The Faculty Role and Campus Participation in the California State
University (CSU) Online Initiative


RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate California State University (ASCSU) acknowledge that well-designed and executed online programs can be a useful addition to the variety of pedagogical methods available to faculty and students; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU recognize that the CSU Online Initiative can offer the potential benefits both (1) in the financing and marketing of online programs due to economies of scale and (2) in serving as a repository of best practices developed at several campuses in the system; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU strongly assert that the best online programs develop from faculty working in a quality assurance structure which adheres to department, college, and university curricular review procedures. These should feature faculty who have immediate knowledge both of the demands of those disciplines and the needs of their students. All of the above characterizes current CSU online offerings; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU contend that the current CSU Online Initiative requires that faculty accept a major academic initiative after it has been partially funded and developed without meaningful faculty input, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU maintain that a CSU Online Initiative must (1) derive from the faculty who will actually perform online instruction, (2) address the intellectual property rights of faculty who create courses, (3) protect all contractual rights of all faculty involved in the program, (4) indicate how the quality and effectiveness of online courses will be assessed, (5) indicate how new curricula are to be developed and what approval processes will be applied to them, and (6) indicate the relationship between maintaining the quality of individual courses and maintaining the quality of degrees and programs, and assuring that the CSU degree will be meaningful and our graduates well educated; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Chancellor’s Office to appoint additional faculty, including the ASCSU Chair, to the CSU Online Initiative Governing Board prior to the further development of this Initiative.

RATIONALE: There are many laudable goals that can be achieved through the development of online courses and programs. These include extending access to students outside of campus service areas, providing alternative means for students to make progress toward degrees during times which are convenient to the student, and creating a student-centered learning environment. But the development of an effective online program ought to recognize that those who have the greatest experience with implementing successful pedagogy are the faculty. Such development ought to also take into consideration the many successful online endeavors which CSU faculty have already undertaken. These arguments were recently made in a resolution passed by the CSU San Bernardino Faculty Senate.* Unfortunately, the current initiative reflects an all too common approach to curricular innovation: top down management with little or no
meaningful faculty input. Additionally, the ASCSU Academic Affairs Committee is currently working on a comprehensive, evidence-based, White Paper addressing best practices and online educational issues.

Approved Unanimously – November 3-4, 2011


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