2009/10 Support Budget I

Increasing the Ratio of Tenure-track Faculty, $42 Million

For several 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 a one-time and temporary basis to enroll as many students as reasonably possible while maintaining the quality and integrity of CSU academic programs. Hiring of temporary faculty has helped address undergraduate course demand.

This reliance on temporary faculty to partially satisfy the challenge of student access demand exacerbates a concern the state legislature identified when it enacted Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 73 in 2001. ACR 73 reflected serious concern within the legislature and at the CSU over the increasing reliance on temporary faculty, as opposed to permanent (tenured and tenure-track) faculty, in institutions of higher education. 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, upset 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 ACR 73, 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Declares that the goal is the joint responsibility of the CSU administration, faculty, and the state.
  3. Recognizes annual funding requirements for this plan will fluctuate from year to year based on enrollment and SFR improvement, ranging from $16.2 million to $43.3 million. Total costs over the eight-year period based on 2008/09 dollars will equal roughly $220 million, which averages to approximately $27.5 million per year to successfuly achieve a tenured faculty ratio of 75:25.
  4. Requires the CSU to conduct between 1,800 and 2,000 annual searches for new tenure-track faculty.
  5. 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.
  6. Provides for compensation funding for new positions at least equivalent to the average of current CSU employment offers.

The CSU has taken several steps since May 2001 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. In addition, the CSU did not receive any funding for enrollment growth in 2008/09, despite student demand that exceeded budgeted enrollment by approximately 11,000 FTES in 2007/08.

In furtherance of these and other efforts, as well as the continuing concerns first raised by the legislature in 2001, the 2009/10 CSU budget plan includes a request for $42 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 $12,320,000
Increase Percentage of Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty $9,957,000
Improve CSU Student Faculty Ratio to 18:1 First-Year Cost $19,675,000
Total First-Year Implementation Costs $41,952,000