Last week, CSU Chancellor Timothy White announced that most CSU classes will remain virtual for the beginning of the spring term in January 2021. The CSU became the first in the state to extend virtual learning.
CFA leaders released a statement last week on CSU’s decision to remain mostly virtual next semester. In part:
“In these challenging times, it is imperative that decisions involving instruction and service delivery at CSU campuses are made in collaboration with faculty, students and staff. The health, safety, and welfare of all faculty, students, staff, their families, and our campus communities must guide all plans for in-person teaching, on-campus living, and other activities.
“CFA agrees with most education experts: that face-to-face instruction is the best mode of learning for students for many reasons, including irreplaceable personal interaction and effective curriculum delivery. However, safety must come first.”
CFA will continue to engage with CSU management to find the best ways forward for our faculty, our staff, and our students. Since the pandemic hit in March, CFA has worked on behalf of the front-line lecturers, tenure-track faculty, librarians, counselors, and coaches throughout the CSU system to make sure that they have the resources, training, and opportunity to provide the education and support programs for our students to complete their schooling and succeed in their careers and dreams.
Back in May, the CSU became the first university system in the country to announce that most classes would be held online.
That same month, CFA began working on our path forward to protect the health and safety of faculty, students, and staff across the CSU system. Later that month, CFA released its full guidelines and demands– which can be viewed here — for the CSU. Included in CFA’s asks for the safety and health of faculty, staff, and students are:
- Sanitization is essential. All areas of campus used for in-person instruction must be cleaned and sanitized on a regular schedule, and in between each use. Physical distance and PPE guidelines must be followed.
- Importance of mental health counselors during this crisis. The time to hire additional mental health counselors is now. CFA demands that the CSU meet the International Accreditation of Counseling Services (IACS) standard of 1,500 students to one counselor.
- Protecting coaches and student athletes. This health crisis should not be used as an excuse for CSU leadership to eliminate any individual sport, and coaches should be retained for similar assignments as outlined in the contract rather than suffer a loss of work. No athletic programs should be eliminated, coaches must be consulted on all major decisions affecting their programs and positions, and student athletes must retain their scholarships.
- Access and equity are core values. We must lift up our most vulnerable students and faculty. Teaching in virtual modes requires specific technological needs: all faculty should have access to what they need to do their jobs, including but not limited to mobile computing, software updates, electronic document transmission, and sufficient internet access.
- No militarization of police or racial profiling of our faculty and students. Trainings should be in place to assure that there is no militarization of police or racial profiling of our faculty and students. It must be mandated that university police departments be provided COVID-19 bias trainings to ensure that there is no racial profiling of our faculty, students, or staff.
CFA will continue this work throughout the fall term and into 2021.