Call for Adequate and Appropriate Consultation Regarding the California
Community College Pilot Baccalaureate Degree Programs
That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) decry the lack of adequate and appropriate consultation prior to initial and final approval of proposals for pilot baccalaureate degrees by the California Community College (CCC) Board of Governors; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU call on the CCC Board of Governors to ensure adequate and appropriate consultation prior to implementation of any pilot baccalaureate program; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU call on the CCC Board of Governors to avoid duplication of degree programs and/or curricula already offered by the California State University (CSU) as per SB 850; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU call on the CCC Board of Governors to engage in a collaborative process with the CSU that includes an in-depth analysis of the CCC pilot proposals to determine potential degree program duplication based on detailed program proposals (including program curriculum, explicit course content as well as student, course, and program learning outcomes); and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU charge its Chair with speaking on behalf of this resolution at the next meeting of the CCC Board of Governors; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU call upon Chancellor Brice Harris and the California Community College Board of Governors to suspend implementation of the CCC pilot baccalaureate program until adequate and appropriate consultation has taken place; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the California Community College Board of Governors, California Community College Chancellor, Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges, CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate Chairs, Academic Senate of the University of California, University of California Board of Regents, California Assembly members Jose Medina and Catharine B. Baker, Chair and Vice Chair of the Higher Education Committee, California State Senators Carol Lieu and Sharon Runner, Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee, and California State Senator Marty Block, Chair of the Education Subcommittee of the Budget Committee.
RATIONALE: SB 850, which authorized a pilot program of fifteen baccalaureate degrees to be offered by the California Community Colleges (CCC), calls for consultation between the CCC Board of Governors and the California State University (CSU) as part of the process of selecting the pilot degrees from among the applicants. The law also states that, “A baccalaureate degree pilot program shall not offer a baccalaureate degree program or program curricula already offered by the California State University.”
From the beginning of the consultation process, it was clear that the CCC Board of Governors wished only to solicit a cursory review from the CSU. On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, the CCC forwarded a six-page worksheet for seventeen proposed programs containing degree titles and cursory descriptions of the program proposals, with a deadline for response affirming that these applications could proceed by early Monday, January 12. A request by the CSU for additional material brought some 250 pages of original applications while holding to the same deadline date for response. Despite a request by CSU Chancellor Timothy White for an end-of-February deadline so as to allow CSU campus faculty and administrators to have adequate time to provide appropriate assessments, the CCC Board of Governors granted preliminary approval to fifteen proposals, the number of programs allowed by SB 850.
Chancellor White proceeded to call for campus consultation on the proposals after being assured that the approval was preliminary and there was still time for the CSU to weigh in. On March 2, Chancellor White forwarded the CSU response, which stated that “we raise no objections with nine proposed programs, find four proposed programs need improvement to mitigate duplication, and object to two programs.” The CCC responded that the nine proposals to which the CSU did not object would be forwarded to the CCC Board of Governors for final approval, the two proposals to which the CSU objected would be held for further discussion, and three of the four proposals that the CSU noted needed improvement would be forwarded, while the CCC committed to discussions aimed at improving these proposals to respond to the CSU concerns. One proposal was withdrawn.
To date, the two proposals to which the CSU objected have met only with rebuttal statements regarding the CSU concerns, while no consultation coordinated at the system levels has occurred on the three proposals that the CSU indicated needed improvement to mitigate duplication concerns.
On April 27, a proposal designed to replace the one withdrawn by the CCC Chancellor’s Office was forwarded to the CSU. As before, only a brief period was allowed for review: the CSU was given a May 1 deadline for response.
Consultation carries with it the expectation that one’s feedback will have the ability to influence the process. Despite provisions in the law that require consultation with the CSU, so far the CCC Board of Governors has made unilateral decisions to approve pilot degrees without the requisite consultation, and the CCC Chancellor’s Office has not followed through with its Chancellor’s agreement to discuss mitigation of duplication with the CSU. The CSU has made clear its position that the only appropriate system consultation is provided by the CSU Chancellor. It is unfortunate that the CCC Chancellor’s Office has considered discussions with individual CSU faculty, administrators, or staff not authorized to speak for the CSU on these matters as qualifying as “consultation”. As representatives of the CSU system faculty, ASCSU objects to implementation of the CCC pilot baccalaureate program without adequate and appropriate consultation, and believes such implementation should therefore be suspended.
Approved Without Dissent – May 14, 2015