CFA honors legislators striving to improve, protect quality higher education in California

Three legislators who have led efforts to improve the California State University system and protect quality higher education statewide were honored by CFA during an open house at union headquarters on Monday, January 25.

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell), was honored with the John Travis Award. The award is named in memory of former CFA President and long-time union stalwart John Travis, who passed away in 2013. The award is given out only when a member of the legislature truly goes above and beyond on behalf of faculty and public higher education.

Senate pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) received the Senate Higher Education Champion Award and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) was honored with the Assembly Higher Education Champion Award.

As the state begins to recover, Atkins said, it’s critical to invest in the CSU, and that includes faculty.

“We know we have to deal with deferred maintenance, we know we have to deal with facilities, and we know we have to make it possible for you to teach students on a campus that speaks to the importance of education,” Atkins told the crowd of elected leaders, legislative staff and faculty at the event. “But it has got to start with an investment in you. If you’re not there, the students are not going to get the education they need.”

Atkins, who serves as a CSU Trustee, issued a statement following Chancellor Tim White’s “State of the CSU” address that again echoed the need for investment in faculty.

“Chancellor White’s State of the CSU address reminds us that California’s economy and future are closely linked to the success of the university and its students. I applaud Chancellor White for his leadership in working to improve outcomes for students, especially those from underserved communities. It’s important that CSU recognize that those improved outcomes will only come about if the university makes the kind of real commitment it takes to recruit and retain strong faculty.”