Upcoming series of Legislative hearings to scrutinize California Master Plan for Higher Education

Faculty and students are planning to weigh in on accessible, affordable, and quality public higher education in the CSU during a series of Legislative hearings focusing on the California Master Plan for Higher Education and its impact on the public university systems and the state.

The five-part series of hearings, spearheaded by Assemblymember Marc Berman, will be held over the course of the next two years, with the first one scheduled for 9 am to Noon on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Berman, D-Palo Alto, serves as chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California.

The Master Plan, established in 1960 under Gov. Pat Brown, created a system for postsecondary education in the state, with the intent of providing higher ed to students regardless of economic status. It’s also been key to California’s success as the sixth largest economy in the world, with the UC, CSU, and Community College systems having turned out millions of graduates over the past 57 years.

“The Master Plan was absolutely critical in providing access to an affordable, quality public higher education in our state, but over the years, that goal has slipped farther out of reach,” said Lillian Taiz, who chairs CFA’s Political Action and Legislation Committee.

“As a result of decisions being made at various levels, the CSU has suffered. It’s been a perfect storm of rising costs for our students, decreased access to classes and faculty stretched thin, and the consistent decline in the number of tenure-track faculty. Our students deserve better, and it’s time to return to the original goals the Master Plan set in motion,” she said.

CFA President Jennifer Eagan notes that real policy change is needed in how public college is funded, and faculty have a duty to help students and improve their access to an affordable education.

“If we don’t do what we can now to restore the Master Plan, we will be further burdening our students and sabotaging not only their success, but our state’s success,” Eagan said.

Click here to watch the hearing online via Cal Channel.