The California State University announced on Wednesday that Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro will be the next – and eighth — Chancellor of the CSU system.
CFA would like to send a congratulatory note to Chancellor-select Castro with hopes to work toward a more inclusive CSU system for all faculty, staff, and students. CFA will have more details about the new chancellor in next week’s Headlines.
Public comments from faculty, staff, and student speakers highlighted Tuesday’s CSU Board of Trustees meeting.
CFA President Charles Toombs used his minute of public comment to speak directly to the then-unnamed new Chancellor. Toombs asked that the new Chancellor “work with campus labor unions to create fair working conditions with competitive salaries.”
He also asked that the new Chancellor not be afraid of oppositional free speech and to commit to helping students follow their own paths unfettered.
“Unfettered by ever-increasing tuition and fees, a lack of classes, overworked faculty without job security, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia on campus, homelessness, and food insecurity,” said Toombs. “Students need dedicated and ethnically diverse faculty who have equitable salaries, job security, a humane work-life balance, academic freedom, and respect for their intellectual property.”
CFA Secretary Diane Blair spoke to the Board on the CSU’s far too conservative budget requests that undercut students, faculty, staff, and the CSU’s own core academic mission.
“In addition to ensuring that the CSU is adequately funded, our budget priorities need to reflect the importance of our academic mission,” said Blair. “Monies designated for the graduation initiative should prioritize ensuring that we have an adequately supported diverse faculty with equitable salaries and a humane work-life balance. There should be no talk of faculty losing work or jobs, especially when the hiring of administrators continues.”
CFA Associate Vice President South Darel Tai Engen spoke on the need for the Board to pass a resolution in support of Proposition 16. Proposition 16 is a ballot measure that will allow California to join more than 40 states in allowing consideration of race and gender in college admissions and public hiring and contracts.
“I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how beneficial it is not just to people of color but to all people that we have a diverse student body in the CSU and how a long history of systemic racism has created a far from level playing field that has denied equal access to people of color to our public universities,” said Engen.
Theresa Montaño, a Chicano and Chicana Studies professor at Cal State Northridge and a CFA leader, spoke about the CSU’s implementation process of Assembly Bill 1460, the Ethnic Studies requirement. The CSU has claimed core competencies were accepted between the Chancellor’s Office, the Statewide Academic Senate, and Council on Ethnic Studies.
“There was no formal meeting, no formal consultation and no vote. Moreover, this blatant misrepresentation of representative democracy and absolute rule —results in confusion, anger and poor presentence,” said Montaño. “Rescind the acceptance of the Ethnic Studies core competencies until Ethnic Studies and Senators meet discuss, vet, and officially approve the proposed core competencies.”
Members of CSU Employees Union (CSUEU) spoke from the heart about the unnecessary layoffs and impact of their livelihoods happening across the CSU system. Some spoke about the loss of healthcare. One CSU staff member spoke about deciding to put off having children. CFA supports CSUEU and the Teamsters in their battle with the CSU and calls on the Chancellor, Board, and campus presidents to rescind any layoff notices and use the CSU’s $1.5 billion in reserves to secure jobs systemwide. It’s raining now, use the funds.
Students for Quality Education (SQE) and other student leaders and student-led groups passionately spoke out against the CSU’s handling of AB 1460, as well as their opposition to the staff layoffs at several campuses.