Resolution Against Proposition 54
or National Origin, Initiative Constitutional Amendment
(“Racial Privacy Initiative”)
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
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
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.
Academic Senate strongly opposes Proposition 54 for a number of reasons.
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.
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.
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.
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
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,