Academic Senate

Reports from the Standing Committees:
Academic Affairs Committee (AA)

William Eadie (San Diego), Chair
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Resolution Summaries

The Academic Affairs Committee ended a very productive year with an extremely full agenda. We dealt with the feedback we had received on first readings of the three resolutions we presented in March, and wrote a resolution that needed to have its first reading waived due to the timeliness of its subject matter.

The committee had three resolutions that were presented for first reading in March. Two of these resolutions originated from the Chancellor’s General Education Advisory Council (GEAC). This group consists of faculty and administrators from both the CSU and the California Community Colleges. The CSU faculty membership on GEAC consists mostly of members of the Academic Affairs Committee, and so any GEAC business that has implications for policy comes to the Academic Affairs Committee.

The two resolutions covered disparate issues. One was addressed to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which is in the process of developing a “passport” that would allow students completing lower division general education at a WICHE institution to transfer that general education certification to any other WICHE institution. The CSU has its own system of general education certification for transfer, and it receives very little transfer from WICHE institutions, so faculty representatives attended the passport meetings as observers. The CSU itself has declined to participate in the project. WICHE, however, publicized on its website that the CSU was a participant, and repeated informal requests failed to persuade WICHE to correct this error. The resolution formally stated the CSU position and called on WICHE to remove the CSU as a participant from its website and other materials. This resolution was adopted by the plenary and may be found under AS-3206-15/AA (Rev) on the ASCSU website. The second GEAC resolution sought to clarify the general nature of upper division general education, as well as address potential transfer issues for students taking upper division general education courses at one campus with the intent of transferring those credits to another campus for general education credit. This resolution was also adopted by the plenary and may be found under AS-3211-15/AA (Rev).

The third resolution concerned assessment, a topic that continues to stir controversy within the CSU. The committee re-focused the resolution’s text, but in the end consensus was that the resolution was still not strong enough to garner a large percentage of support from senators in the plenary. Committee members decided that the resolution should not be brought forward for a second reading. As business does not carry over from one senate to another, the topic of assessment may be taken up by the 2015-16 committee, and another, perhaps quite different, resolution may emerge from that group.

Finally, the Executive Committee asked us to draft a resolution expressing dismay at the consultation process that was used by the California Community College Board of Governors for its pilot proposals for baccalaureate degrees. The CSU had many objections to the proposals, and most of those objections were essentially ignored by the Board, which approved a number of proposals to which CSU had objected. The resolution charged ASCSU Chair Steven Filling with expressing our dismay at the upcoming Board of Governors meeting, and Chair Filling did so, in the process enduring sharp questioning from Governor Jerry Brown, who was present at the meeting. This resolution may be read under AS-3212-15/AA/FGA.

In addition, the committee will submit a report on CSU efforts to promote active learning and high impact practices on its campuses. This report will be posted to the ASCSU website, once it has been received by the Executive Committee.

Academic Affairs had a busy year, and looks forward to another full agenda in the 2015-16 academic year.