Faculty to Trustees: We worked with students to secure additional funding for the CSU — don’t squander it

CFA leaders questioned the CSU administration’s budgetary priorities during the Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, which focused on education policy and finance.

CFA issued an open letter to Chancellor Tim White and Trustees on Tuesday, calling them out for their actions regarding executive compensation, student enrollment, tenure density, and state funding.

CFA officers pointed out that it was faculty and students who helped secure the additional $364 million in state funding for the CSU. In memoranda from the Chancellor’s Office to campus presidents, campuses were directed to use enrollment money toward making already-enrolled students take more units, whether or not they can handle it.

“That money was given with the expectation that it be used to increase student enrollment. That a portion of that money be spent on improving tenure density so that there are teachers in the classroom,” said Rafael Gómez, CFA’s Associate Vice President North. “And yet, you are setting out down a path that will take that hard-earned money and twist it to fit your agenda, which doesn’t improve access to the CSU, nor improve the number of full-time, tenure-track faculty.”

Additionally, the $25 million in funding earmarked for tenure-track hiring is being slid into the “Graduation Initiative,” and is not being distributed to campuses in a way that will help actually hire tenure-line faculty.

“You want to know what really helps students graduate on time? Having access to professors who are with them throughout their academic career. Having access to professors who have stable teaching jobs, not three teaching jobs. Having access to teachers who mentor them,” said CFA Treasurer Susan Green.

In terms of the budget, the CSU should be asking for the kind of state funding it needs for the coming academic term, not just what is needed to get by, said Jonathan Karpf, CFA’s Associate Vice President of Lecturers North.

Cecil Canton, CFA’s Associate Vice President of Affirmative Action, chastised Trustees for taking up executive compensation just weeks after Gov. Brown signed a budget that for the first time in years reinvested state funding in the CSU.

“We can’t afford to jeopardize future funding by bantering around the idea of lavish raises for executives when the ink is barely dry on a budget that we had to fight to get,” Canton said. “We hope the CSU’s budget request for next year will reflect the REAL funding needed to support our students and our university system. Funding for real needs, for real teaching, for real students.”

Click here to read CFA’s Open Letter to Chancellor White and Trustees.