Remembering June Pollak, Founding President of CFA

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Paulina June Salz Pollak, a long-time educator at CSU Fullerton, a higher education advocate, and founding president of the California Faculty Association.

After the passage of the State Employer Relations Act of 1978 in the state, June Pollak helped lead a unionization effort of Unit 3 faculty, with the then-known as Congress of Faculty Associations winning a close election in 1982. Our union’s name subsequently was changed to California Faculty Association, with Pollak becoming CFA’s first president.

June passed away on June 26, 94 years young as she and her late husband George both lived a full life of philanthropic, higher education giving and a love for English, comparative literature, and the university library system. CSU Fullerton’s library was officially named The Paulina June and George Pollak Library in October 1998 due to their many contributions to CSU Fullerton, according to the university.

June was also a member and head of the California Conference of the American Association of University Professors (CA AAUP), merging the CA AAUP, the California School Employees Association (CSEA), and CTA, remembers Ann Shadwick, a longtime CFA member, San Francisco State Emeritus Librarian, and past CFA president. According to Shadwick, Pollak stepped up as the first CFA president after Bill Crist, whose vision was to create this union, knew he should not be the first president.

June served on the first bargaining team (as seen in the photo provided by Jim Semelroth, a former CFA staff member) and after serving as president, she was on the CFA Board of Directors for nine years as past president.

CSU Fullerton wrote up a remembrance of June’s life, which can be read in its entirety here.

June was a friend of CFA, and we send our condolences to her family, friends, university colleagues, and supporters.