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Provost’s statement is misleading

POSTED November 6, 2009 6:19 p.m.
Interim Provost Herman Lujan misleads and misinforms the public regarding the responsibilities of faculty at CSU Stanislaus and libels the dedicated professional faculty members that he was appointed to lead. His statement in a Nov. 4 letter to the editor printed in the Journal that CSU Stanislaus faculty members work less than their colleagues at other CSU campuses is patently false. The terms and conditions of faculty employment throughout the California State University are spelled out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (contract) between the California Faculty Association and the CSU.  CSU Stanislaus faculty members fulfill the same contractual obligations as every other faculty member in the 23-campus CSU system.
A full-time CSU Stanislaus faculty member is responsible for the equivalent of eight 3-unit courses per year—one of the highest teaching requirements among university faculties in the United States. Under the current CSU Stanislaus academic calendar, teaching responsibilities are distributed over a 13-week Fall term, 4-week Winter term, and 13-week Spring term. Faculty members who do not teach during the Winter term are engaged in other contractually mandated responsibilities, including “research, scholarship, creative activity, and service to the University, profession, and community,” and fulfill their teaching requirements in the Fall and Spring terms.
The new academic year calendar imposed by the CSU Stanislaus administration eliminates the Winter term. There will be two (Fall, Spring) 15-week terms separated by a 4-week “self-support inter-session.”
Interim Provost Lujan misrepresents the outcome of the calendar change.  The planned inter-session is not part of the contractually defined academic year. Faculty members will fulfill their contractual teaching and other obligations during the Fall and Spring terms. The inter-session does not duplicate the Winter term. The university administration proposes that classes be offered via Extended Education on a pay-as-you-go basis, where students pay the full cost of instruction. However, California state law and CSU system policy severely restrict what Extended Education courses can be offered and credited toward meeting academic degree requirements.
— Lawrence L. Giventer
Professor, Dept. of Politics & Public Administration
Faculty Rights Representative, CSU Stanislaus Chapter,
California Faculty Association

John J. Sarraille
Professor, Dept. of Computer Science,
President, CSU Stanislaus Chapter,
California Faculty Association

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