SFSU Academic Senate Meeting

Minutes of February 23, 1999

The Academic Senate was called to order by Chair Mark Phillips at 2:10 p.m.

Senate Members Present:

Aaron, Eunice; Alvarez, Alvin; Barnes, Paul; Bartscher, Patricia; Bernstein,

Marian; Cancino, Herlinda; Chen, Yu-Charn; Cherny, Robert; Consoli, Andres;

Contreras, Rey; Craig, JoAnn; Cullers, Susan; Duke, Jerry; Elia, John; Fehrman,

Ken; Ferretti, Charlotte; Flowers, Will; Fox-Wolfgramm, Susan; Goldsmith, Helen;

Gonzales, Angela; Graham, Michael; Graham, Minnie; Gregory, Jan; Harnly, Caroline;

Haw, Mary Ann; Hom, Marlon; Hu, Sung; Jerris, Scott; Johnson, Dane; Kelley,

James; Moss, Joanna; Oñate, Abdiel; Phillips, Mark; Raggio, Marcia; Scoble,

Don; Shapiro, Jerald; Shrivastava, Vinay; Simeon, Roblyn; Smith, Miriam; Strong,

Rob; Swanson, Deborah; Terrell, Dawn; Turitz, Mitch; Valledares, Juan; Vaughn,

Pamela; Wade, Patricia; Warren, Mary Anne; Warren, Penelope; Wong, Alfred.

Senate Members Absent: Yee, Darlene(exc.); Choo, Freddie; Bhat,

Subodh(exc.); Verhey, Marilyn(exc.); Jenkins, Lee(exc.); Tarakji, Ghassan; Eisman,

Gerald; La Belle, Thomas(exc.); Collier, James(exc.); Corrigan, Robert(exc.);

Vega, Sandra; Montenegro, Ricardo.

Senate Interns Present:

Guests: R. Maghroori, H. Goldwhite, G. Dinielli, G. Whitaker,

D. Zingale, D. Masters, E. McQuown, J. Randolph, S. Taylor, J. Kassiola.

Announcements and Report

Chair’s Report

  • Chair Phillips announced that the Center for the Enhancement of

    Teaching is beginning its "Living Lectures" series, which celebrates faculty

    with a passion for scholarship and love of teaching, with a lecture by Geoffrey

    Marcy entitled "Finding Planets; Reaching Students."

  • Academic Senate chairs met on February 11 and discussed implications if

    the tentative collective bargaining agreement is passed, focusing especially

    on potential merit pay issues. They also met with CSU Vice-Chancellor David

    Spence, addressing the current political climate in Sacramento and the potential

    for an improved CSU budget in May.

Agenda Item #1 - Approval of Agenda for February 23, 1999

The agenda was approved as written.

Agenda Item #2 - Approval of Minutes for February 9, 1999

The minutes were approved as printed.

Agenda Item #3 - Report from Statewide Senators

Robert Cherny reported that the Statewide Academic Senate passed a resolution

on criteria and standards for merit pay at its special plenary session.

Agenda Item #4 - Proposed Guidelines for the Fifth Cycle of Academic Program

Review

Phillips introduced this item which returns in second reading. The Academic

Program Review Committee (APRC) has incorporated revisions suggested by Senators

and other members of the campus community during earlier debate.

APRC Chair Jerry Duke pointed out each of the changes from the February

9, 1999 version of the proposed guidelines.

Jan Gregory moved a friendly amendment, which was accepted, to move

the phrase "to help maintain the currency of academic programs" to the beginning

of the sentence on p.5, bullet "c."

Cherny moved a friendly amendment, which was accepted, to change "The

names and addresses of potential reviewers ..." to "The unit faculty and the

College Dean working together will choose potential reviewers. The Dean will

forward the names and addresses of these individuals to the Vice-President,

etc.." to p.2, #2, paragraph 3.

M/S/P (Duke,Fehrman) to close debate.

The vote was taken and the item passed unanimously as amended. (To view

this policy, click here.)

Agenda Item #5 - Report from CSU Faculty Trustee Harold Goldwhite and CSU Academic

Senate Chair Gene Dinielli

Phillips introduced CSU Academic Senate Chair Gene Dinielli,

who is a professor of English at CSU-Long Beach, and CSU Faculty Trustee

Harold Goldwhite, who is a professor of Chemistry at CSU-Los Angeles.

Goldwhite summarized his various experiences in academic governance and stated

that, as Faculty Trustee, his primary role is to maintain liaison with the faculty

and other constituencies and to represent faculty concerns on the Board.

Goldwhite discussed the work of the Board of Trustees, noting that the real

work of the Board is not in the committee room or the Board meetings, but through

interactions with the staff of the Chancellor's office, for the staff prepares

items that come on to the Board agenda. He elaborated on two March agenda items

with special resonance for faculty members: the annual report on remediation

and the plan for implementing Cornerstones. Progress toward the goal of reducing

remediation for regular students by 90% over a ten year period has been glacial.

Efforts continue through outreach to K-12, working more closely with community

colleges, and teacher training. There will be suggestions from some that we

need to get tougher and throw more students out, but Goldwhite said that is

not an acceptable position for him. The plan for implementation of Cornerstones

changed significantly from its October draft to its January version, and this

process reflected real listening on the part of CSU administration on what faculty

were saying and produced a document that emphasized the central role of faculty

in curriculum and programs. The SFSU Academic Senate was very influential in

this process.

Dinielli added that we at SFSU are very well served in the Statewide Academic

Senate by Jan Gregory, Eunice Aaron, and Bob Cherny, and that the SFSU response

to Cornerstones was one of the top two submitted by any campus in the system.

Duke asked Goldwhite to elaborate on the distinction between assessment

and accountability. Goldwhite responded that "accountability" comes specifically

from a budgetary context, going back to Compact I negotiations with Governor

Wilson where the guaranteed increase in general support was linked to an increase

in enrollment and to productivity savings. "Accountability" is explicit in Governor

Davis's budget message and is tied to discussion toward Compact II. This is

accountability at the system level and in the sense that we are using the money

appropriately and are becoming more "productive" steadily, which is a tough

one for a system that became incredibly "productive" during the early 1990s.

But we have to be prepared to come up with some measures with which we are willing

to be judged as a system. "Assessment" is a separate matter, and Goldwhite said

he tries to preserve the distinction. Assessment is primarily for the improvement

of academic programs. Another aspect is how to judge whether students are making

progress against a defined set of outcomes that we the faculty define. Assessment

must be separate from accountability in budgetary matters.

Dinielli added that we have split the term "accountability" in how it will

be used in the CSU. There is accountability of the system to the state, our

largest donor, and accountability of campuses to the system. There is a committee

with significant faculty representation working on this, and there is a strong

indication that there will be no Compact II without acceptable accountability

measures. "Assessment" comes in the context of accountability measures. The

1987 CSU Senate position stated that assessment can only be used for the improvement

of teaching and learning.

Pamela Vaughn asked Dinielli to comment in more detail on the resolution

on criteria and standards for merit pay. Dinielli recounted the complex history

whereby all parties agreed to have the CSU Academic Senate develop system-wide

criteria and standards for merit pay. The Senate developed categories for which

awards can be given and gave to local Senates the determination of level of

performance that needs to be met for awards.

Marlon Hom raised two questions. He wondered if remediation is moving

from a support structure to a gatekeeping mechanism, raising concerns of accessibility,

particularly with minority students. He also wondered whether the lack of mention

of multicultural education in the recent pamphlet on the CSU mission was an

oversight or whether it is not a priority in California education. Dinielli

responded that if the Trustees' policy were implemented, it would be disastrous

for CSU, and it raises larger questions of both accessibility and responsibility

for students we've accepted. He added that he will stand on the statement on

undergraduate education and the importance that it places on multicultural education.

Goldwhite stated that, on the first question, the Trustees' intent was not

and will not be to use that policy as an exclusionary mechanism. It was meant

to be a call to arms to do something in the K-12 area to improve. CSU has been

proactive with a variety of proposals like offering exams early, spot tools

for remediation, and better tools for more accurate diagnostics. The CSU is

not going to turn away 50% of otherwise admissible freshman, and our track record

is pretty good in not excluding students.

Dinielli added that SFSU is the best example of what he believes ought to be

the best definition of excellence, where no definition of excellence without

the word "diversity" is worthwhile, but to assume that you can only meet your

goals by accepting students who are not otherwise eligible doesn't hold up.

Joann Craig raised the hope that remediation be of immediate help to

non-Anglo students in her International Relations classes who are bright and

enthusiastic but who do not know how to write a term paper or know the basics

of plagiarism or punctuation.

Goldwhite suggested that support for writing centers may alleviate some of

our concerns. Dinielli stated that his first inclination was to say "go see

Jan Gregory." He added that we have to make the system work in a human way,

remembering our responsibility to students that we have accepted.

Cherny reported that the CSU Academic Senate has had on-going discussions

on remediation. ELM/EPT are intended to measure the abilities that are required

for admission, with ELM intended to measure the accomplishment of three years

of mathematics. EPT supposedly measures what they have learned in the four years

of high school English in order to qualify for admission to the CSU. The statewide

average for passing these exams is about 50%, but there are high schools in

San Francisco with students failing 80 to 90%.

Gregory commented from a composition and historical perspective. In

the 1870s, Harvard College instituted a writing examination for entering students

because they found the quality of writing of entry-level students so awful.

They offered large lecture classes in composition, and many students did not

do well. Their solution was that this should be done in the high schools. This

message should be taken to the Board of Trustees: we are simply repeating history.

Phillips raised a concern about an underlying theme to Cornerstones and collective

bargaining, which is the increasing mentality that sees motivation and "productivity"

as somehow increased by placing a new emphasis on a rewards system--with its

implicit punishment--rather than creating a work environment that is stimulating

and supportive, which is the model subscribed to by the best in industry and

management.

Goldwhite applauded Mark's analysis and reminded us that we are dealing with

a Board of Trustees that is perhaps not at the forefront of modern management

theory, an attitude reinforced by two Chancellors who seem to have this view.

The collective bargaining committee decisions do not come to the Board for ratification.

Goldwhite said that we have a real educational problem with individual trustees

and with the Board of Trustees in trying to persuade them what our job is really

like and what merit means in a context where 1/3 of students do not have a lot

of basic skills. In terms of the value we add, we are all very meritorious,

and it's a message that we try to push forward, but without a lot of success.

Goldwhite added that we are trying to get the Board to come to campuses more

often. Phillips suggested that the Board of Trustees invite in someone who has

some management credibility to come and talk about these perspectives.

Yu-Charn Chen raised a number of questions about the deployment of resources

for teacher education, in particular the problem of science and math teachers

who do not have the proper background.

Dinielli underscored the importance of attracting people to the teaching profession

and echoed the concern about teachers teaching out of field. Goldwhite added

that the first thing that we can do is to tell our students that teaching is

an honorable profession, and the Secretary of Education says that he is looking

to the states to make teaching a first class profession. The CSU has an obligation

and responsibility to continue its work in teacher training. Phillips added

that we also act as models; we also know that teachers who drop out after 8-9

years do so primarily because of quality of work life.

Eloise McQuown, Library, commented that we have a golden opportunity

to appoint trustees that are sympathetic to our views.

In closing, Goldwhite reminded us that our efforts really count. Dinielli commented

that we are very well served by our Campus Senate Chair and our Statewide representatives.

Phillips presented them both with mementos of their visit.

The Senate was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Dane Johnson

Secretary to the Faculty