I. Legislative advocacy of the California State University (ASCSU) shall give priority to legislation that:
A. Has the potential to affect access, affordability, and quality in California higher education, as broadly defined. The topics of such legislation may include, but are not limited to:
- Student admissions and transfer;
- Student fees and financial aid;
- State budgetary support for higher education;
- The instructional work environment;
- Composition of the academic community
- Graduation and completion rates
B. Affects faculty purview over the curriculum and modes of instruction.
C. Affects the academic freedom of faculty, students, and institutions of higher education. In these areas, highest priority shall be given to addressing legislation that is specifically directed toward the California State University (CSU).
II. Advocacy efforts should be a year-round activity and not confined to any single point in the legislative process.
III. Advocacy efforts should be carried out not only for the purpose of influencing specific bills, but also for the purposes of:
A. Raising legislative awareness of the ASCSU as the voice of the CSU faculty in academic and curricular matters;
B. Developing on-going working relationships with individual legislators and their staffs;
C. Encouraging early consultation with CSU faculty through the Academic Senate in the drafting of bills affecting academic matters within the CSU;
IV. To maximize the effectiveness of ASCSU advocacy efforts, the Academic Senate should:
A. Establish its positions on proposed legislation as early as possible in the legislative process (ideally no later than mid-March) so that these positions can serve to guide both individual and collective advocacy efforts.
B. Positions adopted on legislation should typically be one of the following:
- OPPOSE -- the ASCSU is in opposition to the bill in its entirety and sees no way in which it could be amended to make it acceptable;
- OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED – aspects of the bill as currently written make it unacceptable but if they are corrected or eliminated, the ASCSU will drop its opposition.
- NO POSITION/WATCH – the ASCSU neither supports nor opposes the bill in its current form.
- SUPPORT IN CONCEPT – while the ASCSU objects to certain elements in the bill’s language as currently written, it supports the overall goal of the bill.
- SUPPORT – the ASCSU is in favor of the bill as currently written, or finds that what minor objections may exist are not sufficient to prevent the ASCSU from supporting it.
C. The full Senate shall be consulted when developing positions on legislation, but there will be times when this may not be practical, such as during the summer, or in the rapidly evolving committee process in the spring. On such occasions, as per the Academic Senate of the California State University Bylaws, the ASCSU Executive Committee is empowered to act on behalf of the Senate. In such cases, however, the Executive Committee must exercise all due diligence in keeping the Senate informed of its actions.
D. The Fiscal & Governmental Affairs Committee and the Legislative Specialist shall have the responsibility for regularly reporting to the Senate on the status of legislation in which it has an interest.
V. The ASCSU shall coordinate its advocacy efforts, where possible, with other stakeholders in California higher education in order to maximize
effectiveness. Such groups may include, but are not limited to: the California State University, Academic Senates of the University of California and the California Community Colleges, the California Faculty Association, the Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association and the California State Student Association.
VI. The ASCSU may consider developing its own legislative proposals and seeking a legislative sponsor to carry them. This should be done carefully, however, and only after consultation with other interested parties.