A Resolution in Support of Reinstating Research, Scholarship, and
Creative Activities Awards for 2010-2011
RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) acknowledge the significant and devastating reduction of the budget for the CSU and that this reduction resulted in many unprecedented cuts; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU decry the suspension of all Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (RSCA) awards for the 2009-2010 Academic Year as contrary to the stated values of the CSU including the Master Plan and the CSU’s Strategic Plan, Access to Excellence; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU further note that the California legislature specifically intended that RSCA funds be provided to help attract, develop, mentor, and retain junior faculty in disciplines for which there are few external sources of funding and that the Academic Affairs 2008 report on the use of RSCA grants in 2006-2007 reveals that 63 percent of the grants were awarded to Assistant Professors; and be it further
RESOLVED: That ASCSU urge the Chancellor to reinstate the RSCA awards for Academic Year 2010-11; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the Board of Trustees, the Office of the Chancellor, campus Presidents, Provosts, and campus Senate Chairs.
RATIONALE: The 2009-2010 Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA) awards were suspended by the Office of the Chancellor in its attempt to save a relatively small amount of money in the 2009-2010 budget. However, such a small savings exacts a disproportionately large cost on the intellectual life of the university.
RSCA awards were established by the California state legislature in recognition of the inexorable link between professional achievement and effective teaching and learning. In addition, the Legislature intended that these funds “ensure that faculty (1) remain current in their disciplines, (2) pursue new ways to enrich student learning and (3) contribute to knowledge that will strengthen California socially, culturally and economically.” And the Legislature explicitly called for the CSU to allocate the “$2.5 million for research, creative, and scholarly activities in a manner which affirms the commitment of the faculty to the instructional mission of the system.”
These funds have been exceedingly effective. An Academic Affairs division report summarizing the use of these awards in 2006-2007 documented that through mini-grants of up to $5,000, summer stipends and semester/quarter leaves, faculty have produced work that resulted only one year later in presentations (52%) and/or the writing of proposals for additional funding (38%). Most importantly, 74% of faculty report that these awards have led directly to improvements in teaching and curriculum. The funds foster collaboration between faculty and students (62 percent of the faculty receiving RSCA grants reported using these funds to work directly with students), and enable collaboration among CSU faculty (41 percent used the awards to collaborate with other faculty).
Approved Unanimously – January 21-22, 2010