SSU Academic Senate Meeting of 12 May 2022

Chair Morimoto provided some data regarding the successful No Confidence vote. There were 173 YES, 105 NO, and a large number of abstains. Turnout by employment category: TT 83%; SSP2+ 41%; lecturers 28%; coaches 14%. She observed that the Senate action calling for this vote was silent on what to do with the results. The Chair is, however, giving the results to any press which requests it.

She also reported on some matters of interest from the rest of the CSU:

            The Chico Senate is upset over a breach of process at the Statewide Academic Senate in approving AS 3530.

            The Cal State LA Senate passed a No Confidence vote in the campus police for the way they removed a woman of color from the campus.

            The General Education Area E is eliminated. Ethnic Studies will be offered in Area C. Also, the two statutory courses in Area C have been reduced to one.

The Associated Students is proposing an Equity Fee, which would be used to help low-income students purchase their textbooks. Up to $470 would be available each academic year. The program is proposed to begin in Fall ’23. All would pay (though there is an opt-out feature), but only some would benefit. There would be a Financial Aid advantage, in that the fee could be included in the “costs” calculation, whereas generally books are not.

Vice Chair Burton announced that a survey will soon be going out to faculty asking how they would be willing to contribute to recruitment.

APARC’s Priority Recommendations were considered for a Second reading. The proposal passed with little discussion and no objection.

SAC’s recommendations for changes in the Attendance Policy were considered for a Second Reading. There was some minor wordsmithing. One change was to delete references specifically singling out immigrants and providing instead for any legal issues, such as jury service, appearing in court as a witness, etc. The amended proposal passed.

In the absence of the President, the Provost gave her report. The search for a permanent VP for Student Affairs is underway. (One Senator observed that we spend so much effort on hiring and yet so many administrators stay here only a short time.)

Faculty are encouraged to attend the special graduations (eg, gay/lesbian, African-American, etc), held a day or two before the main Commencement. Gowns will be distributed before each ceremony, as in previous years; however, advance reservation will no longer be necessary.

Julie Vivas, campus Title IX coordinator, gave a presentation on title IX issues. Faculty must report any Title IX issues they become aware of, but students have the option of doing so or not, except for athletes and Greeks for whom reporting is mandatory.

The Senate chose Derek Girman to serve on the Executive Committee next year, replacing Ed Beebout, who had been elected at a previous Senate meeting but resigned when he accepted an interim appointment as the Dean of Arts & Humanities due to the resignation of Hollis Robbins.

The Associated Students representative reported that students have complained about the 500-character limit in SETI’s, for expanding on answers. They would like the amount of allowable space to be significantly increased.

CFA Chapter President Erma Jean Sims reported on recent activities of the Chapter:

            There were 114 in attendance at the Chapter’s recent virtual forum on Title IX issues.
            The Chapter is grateful to the Senate for providing forums on the No Confidence vote.

            The Chapter still believes in the SSU dream. It also believes in the principle of Shared Governance, and speaks strongly for consultation and collaboration. It calls for beginning a healing process between all segments of the CSU.

            The Statewide CFA wants an independent investigation of the CSU’s Title IX problems. It has called for an end to the Rape Culture.

            The Chapter invites all to a Social on Thursday 19 May from 5 to 6 at the Jaded Toad.

AVP Stacey Bosick gave a report on Graduation Initiative 2025. We are moving toward our goals for increased 4-year and 6-year graduation rates, and also for 2-year and 4-year transfers.

She outlined five Priorities:

1.Re-engage and re-enroll underserved students. Use a recent $161,000 grant to make needs-based scholarships.

2.Move away from the “15 to finish” and “30 per year” models. Make more use of Summer and Extension opportunities. Allow for students who, because of family or work, choose to proceed toward graduation at a slower rate.

3.Ensure equitable access for the Digital Degree Planner.

4.Eliminate or reduce barriers, such as AY&F holds. Recently the allowance before holds was increased from $300 to $1,000.

5.Enhance equitable learning practices. Work on reducing the “DFW” students and help them to rise above this category.

FSAC Chair Richard Whitkus reported that the Committee is working on a revised Faculty Handbook. It will be virtual only. There will be a digital Table of Contents, and instructions for breaking out sub-units to access the relevant information.

Staff Council representative Kate Sims reported that the President canceled an appointment to meet with the Council, and also has not responded to questions they put to her.

This Academic Senate meeting is the final one of the 2021-2022 academic year.

-- Submitted by Rick Luttmann