Request for Joint Task Force to Develop an Action Plan for Increasing Tenure/Tenure-Track Density in the CSU

AS-3240-15/FGA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) thank the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor’s Office, the Governor, and the California State Legislature both for recognizing the need to increase tenure/tenure-track density in the California State University (CSU) and providing, in the 2015-2016 budget, baseline funding specifically targeted for the hiring of tenure-track faculty; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU recognize that a multi-year initiative will be necessary to restore tenure density to an appropriate level; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Chancellor, working in conjunction with the ASCSU, to establish a joint task force for the purpose of developing a multi-year plan to increase tenured/tenure-track density in the CSU while maintaining or reducing the student to faculty ratio; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the CFA be invited to have representatives serve on the task force; and be it finally.

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Provosts/Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, CSU campus Senate Chairs, California Faculty Association (CFA), CSU-ERFA, California State Student Association (CSSA).

RATIONALE: Tenured/tenure-track density is defined by CSU Academic Resources as “tenure-track FTE divided by total instructional FTE.” An acceptable level of tenure density is important in that, in addition to instruction, tenure/tenure track faculty are responsible for providing curricular leadership and continuity in academic programs, advising and mentoring students, conducting research to expand knowledge and solve problems, serving their community and professions, and carrying out a wide range of committee and shared governance functions central to the operation of a university. Tenured/tenure-track faculty have played critical roles in recent curricular redesign initiatives to reduce time to degree, develop transfer pathways, and improve textbook affordability.

Historically in the CSU, tenure density exceeded 80% until the mid-1990s. As of 1/14/2015, the tenure density of the CSU system had fallen to a nadir of 56.3%.   The current tenure density is considered unacceptably low by both the CSU administration and the ASCSU; indeed it has fallen significantly since “increasing tenure density” was set as a goal in the CSU “Access to Excellence” Strategic Plan. Moreover, in his response to AS-3207-15/FA: “The Call for a Plan to Increase Tenure Density in the California State University” dated May 8, 2015, Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Ron Vogel acknowledged increasing tenured/tenure track faculty in the CSU as a “top priority.”

Several factors influence the system’s tenure density level including, most importantly, annual faculty separations and growth in student enrollment. Increasing tenure density in the CSU requires hiring sufficient faculty to offset the number of faculty separating from the system annually, which has averaged approximately 570 over the past decade.  When enrollments are increased to provide access to eligible students, additional faculty hires are required.  Currently, about 175 additional faculty hires are needed to hold tenure density constant when student enrollment is increased 1%.  Beyond addressing faculty separations and enrollment growth, approximately 175 additional faculty hires are currently needed for each 1% increase in tenure density.

To illustrate, the chart below provides a current estimate of faculty hiring levels needed to reach various tenure density levels, taking into account both annual faculty separations and student enrollment growth at various levels. Given the complexity and immensity of the task to rebuild the faculty of the CSU, the ASCSU requests that a joint task force be formed to develop a multi-year faculty hiring plan and a set of metrics to assess progress annually.

    Approved  Unanimously   January 21-22, 2016



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