CSU Academic Senate on new Executive Orders: Do it right—Consult, don’t rush

The Academic Senate of the CSU is taking steps to ensure that curriculum changes spelled out in executive orders issued last summer by Chancellor Timothy White are implemented in a way that will actually improve students’ education. CFA has demanded to Meet and Confer with management regarding these proposed changes prior to their implementation.

In a resolution adopted late last week, the Senate objected to the “flawed shared governance process surrounding Executive Order 1100 (revised) and Executive Order 1110 and insisted that the practice of joint decision-making mandated in HEERA [state law] be respected and adhered to…”

The resolution notes that the two executive orders require “vast curricular changes” and questions the haste to implement them.

Advising the Chancellor to avoid the “unintended consequences of a rushed and poorly designed implementation,”the Senate calls on the Chancellor’s Office to assess the costs of the changes, look at the impact on ethnic and cultural diversity studies, consult with faculty thoroughly, and establish a way to monitor whether the changes succeed. In the meantime, the Senate calls on the Chancellor to reinstate for two years the moratorium on changes to ethnic studies programs and departments that was lifted this year in July.

At the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach yesterday (Sept. 19), Faculty Trustee Stephen Stepanek called for bringing the discussion into the open at the next Trustees meeting in November. To prepare, he called on Trustees to read the Senate resolution, and explore “the intent and impact of these executive orders.”

At the Trustees plenary session this morning (Sept. 20), CSU Academic Senate Chair Christine Miller spoke to the alarm that CSU faculty, including members of the Senate, feel about the Chancellor’s approach. She said, “A time bomb seems an appropriate characterization by the Senate chairs. The timeline is a mockery of a consultative process. It has a potent destabilizing effect and interferes with every step of our process.” (See streaming of the meeting at time 1:06:07)

Read more about this topic:

  • CSU faculty rebels against changes in remedial and math education, calls for delay, EdSource

  • Cal State faculty take a stand against ‘hasty’ plans to loosen course requirements, Los Angeles Times

  • Cal State’s Retreat From Remediation Stokes Debate on College Readiness, Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) “The last thing faculty want to do is set students up for failure because they’re not ready,” said Jennifer Eagan, who is president of CFA. She said the chancellor’s order demonstrates “overreach by CSU management and a blatant disregard of shared governance.”

  • Statement/Petition from CSU Northridge department chairs and coordinators of Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Central American Studies, Chicano/a Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies. Also see a report in Inside Higher Ed and a Statement from the CSUN Chicana and Chicano Studies Dept.

  • Editorial: How to boost Cal State graduation rates without cheapening the degree, Los Angeles Times

PHOTO: San Francisco State students marched last year declaring “Protect what you love” and “We want the California Master Plan,” which calls for an accessible, affordable, quality education for all Californians.