Resolution Against Proposition 54

Resolution Number: RF03-216
September, 2003

or National Origin, Initiative Constitutional Amendment

 (“Racial Privacy Initiative”)


#RF03-216


Resolved        That the San Francisco State University

Academic Senate endorse the attached Statement on Proposition 54, Classification

by Race, Ethnicity, Color, or National Origin, Initiative Constitutional

Amendment; and further be it


Resolved        That

the Academic Senate declare its strong opposition to Proposition 54,

Classification by Race, Ethnicity, Color, or National Origin, Initiative

Constitutional Amendment; and further be it


Resolved        That the SFSU Academic Senate

communicate immediately to the ASCSU, Chancellor Charles B. Reed, the Board of

Trustees of the CSU, and the press that it opposes this initiative.



Statement of the

SFSU Academic Senate on Proposition 54


Since the

1960's, energized in part by the Master Plan for Higher Education, the California State University has been deeply committed to the

principle of making higher education available to historically under-represented

students, many of them from ethnic or cultural minorities, and to the goal of

expanding the cultural and gender diversity of its faculty. If

passed, Proposition 54 would significantly inhibit the CSU's

progress toward realizing these goals.


The SFSU

Academic Senate strongly opposes Proposition 54 for a number of reasons.


Proposition 54

would inhibit the ability of agencies such as the California Post-Secondary

Education Commission (CPEC) to carry out their work, thereby reducing the

ability of the CSU to make informed decisions or reach reasoned judgments about

matters of policy.  Lacking data

collected by the state, CPEC would have no factual basis on which to determine

success of publicly-funded colleges and universities in providing access to all

ethnic/racial groups, or to ascertain whether some lack equal opportunity in

the high schools to complete the a-g admissions requirements.


By prohibiting

the State from collecting data on ethnicity, Proposition 54 would restrict the

ability of faculty and students to analyze such data to the benefit of the

State and its citizens. It would deprive faculty and students of data compiled

by the State that is used for scholarly research, for analysis of trends in California society, economy, and politics, and for

policy planning.   The SFSU Academic

Senate shares the concerns of the Academic Senate of the UC about the

potentially deleterious effects of Proposition 54 on this primary function of

the academy (its statement is online at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/reports/crecnoresp.pdf).  


Proposition 54 is,

therefore, at its very heart, anti-intellectual and anti-empirical. 

Proposition 54

would significantly inhibit the ability of the CSU to realize its goals of

making higher education available to historically under-represented students, many

of them from ethnic or cultural minorities, and the goal of expanding the

cultural and gender diversity of its faculty. 

By prohibiting all agencies of the State of California from collecting

or maintaining data on race or ethnicity of employees and other individuals

(e.g., students and staff), Proposition 54 would prevent the CSU from measuring

the extent to which it is succeeding in providing access to all ethnic and

racial groups and in diversifying its faculty and staff positions.  If the state of California were unable to collect data on the race

and ethnicity of high-school graduates, there would be no basis on which to

identify which racial or ethnic groups are underrepresented. 


Proposition 54

would similarly obstruct the CSU's efforts to gauge

the success of efforts to recruit and retain a diverse faculty.  The ways that the University addresses its

goals of opportunity and diversity will change as the racial and ethnic

composition of California changes--a group that is underrepresented today may

not be in ten or twenty years. But it is, and will be, possible to know

who is underrepresented only if data are available.  Proposition 54, if passed, would deprive CSU

of these data.  Proposition 54 would

therefore weaken efforts to expand educational opportunity for prospective

students from under-represented groups and to increase diversity of the faculty

and staff.


These effects

make Proposition 54 antithetical to the policy document entitled “The Mission

of the California State University,” adopted by the Board of Trustees in

November 1985.   They put it equally at

odds with numerous statements and reports of the Academic Senate, CSU, various

campus Senates, and the Academic Senate SFSU: among many others are the

Academic Mission and Goals for San Francisco State University (AS policy

S92-176, passed in April 1992); the Position Statement on Multicultural

Perspectives on the Curriculum, also adopted in spring of 1992 (S92-179); the

report of the 1998 SFSU Commission on University Strategic Planning (campus

documents are on the SFSU web site).


The Academic Senate SFSU shares the concerns of CPEC, which

strongly opposes this initiative, and those of the many non-partisan

organizations that oppose it, including the League of Women Voters.   And it shares the concerns of the citizens

who see it as harmful to their children, their communities, and the future of

this state, blocking the

efforts of the University to realize in full its commitment to the California public, and most especially to the

students it is intended to serve. 





***APPROVED Unanimously by the Academic Senate at its meeting on September 9th,

2003***