How does a campus spend state dollars? CFA at SF State follows the money to find out

The CFA Chapter at San Francisco State has decided to pursue with vigor a question that has dogged faculty members throughout the CSU—how does a campus actually spend the state dollars it gets?

The chapter’s specific angle on this question is what has happened to money specified by the legislature to step up tenure-line hiring, since no additional tenure-line hires can be identified.

“The legislature said $25 million should go to hiring new tenure-line faculty, above those already hired,” explains SFSU CFA Chapter President James Martel, a political science professor. “We know this campus got about $690,000 of that money but, even after constant communication with the provost and deans, no one can show us any new tenure-line hires.”

So, what’s the problem?

In a “Where’s the Money?” message to faculty on campus, the chapter wrote, “We believe that our campus is not complying” with the law mandating the money for tenure-line hires.

Noting that the CSU got an increase in funding in this current year, and is slated to get an even bigger increase starting this July if the governor’s plan is adopted (it probably will be), the chapter says faculty need to remember there is more money this year in administration hands. That means, “We need to stop and reverse the logic of austerity.”

“The bottom line for us,” says Martel, “is transparency and accountability in how this campus administration spends its money. We don’t want to keep hearing ‘there is no money’ for the class rooms when the state is allocating more.”