Concern About the Number and Use of Tenured and
Tenure-Track Faculty Positions, and
Ratio of Tenured and Tenure-Track Non-Tenure-Track
Faculty Positions in the California State University

AS-2410-98/FA - March 5-6, 1998

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University urge campus senates to compile, maintain, and publish an annual inventory of existing tenured and tenure-track faculty positions; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge campus senates to seek full faculty participation in changes in the number, distribution, and use of tenured and tenure-track faculty positions; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge campus senates to resist, except in cases they deem unusual, the conversion of tenured and tenure-track faculty positions to non-tenure-track faculty positions; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge campus senates to work with campus administrations to increase the number of tenure-track positions and the ratio of tenure-track to non-tenure-track faculty positions.

RATIONALE: The CSU currently lacks reliable quantitative data about the use and ratio of tenured and tenure-track to non-tenure-track faculty positions on the campuses. The decline in the relative ratio of tenured and tenure-track to non-tenured and tenure-track faculty has become a widespread concern on campuses throughout the system. This decline requires that faculty senates and faculty committees become involved. Historically, faculty have not been actively involved in the distribution of tenure and tenure-track faculty positions on most campuses; faculty on CSU campuses need to address this problem.

A 1985 Report of the Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on Governance, Collegiality, and Responsibility in the California State University outlines the responsibility of the faculty and administration to work together in faculty hiring: "Collegial governance assigns primary responsibility to the faculty for the educational functions of the institution … . Collegiality rests on a network of interlinked procedures jointly devised, whose aim is to assure the opportunity for timely advice pertinent to decisions about curricular and academic personnel matters."

Traditional responsibilities of tenured and tenure-track faculty, as acknowledged in The Cornerstones Report: Choosing Our Future and Baccalaureate Education in the California State University are being carried out by a decreasing number of tenured and tenure-track faculty. For example, the Baccalaureate Education in the California State University begins by stating that (page 3), "Collegial authority and responsibility for the curriculum and the awarding of degrees ‘resides with’ the faculty of the California State University." Later, in addressing the quality of education (page 8), the report says, "The faculty, because of their specialized knowledge, are the primary decision-makers regarding the curriculum and are the first judges of the quality of the baccalaureate. The faculty develop and offer courses and they determine the requirements for general education and majors. Their initial task in developing courses, programs, and curricula must be to define academic quality, both in terms of the standards and criteria for teaching the curriculum and in terms of the learning objectives and performance standards achieved by students."

Principle 4 (page 8) of The Cornerstones Report: Choosing Our Future states that, "The California State University will reinvest in its faculty to maintain its primary mission as a teaching-centered comprehensive university. Faculty scholarship, research and creative activity are essential components of that mission." Recommendation 4b in support of Principle 4 (page 8) identifies, "A commitment to develop system and campus policies guiding decisions on the replacement of retiring faculty." The Report discusses productivity and reinvestment options (page 16) this way: "Productivity increases seem particularly likely if retirements occur as anticipated, and an increased proportion of replacement faculty are hired into tenure or tenure-track positions at junior levels." On page 21, the Report recognizes the importance of reinvesting in tenure and tenure-track faculty in relation to the future resources needed to maintain quality, access, and productivity.

The decline in the ratio of tenure-track to non-tenure-track positions and the use of tenure-track faculty positions may vary on different campuses in our system; unfortunately, we no longer have a faculty affairs office in the CSU Chancellor’s Office that collects, maintains, and distributes relevant data. It is important that the academic senates on each campus monitor the use of tenured and tenure-track faculty positions at their campuses. It is the faculty's responsibility to resist the foreclosure of opportunity for a new generation of tenure-track teacher-scholars. It is also the faculty’s responsibility to work for an increase in the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty to enhance the California State University’s ability to attract, recruit, and retain quality faculty.

APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY – May 7-8, 1998



 
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