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Dr. Lujan owes the faculty and the community an apology

POSTED November 10, 2009 9:04 p.m.
This letter responds in part to CSU Interim Provost Herman Lujan’s editorial in the Turlock Journal concerning the abolition of Winter Term. If the Interim Provost has a compelling argument why does he lead with an argument that is incorrect? He says: “Replacing Winter Term with a self-support inter-session and expanding the fall and spring semesters to 15 weeks means that professors will now be held accountable for teaching a full load.”
In making such a statement, the Interim Provost shows that either he does not understand the contracts and workload for a university where he is the chief academic officer or he shows that he understands but is willing to use disinformation.
The abolition of Winter Term does not alter the workload of faculty. Not content with mischaracterizing once, the Interim Provost repeats near the end of his letter: “There is certain to be opposition from some faculty members because they now have to work four more weeks of the year just like faculty at other CSU campuses.” The implication that faculty members who do not teach in Winter Term do no work during that time is simply and demonstrably untrue.  
Further, his statements contribute to a simplistic view of the work of faculty because he fails to mention the important work we do in research and in the governance of the university. CSU, Stanislaus faculty have and have always had workload requirements equal to faculty at other CSU campuses. Statements to the contrary fly in the face of a mountain of evidence.
Finally, the discussions in the Academic Senate about the Winter Term were focused on the pedagogical implications and the impact on students — not on workload. Interim Provost Lujan was in attendance at those three meetings but, apparently, failed to pay attention or purposefully chose to omit that information from his letter. The Interim Provost’s inaccuracies and his willingness to display such contempt for the faculty he nominally leads call into question the sincerity and accuracy of his entire letter. Dr. Lujan owes the faculty and the community an apology.
— Mark Thompson
Professor & Chair of English
CSU, Stanislaus
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