News Release

CFA honors legislators dedicated to helping protect, propel higher education in the state

California Faculty Association honor legislators dedicated to helping protect, propel higher education in the state

The California Faculty Association honored three legislators who have led efforts to improve the California State University system and protect quality higher education in California during an open house at CFA’s headquarters on Monday, January 25.

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell), was honored with the John Travis Award. The award is named in memory of former CFA President and long-time union stalwart John Travis, who passed away in 2013. The award is given out only when a member of the legislature truly goes above and beyond on behalf of faculty and public higher education.

Senate pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) received the Senate Higher Education Champion Award and Assembly Higher Education Champion Award respectively.

“Our elected leaders are a critical component to ensuring CSU students continue to receive the best education possible,” said Jennifer Eagan, CFA President and a Professor of Philosophy and Public Affairs and Administration at Cal State East Bay. “Assemblymember Low, Senator de León and Speaker Atkins have worked tirelessly on behalf of CSU students, faculty and staff, and their commitment to higher education is commendable.”

Assemblymember Evan Low was critical to the success of legislation curbing supplanting in the CSU, having introduced AB 716, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The law clarifies the definition of supplanting, a process of moving state-supported courses students need to graduate out of the regular state university and into Extended Education, where students pay more and faculty are paid less. Low is a graduate of the CSU system, having received his bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University.

Last year, Senator de León fought in the Legislature to increase funding for the CSU and has been a vocal advocate for CFA, telling CSU Chancellor Tim White to “recognize the valuable contributions the faculty makes to students and the entire university community.” De León served in the Assembly from 2006-2010.

Speaker Toni Atkins has been a staunch advocate of the Middle Class Scholarship and a key figure in helping to secure additional resources for the CSU. Atkins, who was elected to the Assembly in 2010, has repeatedly urged CSU management to come to an agreement with faculty over the salary dispute. Atkins is an ex-officio member of the CSU Board of Trustees.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 26,000 tenured and tenure-track instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at


Contact: Lisa Cohen ‪310-395-2544, Alice Sunshine ‪510-384-1967, Niesha Gates ‪916-281-8785