-14 budget, with a multi-year funding plan specifying regular increases of 5%, 5%, 4% and 4% over the next 4 years.  In late April the Department of Finance released a “performance plan” which would tie these increases to specified improvements (10%) in seven performance areas:

    • Four-year graduation rate for freshmen.
    • Two-year graduation rate for transfers.
    • Number of newly enrolled community college transfer students.
    • Number of degree completions by students who entered CSU as freshmen.
    • Number of degree completions by students who entered CSU as transfers.
    • Number of degree completions by low-income students (both freshmen and transfers), with Pell grants as proxy for determining low-income.
    • Number of undergraduate degree completions per 100 enrolled full-time equivalent students (FTES).

The Chancellor and staff have been working closely with the Department of Finance to ensure that the final performance expectations take into consideration the CSU mission, the unique nature of our student body, and the need for resources to match the performance goals.  There was optimism that the message is being heard and that appropriate adjustments will be made.

  • Solution Strategies for Enrollment Bottlenecks and Student Success: I believe it fair to say that this was the most discussed topic at the meeting.  The Chancellor’s Office PowerPoint presentation (available at focused heavily on on-line strategies.  Extensive discussion ensued, particularly emphasizing the need for more data regarding bottleneck courses:  how many, what disciplines, what causal factors, what impact on graduation rates, etc.  Significant concern was expressed that it is premature to develop strategies to address the problem without having the specific data available to provide the necessary context.  [Subsequent to the meeting I learned that an initiative is underway to gather the data and have information available for the July Board meeting.]
  • Selection of Campus Presidents:  As has already been announced, the Board approved, and the individual candidates accepted, the following presidential appointments:

    • Dominguez Hills:  Willie Hagan
    • Fresno:  Joe Castro
    • Los Angeles:  Bill Covino
    • Monterey Bay:  Eduardo Ochoa
    • Stanislaus:  Joe Sheley

Compensation packages for the five new presidents will be on the July Board agenda.

Considerable additional information is available regarding this meeting and can be accessed as noted in the first paragraph of this report.

Quarter to Semester Conversation/Common Calendar

This was an information item in my last report and I had hoped to be able to provide some update.  However I am not aware of any additional conversations or decisions on this matter since the March meeting.  I include it here because I am aware that it is an issue of considerable concern to many faculty.  I will offer updates as available.

Campus Visits and Commencements

  • On April 28 and 29 I visited the San Marcos campus and had a wonderfully informative and enjoyable visit.  ASCSU Senator Brodowsky proved to be an excellent host and a wonderful chef.  I had the opportunity to meet with all campus constituencies and gain insights into their successes, aspirations and ongoing challenges.  The campus has done an exceptional job in building a large and impressive infrastructure with numerous programs in just a bit more than 20 years.
  • I had the great pleasure of attending commencement ceremonies at Sonoma State, Humboldt State and Sacramento State.  In every case, I found the events very well-planned and uplifting.  Of particular interest is the opportunity to experience the different approaches that each campus takes to the commencement process.  All are effective and, appropriately, place the student and those who have supported them in the limelight.

My heartfelt thanks to students, faculty, staff and administrators on both campuses for their exceptional hospitality; and congratulations for the excellent programs they have built and sustained, as well as the positive and nurturing environments they have created.