Providing Lecturers With Timely Academic Support

AS-2733-06/FA - March 9-10, 2006

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) re-affirm its commitment to ensuring that students are provided high quality education and that all lecturers, as well as other faculty, are afforded the necessary facilities and resources to enable that high quality education; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU recognize that to offer high quality education, all lecturers should be provided, whenever possible, timely notice of the course(s) they will teach to allow sufficient time to design the course(s); to review and select appropriate course materials; and to prepare course syllabi and course outlines for the first day of class; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge CSU to ensure that every lecturer is provided with a suitable office and office furniture to meet with students and to prepare for class; access to an appropriate computer as well as to a printer, Internet access, including access to the campus e-mail and electronic library resources; a telephone; a campus mail box; access to rooms/buildings where s/he will teach and hold office hours; and sufficient staff support to duplicate/distribute course syllabi and other course materials; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the campuses to provide all lecturers with the necessary technical training and support as well as other resources to provide accessible information and needed technologies to students in a timely manner.

RATIONALE: Given current scheduling time-lines on the campuses, academic units generally know months before the beginning of a semester/quarter what courses will be scheduled, the number of sections for each course that will be offered, and who will staff these classes and to make timely hiring decisions of lecturers, thus giving instructors adequate time to prepare. With early "real time" online registration, they also know the number of students enrolling in a particular course or course section.

These facts are particularly important in the context of recent lawsuits and legal settlement agreements concerning the rights of disabled students to timely access to course materials and requiring that textbooks and course materials be available to all students on the first day of classes: all faculty need enough time to review course materials and prepare their courses to select materials well-suited to the needs of all of the students and make them available in a timely manner.

However, the California State University, 2005 Facts says that 47.5% of the faculty in the CSU are part-time; many are hired at the last minute. While CSU is fortunate to have a work force willing and able to accommodate the teaching needs of the CSU, these faculty (and some of their students) suffer from their lack of time to select materials and prepare classes. They are often asked to do ancillary work (e.g., confer with students) in inadequate spaces when multiple faculty share the same office and are present at the same time, they have difficulty talking with their students.

These faculty must be provided with the necessary resources to be effective and professional instructors. A functioning office space with a computer, e-mail, phone, and access to the Internet is essential so faculty can meet with their students in an appropriate setting: faculty are required to hold office hours and interact with students, and need a professional setting in which to do so. Timely hiring of and appropriate support for temporary as well as permanent faculty contribute to the quality of education in the CSU.


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