2008/09 Budgetary Challenges
First-Year Implementation to Increase Ratio of Tenured Faculty
For the past three years, the California State University has been faced with enrollment challenges
that significantly exceeded enrollment growth funding provided by the state. To accommodate this
student demand for access, campuses have employed a number of faculty on one-time and temporary
means to enroll as many students as reasonably possible while maintaining the quality and integrity
of CSU academic programs. One area that has assisted in this effort is the hiring of temporary faculty
to address undergraduate course demand and increasing admissions of first-time freshmen as a
proportionate share of new enrollment growth.
In May 2001, the state legislature identified this reliance on temporary faculty, as opposed to
permanent (tenured and tenure-track) faculty, in institutions of higher education to assist with
meeting the challenge of student access demand (ACR 73). There is growing alarm that recent hiring
trends in higher education, necessitated by recovery from prior-year budget deficiencies, competitive
salary lags, increasing student demand, and limited enrollment growth funding support, upsets an
appropriate balance between tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturer faculty. The trend is important
because tenured and tenure-track faculty bear the primary responsibility for student advising,
program development and revision, and participation in shared governance. When the proportion of
tenure/tenure-track faculty declines within the CSU, the quality of these efforts also wanes.
In response to legislation passed in May 2001, the CSU Academic Senate, the California Faculty
Association, and the CSU Office of the Chancellor developed a plan to increase the percentage of
tenured and tenure-track faculty over eight years. The final report and implementation plan contains
the following features:
- Sets a goal to achieve 75 percent tenured and tenure-track faculty to 25 percent lecturer faculty,
measured in terms of Full-Time Equivalent Faculty (FTEF) systemwide and a Student to Faculty
Ratio (SFR) of 18:1.
- Declares that the goal is the joint responsibility of the CSU administration and faculty, and
- Recognizes annual funding requirements for this plan will fluctuate from year to year based on
enrollment and SFR improvement, ranging from $15 million to $43 million. Total costs over the
eight-year period based on 2007/08 dollars will equal roughly $204.5 million, which averages to
approximately $26.6 million per year for successful implementation.
- Requires the CSU to conduct between 1,800 and 2,000 annual searches for new tenure-track
- Acknowledges that the state will need to provide adequate resources for expanded funding for
recruitment and hiring, so the CSU can compete in the national faculty marketplace.
- Provides for compensation funding for new positions at least equivalent to the average of current
CSU employment offers.
The CSU has taken several steps to implement these provisions. Requests for additional state
resources were stymied between fiscal years 2002/03 and 2005/06 as the CSU experienced budget
reductions that resulted in a net budget loss of over $522 million. Additionally, the CSU has discussed
steps that could be taken within current levels of funding resources to increase the number of
tenure/tenure-track recruitments annually, reduce the Weighted Teaching Unit load of faculty to
stimulate additional tenure/tenure-track hiring, and implement steps to reduce the number of faculty
in temporary positions after three years.
In furtherance of these and other efforts, as well as the continuing concerns first raised by the
legislature in 2001, the 2008/09 CSU budget plan includes a request for $42.9 million to implement
the first phase of the eight-year comprehensive effort to increase the percentage of tenured and
tenure-track faculty. The first-year phase calls for:
|Improve Current Employees Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Ratio
|Increase Percentage of Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty
|Improve CSU Student Faculty Ratio to 18:1 First-Year Cost
|Total First-Year Implementation Cost Request