Minutes: March 23, 1999

SFSU Academic Senate

Minutes of March 23, 1999

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

Senate Members Present:

Aaron, Eunice; Barnes, Paul; Bartscher, Patricia; Bernstein, Marian; Bhat, Subodh; Cancino, Herlinda; Chen, Yu-Charn; Cherny, Robert; Consoli, Andres; Contreras, Rey; Cullers, Susan; Duke, Jerry; Eisman, Gerald; Fehrman, Ken; Ferretti, Charlotte; Fox-Wolfgramm, Susan; Goldsmith, Helen; Graham, Minnie; Gregory, Jan; Harnly, Caroline; Haw, Mary Ann; Hom, Marlon; Hu, Sung; Jenkins, Lee; Jerris, Scott; Johnson, Dane; La Belle, Thomas; Oñate, Abdiel; Phillips, Mark; Raggio, Marcia; Scoble, Don; Shapiro, Jerald; Shrivastava, Vinay; Smith, Miriam; Strong, Rob; Terrell, Dawn; Turitz, Mitch; Vaughn, Pamela; Verhey, Marilyn; Wade, Patricia; Warren, Mary Anne; Warren, Penelope; Wong, Alfred.

Senate Members Absent: Swanson, Deborah(exc.); Yee, Darlene(exc.); Alvarez, Alvin(exc.); Graham, Michael(exc.); Craig, JoAnn; Moss, Joanna; Choo, Freddie; Simeon, Roblyn; Gonzales, Angela(exc.); Elia, John(exc.); Tarakji, Ghassan; Flowers, Will; Kelley, James(exc.); Collier, James; Corrigan, Robert(exc.); Montenegro, Ricardo; Valledares, Juan; Vega, Sandra.

Senate Interns Present:

Guests: J. Kassiola, G. West, R. Maghroori, P. McGee, Y. Wong, J. Volkert, G. Whitaker, M. Kasdan, J. Gemello, P. Hood, J. Nicholson, E. Duerr, J. Randolph, A. Hallum, J. Schecter, E. McQuown, G. Combs.

Announcements and Report

Chair’s Report

  • Chair Phillips announced that the Academic Senate is still seeking nominations for people to serve on the following committees: Academic Affirmative Action Committee, Academic Freedom Committee, Athletic Advisory Board, Honorary Degree Committee, and the Written English Proficiency Committee.
  • The PSSI's that were granted but not given have now been processed.

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

M/S/P (P. Warren, Gregory) to amend the agenda to make current item #6 number #7 and to insert the following items for #6: a) Resolution Responding to the Imposition of Employment Conditions; b) Resolution on the Faculty Contract; c) Resolution on Chancellor Charles B. Reed, CSU; and d) Resolution on the Cornerstones Implementation Plan.

The agenda was approved as amended.

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

The minutes were approved as printed.

Agenda Item #3 - Report from Statewide Senators

Robert Cherny summarized the series of resolutions passed during the March 10-12

meeting of the Statewide Academic Senate. There were resolutions on the following issues: Cornerstones and the contract, saying we would not undertake any more implementation of Cornerstones pending a contract; that each campus look at Chico's policy on implementation of multi-university programs; endorsing pending legislation on domestic partners; WASC should solicit faculty advice in revising their standards; requesting a number of changes in the assembly bill on year-round operations; support for pending legislation on service learning; rebuke of the Chancellor.

Eunice Aaron summarized the work of the Fiscal and Government Affairs committee during legislative days in Sacramento. There were conversations with a key assembly-person, Senior Vice President Richard West, and the Legislative Analyst concerning year-round operations. Many critical questions remain unanswered, and the committee asked if we would be able to have answers to these questions before we moved to year-round operations.

They also talked to a key assembly-person on the high school graduation exit test, asking that everyone keep in mind that there are K-12 schools not offering the necessary classes and support. All of this education legislation is moving right along, but we are hoping that we will still have an opportunity to shape the implementation once the legislation is in place and approved.

Agenda Item #4 - Elections

Kathleen O'Sullivan (Secondary Education) was elected to the General Education Committee, as an at-large member for Segment II -Sciences.

Corless Smith (BECA) was elected by acclamation to the Franciscan Shops Board of Directors.

M/S/P (Barnes, Fox-Wolfgramm) to nominate Darlene Yee to stand for election to the Graduate Council.

Yee (Gerontology) was elected to the Graduate Council.

Agenda Item #5 - Proposed Undergraduate Certificate Program in International Business Offered through the College of Extended Learning

Chair Alfred Wong introduced a consent item from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee: the proposed undergraduate certificate program in International Business offered through the College of Extended Learning.

Sung Hu asked about the English requirement being certified by "qualified academic

personnel." Edwin C. Duerr, Professor of International Business, answered that they have already had students from Sweden with certification from the schools themselves, and they do not want to add an extra burden when the schools are already demonstrating that their people are proficient in English.

M/S/P (Vaughn, Hom) to second reading.

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

The vote was taken and the item passed unanimously.

Agenda Item #6 - Resolutions

Chair Phillips made a procedural comment on these important and emotionally-laden issues. That we have diverse perspectives on these is understandable and a hallmark of San Francisco State

University. That there is conflict around these issues is understandable, and conflict can be good if we follow basic tenets of courtesy and respect.

Dawn Terrell introduced Resolution 6a, a consent item from the Executive Committee "responding to the imposition of employment conditions." The goal in bringing this resolution to the floor was to express our serious concerns about the Board of Trustees imposition of conditions of employment and to call upon all parties involved to resume bargaining in a collegial manner.

Jan Gregory raised a question about the first resolve clause, which calls on the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor to "rescind the imposition of their 'last best offer,'" and which might lead to working without some terms and conditions of employment.

University Counsel Patricia Bartscher responded that the Education Code and other existing trustee policies and executive orders would apply.

Gregory proposed rescinding that resolve clause as a friendly amendment, and it was turned down.

M/S/P (Cherny, Oñate) to amend the resolution by inserting a new resolve clause between the second and third resolve clauses: "Resolved by the SFSU Academic Senate that, to protest the Board of Trustees' March 17, 1999 resolution imposing a contract settlement on the CSU faculty, all faculty be declared equally meritorious for purposes of the merit pay process; and be it further." Cherny also moved two changes in the third resolve clause: delete the quotation marks and insert the word "any further" before "criteria."

Cherny commended the resolution, which came from a unanimous resolution from the BSS College council.

Marian Bernstein spoke in support of Cherny's amendment, seeing it as a neat way to finesse this problem.

Aaron encouraged approval of this amendment, asking that the Senate acknowledge the fact that if a group of faculty meet and decide on anything unanimously there has been a lot of careful thought and consideration, and this it would reflect how we feel about the faculty of CSU generally and specifically the faculty of San Francisco State University.

Phillips asked Bartscher as University Counsel whether there is a legal problem with the resolution. Bartscher replied that in her personal opinion, this resolution does not bind the administration to do anything.

Lee Jenkins spoke in support of the amendment, commenting that we are all severely underpaid and all deserve an increase.

Marlon Hom asked what the CFA position is on this matter. Margo Kasdan replied that one of the mechanisms for getting around the notion that this would devolve upon faculty committees was to recommend everybody. What this is is a resolution that represents the sense of the Senate, so it has nothing to do with the CFA position because we are under imposition.

Carolyn Harnly spoke in opposition to the word "equally" in the resolution because, although 99.9% are meritorious, we all know some who are not pulling their weight.

M/S/P (Bernstein, Vaughn) to close debate on amendment.

The amendment passed, and we returned to discussion of the resolution as amended.

M/S/P (Aaron/Gregory) to amend the resolution by striking the first resolve clause.

Aaron stated that we are asking for action on behalf of trustees with whom we are not in dialogue and that we should heed Jan's earlier comment about leaving us operating under the Education Code. She added that even with striking that resolve clause this resolution still carries a very significant message.

Hom stated that if we keep the resolve clause it will not do any harm; the message here is that the faculty is speaking its voice and keeping the clause makes that stronger.

Jenkins agreed with Hom, adding that it is the principle that we are supporting.

Abdiel Oñate suggested a compromise friendly amendment to the amendment, changing "to rescind" and after to the following: "to refrain from imposing contractual conditions that have not been approved by a majority vote of the membership of the California Faculty Association."

Aaron turned down the friendly amendment, reiterating that her idea is to be practical, to send a strong message, and that this resolve clause dilutes that and might serve to confuse some of the trustees, who are just wealthy, not necessarily smart.

Phillips suggested that what we pass today is not going to have an impact in Long Beach, so it has to do with our own principles and being on the record with what we believe. His preference is to go with Abdiel's wording because it gets the spirit of the principle behind this but also gets away from what is totally impossible to happen, which is rescinding at this point.

Mary Anne Warren suggested that the first resolve clause read as follows: "that the SFSU Academic Senate condemns the action of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor in imposing their 'last best offer,'" and the rest would remain the same. This was accepted as a friendly amendment by Aaron.

Gregory suggested a friendly amendment that was accepted: changing the verb forms from third person singular to subjunctive, which is the normal verb form for formal resolutions.

Bernstein asked whether the attempt was to put "condemn" rather than "rescind," which is an entirely different action; she suggested that asking them to rescind is much more powerful.

Phillips voiced opposition to the word "condemn."

M/S/P (Vaughn, Goldsmith) to close debate on amendment.

A vote was taken, the amendment was defeated, 27-9, and we returned to the main motion.

M/S/P (Turitz, Gregory) to move a substitute motion to debate the resolution on goldenrod, 6b, "Resolution on the Faculty Contract."

Gregory suggested that this motion would allow us to bypass the over-complication about the original language while dealing with the same issues in simplified form.

Hom was troubled by the substitute motion, suggesting that we stick to one and try to find a compromise where we can put both ideas together.

M/S/P (Turitz/Fehrman) to close debate.

The vote was taken, and the substitute resolution carried, 21-16.

M/S/P (Cherny, Fehrman) to amend the Resolution on the Faculty Contract, inserting a resolve clause between the first and second resolve clauses: "Resolved by the SFSU Academic Senate that, to protest the Board of Trustees March 17, 1999 resolution imposing a contract settlement on the CSU faculty, all faculty be declared equally meritorious for purposes of the merit pay process; and be it further." This was accepted as a friendly amendment.

M/S/P (Vaughn/Goldsmith) to amend the first resolve clause to read as follows: "Resolved that the Academic Senate, SFSU, all on the CFA, the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor to immediately resume collective bargaining in good faith and to do so in a mutually respectful and collegial manner, and be it further."

M/S/P (Goldsmith/Fehrman) to close debate.

The vote was taken, the amendment passed, and we returned to the resolution as amended.

Scott Jerris stated that he wanted to be able to support a resolution that expresses our displeasure to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees related to their unilateral action against us, and he also wanted our resolution to be taken seriously in Long Beach. If somebody reads the resolution as amended, particularly the "meritorious" amendment, they will not take us seriously.

Gregory reminded us that this resolution, save the amendments, is parallel to those passed at the statewide level. This speaks to the issue that the will and the desire of the voting faculty in CFA and many of those who are not members but have written to support non-ratification were not honored. This does not in fact ask the Senate to do anything other than say that we go on record as standing with the Statewide Senate along with three other campus senates that have adopted language like this.

Pamela Vaughn proposed a friendly amendment, which was accepted: to include the CFA in the last resolve.

Julian Randolph stated that it is absurd to spend much more time debating a resolution that was passed by the Statewide Senate. On the "meritorious" amendment, there is one line of thought that says this is wrong because you endorse the merit scheme by buying into it; the other line of thought, which must be what Cherny is thinking, is that by including this you are showing your contempt for the merit scheme.

M/S/P (Cherny/M. Warren) to second reading.

Andrés Consoli strongly supported the resolution, but found himself needing to vote against it because of the "meritorious" amendment.

Jenkins suggested that the amendment is not throwing out a concept of equity but to say at this point we all deserve an increase.

Jerald Combs spoke as one of those on the BSS council, noting that they did not intend it to be divisive. He added that this statement does not say that we are all equally meritorious nor does it make a pronouncement on whether we will accept merit pay. We lost that battle long ago, and what we are really bargaining about is the percentage and whether there will be due process. We were looking for something that we could do that would not hurt students. If you read it carefully, it says that as a protest for purposes of the merit pay process, we are considering everybody meritorious. What will probably happen is that it will be thrown in the laps of the administration, so there is a risk, but at least it is us taking the risk and not our students.

Phillips suggested that the group is close to consensus and that the hang-up word is "equally," and if that word could be dropped, the message would be the same but we would be closer to consensus.

M/S/P (P. Warren, M. Warren) to close debate.

The vote was taken and the resolution passed (22 for, 13 opposed, 3 abstentions).

(To view this resolution, click here.)

Next was Resolution 6c, Resolution on Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

Gregory introduced the resolution, reminding us that the Statewide Academic Senate voted last week to rebuke Chancellor Reed. A range of options were looked at from censure through reprimand with rebuke somewhere in the middle. There was hope that given time the Chancellor could learn those things that we view as important in higher education, those values of the professoriate that have informed AAUP, and that are woven into the RTP process. The original motion was for censure and members thought it might be too strong at the time. Gregory brings forward this resolution to censure because subsequent events suggests that Reed's lack of respect for faculty overrides his good judgement.

Cherny seconded that this is a very serious motion. He favored censure at that time and still does, but the reason for this is not primarily with regard to the contract. It has to do with other actions, and it's unfortunate that we take this up at the same meeting because they will be read as having to do with the settlement rather than being seen as a separate and even graver concern. Cherny suggested that we not move this to second reading today so that in our own actions we keep these as separate. Cherny added that he favored this motion for actions of our Chancellor for over a year where he has disparaged the work habits of the faculty. Reed told us at our very first meeting that we can all work harder. When it was explained to him that we had done so in the state's financial crisis--we had taken on a higher student-faculty ration; we had gone without pay increases--on top of what was already the highest work load of any comparable institution, Reed's response was "I don't know that there is data for that," even though other executives in his administration have done so. When there is opposition to his proposals, he dismisses it as the faculty just being resistant to change. He refuses to acknowledge that there are legitimate arguments against some of his proposals. He has demonstrated a tendency to hyperbole that is mistaken for reality by the people to whom he speaks. He has been doing this for a year, and he has been repeatedly told that the reality is more complex than he portrays it, yet he continues to disparage and insult the faculty, he continues to simplify complex situations, and this will be disruptive for the CSU for as long as he is in that position. That's why this is a very grave motion because "censure" is a word that suggests that this is a serious motion and that if things won't change, we will move to a vote of no confidence. Cherny suggests that we discuss this today and not move to second reading.

Randolph stated that it is most appropriate to take action on this today. This is a crisis of major proportions. To pick up on the behavior of the Chancellor, don't forget that when he apologized for those abysmal remarks at San Luis Obispo, he apologized to the faculty but he didn't apologize or

explain to those members of the community at large, which is where the damage was done. Randolph also commented on the Chancellor's attitude about faculty work schedules. We have embarked down the road to corporatization, using the business-world model to motivate folks, but one of the possibilities to reward people at large was to give them flex-time, so that they have different times when they are on duty publicly in their office and other times they might be doing serious work at home. Our younger faculty, especially, have crushing responsibilities and need flexibility.

Consoli asked if someone might speak to the difference among censure, rebuke, and reprimand.

Cherny answered that censure is a first step, that is essentially serving notice that a certain behavior is unacceptable, with a vote of no confidence the final step. The state senate did neither of those and hunted for another word, which is "rebuke."

Phillips urged us to follow Cherny's recommendation to not vote on this today. He added that he strongly opposed a move to censure. We're going further than the Statewide Senate. He added that he might be willing to vote for the motion that was made by the Statewide Academic Senate. This is not a position based on principal but expediency. The Chancellor made inflammatory and foolish statements. But the positions taken are at least as much those of the Board of Trustees, who are very significant in the bargaining process. Faculty discontent is strongly justifiable, as is the frustration and anger, but if we don't rationally consider possible outcomes, we run the risk of shooting ourselves in the feet. Passing an act of censure will add to the anger that is already there, and by taking a step that goes beyond what the Statewide Senate did, it makes us stand out that much more, which might damage the healthy ties we have built with Long Beach.

M/S/P (Gregory, M. Warren) to extend time of adjournment until 4:20.

A vote was taken and the motion was defeated.

Paul Barnes suggested that we are trying to find some kind of vehicle to express our displeasure with the Chancellor. We should restrain ourselves from the passion of the moment, avoiding the temptation to put fire out with gasoline, and the term "censure" will do that. He would like to see the change, that we see that the SFSU Academic Senate is greatly disappointed with Chancellor Reed.

M/S/P (Turitz, M. Warren) to second reading.

A vote was taken and the motion was defeated.

Phillips summarized where we go next on this resolution, which will come back as is during the next meeting. He added that we have another item of great significance that will come back in the next meeting as a discussion item: Leaves with Pay.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Dane Johnson

Secretary to the Faculty

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