“Losing Ground & Losing Faith” chronicles personal impact of faculty falling out of the middle class

“The only place I could afford to purchase a home is 70 miles away from my campus.”

“Each month I alternate which utilities will be paid.”

“Shouldn’t an adult professional with tenure be able to afford a one-bedroom condo after over a decade of service?”

These are three of the hundreds of comments made by faculty in a survey this semester that is described in CFA’s third “Race to the Bottom” white paper,  “Losing Ground & Losing Faith

This paper takes a break from the hard and disturbing data depicted in the first two Race to the Bottom papers to take a qualitative look at the impact CSU management policies are having on faculty members’ lives, families and attitudes toward their own work in the CSU.

“The bottom line,” said CFA President Lillian Taiz, “is that California State University faculty members are rapidly falling out of the middle class.”

“It’s a troubling irony,” she said.  “Our country has been built on the notion that education is a main road to advancement into the American Middle Class.

“But if the faculty, the ones who made that commitment and got that education, are being blocked from or pushed out of the middle class, what does it say about access to the American middle class for anyone in the future?”

See more comments from Faculty in “Losing Ground & Losing Faith,” including:

“Even though I am 54, my father contributes to my rent because he thinks that the students benefit from having me as an instructor.”

“If you you’re teaching part time as I have all these years, there’s no way to live off the retirement the university would pay me.”

“I cannot afford to send my children to a CSU on my current salary.”

“For the first time in 27 years since I started teaching, I am seriously considering leaving the job I love.”

“I cannot afford to buy groceries often, so I eat meals with my parents and grandparents to save money. I have a Ph.D. This is not okay.”

The first two Race to the Bottom papers revealed trends over the last 10 years in the CSU that include stagnant faculty pay and a loss of permanent faculty jobs. In fact, permanent faculty numbers dropped by 3% over the last decade while the number of temporary jobs went up by 46%.

Meanwhile, the papers found the number of managers is up, pay for managers and executives is up, and the number of students to be taught by fewer teachers also is up.

CFA’s third Race to the Bottom White Paper was released Tuesday in connection with CFA’s Lobby Day and Rally on the California State Capitol steps.

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