News Release: Ethnic Studies Faculty Asking CSU Trustees to Help Main Integrity of AB1460

CSU ACADEMIC SENATORS (ASCSU) OPPOSE CHANCELLOR TIMOTHY WHITE’S ETHNIC STUDIES CHANGES AND NOW CSU TRUSTEES MUST DECIDE

The CSU Council on Ethnic Studies Asks CSU Trustees to Help Maintain the Integrity

of AB1460 Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement

  • ASCSU voted against a forced general education (GE) requirement
  • ASCSU voted that each campus should have autonomy around implementation
  • Members of the CSU Council on Ethnic Studies asks the Board of Trustees to Remove Lower-Division and General Education (GE) Specifications from Chancellor’s Proposal

November 16, 2020, Hayward, CA

In a November 13 document, Academic Senators from all twenty-three California State University campuses put forth a new resolution opposing outgoing Chancellor Timothy White’s efforts to place the new Weber Bill AB1460 Ethnic Studies requirement into the existing General Education (GE) structure. Academic Senators recommend that the Chancellor reverse his proposal in light of resolutions from individual campuses. The ASCSU document specifically supports a stand-alone Ethnic Studies requirement, campus autonomy, and faculty expertise in curriculum.  

“This is a major act of solidarity between CSU faculty senate leaders across the state and a community of more than 600 Ethnic Studies faculty. It demonstrates that faculty value the practice of autonomy around instruction and curriculum matters. It also underscores that administrators do not have a role in this piece of higher education,” according to Jorge Moraga, Ph.D. He leads the Ethnic Studies specialization in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at CSU Bakersfield.

This unified effort between ASCSU and the CSU Council on Ethnic Studies satisfies the AB1460 requirement that both bodies approve the law’s implementation, but comes weeks after the Chancellor’s contested plan to modify Title V around Ethnic Studies in a different direction. The Chancellor’s modified version of AB1460 would designate the ES requirement as a lower division course. Because a large percentage of CSU students transfer with lower-division General Education credits completed, this move would, in practice, shift the Ethnic Studies requirement to those institutions. It would allow the CSU to abdicate its legal responsibility altogether. Thus, the Chancellor’s implementation plan weakens and hobbles AB 1460 on arrival.

The struggle with The Chancellor’s Office over Ethnic Studies continues. On November 17, 2020, the CSU Board of Trustees will vote on a minor change in the Chancellor’s proposal. However, the next step toward campus autonomy, and curriculum determined by expert faculty, will require that Trustees take further action to remove the “lower-division” and GE specifications. Faculty, students, and supporters plan to ask CSU Trustees to introduce a motion during the meeting to initiate that change. The appointed trustee members are Silas Abrego, Larry L. Adamson, Diego Arambula, Jane W. Carney, Jack B. Clarke Jr., Adam Day, Douglas Faigin, Debra S. Farar, Jean P. Firstenberg, Wenda Fong, Maryana Khames, Lillian Kimbell, Jack McGrory, Anna ​Ortiz-Morfit, Krystal Raynes, Romey Sabalius, Lateefah Simon, Christopher Steinhauser, and Peter J. Taylor.

CSUCES Chair Professor Kenneth Monteiro stated, “We are looking to the CSU Board of Trustees and the Governor to exercise its oversight of the Chancellor’s Office and demand freestanding Graduation requirement, allowing upper or lower division Ethnic Studies courses.” Members of the Council on Ethnic Studies ask for students, faculty, and community stakeholders to contact the Board of Trustees members using resources available at www.councilonethnicstudies.info and use the hashtags #SaveEthnicStudies and #SaveAB1460.

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The CSU Council on Ethnic Studies (CSUCES) is the faculty organization named in the AB1460 legislation that determines the California Ethnic Studies requirement.  Members represent all twenty three CSU campuses and all four ethnic studies specialty areas named in the law.

Press Contact:  CSUCES Communications Committee

Email: ethnicstudiescouncil@gmail.com

Twitter: @csu_ces

Additional Sample Advocacy Letter

Draft Sample AB1460 Advocacy Letter 11/08/2020 

Dear (ASCSU, Board of Trustees, Chancellor White, Governor Newsom, …) 

As a ___[insert title or role, e.g. Professor, chair of…], I write to strongly  encourage you to support the California State University (CSU) Council on Ethnic  Studies’ (CES) proposal to implement the Weber Bill AB1460 Ethnic Studies  requirement as a Freestanding Graduation requirement satisfied by upper or  lower division Ethnic Studies courses with no changes to General Education–the most efficient, effective and authentic mode of implementation. This model is so  simple that it is difficult for some to understand, because we have become to  accustomed to unnecessarily complex, expensive, labor intensive and confusing  models. Simply put, campuses just add the requirement into the bulletin, advise  students on how to take it, and provide enough course sections for the students  to succeed. 

I strongly oppose the Chancellor’s Office’s proposal to alter General Education,  the most complex curricular component, creating predicable and likely unanticipated challenges for most campuses to conform, diminishes other  diversity offerings just as we ar3e attempting to expand them by diluting GE area  D, and restricts the requirement to lower division courses when most campuses  would be better served by the flexibility to satisfy the requirement with both  lower and upper division courses, particularly since most have more upper  division than lower division offerings already in place. 

I have attached a copy of the CSUCES position statement for more detail. In this  moment, where we need greater access to diversity, equity and social justice  education, and, in particular, an authentic Ethnic Studies requirement  implemented in the most effective manner, I encourage you to make history with  us and support the CSUCES freestanding model and reject the CO’s less effective  and more expensive GE model. 

Sincerely 

[insert name, title and contact]

How to Support

Contact CSU Board of Trustees Members and Ask Them to Oppose Chancellor White

List of CSU Board of Trustees Members

Sample Letter to CSU Board of Trustees Members


Contact CA Elected Officials and Ask Them to Oppose Chancellor White

List of CA Elected Officials by CSU Campus

Sample Letter to CA Elected Officials


Contact Governor Gavin Newsom and Ask Them to Oppose Chancellor White

Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Email Form: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/

@CAGovernor


Spread the Word About This Fight on Social Media

Sample Letter to CA Elected Officials

November 6, 2020

Dear _____, 

We write to you as members of the California State University Council on Ethnic Studies (CSUCES) first to express our appreciation for your support in the passage of AB1460, which requires an Ethnic Studies CSU graduation requirement. Owing to the leadership of Assemblymember Dr. Weber, and the advocacy of many others like yourselves, we achieved a historic civil rights victory and a major advance in the fifty-year history of the discipline of Ethnic Studies. 

However, Chancellor White is trying to stop the Ethnic Studies requirement and circumvent the law. We are concerned that as we move towards implementation, the CSU Chancellor’s Office is moving away from the spirit and letter of the law, which reaffirms the long-established history of faculty control over curricular matters. 

Fourteen of twenty-three CSU campuses have passed resolutions (and six more are pending) in their respective academic Senates opposing Chancellor White’s attempt at evading AB 1460, out of concern for and desire to adhere to the spirit and letter of the law. CSU campuses have also opposed the Chancellor’s Office attempt to circumvent AB 1460 through a top-down imposition that ignores faculty control over curriculum. Chancellor White  aims to weaken the efforts that you have successfully undertaken to affirm access to an inclusive and culturally literate education that makes CSU graduates better prepared to enter a diverse workforce. Moreover, we oppose such imposition as it is a one-size-fits-all solution to the implementation of AB 1460.  Instead, we demand respect for campus autonomy as faculty experts who are most adept to implement the law with respect to providing students flexibility to meet the requirement and their career aspirations in a timely manner. 

The Chancellor is attempting to undermine the AB 1460 graduation requirement for CSU students. The Chancellor’s Office has insisted on implementing AB 1460 as a lower division general education requirement that would mostly be completed at community colleges. To do so effectively means transfer students would not be required to take the Ethnic Studies requirement at an upper division level nor at a CSU. Many of our campuses have up to 60% transfer populations. In those cases, AB 1460 would not be applied for 60% of our student populations but would instead be implemented through the community college system. This also violates both the letter and spirit of the law.

Based on the above, we again solicit your support and ask that you contact Chancellor White at (562) 951-4000 and/or via email (twhite@calstate.edu) to encourage him to respect faculty governance, academic freedom, and campus autonomy on curricular matters.

Sincerely,

Concerned Faculty of the Council on Ethnic Studies

Sample Letter to CSU Board of Trustees Members

List of CSU Board of Trustees Members

CSU Board of Trustees
Silas Abrego
Larry L. Adamson
Jane W. Carney
Adam Day
Douglas Faigin
Debra Farar
Jean P. Firstenberg
Wenda Fong (Vice Chair)
Maryana Khames
Lillian Kimbell
Jack McGroy
Krystal Raynes
Romey Sabalius
Lateefah Simon
Christopher Steinhauser
Peter J. Taylor

Dear Board of Trustee Member ________,

On behalf of Ethnic Studies faculty, we write to express our strong support for implementation of AB 1460 as a stand-alone graduation requirement that can be fulfilled by taking an upper or lower division ethnic studies class taught by ethnic studies faculty in any of the CSU’s ethnic studies departments, programs or classes.  We believe that this form of implementation is the most elegant as it respects the autonomy and culture of each campus while not adding GE requirements, units or complications.  As a free-standing requirement that is not restricted to either lower or upper-division, students are free to fulfill this requirement as either a GE overlay or not, in the division of their choice and with the class of their choice. For students in high unit majors, they can overlay their already existing GE requirements with the freestanding Ethnic Studies requirement without adding units to their curriculum.   This plan may require some initial support for small ethnic studies departments and programs to hire instructors, but in the long term provides a pathway to more enduring forms of advancement of Ethnic Studies.  AB 1460 calls for an ethnic studies requirement and nothing more.  We believe that a free-standing graduation requirement best supports the spirit and the letter of the law.

We oppose the Chancellor’s proposal to create a new GE Area F and limit the ethnic studies requirement to the lower division because the plan is unnecessary, problematic, and counterproductive on several levels.  It is  neither stipulated nor implied in AB 1460 and thus it is neither compelling nor advisable. Structurally, it is not needed as a GE requirement, only as a graduation requirement for which the law already provides. Moreover, it is proposed without any compelling rationale. And it problematizes and complicates a simpler more effective implementation as a free-standing graduation requirement.  The limitation to lower division classes limits student flexibility in choice and denies the opportunity for a deeper and more extensive engagement with Ethnic Studies at a higher level.

The proposed new GE Area F is particularly problematic because it will limit or detract from the existing GE Area D, which will be detrimental to allied disciplines and colleagues and is, again, proposed without a compelling rationale.  The proposed GE Area F creates an artificial problem and encumbers the requirement into one of the curriculum’s most complex policies, requiring an unnecessary workload on an already overburdened faculty. Furthermore, because of these complexities, it again unnecessarily opens the Ethnic Studies requirement to possible unknown, unanticipated, and unintended consequences.

Ethnic Studies faculty across the CSU stand united in our belief that the best way to implement the Ethnic Studies requirement is as a standalone graduation requirement, as specified in the language of AB 1460.  We stand ready to develop new courses, integrate with existing GE categories, expand our departments, programs and course offerings, hire cutting edge Ethnic Studies scholars and advance CSU’s leadership role in Ethnic Studies.  We believe that the best way forward is to maintain close collaboration between the Chancellor’s Office and Ethnic Studies faculty not only as required by law, but also in rightful recognition and respect of the disciplinary expertise of Ethnic Studies faculty in disciplinary curriculum matters. We believe in the importance and necessity of shared governance, respect for varied conditions on campuses and flexibility in determination of implementation of the requirement. All of the campus senates that have responded to date have opposed the changes to GE and reaffirmed the position outlined above.

In conclusion, we reaffirm our support for a free-standing graduation requirement as supported by Ethnic Studies faculty and units and several campus senates across the university system, allowing campuses to maximize its positive impact, best deploy their limited financial and faculty labor resources, and coordinate this requirement with their other campus curricula, while respecting reasonable campus autonomy, authority and responsiveness to student need.

Position on Implementation of the Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement

Position on Implementation of the  

Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement  

October 30, 2020 

The California State University Council on Ethnic Studies has put forth its position  in communications and collaborative meetings with the Chancellor’s Office and the  Academic Senate, CSU pursuant to the Weber Bill AB 1460’s Ethnic Studies graduation  requirement. It is a position evolved from extensive consideration and deliberation within  the Council and with colleagues across CSU campuses. Our position is reflective of these  exchanges and in alignment with most CSU campuses as represented in the various  campus Senate resolutions supporting their positions. It is our position that the Ethnic  Studies graduation requirement be a free-standing graduation requirement and that the  Chancellor’s Office proposed area of “F” in GE be withdrawn. For it is unnecessary,  problematic, and counterproductive on several levels. 

First, the Chancellor’s proposal is unnecessary legally and structurally. It is neither  stipulated nor implied in AB 1460 and thus it is neither compelling nor advisable.  Structurally, it is not needed as a GE requirement, only as a graduation requirement for  which the law already provides. Moreover, it is proposed without any compelling  rationale. And it problematizes and complicates a simpler more effective implementation  as a free-standing graduation requirement. 

Secondly, the CO’s proposal is problematic in its proposing to limit the Ethnic  Studies requirement to lower division instead of leaving it open to both lower and upper  division fulfillment possibilities. Again, there is no compelling rationale of any benefit in  this. Instead, it tends to limit student flexibility in choice and denies the opportunity for a  more depthful and extensive engagement with Ethnic Studies at a higher level.  

Also, problematic is the use of the proposed category “F” to limit or remove category “D”. This is, not only clearly detrimental to allied disciplines and colleagues, a  result which we opposed, but also and again, there is no compelling rationale with it, only  zero-sum assumptions. Moreover, it is the proposal of the category “F” that creates the  artificial problem and thus should be withdrawn. 

In addition, the proposal to make the Ethnic Studies requirement a GE requirement  instead of a free-standing requirement encumbers the requirement into one of the  curriculum’s most complex policies, requiring an unnecessary workload on an already 

overburdened faculty. Furthermore, because of these complexities, it again unnecessarily  opens the Ethnic Studies requirement to possible unknown, unanticipated, and unintended  consequences. 

As we have noted in prior communication, we believe the best way forward is to  sustain and increase the collaboration with the Council, not only as required by law, but  also in rightful recognition and respect of the disciplinary expertise of Ethnic Studies  faculty in disciplinary curriculum matters. Also, we likewise believe in the importance  and necessity of shared governance, respect for varied conditions on campuses and  flexibility in determination of implementation of the requirement. And all of the campus  senates that have responded to date have opposed the changes to GE and reaffirmed these  above positions. 

In conclusion, we reaffirm our support for a free-standing graduation  requirement as supported by Ethnic Studies faculty and units and several campus  senates across the university system, allowing campuses to maximize its positive impact,  best deploy their limited financial and faculty labor resources, and coordinate this  requirement with their other campus curricula, while respecting reasonable campus  autonomy, authority and responsiveness to student need. 

The Steering Committee of the CSU Council on Ethnic Studies 

Professor Melina Abdullah (CSULA)  

Professor Teresa Carrillo (SFSU)  

Professor Maulana Karenga (CSULB)  

Professor Linda España-Maram (CSULB)  

Professor Kenneth Monteiro (Chair-SFSU)  

Professor Boatamo Mosupyoe (CSU Sacramento)  

Professor Marcos Pizarro (SJSU)  

Professor Craig Stone (CSULB)

Core Competencies for Ethnic Studies Systemwide Graduation Requirement

We, the California State University Council on Ethnic Studies, approve all of the following as  our core competencies. These competencies include a minimum number of criteria and a  minimum number of learning objectives to be used by campus-specific Ethnic Studies experts  and each campus’s academic senate curricular bodies to determine if a lower-division or upper division course meets the Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement for the California State  University in compliance with Assembly Bill 1460 and California Education Code 89032c.  

Furthermore, the Council on Ethnic Studies intends to establish a common understanding of the  implementation process for the CSU Ethnic Studies requirement as required by California  Education Code 89032 section c: 

(c) The California State University shall collaborate with the California State  University Council on Ethnic Studies and the Academic Senate of the California State  University to develop core competencies to be achieved by students who complete an  ethnic studies course pursuant to implementation of this section. The council and the  academic senate shall approve the core competencies before commencement of the  2021–22 academic year. 

In particular, the Council on Ethnic Studies would like to emphasize the responsibility for  collaboration “pursuant to implementation of this section” described in California Education  Code 89032 section c. The Council on Ethnic Studies sees this “implementation” requirement as  an ongoing process that includes establishing core competencies, ongoing curricular review of  courses, and establishing the parameters for meeting this university-level requirement.  

In considering implementation of this CSU Ethnic Studies requirement, we have determined that  this requirement cannot be fulfilled through a single CSU General Education area because: 1)  Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary field and, as a result, Ethnic Studies courses cover multiple  GE areas; 2) limiting the requirement to a single GE area would create problems with  implementation and time to degree; 3) housing the Ethnic Studies requirement in a single GE  area undermines the collaboration and implementation requirements of California Education  Code 89032 section (c) because each campus’ General Education Governance Board would have  the sole responsibility for implementation of this requirement and not campus-specific Ethnic  Studies experts. 

Furthermore, AB1460/ California Education Code 89032 SECTION 2 SUBSECTION (d) states:  “Commencing with students graduating in the 2024–25 academic year, the California State  University shall require, as an undergraduate graduation requirement [emphasis added], the  completion of, at minimum, one three-unit course in ethnic studies. The university shall not  increase the number of units required to graduate from the university with a baccalaureate degree  by the enforcement of this requirement. This graduation requirement shall not apply to a  postbaccalaureate student who is enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program at the university if 

the student has satisfied either of the following….” This “broader [graduation] requirement” is  clearly in line with the distinction made by the Chancellor’s office in its FAQ from September  29, 2020 on its announcement of the Ethnic Studies requirement  

(https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/diversity/advancement-of-ethnic-studies).  

CES Core Competencies (Criteria & Learning Objectives) 

Criteria 

CSU Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement courses must meet all of the following criteria.  Each course must:  

CR1: be an existing ethnic studies course or part of a traditional ethnic studies department, unit,  or program (e.g. Native American Studies, Latina/o Studies, African American Studies, Asian  American Studies); or be proposed, designed and implemented by faculty with expertise in  Ethnic Studies (and related disciplines) and be an Ethnic Studies department/unit approved cross listed course.  

Notes: 

1. The review, modifications, adaptions, or additions to these criteria are subject to the  expert peer evaluation of Ethnic Studies faculty and faculty in traditional Ethnic Studies  departments or units (e.g. Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian  American Studies, and Latina/o Studies) in collaboration with the academic senate on  each campus. Such committees must be led/chaired by Ethnic Studies faculty and must be  made up of a majority faculty from Ethnic Studies departments/units/programs like  Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and  Latina/o Studies faculty. 

2. Ethnic Studies faculty (as described above) will collaborate to develop any additional  course criteria with their campus in addition to the minimum criteria above Such  committees must be led/chaired by Ethnic Studies faculty and must be made up of a  majority faculty from Ethnic Studies departments/units/programs like Native American  Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Latina/o Studies  faculty. 

3. For CSU campuses that have Ethnic Studies, Native American Studies, African American  Studies, Asian American Studies and Latina/o Studies departments/programs/units  courses that meet the Ethnic Studies requirement should be housed and offered within  those departments/units/programs.  

Course Learning Objectives 

Each course meeting the Ethnic Studies requirement must fulfill a minimum of three out of the  following five learning objectives as appropriate to their lower- or upper-division status. 

These learning objectives must be used in addition to any learning objectives and criteria  established and required by each campus’ Ethnic Studies department/unit/program (as  traditionally defined) faculty for all courses meeting the CSU Ethnic Studies graduation  requirement: 

SLO 1: Analyze and articulate concepts such as race and racism, racialization, ethnicity, equity,  ethno-centrism, eurocentrism, white supremacy, self- determination, liberation, decolonization,  sovereignty, imperialism, settler colonialism, and anti-racism as analyzed in any one or more of  the following: Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies,  

and Latina and Latino American Studies. 

SLO 2: Apply theory and knowledge produced by Native American, African American, Asian  American, and/or Latina and Latino American communities to describe the critical events,  histories, cultures, intellectual traditions, contributions, lived-experiences and social struggles of  those groups with a particular emphasis on agency and group-affirmation. 

SLO 3: Critically analyze the intersection of race and racism as they relate to class, gender,  sexuality, religion, spirituality, national origin, immigration status, ability, tribal citizenship,  sovereignty, language, and/or age in Native American, African American, Asian American,  and/or Latina and Latino American communities. 

SLO 4: Explain and assess how struggle, resistance, racial and social justice, solidarity, and  liberation, as experienced, enacted, and studied by Native Americans, African Americans, Asian  Americans and/or Latina and Latino Americans are relevant to current and structural issues such  as communal, national, international, and transnational politics as, for example, in immigration,  reparations, settler-colonialism, multiculturalism, language policies. 

SLO 5: Describe and actively engage with anti-racist and anti-colonial issues and the practices  and movements in Native American, African American, Asian American and/or Latina and  Latino communities to build a just and equitable society. 

Notes: 

1. Modifications or adaptations to these learning objectives are subject to the expert peer evaluation of Ethnic Studies faculty in Ethnic Studies departments, units, or  programs (e.g. Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American  Studies, and Latina/o Studies) on each campus.  

In addition, Ethnic Studies faculty in Ethnic Studies departments, units, or programs (e.g.  Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and  Latina/o Studies) shall review, modify, and approve courses attempting to meet these  learning objectives on each campus.  

Furthermore, any committee reviewing courses for the CSU Ethnic Studies Graduation  Requirement must be chaired by Ethnic Studies faculty; and, such committees must have  a majority representation from faculty in the following departments/units/programs: 

Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and  Latina/o Studies faculty. 

2. Finally, any modifications or adaptations must be guided by the fundamental principles  that undergird the definition of Ethnic Studies, as birthed from the named core four  disciplinary areas (Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American  Studies, and Latina/o Studies). 

Approved by Unanimous Consent on  

October 2, 2020