Minutes: November 16th, 2004






Meeting Attendance:

Alvarez, Alvin













Kim, John








Chen, Yu






A. Reynaldo





Cleave, Kendra



Van Dam,
Mary Ann















Absences: Abella, David (exc); Bartscher,
Patricia (exc); Bernard Powers (exc);

Tara (exc); Carrington, Christopher (exc);
Corrigan Robert (exc); Daley, Yvonne

Robert (exc); Gerson, Deborah (exc); Morishita, Leroy (exc)

Guests: Anita Axt, Clifford Bergman,
Oxsana Bobaykin, Linda Blackwood, Tom Blair, Nina Block,  Gustav Calderon, Daniel Elash, Holly
English, Maureen Fitzgibbons, Dora Goto, Christy Guys, John Hafernik, Krista
Hanson, Joseph Herkey,  Jan Hunter, Sarah
Irwin, Patrick Joseph, Dan Buttlaire, Richard Giardina, Helen Goldsmith,
Nancy McClenny, Deirdre Pierry, Jodi Pulliam, Vera Rogers, Amanda Smith,
Mitch Turitz,  Judith Wilber,

TO ORDER: 2:16 p.m.


Vice-chair Williams reminded senators to
register for Asilomar, as registering as early possible to keep rates down and
lock in good residence rates. He announced that matching stipends were
available for BSS and HSS faculty. A substantial amount of funds had been
raised from two generous donors to help provide for some exceptional food and a
fine reception.

EPC chair Meredith spoke to the BSIT proposal
for discontinuance. He had received a report from the college that a secret
ballot had taken place, and with proportional voting done by time base, only
half a vote separated the department’s decision.

CFA chapter president Turitz announced that
from 5-7 PM on November 18 at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown San Francisco, there
would be a demonstration by supporters of local two of the union for hotel and
restaurant workers who had been locked out of 14 hotels in the city. He invited
participation of the senators, also requesting that they voice their concerns
by completing the bargaining survey on the upcoming contract, which would
provide useful input for the next round of bargaining.

Chair Colvin reminded senators of the special
session of the senate on December 14 to accommodate the unusually heavy senate
agenda for the semester.  

the AGENDA for NOVEMBER 16, 2004


for NOVEMBER 2, 2004



Senator Meredith called senators attention to
the suspension process, noting that when a program sought suspension, EPC would
vote not on the quality of the proposal but only whether all procedural details
had been handled properly. EPC had reviewed the proposal from the clinical
laboratory science program and had requested the proposal be returned for
revision. EPC was convinced that since the director had vacated the program,
the program was in a de facto suspended state, and the program should
forward their document on to for the campus. He observed that there were a
number of speakers from the community who were very concerned about the
program. None of the speakers seriously opposed the suspension, but wanted to
see the program return. They were worried that a self-support option would lock
out students, a concern shared by EPC, but there was a different process for

Hafernik, chair of the Biology department, indicated that he
would make only brief comments in order to leave time for visitors to speak,
and sought to bring the senate up to date on the program. The program had
experienced the unexpected resignation of director Carola Howe, who had had a critical role in the
program as its chief administrator and outreach person, and without strong
leadership, it just was not possible to offer a proper program and provide
students what was needed. Given the current scenario, everyone thought it best
to suspend the program, search for new director, and then move forward with new
leadership. This could happen as early as the next fall, but might take longer.
One issue that was conflated with the current situation was the notion of
shifting the program to self-support. While this did not concern the purpose of
the program, it as an option would probably be explored in reviewing the program,
as the program needed to be handled in a sustainable way.

Rogers wanted to make two main points on the CLS program
regarding the background of the program and also make a clarification to the
proposal. As recently as three years ago the program required 40 weeks of
on-campus study for students to complete the program and the program had been
advised that it needed to adhere more closely to the university calendar,
subsequently reducing the program to 18 weeks. This was accomplished with the
continuing admittance of students and had had no impact on the program. She
thought the program willing and able to embrace change, perhaps emerging into a
new format such as online education. The response from the field was not
encouraging for this particular option, but she noted that the program
continued to evolve while continuing to train students. The regulatory
guidelines could not be handled by adhering to the university calendar, and she
asked if CLS was the only program that did not conform.

Regarding the proposal on the floor, she requested
clarification. Suspension would allow for improvement but currently almost 100
percent of graduates pass the certification exam, while staff runs the whole
program. How should the program improve, she asked, as the program was ready
and willing to change. She thought it possible to effect change without
impacting students, and this could happen without suspension. As soon as
appropriate changes are made, in document, she wanted to know who would
determine the fate of the program. She did not understand why staff could not
be informed and consulted. She hoped to keep opportunity open for CLS to stay
at SFSU.

Goto , an area medical patient advocate, noted that one
problem that suspension brought was the loss of at least one whole class of
students entering the workforce, making a huge impact. A recent study had
recommended that there were 1,300 CLS graduates needed per year through 2010,
and SFSU was the largest, still creating only a percentage of the needed positions.
Program grads are over 40 percent for licensed practitioners. The suspension of
the program would have a negative impact on workforce. Programs could be
restructured in progress. SFSU’s graduates exceeded the average passing grade
for program making for 46 percent of the California CLS graduates. The
program’s resources needed restructuring, but this could be done without
suspension and done internally. Needed was a recruitment director, and there
were pledges of in-kind and monetary support in place as long as the program
continued to be handled under general fund. She cited a list of supporters in
the field.

Joseph, a physician, stated that the shortage of qualified
technicians was real. As the medical director of four northern California laboratories
and a doctor involved in private practice, he noted that two of his four labs
had unfilled positions for CLS members. All four were looking for lab workers,
those who conduct lab tests. Certain lab tests were not run every day, which
served to delay diagnosis. CLS graduates must do delicate work, often delayed
or batched due to a shortage of workers. In the past month two labs needed to
postpone results due to a lack of CLS graduates - a serious state of affairs.
He was not issuing any criticism of the program, but noted the great need for
CLS graduates, a large impact on the state.

McClenny, the associate director of the program, indicated
that the decision on the program would affect her professional future and that
of staff members. The decision and its aftermath would affect students and
employers. She thought the process should seek input from the staff, and that
all current members of the staff be kept informed about the upcoming decisions,
so that accurate information could then be disseminated. She posed several
related questions: when the job director would be announced, who would select
the director, whether staff would have any input and who would define the
“appropriate changes.” She did not see why staff should not have input.

Wilbur represented one of the labs looking for
technicians. As result of the shortage of CLS graduates, she felt it a great
opportunity for SFSU students. The more CLS graduates SFSU could produce the
better. She commented on new opportunities in the biotech field, that there
were new labs with new, complicated tests. While it was easier to set up labs
in other states, California
had licensing requirements that were high.

Hunter, the manager of hiring for DiabloValleyMedicalCenter,
echoed comments from earlier speakers. She indicated that CLS graduates were 10
percent of the center’s workforce, many of who were nearing retirement, and new
workers were seriously needed. She expressed pleasure with the quality of the
SFSU graduates and commented that the suspension of the program was detrimental
all around.

Senator Axler had some comments as the
relevant dean. He thanked the community for their comments, noting that
regardless there was still a big problem, and even SFSU’s contributions were
insufficient. He thought that a lot more needed to be done. The resources were
not used for the suspension but for a director search, and he expressed hope
that a hiring would soon be in process. There was no cost for suspension. He
hoped to have a new director by January and further noted that restructuring of
the program was needed, as it was a strangely constructed program. The biggest
problem to him was that teaching was done by staff rather than faculty. No
Tenure/Tenure-track faculty was involved, and he thought that faculty positions
were necessary. At the end of the process, students received a certificate not
a degree. It was an expensive program, costing $1500 per graduate. He wanted to
take the suspension period as a time to explore other areas of support. He
noted the large demand from the community, and hoped that those companies might
be able to help support the program. One goal to give to the new director would
be this sort of collaboration. As a program of good quality, he expressed the
desire to keep it.

Williams thanked the speakers
for some powerful input. He asked the senate about the suspension process,
especially EPC chair Meredith.

Senator Meredith responded that the committee
had spent an hour and a half listening to the dean and concerned members,
noting that the proposal had some problems, had been rewritten, and received
unanimous approval from EPC.

Senator Mak asked that because of the nature
of the program whether it might be better handled in HHS, and asked if it made
any difference which college housed it.

Senator Axler was open to that thought, but
did not have a high priority to move the program to a different college.

State Senator Yee indicated that as someone
with a BA in biology and a former assistant lab director, she appreciated the
need for lab workers. She indicated that senators be mindful that suspension
did not mean discontinuance, but was possible only when the intent was not to
discontinue a program, but give a chance for program to develop itself. She
hoped that industry could help out.

State Senator Gregory commented that she had
heard the CSU chancellor talk about a marketing program that outlined CSU
contributions to the workforce and society. She encouraged rapid resumption of
the program and noted how the commentary had suggested to the senate that all
of us operate in a much larger context than we are normally aware of.


Nichols m/s/p

Senator Meredith reminded the senate about
two proposals for discontinuance. The present one was unopposed from the
department, while the BA, which was to come next, was opposed by the
department. Both proposals involved no criticism whatsoever of the program or
faculty, nor of the worthiness of the notion of studying Russian at a
university level. The department had voted 17 - 0 to support discontinuance.
Historically there had been very low productivity from the department and very
few students. No pure graduate courses existed, and all the courses were paired
with undergrad, all of which were done in English.

Senator McKeon stated that the discontinuance
of the Russian program returned the campus back to 1964, when there was no
Russian program. Backdating 40 years, biting the bullet, the program simply did
not have the tenure/tenure-track faculty members to proceed. As recently as the
past spring, there had been one, but it was no longer possible to support the
program at the master’s level. Such a program must have tenured or tenure-track
remembers, and the department judged it best at this point, without any sign of
university support for a replacement position, not to sustain the Russian MA
program. However, she noted, after the university had foreclosed all admissions
to the MA program, six inquiries had arrived for admittance to the program,
making clear the continuing interest. The Russian program was just making its
recovery, and she expressed the opinion that it was extremely unfortunate that
the university would not replace positions, or show support at any level. All
this made it impossible to defend this program today, but she wanted to ask all
senators to carefully consider the upcoming rebuttal to the discontinuance of
the Russian BA program.

Moved to second reading.

Senator McKeon asked the Russian program
faculty to address the senate.

Siskron, the acting coordinator for Russian program,
observed that eliminating this program would diminish CSU as it represented the
last MA in Russian Literature program in the CSU. Loss of seminars would affect
the MA students, creative writing, and English majors, and she indicated there
was not a rebuttal because enrollment was small and the program small. She
offered a minor correction to an earlier assertion - eight students, not six,
had expressed interest in the program after news of its potential
discontinuance. She asserted that the consequences of losing the MA were not as
catastrophic as the loss of the BA, a position held by the department faculty.

Calderon, the coordinator of the Spanish program, preferred
to defend the Russian program. While the college council had voted against the
Russian program, the San Francisco
city council had voted support, and all around the CSU departments had issued
support for this program. He expressed displeasure at the process and the
questioning of EPC and other bodies, suggesting that questions had been
primitive and that committees had not done their “homework.”  When the current dean had arrived on campus,
he expressed pleasure at the Russian program but apparently did not now think
the Russian program was up to standards. He observed that seven Spanish majors
were also Russian majors. He thought the program had a right to defend itself
and it did not get that chance.

Senator McKeon spoke for the record, indicating two things: by discontinuing, the campus would
lose the only MA Russian program in entire CSU. The loss also belonged to the
Humanities dean, who when he first came to the college as a job candidate,
indicated right away that he thought the Russian MA program was fabulous.

Senator Meredith spoke to the procedures
followed in deliberation. For an hour and 45 minutes EPC had heard mostly
support from the community. The committee then deliberated for an hour, and he
rejected categorically the notion that the program did not get a fair hearing.

Senator Steier stated that we would not
oppose the discontinuance if the chair of the department did not oppose it and
there were no resources. He did suggest the importance of seminars, noting that
currently the best critical theorists included many Russian thinkers, and that
even if the BA continued, a certain academic balance would be undone, impoverishing
language and literature study on campus.

Illich, an undergraduate mostly at this campus, spoke from
the point of view of a student, noting that campus appeared to be choosing
quantity over quantity. Cutting programs limits choices for students,
especially in advanced study. Lots of resources went into remedial education,
but not into high quality program such as the Russian MA. He asked about the
question of quality in SFSU academic programs.

of Humanities Sherwin echoed the
concerns of student Dan Illich. He also responded to Senator Steier’s
comments, noting that all of the MA courses were paired with BA courses, and
that there were no freestanding Master’s level courses.

Senator Hom spoke to the notion of foreign
area studies, as he was a former graduate of such a program on this campus. No
longer was the emphasis on “foreign language” majors such as Russian, since the
population was so great in the city. The language was served well, and the MA
program was specialist training. By removing this program, we were eliminating
the possibility of SFSU ever serving specialist needs. He thought that Russian
studies did indeed have a future.

on discontinuance on MA in Russian:

for discontinuance.




Axler m/s

Senator Meredith
acknowledged the outpouring of support the Russian program received from the
community, both locally and internationally. Dean Sherwin had proposed a
reduction of language courses to nine from twelve, eliminating the major and
minor. There was currently no ability to support advising in the program. EPC
had voted 16-2 to discontinue. First, and most important, by accepting the
proposal campus still had the potential to have 1-2 lecturers. With few
students and no tenure/tenure-track faculty, a major question was whether this
represented the quality SFSU wanted to keep for a BA program.

Finally, EPC spoke of the need for humanities
courses in other areas, the difference of three course sections. As to the
question of why not to keep the BA alive, EPC’s answer was that instead of
serving the needs of 2-3 students per year, discontinuance could address much
higher needs elsewhere.

stated that this was not the topic he would have chosen as his first item to
speak to the senate about. He agreed with Meredith with respect to the
principle arguments. He was not convinced that they had compelling force. He
clarified that the proposal was not the discontinuance of the Russian program
but the degree. He spoke to the importance of language study, the symbolic and
real importance of this particular language’s study.

Fiscal considerations were the primary mover that
led to his recommendations and those of the Humanities college council. He
stated that the university could save 15 thousand dollars a year. Typically a
major required 6 courses per year, nationwide a minor required four courses a
year. Students could take courses in other departments in the move from 12 to 9
courses. The real cost was greater. He had been worrying about costs even with
permanent costs to departments, which would be considerable and permanent. An austerity
plan minimized the damage to the college. To do this BA right, the program
needed tenure/tenure-track faculty, at least two or three. He thought the
lecturers who had been carrying the program deserved heroic commendation over
last few years. He was not convinced that the lecturers would be competitive
for tenure-track hires. SFSU could get by without full time faculty, perhaps
resuming business in a few years. His position was that to offer a viable
program, at least two full time tenure/tenure-track faculty members were
needed. Aside from costs, there was the matter of a relatively small number of
students over the past years. He asked senators to consider that if these were
not hard times, and they were, whether it would be appropriate to introduce a
new BA program in Russian. The CSU had asked campuses to scrutinize any program
with less than 5 grads per year. He mentioned the illness of tenured faculty
and the fact that 11 BAs had been granted over five years. Over 20 years only
88 degrees had been offered, about 4.4 per year. Class sizes were small.
Factoring out the MA students, there was even lower enrollment. The final
question he posed, was how many students would be profoundly affected by the
discontinuance? Only one less class perhaps, maybe two more than normal. Many
majors were double majors.

Senator McKeon
invited faculty, students to speak.

Siskron thanked senators for their thoughtful
consideration. It was a time of adversity for the university and the program.
In reviewing twentieth century Russian authors, she observed that what they had
in common was that they worked during the darkest moments of Russian history,
but also shared a creative spirit. She felt we were going through a difficult
time. Not losing ourselves was important and she thought we had much to learn
from them. It was vital to teach students, and what was happening in the
external world would not affect the spirit. The world needed a mixture of
perspectives for contemporary reality. Sherwin’s comments were not accurate. In
March or April they might have been true, but since then the community had
supported the program. The BA program received support from the CSU, the city
Board of Supervisors, the city council, legislatures, the immigrant rights
commission, and others. The program had this much support because Russian
studies matter. She listed several reasons to keep the BA in Russian:

Russian was a difficult language, and required more
time for mastery than Spanish or Germanic languages. Reducing the program to a
minor destabilized the structure of the major. Students often come from
transfer institutions, which are not well structured. Only one other MA degree
existed from San Diego
in Russian. The impact meant keeping articulation even if there was low enrollment.

Russian was a strategic language, and important to
national interest. There were economic impacts and a cadre of professionals was
needed. Students would go into important positions. Discontinuance would
undermine the department and faculty, and the ability to pursue strategic
languages. Skipping a semester or two makes skills atrophy and further it is
harder to do this at a graduate level. The crisis was due to faculty illness
and retirement - five years of crisis, but there were higher FTE now than
before with a general recovery nationally.

The Russian program preserved links with the local
community and other higher education institutions. There was a large Russian
community, beginning 14 years ago. The children of the Russian community were
just now coming to college to polish their literacy at SFSU.

The elimination of even a few courses meant the
curriculum would be limited. The minor was not even possible.

Student Amber Clark, a Russian major and the president of the Russian Club urged
the university to keep the BA program. Through summer study abroad, and
cultural immersion, it was a program offered by no other CSU. She planned to
use Russian in the community and urged retention of the program.

a junior and double major in Comparative World Literature and Russian, was a
former emigrant, and held Russian as having an intrinsic role in his identity.

Bobaykin was a native Russian who moved to OrangeCounty
as a political and religious refugee. Russian was essential to her heritage.
She wanted BA in Russian and the only CSU options were SFSU and San Diego, and she had
come due to SFSU’s reputation. She noted the large local Russian community and
found the discontinuance devastating to her personal goals.

Guys was a double major in Journalism and Russian, and
commented on the need to know the nuances of language and culture. She felt she
had a promising career ahead with these double interests.

Berkman expressed concern about the program as SFSU was
surrounded by the Russian community. He had concern over his own career as
well. Russian was required for advanced study in mathematics. Cutting the BA
would damage his own study considerably, and reducing the Russian program would
limit access to Russian classes.

Blair the chair of foreign languages at CityCollege
and also the president of the community college council of foreign languages,
supported maintaining the program, noting that it was the only BA program in
the Bay Area. Community College students counted on the SFSU program, as only
five community colleges had an elementary Russian program,

He noted the impact the program had on articulation
issues, and that students should have available, at a minimum, the opportunity
to study the major languages of the world. A report cited the importance and
value of Russia
and Russian.  At CityCollege
there were three sections of first-semester Russian, which involved some 70
students. There were five courses per semester.

Senator Bernstein
noted the impressive student presentations. She asked in the current scenario
whether SFSU would shrink back and become a college, or would it still be a
university. She did not think that is was possible to live just by numbers, and
observed that here was a program that could do a better job, and the campus
should support it, in small programs as well as large.

Senator Heiman
noted the importance of the Russian legacy, and echoed Steier for the need to
pay more attention to major Russian authors, something that he likened to a biodiversity
issue. He asked what was needed to be offered at a major university and whether
SFSU was offering a gateway experience to nowhere. He appreciated McKeon’s
strategic thinking, also commenting that the BA created a visibility and
reputation. It seemed a “chicken and egg” scenario - was it better to create a
great program first or attract good people and then build a great program. He
posed the question of whether the campus should maintain academic biodiversity
and think to the future. Russia
was going to be very important to world.

Senator Langbort
commented that she had looked up enrollment at the university and noted that
many programs had low enrollments. She thought it wise to look to a balance.
This program seemed to serve students in other majors, and was not a
stand-alone program. It was ironic that just at the time that immigrants’
children were coming to college, just at a time when universities might be
growing, instead higher education seemed to be shrinking. She had questions on
the way this was handled, who in the department decided this route and how
faculty had voted - all process questions.

Senator McKeon
stated that the department solidly supported continuance. All faculty of
foreign languages supported continuance, all staff members, all GTAs had signed
a letter of support. The proposal had come from the dean’s office. The dean had
handpicked, not elected, a panel and held behind closed-door sessions, then
came with proposals to deal with reduction. It included innovative ways to handle
the budget, including mergers of departments, the elimination of chairs’
stipends, not replacing some college staff members, the elimination of the
associate dean position, etc. but the whole packet was presented without any
item-by-item scrutiny. It was voted on as whole, and Russian department faculty
members were never included in the decision process.

was not offended by the commentary and sought to clarify the process. His
subcommittee of the college council included five department chairs, with
representatives of six departments. He had asked the council if this approach
was satisfactory, and noted that many proposals for all sorts of curricular
curtailments were entertained, with 20 possible moves considered. The entire
plan was presented to the council, he asked if council could approve en
masse, and the council approved the package unanimously.

Vice-chair Williams
requested decorum from the floor.

Planning & Assessment AVP Giardina spoke to the discontinuance policy. In the process the dean can bring
the proposal forward. In reviewing three areas were considered essential:
societal need, student interest, and institutional capability. None was
significant in this case. He sought to distinguish between the need to study a
language vs. its culture and literature and maintained that Russian would
continue to be taught. He would not speak to second, but debatable, issue.
There was not much evidence of student interest for the Russian BA degree -
only five students in last five years, and never more than two at a time
graduated. SFSU would never consider beginning a new program with those kinds
of numbers. He questioned the need to study the language or culture from same
background as one’s ancestors. The third issue faculty capability. There were
no tenure/tenure-track faculty, no likelihood of that, it would cost 200
thousand dollars to do this, at a time of scarce money, and get candidates with
appropriate credentials. This kind of program could not be done without
tenure/tenure-track faculty.

Senator McKeon
attempted to clarify comments on Russian faculty input and indicated she would
speak more to this at the second reading.

Senator Avila
spoke to the need for students to study their ancestry, using the College of Ethnic Studies as an example. She
referred to the community college Russian classes and numbers as a measure of

Senator Steier cited some of the absurdity of
the argument that involved the situation where resources were cut and then the
rationale for discontinuance included lack of money. If resources had been
available before, they could be made available again - a situation replete with
absurd logic. He thought the need to debate Russian language and culture was
strong. He noted that at some level, the cold war had ended, and Russian was no
longer the player it was before. He hated thinking that way. He was shocked
with the proposal and could not imagine a university without Russian students
and area studies.

Senator Hom
noted that area studies were not the same as the need for the language. He
suggested not using enrollment as the reference.

proposal would return to second reading at the next meeting.


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