Resolution in Support of Strengthening Undergraduate Advising at San Francisco State University

Resolution Number: RF21-428
December, 2021
Whereas: 
Rationale: The Student Success & Graduation Initiative (https://studentsuccess.sfsu.edu/) lists inadequate advising as the second most cited (by students) barrier to timely graduation and places graduation delays caused by inadequate advising at the top of its “Long Term Challenges”. The SSGI’s “Long Term Strategies” state the University’s intention to hire new advisors in both the central Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC) and the college-based resource centers. Currently, most colleges’ current student-to-advisor ratios greatly exceed national average ratios for universities (375:1 according to the National Academic Advising Association). In addition, systemic inequities in faculty advising that adversely impact women and faculty of color must be addressed.
Whereas: 
students need frequent and accessible undergraduate advising (both online and in person) to support retention and timely graduation; and
Whereas: 
in alignment with nationwide advising best practices, the CSU and San Francisco State University are adopting a more proactive, and data informed, approach to advising; and
Whereas: 
the shortage of academic advisors negatively impacts our ability to proactively support students, contributing to low retention and graduation rates; and
Whereas: 
long-term structural inequities exist in staffing of the college resource centers, disproportionately impacting students’ ability to obtain timely advising (see Table 1 below); and
Whereas: 
faculty advising is often inequitably distributed, which can lead to a disproportionate number of women and faculty of color shouldering the advising workload within a department (https://itcatalyst.sfsu.edu/content/research-findings); be it therefore
Resolved: 
that Academic Senate thank and commend faculty and staff for undergraduate advising performed under difficult emergency circumstances, as well as the individuals and offices providing tools and information to make it possible; and be it further
Resolved: 
that Academic Senate strongly urge the University to fully staff the college advising centers and address the persistent staffing inequities that exist across the six colleges; and be it further
Resolved: 
that Academic Senate strongly urge the University to address the persistent staffing vacancies that exist in units that impact advising (e.g. Registrar’s Office, Admissions Office and Financial Aid); and be it further
Resolved: 
that once the college advising centers are fully staffed, the University clearly define the roles of faculty and staff advisors in providing advising for general education, career & professional development, major/minor programs, student research and internship opportunities, and navigating campus policies and procedures, supporting a model of whole degree advising in the college centers; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate ask that the Office of Faculty Affairs & Professional Development work with the academic departments to address uneven and inequitable faculty advising workloads, especially those that negatively impact women and faculty of color; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate strongly urge the University to provide greater support to our lower division students as has been successfully demonstrated by the Metro College Success program, and expand a caseload model to include second-year students and explore how to best provide this service using resources in the Undergraduate Advising Center, College advising centers, and faculty advisors; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate work to update and revise its Academic Advising policy (#S95-191) to address the issues put forth in this resolution; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate distribute this resolution to President Mahoney, Provost Summit, the College Deans and Associate Deans, Dean Lori Beth Way, Associate Dean Kim Altura, AVP Carleen Mandolfo, ASI President Joshua Ochoa, and the advising leads in the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning and the college resource centers.