Report on the Meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees

1/25 – 1/26, 2000
By Harold Goldwhite, Faculty Trustee


The CSU Board of Trustees met in regular session at the Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach on January 25 and 26, 2000. The two newly appointed Trustees, Roberta Achtenberg and Debra Farar, were in attendance and were appointed to Board Committees. This report will touch on those items before the Board and its committees that I judge to be of most interest to faculty. A fuller report of all items will be posted on the CSU website in a few days time.

Closed sessions dealt with recommendations for honorary degrees and a 3-year evaluation of President Karnig of San Bernardino. The Ad Hoc Committee on Off-campus facilities heard reports on Stockton and on Channel Islands. The former site has not been successful in attracting tenants for much of its space, and consequently more CSU money has had to go into its support than was expected. Negotiations with the Governor and Department of Finance are under way to secure more support, but as one consequence the $10 million the Trustees requested for start-up of Channel Islands is not in the Governor’s 1/00 budget proposal. CSU expects restoration of that money in the May revision. The Governor’s Budget, as Vice Chancellor West reported to the Finance Committee, and as the Chancellor emphasized in his report, is very favorable to CSU and includes a roughly 10% increase in General Fund support. The CSU may enter into a formal "partnership" with the Governor, with similar implications as the earlier compact with Governor Wilson. Given the expected healthy revenues to the State, the CSU is prepared with an extensive list of supplementary requests to make to the Governor and legislature later this year, including extra money for technology and compensation.

The Committee on Audit learned that there were no serious Y2K problems in the CSU. Special audit assignments for 2000 will include hazardous materials management, public safety, and student health centers. In the context of a report on the combined financial statements of the CSU, which is an over $8 billion enterprise, Trustee Ali Razi remarked that the most precious asset of the system was its faculty and staff. The Committee on University and Faculty Personnel set the annual compensation for the incoming President of CSU Northridge at $200,004 effective July 1, 2000. The committee on Collective Bargaining, in its open session (I am not a member of this Committee, and do not attend its closed sessions) ratified agreements on health benefits for domestic partners with all employee unions.

The Committee on Governmental Relations heard reports on the Trustees’ legislative program which includes bills on student aid at YRO campuses, and recalculation of funding for graduate students which would redefine a graduate student FTE as 12 units. The Committee on Institutional Advancement heard reports on voluntary contributions and special revenues. CSU is doing well in advancement and most campuses have reached or exceeded the Trustees’ goal of raising an amount of 10% of general fund support through advancement.

Finally the Committee on Educational Policy heard a presentation on Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, one in a continuing series of Notable Accomplishments in CSU Teaching, Research, and Scholarship. There was a progress report on CSU’s commitment to prepare high quality teachers. Trustees and administrators praised the faculty and staff of the CSU for responding to the challenge to prepare more and better K-12 teachers. The start is impressive with all our targets met or exceeded, but the challenge is to continue and improve on this start. Vice Chancellor Spence briefly outlined the Proposed Revision of Title 5 regulations lowering the minimum number of units for a bachelor’s degree to 120 semester units or equivalent. At the request of the Academic Senate, CSU, the Board will not take action on this change before May 2000. The Vice Chancellor expressed his gratification that the faculty, in examining this proposal, may also wish to study the sizes of majors, the question of whether Carnegie Units are the best way of expressing major requirements, and the proportion of the bachelor’s degree that should be General Education. He stressed that campus procedures for justifying bachelor’s degrees larger than the minimum would be part of the normal program review processes of the campus.

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