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New Report: CSU Administration fails to provide what students need to succeed

Sacramento, CA — A new report released by the California Faculty Association today finds that at the same time the California State University Administration promotes the pivotal role that faculty plays in success of its students, officials have failed to meet the needs of students by decreasing the number of permanent faculty by 3% over the last decade while student enrollment exploded by 24%.

Even more troubling is that interaction with faculty is important for all students but especially for students of color and those who are the first in their families to attend college. Of the top 20 most diverse colleges in the western region of the United States, 10 are CSU campuses.  In addition, 40% of CSU students came from households where English is not the first language and in 2013 only 29% of CSU students identified themselves as white.

“It is a bitter irony that the CSU administration has touted a desire to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body at the same time that it has been engaged in 10-year policy march leading in the opposite direction,” said Lillian Taiz, President of the California Faculty Association.

“The CSU must reverse its 10-year ‘race to the bottom’ approach and start providing its diverse student body with optimal learning conditions.  That realignment of priorities – including the faculty’s important role — is critical for the system to fulfill its mission of helping to build a strong future for California.”

“The Price Students Pay” is the fourth report in the “Race to the Bottom” series that has revealed a systemic failure of the CSU Administration to fulfill its mission over at least 10 years caused in large part by the choices and priorities of CSU executives in coping with challenges.  Key findings from “The Price Students Pay” include:

  • The CSU administration has not increased faculty positions to meet growth in student enrollment. Between 2004 and 2014, students increased by 24%; but the numbers of CSU faculty increased by only 14%.
  • System-wide, the numbers of “permanent “(tenure-track and tenured) faculty fell by 3% over the last decade. While their numbers dropped by 338 from 2004 to 2014, the number of students grew by 75,518.
  • During that period, not a single CSU campus has had an increase in tenure-line faculty consistent with student population growth over the last decade.19
  • Growth in the faculty ranks in the CSU over the last decade has occurred only because the numbers of faculty hired on temporary, usually part-time, appointments exploded, increasing by a staggering 46%.
  • Today the majority of faculty members in the CSU—58%, in fact—work on so-called “temporary” contracts.

The Race to the Bottom series analyzes the California State University administration’s priorities and decisions, and highlights implications for CSU faculty, students and public higher education.  

All four papers in the “Race to the Bottom” series, including “CSU’s 10-Year Failure to Fund its Core Mission” and “Salary, Staffing Priorities and the CSU’s 1%,” “Losing Ground and Losing Faith” and “The Price Students Pay,” are available at http://www.calfac.org/race-to-the-bottom.

For more information—including instructions to access a recording of a News Media Conference Call about the Race to the Bottom papers with CFA President Lillian Taiz and other faculty members, and to arrange interviews with CSU faculty members—please contact Alice Sunshine 510-384-1967, Niesha Gates 916-281-8785, or Lisa Cohen 310-395-2544.

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