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.
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