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CFA Long Beach Demands COVID-19 Relief
CSULB faculty, we invite you to add your name to the petition below.

We are reaching out to the CSU faculty community to ask for your support in approaching President Conoley and the Chancellor’s Office to request assistance and support in balancing teaching and caregiving responsibilities. Please support your fellow faculty colleagues by adding your signature to this letter as an indication of your support for equitable treatment of CSU Faculty Parents and Caregivers.

Dear President Conoley and Chancellor Castro,

As CSULB faculty parents, caregivers, and supporting colleagues, we are deeply concerned about the lack of institutional support and resources for parenting and caregiving faculty this semester. As you know, children throughout the U.S. are suffering from school closures and the social isolation and food insecurity that so often accompany distance learning. The academic toll is also grave: a December McKinsey report stated that the average American student will lose five to nine months of education – yes, an entire school year — due to the inadequacies of distance learning. These challenges are multiplied for students from underserved communities.  

In Fall 2020, the CSU distinguished itself as a leader in responding to this emergency by offering leaves or partial leaves to faculty parents and caregivers of elders, other dependents, or those infected with COVID-19. Faculty at the University of California were offered similar accommodations. In November 2020, UC President Michael Drake extended those accommodations to faculty parents for the Spring 2021 term. On February 1, 2021, the employees of Los Angeles Community Colleges also received an extension of their leaves this semester. But several weeks ago, CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro decided not to extend the CSU’s COVID-19 leave program.  Not offering any accommodations or assistance this semester implies that our children and dependents are not deserving of the same attention and care as children and dependents of University of California or Los Angeles Community College faculty.

Faculty parents from across our university have generously agreed to allow us to share how they have experienced the tension between teaching full time and caregiving full time since the semester began. 

  • A faculty mother of two school-age children shares “I spend my whole day bouncing from Zoom, email, or a teaching task to making snacks and meals, while trying to conceal my frustration as I help my children with their schoolwork. I’m suffering from anxiety and sleeplessness, and feel extremely stressed about my inability to get research done. I know this means I likely won’t get promoted next year, or get the raise that my family needs. The CSU is standing by while an equity gap widens between those who are parents and those who are not.”
  • A faculty single mother’s kindergartener has forgotten to attend his online classes while she is busy teaching her college courses online. The faculty mother is so overburdened that she has to carry her younger child in her arms while doing housework, because that is the only time she has for him.
  • A faculty mother with a 9-year old only child lives in a small apartment without any outside space. “I am the only one my child can interact with,” she writes, “but now that I am teaching at home I often must ignore her.” Her daughter cries at night and is showing signs of depression. 
  • A faculty father describes the effects of a full-time teaching and service load combined with full time caregiving for two young children as “catastrophic” for his family, his students, and his research. “My youngest hasn’t played with another child in over 10 months and I am failing as a professor and a parent on all measures,” he states. “So many of us parents are getting the message our families aren’t as important as our workplace responsibilities.”
  • A faculty mother shares “My plans to go up for promotion have been derailed because I don’t have time for research. These conditions are unsustainable and will only increase the gender pay gap and will lead to caregivers, especially women, leaving the workforce. Faculty should not be forced to choose between maintaining our income and keeping our children safe during a global pandemic. The CSU seems to be indifferent about the devastating situation caretakers find themselves in during this pandemic.” 

Although online teaching has taxed most of us, returning to the online classroom has placed an almost unimaginable burden on faculty parents and caregivers, who have suffered a very specific withdrawal of public services we ordinarily rely on in order to do our jobs. Even the most dedicated and experienced instructors among us are finding it impossible to meet the increased needs of our CSULB students while fulfilling our responsibilities as parents or caregivers. Faculty parents and caregivers, who often have not yet been tenured or promoted, also have little to no time for research — a problem that can have lifelong repercussions in their career trajectories. Women faculty have been disproportionately impacted by caregiving responsibilities. Unless the CSU changes course immediately, existing gender and intersectional inequalities will be made significantly worse as we struggle to simply survive.

We acknowledge that parents and caregivers are not the only group facing exceptional challenges posed by the global pandemic. We also know that many CSULB parents of children who are now grown managed with little, if any, institutional support for parenting duties. However, parenting during the pandemic continues to present unprecedented demands caused by school closures. In the absence of school and opportunities to socialize with friends and extended family, it is up to parents to single handedly meet all of the needs of their children. CSU parents are being forced to juggle the competing demands of service, scholarship, and teaching while simultaneously caring full time for our children and loved ones without any resources or support from the university.  

We call on you to meet with CFA to provide meaningful COVID-19 relief for CSULB parents and caregivers now.  SCROLL DOWN BELOW TO ADD YOUR NAME.

Sabrina Alimahomed, Associate Professor of Sociology 

Yousef Baker, Assistant Professor of International Studies

Lori Baralt, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender and Sexuality Studies

Niloofar Bavarian, Associate Professor of Health Science

Elaine Bernal, Lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Emily Berquist Soule, Professor of History

Caitlin Fouratt, Assistant Professor of International Studies

Christine El Ouardani, Assistant Professor of Human Development

Araceli Esparza, Associate Professor of English

Gabriel J Gardner, Associate Librarian

Claire Garrido-Ortega, Lecturer, Health Science

Natalia Gatdula, Lecturer, Health Science

Justin Gomer, Assistant Professor of American Studies

Liesl Haas, Professor of Political Science

Rich Haesly, Associate Professor of Political Science

Deborah Hamm, Lecturer, Teacher Education

Lauren Heidbrink, Associate Professor of Human Development

Daniel Herrera Cepero, Associate Professor of Spanish

Gary Hytrek, Professor of Geography

Barbara Kim, Professor of Asian Studies

Margaret Kuo, Professor of History

Linna Li, Associate Professor of Geography

Claudia Maria López, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Dennis  López, Associate Professor of English

Leakhena Nou, Professor of Sociology

Lisa Okada Sparks, Lecturer, Health Science

Roberto Ortiz, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Steven Osuna, Assistant Professor of Sociology

R. Varisa Patraporn, Associate Professor of Sociology

Samiha Rahman, Assistant Professor of Human Development

Maythee Rojas, Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies

Abigail Rosas, Associate Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies

Esa Syeed, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Michiko Takeuchi, Associate Professor of History

Kimberly Walters, Assistant Professor of International Studies

Oliver Wang, Professor of Sociology

Natalie Whitehouse-Capuano, Lecturer, Health Science and Healthcare Administration

Hugh Wilford, Professor of History

Jake Wilson, Professor of Sociology

R. Scott Wilson, Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology