Academic Senate

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

Thomas Krabacher (Sacramento), Chair

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This Month's Issue
Front Page
Message from the ASCSU Chair
Report of the Faculty Trustee
Reports from Standing Committees

Academic Affairs
Academic Preparation &
   Education Programs
Faculty Affairs
Fiscal and Governmental

General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC)
Capitol Watch
The California State University Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association (CSUERFA)
Book Review - Lesson Plan
Resolution Summaries

As noted in the past, spring is one of the busiest times of year, both in the California Legislature and for the Fiscal & Governmental Affairs (FGA) Committee. FGA’s principal activities since the March issue of the the Senate's Faculty to Faculty newsletter have included planning and participating in the Academic Senate of the California State University’s (ASCSU) annual Advocacy Day activities in the State Capitol on April 12th, and the continued monitoring of legislative activity in both the Senate and the Assembly.

The ASCSU’s 2016 Advocacy Day in Sacramento took place on Tuesday, April 12th, a point of the calendar when the Legislature had returned from its spring recess and was busy hearing bills in its various policy committees.   Fifteen academic senators from both FGA and the Extended Executive Committee participated in the day’s activities and approximately forty offices were visited; these included the legislative leadership of both houses, members and staff of key education and budget committees and higher education specialists in the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) and the Department of Finance. As was the case in 2015, student representatives from the California State Student Association (CSSA) joined our teams in their office visits.  The experience of previous years has shown that the presence of students is very effective in getting our message across, and that was the case again this year.  Once again, thanks are due to CSSA. Needless to say, the Advocacy Day experience was greatly simplified by the late-breaking contract agreement that eliminated the need for a faculty strike, which had been scheduled to begin the following day. The key Advocacy Day talking points can be found here in the March issue of ASCSU’s Faculty to Faculty newsletter.

Legislation Monitoring
At this point in the Legislative calendar, all bills up for consideration have been heard in their house of origin (Senate or Assembly) and bills that have been voted out of their house have been sent to the other house for action there.  This process will continue through August.  FGA continues to monitor the status of bills identified as being of interest to the ASCSU at the March plenary as they move through this process.  (The list of these bills can be found here).   At its May meeting, meanwhile, FGA urged that specific action be taken on four bills: AB 1721, AB 2163, AB 2214, and AB 2386.   Specific details can be found in the "Capitol Watch" section of this newsletter.

It is also worth noting that, at the time of this writing, both the Senate and the Assembly have put forward their proposed 2016-17 budgets, and that the Assembly proposal contains the requested $101 million augmentation to the Governor’s budget requested by the CSU.  Whether this will remain in the final budget bill the Legislature is required to send to the Governor on June 15th remains to be seen.

In addition to the above activities, FGA brought forward two resolutions at the ASCSU’s May plenary meeting.   The second reading of its March resolution calling for a CSU evaluation of the efficacy of online instruction (AS-3250-16/FGA [Rev]) was approved after substantial debate.   The second resolution, a commendation for retiring Trustee Lou Monville, was approved by acclamation.

Welcome new Assistant Vice Chancellor, Advocacy and State Relations
Finally, the Fiscal & Governmental Affairs Committee wishes to welcome Kathleen Chavira as the new Assistant Vice Chancellor for CSU Advocacy and State Relations.  She replaces long-time Assistant Vice Chancellor Karen Yelverton-Zamarripa, who retired at the first of the year.  Kathleen comes to the CSU after having served for many years as the Chief Consultant to the State Senate Education Committee.  Her knowledge of higher education issues, as well as current policy and is encyclopedic.  Equally important for CSU faculty, she has a sincere appreciation of the faculty perspective on major higher education issues.   She will prove a real asset to both the CSU and the Academic Senate in the future.

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