Responses to Chancellor's Communication-March 27, 2001

Here are the most frequently asked questions and my responses:

1. What is the status of the proposed education doctorate? How and where would it operate?

The CSU is actively seeking legislative authority to award an applied Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree. The Board of Trustees' Legislative Program for 2001 includes a proposal to authorize the CSU to grant such a degree independently. In March, I testified before the legislature's Joint Master Plan Committee on this issue. We are continuing to build legislative support for this effort.

This effort came about because of California's significant need for more education doctorates in its K-12 schools and in its two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions. The education doctorate represents a critical component of California's commitment to high-quality public education, yet our state lacks affordable, accessible, high-quality doctoral programs in education. In addition, California's Ed.D. graduates generally do not reflect the diversity that is characteristic of our state's school population.

An expansion of the CSU's degree-granting capability would make significant progress toward meeting all of these needs:

The CSU would be able to provide access through proximity and through flexible programs. Fifty-six percent of Californians live within 10 miles of a CSU campus and just 21 percent live within 10 miles of a UC campus. The CSU specializes in flexible programs that allow students to pursue degrees in the evening, on weekends, and from a distance. In addition, the CSU has a proven track record in attracting, retaining, and graduating students from underrepresented groups.

The CSU would be able to provide affordability. Doctoral education at a CSU campus would cost students as little as 11 percent of the price of such education at private colleges and universities, and as little as 40 percent of the price of such programs at the University of California. The cost of completing an Ed.D. program at a non-public institution is typically about $45,000 and maybe considerably more.

Most importantly, the CSU would be able to provide expertise. The CSU education faculty have earned their doctoral degrees from the same institutions as the faculty in the schools of education at the UC and independent universities. CSU faculty have often assumed the greater portion of the responsibility in the CSU-UC joint doctorate programs. For example, in the Fresno-UC program, CSU faculty have chaired 57 of 75 dissertation committees.

Additionally, the CSU, which prepares nearly 60 percent of California's teachers and half of its K-12 administrators, has developed an extensive network of collaborations and partnerships with K-12 administrators and teachers. An applied doctoral program would represent a natural extension of these efforts, especially considering that the CSU already has the faculty, experience, and practitioner-focused models in place.

It is important to note that the CSU is not asking to offer degrees with the same kind of research focus offered by the University of California. The CSU's education doctorates would be geared toward practical applications for working educators.

This proposed program would enable California's educators to increase their skills and career opportunities at affordable, accessible, and high-quality universities. We would encourage campuses to collaborate on a regional basis to develop programs that bring together the greatest strengths, expertise, and experience of the faculty at those campuses.

The doctoral curriculum, program content, and instructional approaches would be developed by faculty members at the CSU campuses authorized to offer the education doctorate. These faculty members would be highly knowledgeable in educational leadership, state curriculum standards, and assessment.

The applied doctorates would be grounded in the latest findings on effective educational leadership and on the improvement of teaching and learning. They would provide state-of-the-art education in budgeting, human resources management, strategic planning, and organizational dynamics. They would emphasize curriculum development, assessment, and creating and sustaining an effective learning environment that helps teachers help students to achieve the new state curriculum standards.

For more information, you may want to read a special study that was commissioned by the CSU, "Meeting California's Educational Needs: Why California Needs More Holders--and Suppliers--of Education Doctorates." You can find a direct link to this report from the CSU home page: . Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for it under the "Showcase" heading.

2. Is there a plan to convert quarter-calendar campuses to the semester-calendar system? When would this change occur?

We have asked the CSU's quarter-calendar campuses to evaluate a conversion to the semester system. We believe that having all campuses on the semester system would have both campus and systemwide benefits, including:

Improved access: Converting all campuses to a semester system would fully align the CSU with California's community colleges and high schools, which are nearly all on semester calendars. Semester system alignment would ensure better access for students and a smoother transition between educational segments and among CSU campuses. It would go hand-in-hand with the CSU's effort to improve access for students through year-round operations.

Faculty/instructional benefits: Semester calendars require fewer administrative operations tied to the start and close of an academic term. More class time can be devoted to instruction rather than class housekeeping details.

Cost savings: From an administrative standpoint, semester calendars are less costly for the university. Throughout the year, semester campuses have one less admissions cycle, registration cycle, graduation cycle, etc.

Currently, six CSU campuses operate on the quarter system - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Hayward, Cal Poly Pomona, San Bernardino, and Bakersfield. In addition, CSU Stanislaus operates on a non-traditional semester calendar. We have asked the presidents of these seven campuses, in consultation with their campus academic senates, to evaluate the conversion to a traditional semester system within the context of the campus's mission and environment.

For those campuses that choose now to convert within the next two to three years, the CSU is prepared to provide the necessary transition support. The CSU would use funds available in this year's budget that can only be used for calendar-related purposes.

I know that there is a great deal of interest in this topic on our campuses. I will continue to provide updates on new developments as they occur.

3. Considering the rate at which the state is spending its budget surplus on electricity purchases, do we have any projections about how this will affect the CSU's budget?

At this point in the year, the budget is basically a waiting game. Once the governor releases his May Revision, we will have a better idea of how the state expenditures on energy will affect our budget.

In my responses to the February 6 e-mail I explained more about California's budget process (see /Executive/010206-responses.shtml). In May, the governor submits a revised budget request known as the "May Revision" or "May Revise," which is based on the April forecast of state revenues.

The CSU has continued to support the Trustees' budget request for a six percent compensation pool (four percent was recommended in the Governor's January budget) and for a student services initiative. In addition, the CSU has requested a total of $41.1 million to compensate for increased natural gas prices for 2000/01 and 2001/02.

When the May Revise comes out, usually in mid-May, we will know more about our additional requests and how our budget will be affected by overall increased energy costs.

last updated April 10, 2001