Measures to reform CSU Administration clear state assembly

Four important pieces of legislation introduced by the California Faculty Association have cleared the State Assembly and now head to the State Senate for consideration.

Assembly bills (AB) 1723 (authored by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes), AB 1965 (Richard Pan), AB 2427 (Betsy Butler), and AB 2497 (Jose Solorio) all cleared the Assembly.

“With a broad array of support, the California Faculty Association has made progress on a number of common sense, cost-effective measures that greatly increase transparency, accountability, and oversight of the decision-making process at the California State University system”, said Peter Kreysa, a professor at CSU Long Beach and Chair of CFA’s Political Action and Legislative Committee.

“In an era of fewer state dollars devoted to higher education, increased student debt, and executive compensation under question, CFA strives to increase the ‘public’ in our public universities so our faculty, students, and all Californians can better participate in CSU governance,” added Kreysa.

AB 1723 (Fuentes) would utilize the advances in technology to provide broad access to accurate, real-time televised or webcast transmissions of CSU Trustees meetings. The bill also requests the University of California and requires the California Community College systems to provide the same level of access.

AB 1965 by (Pan) would facilitate increased representation of the views of the public and CSU constituents on the Board of Trustees. AB 1965 would ensure a more responsible and transparent decision-making process by the CSU Board of Trustees. The bill would authorize a publicly elected ex-officio member on the Board of Trustees to appoint a designee to attend and vote at Trustee meetings on his/her behalf and allow the non-voting student Trustee to vote during meetings in the voting student Trustee’s absence.

AB 2427 (Butler) would require annual reporting by the CSU administration on Extended Education courses on a system-wide and campus-by-campus basis, including, but not limited to, information on student demographics, fees, number of courses and types of courses.
This bill would increase transparency and accountability within the CSU Extended Education program and provide important information regarding its impact on CSU matriculated undergraduate students.

AB 2497 (Solorio) would require, commencing on January 1, 2014, and every two years thereafter, that the Legislative Analyst’s Office, in consultation with the CSU, submit a report to the Legislature detailing the impact of the CSU Early Start Program on student mathematics and English proficiency. The bill is designed to increase accountability and Legislative oversight of the CSU to the students they serve and the outcomes of new programs.

A fifth CFA-sponsored bill SB 1515 (Leland Yee) which would have modified the composition of the CSU Board of Trustees by requiring additional student, faculty and staff representation failed to clear the Senate Appropriations Committee and will not be considered again this year.