Request for Revision to Executive Order 669 (“Leases”) Governing Campus Lease Agreements

AS-3210-15/FGA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) request that Chancellor White consult with appropriate stakeholders, including the ASCSU, and revise Executive Order 669 (“Leases”) to update the practices and procedures to be followed by all campuses and auxiliaries for the purpose of ensuring thorough consultation among campus stakeholders prior to a campus executing real estate lease agreements affecting the campus community; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That the ASCSU request that Executive Order 669 be revised to prohibit campuses and auxiliaries from allowing the leasing of space to for-profit entities duplicating degree offerings at a campus, unless the lease governs an existing tenant currently offering a duplicate degree for a limited period of time; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That, barring the exceptions described in the above resolved clause, the Chancellor rescind, if possible, any lease agreements currently in place or under consideration that allow for the leasing of space to entities offering duplicate degree programs; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate Chairs, CSU Vice Presidents of Business Affairs, CSU Provosts/Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, California Faculty Association (CFA), California State Student Association (CSSA), CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (ERFA), Campus foundations and auxiliary organizations.

RATIONALE: A pillar of shared governance is joint decision-making and consultation between faculty and administrators in pursuit of the educational mission.  More specifically, as a matter of policy and good practice, faculty need to be consulted on fiscal matters affecting instructional programs.  One such fiscal matter is the negotiation of real estate lease agreements.  When facilities controlled by a university and/or its auxiliary organizations are leased to third parties, and when the lease affects the campus community, it is imperative that consultation consistent with the principles and practices of shared governance takes place.

This is consistent with the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) seminal “Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities,” which is “the Association’s central policy document relating to academic governance.”  Section 2c of that statement calls for joint decision making “regarding existing or prospective physical resources.  The board, president, and faculty should all seek agreement on basic decisions regarding buildings and other facilities to be used in the educational work of the institution.”

To ensure that consultation consistent with best practices of shared governance occurs, the ASCSU believes a revision to Executive Order 669 (“Leases”) from Chancellor White is necessary and appropriate.  Such a revision to the Executive Order would guide campuses and their auxiliary organizations in pursuit of lease agreements that are responsibly negotiated and consistent with the mission of the CSU as well as the strategic planning of a given campus.

At least three campuses in the CSU have negotiated agreements with third party educational entities to lease space in and around facilities controlled by the campus:  CSU Fullerton (Western State College of Law), CSPU Pomona (Kaplan Test Prep), and CSU Sacramento (California Northstate University undergraduate program in Health Sciences).  In the former case, CSU Fullerton purchased space from Western State College of Law and agreed to allow them as an existing tenant to remain for a finite period of time, so under such circumstances an exemption for existing educational institutions that potentially offer duplicate degrees may be reasonable.

In the latter case, however, CSU Sacramento as a state-supported institution offered its property for lease to a for-profit university, even though the California Northstate program is virtually identical to programs and courses offered at Sacramento State.  Moreover, California Northstate used provisions of the lease agreement to convince the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) that it deserved approval of its new Health Sciences program to be inaugurated on the CSU Sacramento campus.  California Northstate drew the WSCUC’s attention to “shared services” including “food service, parking, health services, and library,” along with arrangements they planned to make for student housing and fitness center access for their students at a discounted rate.  They even noted that CSU Sacramento has a BS in Health Sciences that graduated 164 students in 2013, but they believe students will choose their program instead because they "will provide their students greater access to enrollment in classes...than would be afforded at other public universities." Despite these circumstances, CSU Sacramento officials deemed there was no need to consult with the university community about the California Northstate lease.

Had Executive Order 669 articulated procedures for pursuing lease agreements that included consultation and specifically prohibited the leasing of facilities to duplicate degree programs, Sacramento State would not be in its current predicament.  Revision to Executive Order 669 would ensure that no other campuses will pursue the same or similar path.

 

 

    Approved Unanimously – May 14, 2015
 

 

 


 
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