In Support of Commitment to Teaching at San Francisco State University

Resolution Number: RS16-341
February, 2016

***Approved by the Academic Senate at its meeting on February 23, 2016***

Whereas: 
It is the mission of the California State University system to “advance and extend knowledge, learning, and culture…to prepare significant numbers of educated, responsible people to contribute to California’s schools, economy, culture, and future” and,
Whereas: 
Excellence in teaching is the cornerstone of our mission at SF State University, tracing back over 100 years to when it was a teaching college, and
Whereas: 
The primary function of the CSU faculty as outlined in the Master Plan is that of instruction so as to provide quality undergraduate and graduate education to underserved communities, and
Whereas: 
According to the San Francisco State University Retention, Tenure and Promotion policy, “for teaching faculty, excellence in teaching is required”, and
Whereas: 
Central in this excellence in teaching is the promotion of student success through the SF State motto Experientia Docet (Experience Teaches), and
Whereas: 
Teaching and professional development are inextricably linked insofar as the California State University system is the teaching arm of higher education in California, and part of developing professionally in the CSU system must include developing pedagogical skills that can address the diverse needs of our students, and
Whereas: 
Teaching and scholarship cannot be separated from faculty professional development in any meaningful way insofar as cutting edge research questions and subsequent exploration emerges organically through the rich environment rooted in the scholarly exchange between students and faculty, promoting both the teacher-scholar and the scholarship of teaching; and
Whereas: 
Many of our faculty join San Francisco State University without having had any formal training in pedagogy or experience teaching, and
Whereas: 
Research shows that student success in the classroom is a function of faculty success in the classroom, and
Whereas: 
Student evaluation information alone cannot produce fully accurate or helpful assessment of faculty success in the classroom, and
Whereas: 
Faculty success is a function of support not just in terms of recognition for excellence in teaching for a few faculty members each year, but in terms of availability of institutional resources to insure that excellence in teaching is attainable for all faculty, be it therefore
Resolved: 
that San Francisco State University renew its commitment to aligning institutional policies that foster and value quality teaching in our diverse and rich educational environment, and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate with its partners in shared governance commit to investing resources and infrastructure that supports and fosters the development, recognition, and celebration of our teacher-scholar faculty, the promotion of cutting-edge methods of pedagogical practice and assessment, and the advancement of the scholarship of teaching research, in recognition and appreciation of the fact that teaching cannot and should not be conceptualized as separate from professional development, and be it further
Resolved: 
that San Francisco State University develop a rejuvenated Center for Teaching and Faculty Development (or its equivalent) and assign a full-time faculty member to run programming and other faculty members to serve in leadership positions in its operation, and finally, be it further
Resolved: 
that San Francisco State University assume a leadership role in advancing teaching, learning, and professional development in the CSU system by actively participating in statewide opportunities for these vital and indispensable facets of higher education.