Award-winning faculty to CSU Trustees: Notable projects hard to keep going when faced with stagnant salaries, temporary teaching jobs
Many struggle to support families, despite accolades


For Immediate Release: September 8, 2015

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

Long Beach, CA — Six of the many award-winning faculty who teach in the California State University told the CSU Board of Trustees today that they face growing obstacles to keeping their celebrated teaching programs and methods alive.

Stagnant CSU faculty salaries that fail to keep up with the cost of living have put a painful drag on their work, despite the accolades they have received for their work teaching California’s students.

Each shared a glimpse into his or her instructional work with students and the difficulties of working long hours, much of them unpaid. Some cited the need to take on other forms of work just to pay the bills.

All of the award-winners spoke of their love of teaching and the extraordinary importance of their effort to help students succeed. They said good teaching in the California State University, however, exacts a tremendous cost to their families.

CFA President Jennifer Eagan, a professor at CSU East Bay who won the Outstanding Mentor to Students Award in 2013 and the Sue Schaefer Faculty Service Award in 2011, introduced five other award-winners from CSU Channel Islands, CSU Stanislaus, Cal State Los Angeles, Fresno State, and Cal Poly Pomona.

Jennifer Eagan (CSU East Bay, Philosophy/Public Affairs & Administration):The intrinsic and personal rewards derived from teaching our amazing students, and engaging in our fascinating disciplines, do not pay the bills. We want you to put money towards what you claim that you value, which is, faculty in the classroom and student success. (The speakers today) are the people that you fail to value with your warped budgetary decisions and your “other” spending priorities.

Simone Aloisio (CSU Channel Islands, Chemistry Dept. Chair): I love my job. In the CSU, we take students from working class families, many of whom are first generation like me, and provide them with the educational foundation to get solid jobs that fuel the California economy. We do this better than anyone else in the state. But I am worried about the message that my faculty colleagues and I are receiving that our work isn’t valued, because our raises have been non-existent or minimal… (F)aculty have gone without regular raises for my entire career. 

Donna Andrews (CSU Stanislaus, Education): It has my husband and me asking ourselves why are we doing this? He is an underpaid Lecturer in the CSU after six years. We can seek [higher paying] teaching positions in Ohio. How can a higher education system not value my 21 years of secondary teaching experience and 13 years of college pedagogy that I utilize during every lesson in the training of new teachers? When these new public school teachers make more than I do, they very reasonably ask me why they should become a university professor. It seems that CSU management’s policy contributes to a shrinking pool of college professors.

Enrique Ochoa (Cal State Los Angeles, History/Latin American Studies): Much of our work is in the classroom, on campus, and in the community—aspects that are not visible to most people. Meeting with students, preparing dynamic classes, answering emails, reading exams, preparing article and book manuscripts, developing our research and writing, working in the community and local schools on mutually beneficial projects—this take up long hours. This is the work that faculty do and we deserve to be justly compensated and supported.

Matthew Jendian (CSU Fresno, Sociology Dept. Chair): People can tell I love my work, and my productivity demonstrates that love… (Yet,) it’s hard to justify to my family why I invest up to 60 hours a week to help my students and contribute to the advancement of the CSU’s mission.  And, I’m not the only one.  Today’s CSU faculty are tremendously overworked and underappreciated. 

Eileen Wallis (Cal Poly Pomona, History Dept. Chair): As a department chair, I encounter adjuncts—we call them Lecturers—and junior faculty who have a lot of exciting ideas for service and community engagement. But so many of these great ideas would be an enormous amount of extra work for which they would not be compensated. It’s hard as a department chair to encourage them when I know it will be unpaid labor.

The award-winning faculty members are available for individual interviews about the work that led to their awards and what it will take to keep quality education alive in California’s state university system.

CFA leaders on other campuses also are available for interviews about issues affecting quality public higher on their respective campuses.

Contact for interviews and more biographical information: Lisa Cohen 310-395-2544, Alice Sunshine 510-384-1967, Niesha Gates 916-281-8785