Investing in Faculty Resources to Ensure Quality Education in the California State University

AS-2991-10/FA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the CSU (ASCSU), while cognizant of California’s dire budget situation, urge the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to make recruitment and retention of the faculty workforce a significant priority in order to ensure ongoing quality education in the CSU; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU strongly urge the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to continue to advocate aggressively with the Department of Finance, the Legislature and the Governor's Office, as they did in the 2009-2010 budget request, for the additional funding necessary to implement fully the goals of the 2008 Board of Trustees’ Access to Excellence strategic plan and the goals jointly agreed upon by the ASCSU, the California Faculty Association, and the Office of the Chancellor in A Plan to Increase the Percentage of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty in the California State University (ACR 73); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to issue annual reports on their progress toward restoring and building the faculty workforce; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Chancellor, CSU Board of Trustees, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate chairs, the California Faculty Association, the Governor, and the Legislative Leadership of the State of California.

RATIONALE: Initiatives to improve student retention and graduation rates and to increase learning effectiveness highlight the urgent need for energetic, engaged and qualified, full-time, permanent faculty who provide the baseline quality education which our students deserve. Embedded in the 2008 Board of Trustees initiative “Access to Excellence”, and cited as one of the foundational principles of its predecessor initiative “Cornerstones” is the stated goal of “reinvestment in faculty and their development and scholarship”.  As noted in the 2009-2010 CSU Budget Request:

There is growing alarm that recent hiring trends in higher education, necessitated by recovery from prior-year budget deficiencies, competitive salary lags, increasing student demand, and limited enrollment growth funding support, upset an appropriate balance between tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturer faculty. The trend is important because tenured/tenure-track faculty bear the primary responsibility for student advising, program development and revision, and participation in shared governance. When the proportion of tenure/tenure-track faculty declines within the CSU, the quality of these efforts also wanes.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges [WASC], as the accreditation agency for CSU campuses, is an important voice in setting standards and policy for our campuses.  WASC standards and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) echo the 2009-10 CSU Budget Request's assertion that sufficient instructional staffing is crucial to developing and maintaining instructional effectiveness:

3.3  The institution has an instructional staffing plan that includes a sufficient number of full-time faculty with appropriate backgrounds, by discipline and degree levels.  The institution systematically engages full-time non-tenure track, adjunct, and part-time faculty in such processes as assessment, program review and faculty development.

Finally, CSU's strategic plan, Access to Excellence, acknowledges the necessity of ensuring that the CSU, "anticipate what the people of the state will need from the CSU in the next decade, and generally indicates how best to position the institution to meet those needs."  The strategic plan identifies three priorities, one of which is to sustain institutional excellence through investments in faculty and staff, innovation in teaching, and increased involvement of undergraduates in research and in their communities. In pursuit of that priority the Board has committed the CSU to:

Plan for faculty turnover and invest in faculty experience. The CSU will develop a comprehensive plan for reinvestment in its faculty to meet its goals of reducing compensation gaps and increasing the number of tenure-track faculty. In addition, the CSU commits to a comprehensive faculty planning effort, to include turnover planning, attention to recruitment and retention practices, and consideration of faculty development and evaluation strategies to support excellence in both pedagogy and scholarship.

Clearly the CSU is cognizant of the need for an "appropriately balanced" faculty to enable high quality education for our students.  Equally clearly, ASCSU recognizes that the budget challenges faced by California and the CSU over the past several years have constrained our ability to successfully meet that need.  However, groups as diverse as the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the CSU Board of Trustees, the Legislature of California and WASC have highlighted the reality that we must seek out, recruit and retain a larger number of tenured/tenure-track faculty in order to make progress on educational goals.  It is critical to take steps toward meeting the ACR 73 mandate by rebuilding the ranks of a full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty while carefully considering the qualifications and experience of existing CSU lecturer faculty (and thus establishing the appropriate balance between tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturer faculty) that are deeply committed to student success and who can become the vanguard of our "re-imagined" universities.

Approved – January 20-21, 2011

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