State Audit of CSU Hiring Practices Recommends Policy Consistency
Audit Concludes CSU Workforce Remains Diverse
(Dec. 11, 2007) – Findings released today from the Bureau of State Audits on hiring practices at the California State University conclude that although systemwide guidance would help improve consistency in campus hiring practices, the overall workforce of the CSU is diverse and women and minorities are hired in greater numbers than their proportion of the available labor pool. In addition, the audit examined discrimination lawsuits at the CSU during the past five years, but did not make any recommendations to change current practice.
"This audit will help us ensure that the CSU remains a diverse institution at all levels," said CSU Board Chair Roberta Achtenberg. "We agree in concept with the auditor's recommendations to improve consistency among campus hiring policies and procedures, and will act on them as soon as feasible."
An ad hoc committee of the CSU Board of Trustees will be considering the recommendations from both parts of the Bureau of State Audits reports (the first part on employee compensation was released on Nov. 6), and will present a plan for implementation at the board's Jan. 22, 2008 meeting.
In its response to the audit, the CSU stressed many of the audit findings highlighted the challenge between balancing existing federal requirements for diversity and complying with Proposition 209 approved by California voters in 1996.
"We have emphasized inclusion systemwide, rather than policies that target specific underrepresented groups, as the best way to balance the competing regulations," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "We believe this strategy has produced an extremely diverse CSU workforce."
Overall, CSU's total workforce of approximately 46,000 employees is 53 percent women and one-third are ethnic minorities.
In analyzing CSU's hiring practices, the audit concluded that the university should issue systemwide guidance on the hiring of faculty, as well as to ensure that women and minorities are better represented on search committees. However, the audit also found that the overall hiring rates for female and minority professors are greater than the available employee pool. For example, during the time period of the audit (2002-2005), the percent of female faculty hired (44%) exceeded the percent of female doctorate recipients nationwide (41%). Also, the percent of minority faculty (26%) was more than double the percent of minority doctorate recipients nationwide (12%).
For management personnel and executives, the audit recommended CSU develop hiring policies to ensure consistency between campuses, and conduct broad-based advertising for the recruitment of applicants
In examining discrimination lawsuits, the audit did not make any recommendations, but noted that such lawsuits are most commonly settled out of court. The total number of lawsuits filed against the CSU is better than average for a public university system of its size. For example, in 2005, slightly less than 100 lawsuits were filed against the CSU while more than 250 cases each were filed against the State University System of New York, and the University of Texas system.
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 86,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu.
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Last Update: December 11, 2007