AB 126 (Runner): Year-Round Operation

AS-2444-99/FGA - March 11-12, 1999

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University chair draft a letter to Assemblymember Runner (and cc CSU Administration) making the following points regarding AB 126.

AB 126 "would require that during the three-year period commencing with the beginning 2001-2002 academic year the University of California and California State University phase in an expansion of their academic services so that commencing with the beginning of the 2004-2005 academic year each campus of University of California and California State University systems shall offer to all of its students the opportunity to pursue their studies and to make progress toward degrees during a fully operational year-round schedule."

The two key rationales articulated in AB 126 for a fully operational year-round schedule are:

"1) Year-round academic programs at universities provide students with opportunities to graduate sooner and with more flexibility in scheduling their coursework. 2) Year-round academic programs at universities fully maximize the use of current facilities and allow campuses to accommodate more students."

AB 126 further states that it is "the intent of the legislature that funding for the expansion of academic programs pursuant to the bill be provided in the annual Budget Act."

We believe that the effectiveness of a fully operational year-round schedule hinges on whether there is a narrow funding of specific courses, or as we hold vital, a commitment by the legislature to fully fund a fully operational year-round university that maintains the quality of our existing programs and faculty.

We urge that funding for fully operational year-round schedules:

a) provide the necessary office spaces, technology infrastructure, etc, so that faculty can continue to progress toward existing campus expectations on retention, tenure and promotion.

b) be sufficient to maintain high quality programs and faculty with the appropriate expertise. This calls for an appropriate balance of the proportion of full to part-time faculty.

c) be total cost funding (rather than marginal). The necessary funding extends far beyond the narrow teaching costs of specific courses. It includes, in addition to the cost associated with a & b above, a full year-round program of advising and other student services.

We note that AB 126 calls for CSU and UC to "provide reasonable accommodation for faculty members to address any additional workload resulting from year-round operation." The implication of this language is that AB 126 if passed would lead to or might require additional workload. Aside from the potential impact on the quality of the education of our students addressed in a, b, & c above additional workload, even with, "reasonable accommodation" (presumably through compensation) is likely to diminish the quality of the education provided to our students. We therefore urge that AB 126 make an explicit commitment to the necessary funding so that a fully operational year-round schedule does not result in changes that adversely affect educational quality, faculty assignments, or faculty workload.

APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY– March 11-12, 1999



 
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