Committee on Stability of Employment

Reference Number: S82-98
Senate Approval Date: Friday, January 01, 1982

COMMITTEE ON STABILITY OF EMPLOYMENT 

Academic Senate Policy #S82-98

At its meeting of May 25, the Senate accepted this report from its Ad Hoc Budget Committee establishing the following:

1. Establishment.

a. The committee is established and authorized by the Academic Senate and the President.

b. The committee will continue in existence until such time as the Academic Senate and the President shall determine that it is no longer required.

2. Membership.

The committee shall consist of the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate and such other parties, on a permanent or ad hoc basis, as the group might deem desirable. Each May, following the seating of the new Academic Senate, the committee will elect a chair from its membership.

3. Functions.

1. The committee will work with the support of the Provost, other officers of the administration, the University Planning Group and the Resources Planning Group, to develop better use of faculty resources. In addition to planning and similar functions, the committee will serve as a link among faculty, programs, departments, schools and the administration in establishing alternate ways of using existing faculty resources; and it will perform in a “brokerage” capacity to match faculty in troubled areas who desire such temporary re-assignments with areas that could profitably employ them.

2. The committee and the Provost, using all appropriate data, will jointly recommend to the President and the campus ways to facilitate stability of faculty employment while preserving quality instruction.

3. At the end of each semester the committee will report on its activities to the Academic Senate and the President.

4. Activities.

In executing its charge, the committee should consider a variety of activities, among them the following:

1. Publicize the charge of the committee throughout the campus community, and through meetings with deans and faculty secure acceptance of the committee s goals.

2. Establish a priority list of departments and programs in need of immediate assistance and likely to need assistance in the near future.

3. Assist vulnerable departments and programs to make their curricula more responsive to the needs of current students and/or to publicize their offerings more effectively.

4. Develop means by which the talents of faculty in endangered departments and programs may profitably be employed on campus.

5. Encourage the development of retraining programs for faculty.

6. Work with expanding and stable departments and programs to assist in the acceptance of temporary or permanent re-assignees from other areas.

7. Assist faculty in exploring the possibilities of reduced workloads, early retirements, and unpaid leaves.

*** APPROVED BY PRESIDENT ROMBERG, JUNE 29, 1982 ***

APPENDIX: RATIONALE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMITTEE.

Board of Trustees Layoff Policy, including FSA 78-78, states:

It shall be the policy of the CSUC to provide stability of employment by foreseeing and avoiding unnecessary reductions in staff through short-and long-range personnel planning activities and to adjust appointment and retention policies as accurately as possible to program need. (p. 1)

It shall be the policy of the CSUC to protect the employment of tenured, permanent and probationary employees to the fullest extent possible consistent with the preservation of a balanced educational program. Efforts shall be made to avoid the need for actual layoff of employees through proper advance planning, such as reassignments, leaves, retraining assignments and voluntary reductions in time worked. (p. 2)

The FSA continues:

Alternatives to layoff are developed in relation to program need, personnel utilization and renewal, and fiscal considerations. In addition, opportunities for early retirement, faculty development, research grants and the like may provide alternatives to the need for layoff. These activities and decisions are of utmost and primary importance. (emphasis added) Through consultative procedures, the system and campuses should consider these issues and others in an effort to avoid layoff whenever possible consistent with the preservation of quality of instruction, integrity of curriculum and services central to the operation of the campuses. (p. 2)

The Academic Senate, Provost Ianni and President Romberg have consistently given strong support to this policy. However, over the past three years the University has not developed a cooperative, faculty-administration program to correlate “short- and long-range personnel planning” and the development of alternatives to layoff through re-training, faculty development, research grants, flexible use of senior faculty, etc. We undertake this effort now, taking cognizance of the following points:

1. We are sensitive to the human predicament of faculty dismissed for lack of work, especially during the current financial straits of American higher education.

2. We recognize the serious consequences for total faculty morale of dismissing for lack of work faculty who have assumed permanent employment and who have contributed to the University’s excellence.

3. We recognize that the history of American higher education indicates episodic upturns and downturns in student enrollment in various programs, departments, and schools. We believe it best serves the University’s purposes not to tie careers solely to fluctuations in the academic market place.

4. We recognize that, by system policy, faculty are dismissed for lack of work by order of inverse seniority, and that this policy inevitably means dismissing our young faculty, who have been chosen through highly competitive national searches and who are often women or members of ethnic minorities.

5. We believe that the use of faculty in creative ways across disciplinary boundaries, or even the re-training of faculty, can contribute to a goal of all excellent universities, faculty renewal.

6. We believe that a continuous commitment to this effort can help eliminate campus divisiveness and that such an effort can assist us all in the goal we so often proclaim, the creation of a “community of scholars”.