Academic Senate

Reports from the Standing Committees:
Fiscal & Governmental Affairs (FGA)

Thomas Krabacher (Sacramento), Chair

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Academic Affairs
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Faculty Affairs
Fiscal and Governmental

Capitol Watch
The Chancellor's General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC)
The California State University Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association (CSUERFA)
Senator Spotlight
Resolution Summaries

Given the end of this year’s legislative session in Sacramento, the Fiscal & Governmental Affairs Committee (FGA) submitted its final report on 2015 legislative activities to the Academic Senate (ASCSU) at its November 2015 plenary session.  The report included a summary of both activity in the Legislature as well as Governor Brown’s actions on legislation that had been deemed of interest to the Academic Senate. Senator Mark Wheeler provides detailed discussion of the report and the 2015 legislative cycle below in this newsletter.

In addition, FGA sent four recommendations (resolutions) forward to the full Senate for consideration at its November 2015 meeting.   These included a resolution of commendation for Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Vogel, who recently left the Chancellor’s Office to become Vice Provost at CSU Los Angeles; Associate Vice Chancellor Vogel was a close friend of the Academic Senate and was responsible, among other things, for stabilizing year-to-year funding for the ASCSU by establishing an on-going budget line for the Academic Senate in the CSU budget.  Other resolutions included (back for second reading), AS-3229-15/FGA (Rev) on the proposed Board of Trustees 2016-2017 State Support Budget Request; in it the Academic Senate supported the CSU’s goal of 3% enrollment growth, but called for the Board to seek funds for a compensation increase for all employees beyond the currently proposed 2%.

The Committee also sent two additional resolutions forward for first reading. The first encourages the CSU at both the campus and system levels to formally and publicly acknowledge the Taxpayers of California as donors who support higher education and the CSU. The second calls for the establishment of a faculty-administration task force to develop a long-term faculty recruitment plan with the goal of raising the number of tenure/tenure-track faculty in the CSU to acceptable levels.  FGA consulted with members of the Chancellor’s Office on the feasibility of both proposals before sending them forward.  The two resolutions will come back for a second reading in January.

In addition to the above, FGA had a lengthy discussion (via conference call) with Jason Constantouros from the Legislative Analyst Office about the prospects for 2016-2017 higher education funding, particularly as it affects the CSU.  In particular, the Committee was interested in the prospects for another augmentation to Governor’s proposed budget similar to the one the CSU recently received for 2015-2016.  Jason’s response was that, while it was too early to tell, the CSU will likely find itself facing increased competition for additional funding from other interests with a stake in the state budget, including health & services, K-12, and the UC among others.  He also pointed out that there are proposals currently circulating designed to extend the life of Proposition 30 for an additional year beyond it’s current 2018-2019 sunset date, but it is unclear at this time whether higher education funding will be in the mix.

A major portion the FGA’s November 2015 meeting was spent laying the groundwork for Academic Senate advocacy activities for the coming spring.   While the Senate will be sponsoring its usual day of advocacy activities in Sacramento in April 2016, a priority of the Committee this year will be to push for an increase in the level of in-district advocacy activities by individual senators.  This will also be the primary topic for discussion at Committee’s upcoming December 2015 interim meeting.  The goal is to present the details of the strategy for doing so to the full Academic Senate at its January 2016 plenary meeting.  Stay tuned!

For more information, please contact Fiscal & Governmental Affairs Committee ChairThomas Krabacher