Reaffirming Statutory Authority for
Faculty Development of Curriculum

AS-2601-03/AA - May 6-7, 2003

ATTACHMENT TO AS-2601-03/AA

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University request both the Board of Trustees and the Office of the Chancellor of the California State University to join with its Academic Senate in urging the members of the Legislature of the State of California to adhere to the provisions of sections 3560 (c) and sections 3561 (b) and (c) of the California Government Code of Regulations which indicate unequivocally that the development and execution of curriculum within the California State University and its 23 member campuses should be insulated from political influence.

RATIONALE: With an appreciation for the need to keep the development and execution of the curricula of the campuses of California's higher education systems free from political influence, the Legislature of the State of California, in collaboration with the Governor, enacted the provisions of sections 3560 (c) and 3561 (b) and (c) of the California Government Code of Regulations. These code provisions acknowledge the need for insulation of higher educational curricular process from the influence of politically mediated and/or politically motivated intrusion, to wit: "The people of the State of California have established a system of higher education under the Constitution of the State of California with the intention of providing an academic community with full freedom of inquiry and insulation from political influence in the administration thereof."

Within the California State University, generally, and on all 23 campuses of the system specifically, institutionally imbedded processes of curriculum development and approval involving faculty discipline specialists, departments, and curriculum committees at both the college and university level ensure the focus, breadth, integrity and quality of the curriculum. Groups lobbying on behalf of specific disciplines have succeeded in convincing our state legislative bodies that the long-term benefits to be derived from leaving the development and execution of curriculum to curriculum specialists within higher education disciplines were neither genuine nor meaningful. Because the legislative process is neither designed nor equipped to develop curriculum through collegial collaboration, fostering widespread institutional buy-in, curricular mandates originating within the legislature run the risk of imposing poorly crafted, inadequately fiscally supported curricula and curriculum development guidelines on our universities.

While it is imperative that both legislators and the legislative process have access to and input from specialists in areas germane to legislative inquiry, when these inquiries suggest a need for curricular change the legislature is urged to follow both the language and the intent of the relevant government codes and refer suggestions for curricular changes to the appropriate faculty body.

APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY - March 6-7, 2003



 
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