Regarding Coded Memorandum ASA-2016-08 "Basic Subject Courses and the Grade of C-"
RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) affirm the role of faculty in shared governance with respect to policies on academic and professional matters affecting the CSU, as embodied in the California Higher Education Employee Relations Act (HEERA) of 1978 and the Board of Trustees’ CSU Statement on Collegiality (https://www.csueastbay.edu/faculty/senate/files/documents/Collegiality_Statement_CSU.pdf); and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU express grave concern that Coded Memorandum ASA-2016-08
"Basic Subject Courses and the Grade of C-" was issued without consultation with,
or formal notification to, the ASCSU; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU express grave concern that a CSU General Counsel’s legal interpretation obviated the need for faculty consultation in a policy area that has a
direct bearing on curricular concerns; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge that the Chancellor’s Office convene a working group, including representatives from, the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, and the ASCSU, during Summer 2016 to explore alternative viable solutions to that proposed in ASA-2016-08. These solutions to safeguard academic quality should be implemented in time for Spring 2017 admission decisions; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Chancellor, CSU Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, CSU General Counsel and CSU Campus Senate Chairs.
RATIONALE: In March 2011 the ASCSU passed AS-3020-11/APEP/AA (Rev) “Grade Minima for CSU General Education Courses in the ‘Golden Four’.” The resolution supported a minimum grade of C (2.0) in the Golden Four CSU General Education areas (Written Communication/English Comprehension, Mathematical Concepts/Quantitative Reasoning, Oral Communication and Critical Thinking) for both native and transfer students. At the time many, but not all, campuses of the CSU required a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) or better (as opposed to a “C-“ [1.7] or no minimum grade) standard in the Golden Four as a campus requirement for native students. Transfer students were required to have a “C” (2.0) or better in the Golden Four. In February 2015, after extensive consultation with the ASCSU, the Chancellor issued Executive Order (EO) 1100 “General Education Breadth Requirements,” an update to the previous Executive Order 1065. EO 1100 Section 2.2.2 incorporated the C grade or better in the Golden Four for both native and transfer students.
In April 2016, the division of Academic and Student Affairs issued Coded Memorandum ASA-2016-08: “Basic Subject Courses and the Grade of C-“. The memo asserts that “students performing at the low end of the scale at any CSU or external campuses that do not award C- might likely receive C grades. The consequence is that the literal intention of section of 2.2.2 of Executive Order 1100 cannot be evenly enforced”.
Minimum grade criteria are under the purview of faculty and under established practices of shared governance any such policy should be subject to prior consultation with the ASCSU before a final decision is reached. Prior consultation would have allowed full discussion of several important questions, assumptions and consequences raised by the memo, including the issue of Registrar’s processes that cannot distinguish between a C and a C-, the influence of the General Counsel over academic policy, the potential for the C- (1.7 GPA) to become a precedent for other minimum graduation requirements, and the lowering of graduation standards on some campuses. Consultation with the ASCSU may have generated other viable solutions to this problem.
Approved Without Dissent – May 19-20, 2016