Resolution in Opposition to Title V Restructuring of General Education

Resolution Number: RF20-407
October, 2020
Whereas: 
RATIONALE: AB 1460; signed into law by Governor Newsom August 17, 2020; provides an explicit pathway for implementation of an Ethnic Studies requirement in the CSU. Such an implementation uses shared governance structures that currently exist and allow maximum flexibility for campuses to implement in a way that best supports their students. In contrast, the Title V changes voted on by the CSU Board of Trustees in July are unnecessarily intrusive in their requirement to place an Ethnic Studies course in lower division General Education and to reduce the number of units in lower division Area D, Social Sciences. The Title V changes and subsequent documents released by EVC Blanchard will lead to massive changes in the General Education program at SF State, requiring faculty time and effort at a point faculty attention is focused on learning and implementing new teaching modalities and supporting students in unprecedented ways. In contrast, implementation of AB 1460 would require minimal effort on our campus, because over 75% of our students already take an Ethnic Studies course.
Whereas: 
Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB1460 in August which stipulates the following by added to the Education Code: SEC. 2. Section 89032 is added to the Education Code, to read in part: (b) Commencing with the 2021–22 academic year, the California State University shall provide for courses in ethnic studies at each of its campuses. (c) The California State University shall collaborate with the California State University Council on Ethnic Studies and the Academic Senate of the California State University to develop core competencies to be achieved by students who complete an ethnic studies course pursuant to implementation of this section. The council and the academic senate shall approve the core competencies before commencement of the 2021–22 academic year. (d) Commencing with students graduating in the 2024–25 academic year, the California State University shall require, as an undergraduate graduation requirement, the completion of, at minimum, one three-unit course in ethnic studies. The university shall not increase the number of units required to graduate from the university with a baccalaureate degree by the enforcement of this requirement.; and
Whereas: 
San Francisco State University is the first university in the country to create a College of Ethnic Studies and is proud to offer a multifaceted Ethnic Studies curriculum developed and guided by faculty experts; and
Whereas: 
in opposition to AB 1460, the Chancellor’s Office proposed to the CSU Board of Trustees a new General Education Area F of in Ethnic Studies and Social Justice and a simultaneous reduction of lower division Area D by 3 units, from 9 to 6, which was approved at their meeting in September. After AB1460 the CSU noticed the BOT in September of the proposal to eliminate Social Justice from the requirement in the November BOT meeting; and
Whereas: 
on September 10, the Chancellor’s Office issued a memo requiring campuses to implement the new General Education requirement, “Area F,” which mandates that the ethnic studies requirement be lower division; and
Whereas: 
the Chancellors Office memo specifies an impossible timeline to ensure appropriate consultation, deliberation, and conversation among campus faculty on how to design and implement student-success driven curriculum changes; and
Whereas: 
campuses have already experienced tumultuous GE changes in the recent past due to E.O. 1100 revised; and
Whereas: 
campuses are strained by contingent emergencies including, but not limited to—the COVID-19 global pandemic, wildfires and other climate-based natural disasters, economic downturn effecting state allocations; and
Whereas: 
campus faculty are the experts in designing and executing curriculum; and
Whereas: 
it is unclear whether there has been enough time for appropriate consultation with the CSU Ethnic Studies Council and campus Senates on all aspects of AB1460 and the proposed Title V changes; and
Whereas: 
AB-1460 does not specify the Ethnic Studies course be a GE requirement; and
Whereas: 
AB-1460 does not specify the Ethnic Studies course be an upper-division or lower- division course; and
Whereas: 
the SF State College of Ethnic Studies opposes placing the requirement in lower division General Education and replacing units set aside for social sciences; therefore, be it
Resolved: 
That the Academic Senate of SF State reaffirm the importance and need for campus autonomy and faculty oversight of its curriculum; and be it further
Resolved: 
the Academic Senate of San Francisco State asks the Chancellor’s Office of the CSU to propose to the CSU Board of Trustees that they rescind their Title V General Education changes; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate of SF State ask that the leadership of the ASCSU rescind their resolution on Ethnic Studies core competencies until the CSU Council on Ethnic Studies has met with CSU Ethnic Studies Department or Program experts, to discuss, vet, and officially approve the proposed Student Learning Outcomes (core competencies), and be it further
Resolved: 
that students be given flexibility in meeting the Ethnic Studies requirement with either lower division or upper division courses, and be it further
Resolved: 
that nine units be retained in General Education Areas D1, D2, and D3 (Social Science and U.S. History and Local Government) in order to guarantee students fulfill Title V mandate (American Institutions), and be it further
Resolved: 
that the CSU Chancellor’s Office recognize that Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary field that requires Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences, and that the AB1460 ES requirement can be fulfilled in these areas, and be it further
Resolved: 
that the CSU Chancellor’s Office rescind its GE plan because it does not have the authority to restrict this Ethnic Studies requirement to be GE and be subjected to GE regulations, and be it further
Resolved: 
that the timeline for implementation be extended to allow for effective and genuine collaboration between the ASCSU and Ethnic Studies faculty as defined in AB 1460, and be it further
Resolved: 
that the timeline for any GE changes be extended to allow effective campus implementation, including campus flexibility to determine mechanism of implementation; and be it further
Resolved: 
that this be distributed to Chancellor White, Chancellor Select Castro, Executive Vice Chancellor Blanchard, ASCSU Chair Collins, the Steering Committee of the CSU Ethnic Studies Council, President Mahoney, Provost Summit, Dean Sueyoshi, Dean Way, GE Director Moffat, BRC Chair Hughes, and the CSU Council of Senate Chairs.