Pulling back the curtain on Cal State Online

On Friday CSU managers unveiled the first details of the CalState Online initiative.

The Chancellor’s office posted an open letter to the university system from Ruth Claire Black, the recently appointed executive director of Cal State Online, along with a draft request for proposals (RFP) indicating what kind of services it plans to provide to students and faculty.

The open letter attempted to alleviate faculty concerns by stating that CSU Online will adhere to all statewide collective bargaining agreements. It is important to remember that adhering to these agreements is not an option – it is required by law. Moreover, at the bargaining table the Chancellor has made proposals that would weaken the contract in areas that could be directly related to CSO.

“Even after a careful reading of the materials posted on the CSU online site, this initiative remains ‘mystery-meat.’ We had hoped to see a more detailed outline that would make clear, among other things, what sort of entity CSO will be and the legal status of that entity; and whether there will be a whole new bureaucracy built to operate CSU Online. We feel confident that those of us concerned about the development of this new scheme will continue to ask questions to ensure that the CSU does not make some of the same mistakes that they have made in the past,” said CFA president Lillian Taiz.