The SF State CFA Chapter is asking!

CFA Got Special Money for Additional Tenure Lines in 2018

After several years of concerted organizing and advocacy by the CFA and SQE, CA lawmakers approved a funding increase by $364 million to the CSUs in June 2018 as part of the state’s 2018-19 fiscal budget.

The $364 million in additional one-time and ongoing funding will result in enrollment growth to accommodate 3,641 additional full-time-equivalent students and will support that cohort for four years. The increased funding also included $25 million in dedicated funding for tenure-track hiring with legislative oversight—earmarked funding for which CFA alone advocated.

This is the exact budget language of the SB 840 Higher Education Budget bill: “$25 million shall be expended to increase the number of tenure-track faculty pursuant to the Graduation Initiative. Funds shall be used to hire full-time, tenure-track faculty above and beyond the university’s 10,855 current tenure-track faculty. The California State University shall give consideration to qualified existing lecturers that apply for tenure-track faculty positions.”

The Office of the Chancellor Has Allocated the Distribution of this Money Per Campuses

In October 2018, the office of the Office of the Chancellor issued a distribution of the allocations of these special per campus. The $25 million on tenure lines are to be spent the following way:

Each campus received an allocation based on the following:

a) $960,000 base increase for each campus totaling $22 million

b) a share of $25 million to increase tenure-track faculty hiring, with more money going to campuses with the lowest tenure-density

c) pro-rata share of $26 million based on number of Pell-eligible students enrolled. ….

The Office of the Chancellor expects that the $25 million investment will result in at least 180 new tenure-track faculty hires systemwide.

(October 3, 2018, “2018-19 Budget Allocations and Reporting Requirements”, CSU, Office of the Chancellor)

How Much Money and New Lines Is SFSU Supposed to Get?

The portion of this additional funds allocated to San Francisco State University is $690,000 (lower number because we have a tenure density of 62%, which is above the average of CSU statewide, but still very below what is needed).

The union has calculated that the budget projections ($25 million divided by 180 new tenure lines) assume an average cost of $138,000 per FTE position, based on salary and benefits cost. At SFSU this means 5 additional tenures lines.

What is the Situation Today?

Our chapter has been in constant communication with the Provost and Deans on this matter. They refuse to show us the number of projected hires before June 2018 and after. Our inquiries indicated that for 2018-2019 the SFSU administration chose to allocate all of the extra-funding to the Graduation Initiative and none to hire new tenure track faculty. This was not what the money was intended for by the CFA and the state legislature.

Therefore, until the opposite is proven, we believe that our campus is not complying with the California legislature mandate to allocate earmarked special funds to additional tenure-track lines.

What is the Union Going to Do?

At the local level, we are going to bring this issue again at the Labor Management meetings and the meetings with the Provost, and quote to them the SB 840 bill demanding once again that they add the 5 extra tenure lines.

At the local and statewide level we are going to begin a education campaign about the increase funding coming to the CSU and the need to stop and reverse the logic of austerity in terms of hiring freezes and cuts to programs. The money is there, it is a question of priorities. We believe that the more faculty (including chairs) are informed in departments and can ask specific inform questions, the more effective we will be in enforcing transparency. We need to combine pressure efforts from above (union leadership talking to campus leadership) and from below (faculty and dept chairs talking to colleagues and to their Deans), demanding to see the new lines.

At the statewide level we are exploring hiring an outside auditor to do an independent audit of the university finances statewide and by campus.

Are We Being Petty? Is this a “Big Deal”?

Five tenure lines can seem small or petty, but for us this a about budget transparency and accountability of the CSU and SFSU administration to the CA legislature and to our labor union that got the money on the first place.

Further, this is not an isolated issue. The CSU administration constantly tells us there is no money for classes, new faculty, wage increases, but never show us a full budget. At the same time, we see non essential development projects and expenses increasing, and we do not know how they are funded.

Finally, this is about creating a longstanding structure of budget transparency and accountability. Gov. Newsom has announced that he will step up state funding by $562 million for 2019-2020, with $300 million in on-going dollars and the rest in one-time money for long-standing needs. The Governor’s budget provides additional money for 2019-2020 – up to another $35 million – for additional full time lines to help improve tenure density. We need to create stable mechanisms of democratic control to make sure the new money also is used the way it is intended and where it is needed.

This is About Equity and the Quality of Public Education

The increase of tenure density is part of a strategic goal of our union for two reasons.

  • We need desperately to resolve the unjust gap in workload and compensation between T/T-T and lecturer faculty by hiring new T/T-T and converting lecturer lines into tenure ones. We do not believe in two-tier workforces, we believe in full equity.
  • Tenure-density is about the quality of public education, is about having faculty who are not overworked, who have quality time to prepare their classes, advise the students and do research. We do not believe in the factory model of public education, we believe in the public excellence and critical engagement one.

We call on all CFA members and students to join us
in holding the administration accountable.

Please join us to lobby the state legislature
here in San Francisco in March and
in Sacramento on April 29-30.