POSITION PAPER

Support for the Principles that G
uide Programs to Achieve Educational
Equity and Faculty Diversity in the
California State University

The mission of the California State University is to "encourage and provide access to an excellent education to all who are prepared for and wish to participate in collegiate study" (CSU Mission Statement). In support of this mission, the CSU "seeks out individuals with collegiate promise who face cultural, geographical, physical, educational, or personal barriers to assist them in advancing to the highest educational level they can reach" (CSU Mission Statement). This mission was reaffirmed in the 1989 report "California Faces...California’s Future..." and subsequent statutes based on this report (primarily AB 617) in relation to California’s changing demographics. In recognition of the fact that California is becoming a State with a new multicultural majority, and that the State’s future depends upon ensuring that students are prepared for an international, multicultural society, the CSU has in place a number of programs that make particular effort to redress problems of access to the University and barriers to employment faced by persons from groups who have been and are currently underrepresented in higher education.

Programs in the CSU that address concerns about student access and educational success are commonly referred to in the CSU as "Educational Equity Programs". Examples include programs like "The Student Affirmative Action Program", California Academic Partnership Program", and the "Educational Opportunity Program". Programs that address concerns regarding the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty are commonly referred to as "Faculty Diversity Programs". Faculty Diversity Programs include programs like the "Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Programs in Employment" governed by EO 340, "The Forgivable Doctoral Loan Program", and "The Faculty Development Affirmative Action Program".

In the case of both Educational Equity and Faculty Diversity Programs the aim is to achieve and continuously maintain a diverse student body and faculty. The principle that guides Educational Equity Programs is embodied in Section 66205 of the Education Code as follows: to enroll a student body that meets high academic standards and reflects the cultural, racial, economic, geographic, and social diversity of the State. In the case of Faculty Diversity Programs, the guiding principle is articulated in CSU Board of Trustees Policy adopted in 1988 as follows: "to employ a faculty of the highest quality which increasingly reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the State". Educational Equity and Faculty Diversity Programs in the CSU are mainly of the "voluntary" type, do not set quotas, and do not establish "preference " solely on the basis of race or gender. Rather, they are programs that actively seek and support qualified students and faculty who might otherwise not have the opportunity to be a part of the CSU, and thereby benefit from and contribute to the CSU.

Over the past year, programs subsumed under the general title of "Affirmative Action Programs" have been the subject of intense public debate, and numerous legislative efforts that deal with matters related to such programs are underway (e.g., AB 211/SB 939, ACA 2/SCA 10, AB 1793, ACA 16). Although the Academic Senate of the CSU (ASCSU) does not choose at this time to take a position in support of, or in opposition to, specific pieces of proposed legislation, the ASCSU does consider it imperative at this time to assert its position on the principles that govern the Educational Equity Programs and Faculty Diversity Programs of the CSU and to reaffirm its commitment to the continuation of these programs.

Specifically, the ASCSU supports the following principles that guide Educational Equity and Faculty Diversity Programs in the CSU:

1. The CSU should encourage and provide access to an excellent education to all who are prepared for and wish to participate in collegiate education.

2. The CSU should actively seek to enroll a student body that is academically qualified and reflects the cultural, racial/ethnic, economic, geographic, and social diversity of the State.

3. The CSU should make particular efforts to provide access to education and the opportunity for educational success to those who are historically and currently underrepresented in higher education.

4. The CSU should seek to recruit and retain a faculty of the highest quality which increasingly reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the State.

5. Educational Equity Programs and Faculty Diversity Programs in the CSU should actively seek and support qualified students and faculty who might otherwise not have the opportunity to be a part of the CSU .

6. Educational Equity Programs and Faculty Diversity Programs in the CSU should attempt to redress problems of access and barriers to employment faced by persons from groups who have been in the past and are currently underrepresented in higher education.



 
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