Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Visual Academy's Graphic Depiction of MOOCs

For a useful graphical description of MOOCs, see this link from the Visual Academy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why MOOCs are Not the Answer

By Dennis Loo (with assistance from Ralph Westfall)

Former hedge fund manager Adam Kessler has a June 2013 opinion piece at the Wall Street Journal entitled “Professors Are About to Get an Online Education.” The article begins:

Anyone who cares about America’s shortage of computer-science experts should cheer the recent news out of Georgia Tech. The Atlanta university is making major waves in business and higher education with its May 14 announcement that the college will offer the first online master’s degree in computer science—and that the degree can be had for a quarter of the cost of a typical on-campus degree. Many other universities are experimenting with [massive] open online courses, or MOOCs, but Georgia Tech’s move raises the bar significantly by offering full credit in a graduate program.

He goes on to tout how inexpensive this MOOC to degree is and laments that this “boon for students” is provoking controversy:

Sadly, MOOCs are not without controversy. Consider what happened at San Jose State after the university last fall ran a test course in electrical engineering paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Students who worked with online content passed at a higher rate than classroom-only students, 91% to 60%. The course was so successful that the school’s president decided to expand online courses, including humanities, which will also be rolled out to other California State universities.

You’d think professors would welcome these positive changes for students. Some teachers across the country are, however cautiously, embracing the MOOC model. But plenty of professors smell a threat to their livelihood. In an April 29 open letter to the university, San Jose State philosophy professors wrote: “Let’s not kid ourselves; administrators at the CSU are beginning a process of replacing faculty with cheap online education.”

Kessler fails to note that this SJSU class on electrical engineering that had such impressive pass rates was in fact a hybrid course, not an exclusive online offering. There were actually two face-to-face courses, with one supplemented by online materials and extra in class activities: “a hybrid electrical engineering course where students used MOOC tutorials at home and participated in interactive problem-solving activities in class (emphasis added).” The details do not warrant any implication that totally online courses are better … or less expensive. Kessler’s article also conveniently hides the issue of the low completion rates of totally online courses.

After bemoaning professors who think that their jobs are in jeopardy (silly professors!), Kessler neglects to mention that professors’ reservations about the move to MOOCs is not mainly about possible job losses: professors who are deeply committed to teaching and learning are distressed that all of the mania for MOOCs conveniently overlooks a basic truth about learning. Learning is a mentor-mentee relationship that will not produce the same results if turned into what the MOOC maniacs wish for – converting the teaching profession into a few “superstar” teachers on DVDs with thousands of students watching their canned lectures, “assisted” by people who are not qualified to act as teaching assistants and not even presented as doing anything other than holding students’ hands.

What profession can be effectively taught in this manner? This form of teaching and learning resembles how well McDonald’s trains people to become chefs. The very idea that McDonald’s model for food prep and delivery could be used to teach people how to become a cook is absurd. Why then should anyone expect that McDonaldizing education will produce students who are educated?

Giving out certificates of completion and conveying information can be done the way McDonald's does it, but information and thinking - learning how to learn and learning how to figure out the answer to novel problems - are not the same thing. MOOC acolytes treat the conveying of information and thinking/learning as if the two were the same.

The basic difference between information and thinking/learning is that the latter involve higher order thinking skills. You do not learn higher order thinking skills just by being exposed to a lot of information. Information presented compellingly is enjoyable, but it is not the same as getting a higher education.

Students are not en masse demanding online courses. Nor in general are the people advocating MOOCs and online classes as a panacea teachers. The people who are pushing MOOCs as a panacea - note the difference here between seeing online courses and hybrid courses as a sometimes useful adjunct and seeing it as a panacea - are largely people in administrative posts or people in the business world. People who have become wealthy through selling people things and who are motivated by money might be forgiven for not being able to understand the motivation of those who take up professions principally for the non-material rewards of those occupations.

Those who take up teaching as their profession do not do it because they expect to get rich from teaching. If you did then you were misled and you find this fact out quickly. The vast majority of teachers teach because they love helping others’ minds being opened to the wide world of learning. The vast majority of us who teach do it because we care a great deal about others, not because we are into money for its own sake and care only about ourselves. This is why MOOC acolytes do not ever delve into non-material motives of teachers and always talk about teachers as only being worried about money and job security because they themselves have a hard time understanding why anyone would do anything that did not benefit them personally with money and prestige.

Students in their majority, if given a choice, opt for the traditional face-to-face classroom. Why? Because they know from their own experience that this is a much richer and productive experience. As we point out in “Cooking the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs: California’s Higher Education System in Peril”:

In its essence, education has not changed fundamentally since the time of Socrates. It is a process of human, mostly face-to-face, interactions involving exploration, investigation, debate, and trying on and learning through trial and error. Education is not something to be simply bought like any other purchase. Education is something to work for, struggle for, and earn by hard effort. A meaningful diploma cannot simply be bought. It is not something that you can just be handed like a mass-produced hamburger and fries. You can no more become educated by your paying someone to stamp you as “educated” than you can become an accomplished musician, athlete or writer by having someone give you those abilities and achievements - without your having to work extremely hard for them to become part of who you are.

What is at stake is more than education, however, as important as education is. What is at stake is the kind of society in which we want to live. Education’s impact is deep and wide: the kind of broadening that people receive through the educational system – and more generally through media, art and culture, child-rearing, governmental statements and actions, and so on – bears directly and substantially upon the way that young (and not so young) people learn to think, gather, evaluate information, recognize disinformation, and make choices about political, economic and social issues.

Life does not come with an answer key. The correct and best answers to all questions are not always definitively known in life at any given point before the fact, and incomplete and indirect information is the norm rather than the exception. Primarily due to the influence of the privateers, the educational system is increasingly becoming one in which the main emphasis is memorization and giving back to the teacher what the teacher has dispensed as the answers in order to pass the tests. Students are not being properly and adequately taught how to analyze, weigh information, think holistically, decide between competing claims, and make wise choices based on frequently incomplete information. This grows all the more significant when there is a growing storm of false or misleading information emanating from people and organizations trying to seduce people into buying their wares, whether those wares are commodities or ideas. Should this trend persist it will mean that our society will become increasingly intellectually impoverished, because its citizenry has become vulnerable to being manipulated by hucksters, opportunists, and those who have more ready access to mass media by virtue of their owning media, possessing a lot of money, and/or having friends in high places.

Kessler claims that he has nothing against teachers and that thinking that online education as a panacea is a threat to teaching is silly, but then he goes on to cite his comments in Chicago before a group of K-12 educators:

I began by pointing out that in 2011 only 7.9% of 11th graders in Chicago public schools tested “college ready.” That’s failure, and it’s worse when you realize how much money is wasted on these abysmal results. Chicago’s 23,290 teachers—who make an average salary of $74,839, triple U.S. per capita income and 50% more than median U.S. household income—cost Chicago taxpayers $1.75 billion out of the city’s $5.11 billion budget.

Why not forget the teachers and issue all 404,151 students an iPad or Android tablet? At a cost of $161 million, that’s less than 10% of the expense of paying teachers’ salaries. Add online software, tutors and a $2,000 graduation bonus, and you still don’t come close to the cost of teachers. You can’t possibly do worse than a 7.9% college readiness level.

When I made this proposal, only slightly facetiously, in a roomful of self-described education entrepreneurs, it was if I’d said that Dewey had plagiarized his decimal system. I was upbraided for not understanding the plight of teachers. The plight of students, as is too often the case in discussions of education, didn’t seem to rate the same concern. (Boldfacing added).

Mr. Kessler wants to have his cake and eat it too. He does not even seem to notice that he contradicts himself in his relatively short article.  He says, on the one hand, that he isn’t against teachers, but then he “only slightly facetiously” proposes to replace all teachers with iPads and Androids.

This is similar to a “joking” slide in a major slide show presented by Richard Katz advocating online education for the CSU system. Katz is a private consultant brought in by former Chancellor Charles Reed to advocate for CSU Online. In this show as his very first slide, Katz shows a picture by his toddler son of a cyborg that the son proudly presents: “I have designed the teacher of the future. Instead of using people I have chosen cyborgs because they don’t need to be paid.” (When I figure out how to post this slide here I will do so.)

Besides being unintentionally revealing of Richard Katz’s real attitude towards faculty – colleges and universities would be great if we could just get rid of all of the faculty – I have to wonder about his son. He looks too young to have a real teacher and what is a small toddler doing thinking about the question of paying someone to be a teacher? How did he get the attitude of a ruthless moneygrubber at such a young age? At this stage in life most toddlers, if asked how much their caregivers should get to spend time with them, would open up their arms as wide as they could and say, “This much!” When will Katz’s son decide that he could improve on his real life father with a cyborg?

Kessler says that the Chicago educators who he proposed to get rid of brought up the plight of teachers. I suspect that this is not the only thing that they said and that anything else beyond this he could not understand and has a blind spot to. As a teacher myself I would have said that what Kessler does not understand and has no experience with – being a hedge fund manager is very different from being an educator - is that learning is not a widget that you can just hand someone like a product coming off an assembly line.

Teaching and learning have from the beginning and will always remain an interactive human relationship. It does not always have to be face to face, but it does need to be interactive between humans.

The vast majority of students consistently express a preference for face-to-face classes if they can get it. Why is that if online is supposedly, according to people like Kessler, cheaper and better? Online classes and hybrid classes have a place as part of a panoply of offerings, but the narrow cost-benefit analysis of those pushing online education as a panacea is not based on a) understanding what education is and b) hides their real agenda which is to turn education into a profit-making center for private companies in which students will be saddled with more debt and receive an impoverished version of a real education. We explore these questions at greater length in “Cooking the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs: California’s Higher Education System in Peril.”

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The New York Times Weighs In

In a March 30, 2013 editorial The New York Times led off with the following regarding the crisis facing California's Public Higher Educational System:
"Even before the recession hit, the public colleges and universities that educate more than 70 percent of the nation’s students were suffering from dwindling state revenue. Their response, not surprisingly, was to raise tuition, slash course offerings and, in some cases, freeze or even reduce student enrollment. The damage was acute in California, whose once-glorious system of higher education effectively cannibalized itself, shutting out a growing number of well-qualified students.
"The same California State Legislature that cut the higher education budget to ribbons, while spending ever larger sums on prisons, now proposes to magically set things right by requiring public colleges and universities to offer more online courses. The problem is that online courses as generally configured are not broadly useful. They work well for highly skilled, highly motivated students but are potentially disastrous for large numbers of struggling students who lack basic competencies and require remedial education. These courses would be a questionable fit for first-time freshmen in the 23-campus California State University system, more than 60 percent of whom need remedial instruction in math, English or both."
I am pleased that The Times has weighed in in this way. Online courses have their place as an adjunct to traditional face to face courses, but they are no panacea. They are most appropriate for students who are highly motivated and experienced. The ones who massive open online classes (MOOCs) are being marketed to, however, are in large numbers, the least experienced and who get the least out of such offerings. Check out the entire editorial and its commentary on other ill-considered schemes here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Open Letter to Chancellor Charles Reed about the “CSU Online” Plan

Why is Chancellor Reed developing a separate and competing system to the California State University?

In 1960 California launched a highly successful Master Plan for higher education. This Master Plan underwrote the costs for those able to fulfill admission requirements into higher education based on the conviction that an educated populace not only made the state more informed and able, it would - and did - fuel a remarkable economic renaissance. For every dollar invested in higher education, more than five dollars of enhanced economic activity result. What business ventures can boast such a return of five times what you put in?

Despite the Master Plan’s extraordinary success, however, California’s public higher education system is now in danger of being irrevocably damaged. This danger emanates from the so far successful imposition of the privatize-everything agenda of very powerful individuals and groups. Over the last four decades, the public sector has been systematically starved of tax revenue while the wealthy have become rich beyond reason. One manifestation of this shift in priorities has been the appointment to the California State University’s (CSU) highest administrative posts individuals who want to run the CSU – a public good intended to serve the public interest - in the manner of a private business devoted to following the logic of profit-making.

CSU system Chancellor Charles Reed is now pushing an initiative that represents nothing less than an opening wedge in an effort to enlist the CSU’s resources and good name in damaging the CSU’s own status as a public entity. For-profit “education” companies are being brought in the back door, as Reed proposes to enter into a partnership with corporations to offer online courses, dubbed “CSU Online.” Were Reed genuinely interested in coping with the perceived shortfall in the CSU’s ability to meet the next generation’s higher educational needs, he would be proposing that CSU enhance its existing offerings in house, both online and traditional face-to-face courses, including through CSU’s long-standing Extended/Open University.

Instead of taking that logical and reasonable step, Reed is laying the groundwork for “CSU Online” to compete with the existing CSU, funneling revenue away from the CSU into for-profit companies’ coffers.

Education is a critical part of any good society. CSU faculty came into the CSU to foster the people’s collective educational interests, not to become personally wealthy. For-profit companies have a very different goal: spending as little as possible in order to make as much money as possible. Their objective is only tangentially learning. Their real goal is profit. That is why for-profits are known for producing poorly educated and trained graduates.

“CSU Online” represents nothing less than a Trojan Horse for the CSU put forth by those who wish to undo the CSU as a public good. As another sign of his true motives, Reed has kept faculty out of his proposal and seeks to impose it upon the CSU without any real consultation with faculty. As a glaring example of the contempt that Reed feels for faculty and his belief that universities would be perfect if he could just get rid of the professors and their Collective Bargaining Agreement, at the “CSU Online Learning Initiative: Kickoff Meeting, February 16, 2011,” the outside team hired by Reed to promote “CSU Online,” features as its very first content slide the following: “CSU Online: Why Do This?” accompanied by a picture of an imaginary robot teacher and the words: “I have designed the teacher of the future. Instead of using people I have chosen cyborgs because they don’t need to be paid.”

We, the undersigned, demand that Reed drop his proposal to bring for-profits into the CSU system. No public money or CSU funds should be used for such an enterprise, nor should the good name of the California State University be stolen by applying it to this destructive scheme. An online university run in whole or in part by for-profits is divorced from the development of CSU campuses dedicated to public education as laid out in the Master Plan. Instead, the twenty-three campuses’ infrastructure should be enhanced in order to continue to provide quality education both in person and online. An online university that shreds the Collective Bargaining Agreement and gets rid of faculty governance and control of curriculum cannot assure either quality education for students or fair and equitable working conditions for staff and faculty. Any further attempts by Charles Reed to develop an online university with for-profits with the intent to undermine collective bargaining in the CSU should result in his resignation as Chancellor of the CSU system.

Signed by the "CSU Online" Faculty Task Force consisting of some eighty faculty across the CSU system campuses

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cooking the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs: California's Public Higher Education System in Peril; A Master White Paper for the CSU

[Executive Summary of the following can be found here.]


Dennis Loo (CSU Pomona), Dorothy D. Wills (CSU Pomona), Yasha Karant (CSU San Bernardino), Mayra Besosa (CSU San Marcos), Päivi Hoikkala (CSU Pomona), Chris Nagel (CSU Stanislaus), Nicholas von Glahn (CSU Pomona), Ranjeeta Basu (CSU San Marcos), Ralph Westfall (CSU Pomona). 

It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it."  

--A U.S. Major on laying waste to Ben Tre Village during the Vietnam War

California’s public higher education system, the world’s largest and the pride of the state and nation, confronts an unprecedented threat. That threat emanates from the trend of de-funding, privatizing, and dismantling of public institutions. The course and outcome of this contest over higher education between radically different visions of what constitutes the public interest will have major repercussions for California, the nation, and the world.
Education offers a ticket to extraordinary riches: knowledge, skills, opportunity, and the passing on and further development of prior generations’ accumulated experience over millennia worldwide. It is the door that opens access to, appreciation for, and participation in the previously unavailable, inaccessible, and unknown, and the bedrock basis for genuine democratic participation and self-governance by an informed, thoughtful, analytical and therefore free-thinking public. A poorly-informed and -educated people can only bring about the nation’s material and intellectual impoverishment.
Education functions as a key venue through which new generations are exposed to and develop the necessary skills and wisdom to assume the mantle of responsibility for the society, passed down from previous generations. Universities also function as sites that concentrate and support many of society’s best minds, carrying out research and creating scholarship, in part in collaboration with their students. As vital as education, and higher education in particular, is to society, its highest administrative levels at public universities have been and are perversely destroying it “in order to save it.”
We must not and will not allow this to continue. We rise in defense of education as a precious public good. We call upon the people of California and all those who value education to do likewise. It will take nothing less than a collective and determined movement of people from all walks of life to accomplish the critical task of saving public higher education from the disaster of privatization, commodification, and McDonaldization. 
Contrary to common perception, the underlying threat to higher education does not arise from the present budget crisis. The crisis itself and the measures being implemented by the California State University (CSU)[1] system’s executives are each the product of a long-standing agenda to promote private interests and private profit at the expense of public goods. Should these executives get their way, the immensely successful public good that the California higher educational system has been for so long will be irreparably damaged.

Our Goal

This study is an analysis of CSU’s situation conducted by faculty and students, a unifying call to action on behalf of faculty, students, and the larger community, and a source of ideas and programs for communicating with the public and educating the legislature on what is required to salvage the situation. Manager-bureaucrats say that professors waste a lot of time looking into causes and histories. This is because looking into causes and histories and examining actual consequences result in a searing indictment of the current system, the philosophy that has come to dominate that system, those who run it, and those who improperly profit from hijacking public goods for their own selfish interests. The process that is uprooting educational traditions effective for millennia and replacing them with the superficial order of the factory is called variously “re-structuring,” transformation, “prioritization and recovery,” and/or accountability.[2] These harmless, even reasonable-sounding epithets shroud a grimmer truth: the university of today (especially the public university or college) is being remade in the image of Wall Street, not of Socrates.

A University’s Mission

The mission of any university is straightforward: learning and the further advance and transmission of knowledge. Without the mission to instruct, including the dissemination of research to other specialists in the research fields’ endeavor, to students, and to the general public, an institution does not a university make. By the same token, without research – including research as an intellectual pursuit that may have no evident immediate practical economic benefit – an institution is not a university. The core of any institution that deserves the name “university” is instruction and research. One informs and enriches the other. The pursuit of knowledge and the sharing of that pursuit’s findings and the processes involved in discovery are as much an integrated whole as the two legs that we use to walk. Learning broadly understood is not merely skill acquisition but the development of critical thinking and a consciousness of the individual as part of a broader social body as well as the ability to apply social awareness from the local to the global level.  

Learning is a combination of research and teaching. The CSU is a system of universities, and thus, teaching and research – that is, learning – is the central mission. Faculty and their students are, therefore, the most precious and core assets for the achievement of these dual goals. One would think, given this, that in a time of crisis, instruction and research would be protected over all other less critical activities, and jobs not related to them would be cut back or sacrificed first, just as emergency medicine must address the most critical life functions, leaving till later to deal with non-critical matters when a person’s life hangs in the balance.

The View from the CSU Administration

In direct contravention to this self-evident reasoning, CSU executives have been doing the exact opposite. We are experiencing sharply reduced class offerings, major layoffs and furloughs of faculty, bloated class sizes, department, program and even college eliminations, and a reduction of the numbers of students being admitted into the CSU system alone by tens of thousands - disproportionately adversely affecting historically under-represented minorities and the disadvantaged. In addition, CSU executives are attempting to concentrate historically unprecedented powers in their hands to hire, fire, and “discipline” faculty in an attempt to render faculty (and students) impotent in the face of executive fiat.
When devastating budget cuts risk the integrity and mission of California’s higher educational system, CSU executives have refused to reduce administrative ranks. Indeed, they have been expanding overpaid vice-presidential and mid-level management positions for years, awarding themselves fat pay raises annually, and are still squandering precious resources on boondoggles and corrupt projects (a recent example being the misuse of millions of dollars of general fund fees),[3] hiring expensive, unnecessary and unsuitable outside consultants, and loading on perks for themselves, ex-presidents, and their corporate friends.[4] Where academic services should see the least cuts or none at all, it has instead been subjected to the most cuts.

Administrators have reduced research opportunities and support for both faculty and students. Research, like teaching, takes time and requires resources. If there is little support for the space and materials (including the opportunity for focused energy) necessary to conduct research, the technical staff to maintain equipment, funding for the presentation and dissemination of results, and base of support for library collections, then there is no viable support for the research mission. The latest research fad pushed by administration is the “scholarship of pedagogy.” This refers to studies of the teaching process and student behavior.  Obviously, not all scholars can or should be engaging in this kind of research. It should be left to education specialists. Its widespread recommendation by educational “leaders” is a thinly veiled attempt to substitute on-site, classroom-based research for field, laboratory, library, and community research, the latter group being more expensive and demanding.

In order to secure a stable funding source for California’s higher public education (CSU, UC and CC) in the face of the severe and debilitating budget cuts, Rep. Ron Torrico introduced AB 656 in early 2009. Rep. Warren Furutani introduced AB 1326 (Fair Share for Fair Tuition) in the California Assembly early this year (2011) to replace AB 656. AB 1326, as did AB 656, would tax oil companies for their extraction of oil and natural gas, something that other states such as Texas and Alaska have done for years. In Texas, the tax undergirds their excellent public university system. California is the only major oil-producing state that does not impose such a tax on oil companies. If passed, AB 1326 would generate some $2 billion annually, thereby solving the UC, CSU and CCC’s budget shortfall. Given this prospect, CSU executives should be welcoming AB 1326 with open arms and should have done the same with AB 656.

Instead, CSU administrators publicly opposed AB 656 (AB 1326’s predecessor). They said that they opposed the bill because AB 626 would mandate that the monies raised by it go exclusively to teaching. As Karen Zamarripa, Cal State's assistant vice chancellor for advocacy and state relations, stated, justifying the Chancellor’s Office’s hostility to AB 626:

"We have things that need to be done that aren't just about hiring faculty."[5]

The CSU Chancellor’s Office’s argument against AB 626/1326 makes no sense: AB 1326’s funding of teaching would support the central mission of the CSU and free up other resources that the CSU could spend where necessary. [6]

The CSU Chancellor and various CSU campus presidents have also offered other unreasonable and illegitimate reasons for their opposition to AB 626. They have, for example, predicted that if AB 626 passed, the legislature would simply undo its effect by taking away other monies presently going to the universities. CSU executives would have us believe that the same legislative body that had just passed a bill designed to support higher education in California would then immediately turn around and deprive higher education of funds they just voted to send to them. Our higher education leaders may be concerned about capricious and ideological legislators’ whim, but if the very figures that the state expects to be the strongest proponents on behalf of higher education are voluntarily accepting defeat ahead of time, then what kind of leaders must these executives be?

Instead of supporting efforts to increase funding to higher education, such as that represented by AB 626/1326, and by their persisting in slashing teaching ranks and classes, CSU executives are embracing as their solution to the crisis “Deliverology.” Deliverology is an invention of Sir Michael Barber, a former assistant to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, hired as a consultant by CSU Chancellor Reed. Deliverology is an efficiency concept drawn from business practice and applied to government agencies (Barber 2007). Barber and Reed say that Deliverology will allegedly accelerate time to graduation and graduation rates for the historically underrepresented and for all students. 

Certainly, improving graduation rates overall and bridging achievement gaps is a fine idea. But is it a fine idea to adopt this as your major policy initiative in the midst of the worst budget crisis in the system’s history, ignoring the need for more faculty members to offer the needed classes to improve the rates, a real way to achieve those ends? And why was it necessary to address the graduation rate issue by hiring an expensive foreign consultant who prides himself on getting the “trains to run on time” (by having trains skip stations when they were running behind schedule) when he has CSU faculty who are experienced and experts at what students need to graduate? Barber’s critics in England point out that his initiatives in education led to teachers teaching to the test and ambulances keeping patients in the ambulances longer so that they appeared to be handled more quickly once ER staff could attend to them in the hospital itself (Seddon 2008).

Several months before Reed’s December 2009 announcement that he was imposing Deliverology upon the CSU, in a widely circulated, discussed, and reportedly influential White Paper by CSU East Bay’s President Mohammed H. Qayoumi stated explicitly what was reasonable to expect as a result of the budget cuts.[7] Qayoumi said, "I think we can expect that average student course loads will decrease, time to degree will increase, lines (or digital queues) will get longer, and traditionally under-represented groups will be hit disproportionately harder than others." [Emphasis added.]

The only way that Deliverology can produce the results claimed for it by CSU executives is by cutting back on what is expected from students to get their degree. This is why administrators, for example, have been floating the idea of reducing General Education requirements and the number of courses required for a degree. Doing this would cheapen the value of a CSU degree.
Even some educators have joined in the obfuscation of education’s purposes. A new plan produced by Robert Zemsky and Joni Finney at the University of Pennsylvania was nearly adopted by the CSU to transform the CSU into something more recognizably business-like (2010).  Zemsky and Finney provide a “Deliverology”-style analysis of education’s problems (cf. Barber 2007). They identify the core problems as cost and outcomes – the same problems supposedly justifying Deliverology and the sweeping changes in the CSU.[8] Zemsky and Finney complain of the need for a better match between institutional resources and student needs. Administrations interpret this as a call for more courses in business and engineering. Few students think they need French literature, anthropology, or physics. Defining education as a product for students to purchase in order to get a job degrades it to just another commodity.

Administrators also like Zemsky and Finney’s other “innovations” associated with their proposal to re-structure or re-engineer the curriculum, as the key to solving the resources/outcomes problem. In addition to a lock-step pathway through a major involving fewer side journeys and alternatives, they would award credit for demonstrated competence in subjects not taken and much greater use of information technology (to achieve what are touted as better learning outcomes and verify specific competencies, i.e., via testing). These are old favorites of our CSU administration, since both potentially diminish the role of faculty and speed up and itemize the process of education. They cheer the prospect of students graduating in three years. In a situation in which the number of people who graduate within six years from colleges such as at Cal Poly Pomona is in the low thirty percentile, and where difficulty finding courses and poor pre-college preparation are principally to blame, the very notion of speeding up graduation to three years can only be achieved through degrading what education students actually receive and participate in.
In an attempt to obfuscate the disparagement and disempowerment of faculty contained in their proposal, Zemsky and Finney state that faculty are the key to this re-engineering. They comment that their hypothesis is not susceptible to analysis by traditional research methods, but instead requires an elaborate national demonstration plan involving many institutions, state legislatures, executive personnel, and faculty. The goal is to test whether we can raise graduation rates (Barber’s goal, too). That seems to be the sole measure. If one’s measure for learning is graduation rates per se, without first and foremost examining the content of the process to graduation, then the goal of graduation can become and will become a goal in and of itself a faux stand in for real learning, thus undermining the actual real content of a higher education. Zemsky and Finney’s plan’s activities are the assessment protocols and methods with which we are all too familiar. The other question is whether faculty “would [be willing to?] provide the necessary curricular design the innovation requires.” If their plan can show this, they will be able to “demonstrate statistically that the curricular structure we have in mind will allow a publicly-funded institution to increase enrollment without requiring an increase in state appropriation.” In other words, do more with less – the mantra of the management class who award themselves more every year but ask the faculty and students to make do with less and less.

Students and their families know from hard personal experience that before the budget crisis, getting the classes needed to graduate in a timely fashion (i.e., six years or less) was a major problem. The very idea that you could accelerate graduation rates and bridge achievement gaps with the massive budget cuts resulting in many fewer faculty and far fewer classes being offered therefore makes no sense. The very suggestion of such an idea in this context demonstrates at the very best extraordinary incompetence and at the worst deceitfulness by CSU executives. 

A careful examination of Deliverology reveals that its real objective is not to improve services. As this Master White Paper demonstrates, Deliverology fits into the philosophy and policies of the last three decades, based upon a radically wrong view of education’s (and government’s) purpose. Education is a public good, part of the commons, not a business, nor a job-training factory. Higher education should not abandon this historic mission so that a relatively small number of wealthy individuals and corporations can enrich themselves at the cost of the public interest.[9] Tax cuts for them equal budget cuts for the rest of us and an increasingly circumscribed life.

While UC administrators publicly supported AB 1326's predecessor AB 656  (as they should), even though most of the money would go to the CSU system, CSU administrators’ hostility to AB 656  places them in opposition to the very institutions that they are charged with protecting and advancing. Their opposition to AB 656, advocacy of Deliverology (which they have renamed the innocuous sounding Early Start and Graduation Initiative programs),[10] and other egregious actions and statements (which we analyze in detail in this Master White Paper), reveal that the budget crisis actually serves as an excuse for them to institute “restructuring.” Executives attempted unsuccessfully to impose restructuring prior to the budget crisis. These “reforms” are aimed at transforming the CSU into something more akin to the University of Phoenix, a system that top CSU administrators openly admire. When asked, for instance, in the summer of 2009 what the solution to the budget crisis was, Cal Poly Pomona’s President Michael Ortiz declared: “Privatization. It’s the only way.”[11] It’s the only way to turn a public good into private profit, by making the universities into training divisions for corporations that the latter do not have to pay for. The private sector only supports things that serve its narrow interest.

This is exactly the opposite of what higher education needs, both materially and philosophically. 

A Mutiny Against Our Bounty

Every dollar invested in California’s higher educational system produces three or more dollars down the road in tax revenue and productivity, based on average lifetime earnings of graduates versus high school diploma holders (e.g., Porter 2002). California’s innovation and powerful economic role can be directly attributed to the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, about which we have more to say shortly. Those who are charged with safeguarding this treasure at the executive level (chancellor, presidents, vice presidents) are, nonetheless, now intent on imposing a business model upon higher education and running it like a for-profit Wall Street corporation. This strategy, if allowed to continue, will be ruinous. We are living through the wreckage all around us created by a deregulated financial sector, corporate corruption, and private greed. One would therefore think that privatization and profiteer Wall Street-style bottom-line logic would be the last approaches education would want to adopt. On the contrary, education executives want to take the goose that lays the golden egg, chop off its head, pluck its feathers, and cook it. They believe that education can be understood and treated as an assembly-line process in which students are turned out like cookie-cutter piecework.

In its essence, education has not changed fundamentally since the time of Socrates. It is a process of human, mostly face-to-face, interactions involving exploration, investigation, debate, and trying on and learning through trial and error. Education is not something to be simply bought like any other purchase. Education is something to work for, struggle for, and earn by hard effort. A meaningful diploma cannot simply be bought. It is not something that you can just be handed like a mass-produced hamburger and fries. You can no more become educated by your paying someone to stamp you as “educated” than you can become an accomplished musician, athlete or writer by having someone give you those abilities and achievements - without your having to work extremely hard for them to become part of who you are.

What is at stake is more than education, however, as important as education is. What is at stake is the kind of society in which we want to live. Education’s impact is deep and wide: the kind of broadening that people receive through the educational system – and more generally through media, art and culture, child-rearing, governmental statements and actions, and so on – bears directly and substantially upon the way that young (and not so young) people learn to think, gather, evaluate information, recognize disinformation, and make choices about political, economic and social issues.

Life does not come with an answer key. The correct and best answers to all questions are not always definitively known in life at any given point before the fact, and incomplete and indirect information is the norm rather than the exception. Primarily due to the influence of the privateers, the educational system is increasingly becoming one in which the main emphasis is memorization and giving back to the teacher what the teacher has dispensed as the answers in order to pass the tests. Students are not being properly and adequately taught how to analyze, weigh information, think holistically, decide between competing claims, and make wise choices based on frequently incomplete information. This grows all the more significant when there is a growing storm of false or misleading information emanating from people and organizations trying to seduce people into buying their wares, whether those wares are commodities or ideas. Should this trend persist it will mean that our society will become increasingly intellectually impoverished, because its citizenry has become vulnerable to being manipulated by hucksters, opportunists, and those who have more ready access to mass media by virtue of their owning media, possessing a lot of money, and/or having friends in high places.
We must not underestimate the importance of training people how to think, as opposed to training them in tasks, memorizing facts, and getting them test-ready. Basic skills are important. But there is a hierarchy of intellectual stages that surpasses understanding education as merely the inculcation of answers and formulae. The first author of this Master White Paper gives an annotated primer based upon Benjamin Bloom entitled “On Giving and Getting a Higher Education” to his students which elaborates on the concept of the development of stages of thinking.[12] The handout ends with this:         
“Bloom argues that if college classes do not call for undergraduates to develop the higher-level cognitive skills [of Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation], then the student has not received a higher education. Course expectations that require you to use higher level cognitive skills are of course more difficult, but if you are only being tested for recognition and recall then you may never develop higher order intellectual skills. Thus, for example, a professor who tells you beforehand exactly what you should know (for example, for a test) is in effect telling you what you can afford to ignore in what he/she was trying to teach you. This would be the equivalent of going to someone to teach you how to hit a baseball who told you ahead of each pitch exactly what kind of pitch he was going to throw. You’d think that you were a really great hitter based on this until you got into an actual game where the pitcher didn’t tell you beforehand what he was going to send your way. Life is a little bit like that pitcher, sending curves, sliders, fastballs and even screwballs your way. A proper higher education will help you deal with all of those pitches and situations. This is what you can expect in my class. You have a right to expect nothing less.”

CSU Executives Have Shown They Are Unfit to Lead a University

CSU executives’ actions and most recently their stand on and response to the budget crisis and their advocacy at this time of Deliverology present us with dramatic testimony of their unfitness to lead. Deliverology is the antithesis of teaching people how to think; its attitude to student learning is, “head ’em up, move ’em out.” CSU’s decision-makers’ philosophy and policies present a grave danger to the treasure that California’s Public Higher Education System represents. Not only do they need to be removed from their positions, the philosophy and practices that have been imposed from above for the last three plus decades upon higher education (and education more generally) and that have brought on this crisis, need to be thoroughly understood, exposed and reversed, and the criteria by which these executives’ replacements are selected - and remunerated - need to be transformed.

Consider an anecdotal example from the previous employment experience of one of the authors – the same problems are manifest in the CSU administration. This person worked for a major bank for twenty-four years. The workload in the bank branches varied substantially from day to day and by day of the month. To deal with that in a cost-effective fashion, the bank hired part-time workers on Mondays and Fridays, and on the first and last days of the month. The CSU does not need very many twelve-month administrators, and it does not need to pay any of them a salary much higher than the highest-paid full professor.

Mismanaging Education

Managed education is working about as well as for-profit managed health, food, and finance. That is to say, disastrously. Since President Ronald Reagan’s Commission “A Nation at Risk” launched the era of educational “reform” in the 1980s, schools and colleges have been subjected to an ever-tightening net of controls over curriculum, time in class, subjects, pedagogy, use of technology, tests and standards, not to mention funding. The modern education management organization (EMO) has more in common with McDonald’s than with a traditional school. Its values are efficiency, cheapness, quantification, standardization, replacement of human abilities with non-human technology, and top-down control of every aspect of “production.” All these features of “fast food” production are present in “fast education” production, to the detriment of actual student engagement and learning, though the latter two phrases have become mantras of the managerial class with which they attempt to brand “their” institutions.

As administrations talk more and more about student engagement and learning, and use these slogans as cattle prods on the faculty to keep them in line, the actions of public schools and universities all have the opposite effect - to crowd students into classes, make education more expensive for families, replace full-time with part-time teaching personnel, shrink general education requirements in favor of alleged job-specific preparation, reduce faculty autonomy, pay, teaching and research support, and benefits, force teaching to the test, enforce standardized and streamlined, seriated curricula, rush graduation, replace human contact with technology, refer derogatorily to the classroom experience as “seat time,” as if schools were like McDonald’s where the seats are deliberately designed to be uncomfortable so that the customers will not stay long, attack and undermine teachers and malign the teaching profession, intensively focus on private fund-raising (requiring revision of education’s actual role and activities so that the wealthy will feel at home with them), and reduce funding for instruction while increasing funding for administration and technology.

We constantly hear the refrain today that universities should consult business to find out what we should be doing. Business, which triggered the economic wreckage most of us are experiencing so that financial moguls could make a Wall Street killing, honors not knowledge, critical thinking, scientific inquiry or anything but the bottom line. Profit-seeking and self-centeredness as values should not be placed in charge of our youth and our future. Preparing students for specific slots in the employment structure is fine, but it is far more important and necessary for students to share in the collective wisdom and experience of humanity. Anything less than that promotes narrowness and self-regard at the expense of the community and the public interest. Education finds its mission and role in achieving this.

The famous educator-theorist Ivan Illich said that learning requires four things: materials (books, tools, artifacts, any things associated with a field of study) for the student to use; one or more practitioners of the field, who model it and instruct students in its technology, ideas, history, and so on; peers or fellow learners who stimulate the student and reinforce learning; and one or more mentors, gurus, or guides who inspire and encourage the student in a more general sense (who could be practitioners at the same time).[13] 

The CSU and other public institutions, and certainly private ones, can still offer these supports for learning, if the administration, the Department of Education, the legislature, and the accreditation establishment would stop erecting the accountability platform on top of them, which merely installs the apparatus of corporate control with its appearance of productivity, but which has adversely affected and threatens to crush and/or distort the mission to which faculty are committed. Faculty as a whole are better at and more knowledgeable about this mission than anyone else: they selected their career because they love and respect teaching and learning; they interact directly with students constantly, which no other segment in the university or society does; and faculty are the ones most experienced at carrying out this extraordinarily important mission of passing on and further developing the collective wisdom of humanity to our youth. Youth are the nation’s next generation, the leaders who inherit society’s mantle of responsibility. Harming this mission injures the entire society and endangers that society’s very viability.

Changes We Need to Make

A.    Administrative control and overall leadership of the universities must be firmly in faculty hands.

Problem 1: So-called “shared governance” whereby faculty are supposed to share governing responsibilities with executive administrators has been an unqualified failure, providing the pretence of faculty co-leadership with executives exercising de facto authoritarian control. Since “shared governance” has been a failure, who should be in charge of the universities and how should they be run? To answer this question we should first ask what segment of the university community is indispensable, without which a university would no longer be a university. Would it be a body of administrators? No, certainly not. We would have a university with no teaching, no scholarship, and no learning. Would a university be a student body? No. Students alone could not make a university, for they are not yet scholars nor are they yet teachers. A community of scholars is the only segment that could by itself constitute a university.

Faculty, moreover, are devoted by their career choices and the nature of their protracted training to serving the interests and needs of the community, the most important public good that exists. Faculty entered academia because we are devoted to serving the community’s interests. Faculty do not become scholars and teachers because we are attracted to becoming personally wealthy; the pay and working conditions do not appeal to those seeking personal material wealth. Under the current system, executives, by contrast, are expressly sought out, compensated, and retained based on the inducements of material wealth. Their perspective on higher education often is that it should be run like a business for profit, both institutional and personal, rather than as a community good in the community’s interests. In a time of budgets being slashed and the universities’ access to the people and ongoing viability under dire threat, the university’s central mission of learning and teaching must be protected above all else. It is shocking to see huge and ever-widening pay differentials between faculty and administrators, especially in times of extreme budget deficits. This must change.

If the center of gravity of power is to be restored to those who are central to higher education’s mission, the faculty, if the highest and best values of education are to be re-established, and if highly distorted pay differentials and shifts in power to executive/managers/administrators are a prime example of wrong values, then a necessary part of the solution is to bring pay levels between executives and faculty more in line with each other. In a time of scarce resources, all superfluous or harmful factors must be eliminated, beginning with administrative bloat and administrators’ bloated salaries. Devotion to the universities’ fundamental purpose and mission must be maintained. Selection and continued service by administrators should be on the basis of their desire and ability to serve the largest interests of higher education and the community, present and future.[14] Some administrators can also teach. Part-time administration would produce a more learning-focused institution. This model works well at the department level. Why not higher? CSU faculty are extremely tired of being accused of laziness, refusal to change, self-interest, and inefficiency, when these are actually the traits of the administration. CSU faculty have a lower pay scale than community college faculty, and higher job demands.

We recognize that there is a difference in the nature of the responsibilities for those in managerial positions versus those who are faculty-scholars-teachers. The people who take on the responsibilities for truly indispensable managerial and administrative roles (such as outreach, fundraising, co-ordination, record-keeping, and accounting) are not taking on responsibilities of the same kind as faculty-scholars-teachers. But the people who occupy the newly defined and slimmed-down administrative positions, as we are herein advocating, must be those who are genuinely motivated by the same educational goals as the faculty. There should not be a disguised authoritarian regime by administrators over faculty under the cover of so-called “shared governance” as now exists, nor should administrators and faculty be at odds with one another as is now the case, with administrators attempting to constrain the role of faculty and subordinate educational goals to those of private, moneyed interests.

Faculty should make the decisions about the curriculum and research directions in their disciplines, not managers or even an academic officer who has an earned terminal degree. The lack of true shared governance has meant dominance of these decisions by administrators.  Imposed doctrines, top down, from managers, may be the paradigm of a for-profit corporation – the failure of which may result in a combination of unemployment and loss for the investors – but it does not work for the People’s University. A failure of the People’s University has much worse consequences than a failure of any for-profit corporation.

Recommendation.  We should require the campus Presidents to consult and get approval from the campus Senate for all education- and research-related new initiatives, rather than imposing discretionary mandates and projects the President may want, but which may not in fact be in the university community’s best interests. Keep curriculum and programs in the hands of those who know the material the best:  the faculty. Shared governance will include shared control of the budget, not just some adversarial bargaining with no real authority in faculty hands. 

Results. The University will represent the educational needs of the students, not the immediate fad that may be popular with management. Money will go first to instruction.

Problem 2We need public control of the People’s University.[15] In actual fact, the Board of Trustees (BOT) and the BOT-selected Chancellor (management head of the entire CSU system) and their selected executive for each campus (President) largely control the CSU. The faculty have little if any say in this operation or selection, except through the limited powers of the academic Senates and the California Faculty Association (CFA), a SEIU-affiliated labor union that has exclusive bargaining representation for the faculty labor unit over issues of salary and certain other working conditions. Unlike a conventional management-union relationship, management (that is, the BOT and Chancellor) have the right to impose a contract upon the faculty, allowing the faculty the only option of a work action (“strike”) when no agreement is reached, knowing full well that such an action would cause the faculty to at least temporarily abrogate the very core responsibilities of a university faculty: teaching and research. It is wise to have the BOT separate from direct political control of whoever occupies the Statehouse; it is not wise to have a BOT over which the People have no real input – a BOT answerable primarily to the Governor who appointed most of them and many of whom have specific special interests in mind rather than the general good of the People's University and the People.

Recommendation. A majority of the members of the BOT should be nominated and elected by faculty. The present state-elected positions that are entitled to serve on the BOT need to be retained, as do some appointments from the Governor, and a faculty Trustee nominated by the CSU Statewide Academic Senate. Given the fact that the CSU is a public, secular, non-partisan institution, the People's University, the Board of Trustees should not be political appointees of the governor. The BOT should serve the universities and the community and be made up of people who are educators and students. One faculty member and one student could be nominated and elected from each CSU campus. Campus Presidents, also serving faculty with temporary appointments, should be subject to approval by the campus Senate and be selected on the basis of their clear commitments to the mission of the university. The BOT must cease to be an extension of the Business Roundtable.

Result. The CSU under the BOT will be answerable to the people whom it serves, rather than to special interests that fund a particular Governor or political agenda. The University will represent students’ educational needs and the faculty’s pursuit of knowledge for society, not the immediate fad that may be popular with management.

            B.  Discard the Education Management Organization (EMO) Model: It has Demonstrated Its Unsuitability for a Public Good Like Higher Education.

ProblemThirty years of “reform” have done nothing to enrich students’ educational experience or performance. They have enriched a lot of education consulting companies, education bureaucrats, and test companies such as the suppliers of the $660 million PeopleSoft program (CMS). The only “stakeholders” in the operation who have benefited from the corporatization regimen are administrators and managers, not students, faculty, staff, or the public. Whatever reforms have been instituted at all levels of education have not improved it as a learning environment, a workplace, or even a simulated factory for future employees. We must look to what we already know about the best approaches to teaching and learning, many of them traditional that have stood the test of time, some of them new. 

We know that the following techniques work: small class sizes, reading- and writing-intensive instruction, hands-on and interactive teaching, face-to-face time, individual and group projects, academic freedom and diversity, emphasis on students pursuing ideas and interests of their own, good libraries, labs, data bases, field experiences, connectedness with communities, support for students who need more assistance to meet academic demands, and students given many choices of programs and activities.
Most faculty at CSU campuses have the experience of workload inflation. The requirements for success have been ratcheted up beyond reason. This is a classic characteristic of the corporate work environment, where “continuous improvement” and constant planning, monitoring, and reporting are the hallmarks of production, performance, and output. In our case, though the CSUs are teaching institutions first and foremost, the research expectation of most faculty has steadily grown, while support for it (release from courses, grants, travel money) is negligible. Full teaching loads prevent most people from doing any kind of meaningful research during the academic year. 

The service component of our assignment has also grown into a juggernaut of committee work, assessment, advising, administrative initiatives, outreach, and efforts to participate in shared governance. For this, we receive three weighted teaching units (WTUs), while teaching carries the remaining twelve of our allotted full-time load of fifteen WTUs (for example, three four-unit classes per quarter). Some faculty have suggested that, if the administration is serious about our research, that we carry three WTUs of research in lieu of three WTUs of teaching (see Recommendation H).

Recommendation. Ensure that those who serve in administrative capacities explicitly reject the EMO approach as inimical to education. Carry out educational campaigns in the university system involving the entire university community about the problems of the EMO, creating an explicit consensus for a university that is allowed to do what universities do best: educate and expand knowledge.

Result. A university that is no longer weighed down by the negative consequences of EMO’s philosophy, policies and practices and is united in purpose rather than divided against itself.

            C.  Reduce stratification of faculty.

ProblemThe caste system of tenured/tenure-track and lecturers (aka adjunct) faculty is inimical to building good academic programs and making academic governance effective. The CSU should begin immediately to convert many adjunct faculty ranks who possess their discipline’s terminal degrees to tenure-track employment so that we have at least three-fourths tenured/tenure-track teaching staff. The constantly claimed goal of two-thirds tenured/tenure-track faculty is a good step, but even it is not honored. 

The long-term effect of drying up tenure-line employment at universities, in favor of paying people as little as possible and giving them no security, will be to turn future scholars away from graduate school. It is unfair to the students and unfair to the faculty who must teach for low wages and must therefore carry too many classes, often at more than one school simultaneously (thus their nickname “Freeway Flyers”), giving them little time to give the same attention to students as tenure-track faculty can. The world needs highly educated people, as it faces increasingly dangerous and tricky situations in the climate, environment, conflict, poverty, health, natural disasters, and economic collapse. (See Appendices 1 and 2 for further detailed discussion of this situation.)

We recognize, however, that there is not a consensus among tenure-track faculty as to the following recommendations. Many of them are ambivalent about adjunct faculty: they need the latter to staff courses they cannot teach, owing to their low numbers relative to target demands, but they wish to retain the management prerogative of hiring and firing them at will. It is vital to provide stable employment with adequate remuneration for all faculty. It is often said, “Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions.” This cannot apply only to tenure-track professors. The existing caste system among faculty serves only to dilute our power and enable administration to pick us apart. Nor does it serve students well.

Recommendation. Fixing the “lecturer problem” will also help us fix a related problem: insufficient tenure-stream faculty with direct instructional and research responsibilities; these positions do not include managers who happen to have retreat rights to a regular tenure-stream faculty line. In the CSU, tenure-stream faculty are in the Professor series (Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor), although certain professional service staff also are granted tenure and considered part of the faculty (e.g., professional staff Librarians, professional staff psychological Counselors). This issue refers to the Professor positions. This issue was addressed by a resolution of the California Assembly, ACR 73 (Strom Martin) in September 2001 that put the appropriate fraction of tenure-stream faculty appointments (as contrasted with lecturers, who do not have tenure-stream appointments) at seventy-five percent of the total number of faculty. At present, the CSU is below fifty percent tenure-stream by head count.

Replace separating tenure-stream faculty members by new faculty members; separating faculty members are those who retire, those who voluntarily leave, and those who are denied tenure and thus leave. Recruit additional tenure-stream faculty. For those current CSU lecturers who have a terminal degree appropriate for a university faculty appointment, and are willing and able to teach at all levels (lower division, upper division, graduate) as well as to conduct an active program of research, a serious program of conversion from lecturer to tenure-stream should be instituted to take advantage of an extant pool of faculty members requiring none of the costs associated with a typical search for a tenure-stream position. By serious program, we do not mean merely a cosmetic statement of such a program where the fact that a present lecturer with an earned terminal degree is a lecturer is thus “damaged goods,” and in particular has had no recent active research record given the exclusive teaching load of a lecturer position, and is thus unqualified compared to a recent terminal degree graduate with a current research portfolio. Rather, once it can be established by a lecturer that she/he will be able to initiate a program of research as well as maintaining quality instruction, such an internal candidate should be considered before any external (and costly) search is conducted.  

This is not a program of “inside track” or “preferential treatment,” but rather a means to reduce the cost of a search, retain lecturers who have provided years of service to the CSU, and to address the excessive use of lecturers in the CSU, as recognized by ACR 73. Since it was founded in 1915, the AAUP has conceived of tenure as the means to ensure academic freedom for faculty - as a right of all faculty, not as a privilege for the few. As the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure observes, tenure is “indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society.”[16] Thus, the Association’s position on tenure holds that: all faculty work is tenurable; tenure can be granted at any professional rank (or without rank); tenure-line positions can be either part- or full-time.[17]

Results. Classes will be taught by faculty members who have both a permanent commitment to the university and who have in return a permanent commitment from the university – real mutual stakeholders. Students will be advised by tenure-stream faculty who are familiar with the institution and with the student throughout the career of the student at the campus. Quality of instruction will improve because a tenured faculty can be more concerned with the level of material and student learning than the constant need for great performance on what amount to customer satisfaction surveys – the student evaluation of the instructor. Although student input is important, a demanding, rigorous course with honest grading – not grade inflation – often will cause dissatisfaction from students who want the diploma, and not so much the hard work required by a legitimate education.

D.  Call things what they are.

“Restructuring GE” means stripping it down. It should say that. “Assessment” is testing, perhaps in some new forms, but none requiring an elaborate bureaucracy to manage them. Do not say that you believe in “quality” or “excellence” of education if you are overloading classrooms and cutting sections. “Efficiency” according to executives now in charge means eliminating small programs. The vision of “teacher/scholar” or other claims by executives is disingenuous. It means “doing more with less.” Our public documents describe a great university, but really mask a mission gone astray. “Restructuring the CSU” means a command-and-control maneuver to assign niches to campuses or regions, standardize all sorts of academic and administrative operations (including faculty evaluations at all levels, calendars, admission, programs …), and produce efficiency (i.e., convenience to management, usually the opposite of quality education).  “Budget crisis” means the corporations and wealthy class have successfully engaged in predation of the resources formerly belonging to the commonwealth of the people, leaving the latter with no jobs, homes, health care, etc.  Calling faculty “Instructional Delivery Technicians” or “Learning Environment Designers” means we have replaced human experts with unsalaried non-human technology.

E.             Support public services, programs and institutions.

Problem.  The CSU and other public institutions have moved from a state-supported, to a state-assisted, to a rapidly privatizing funding basis. The evidence of the failure of for-profit education is abundant. The failure of the business model for education (or for society in general) is a lived reality of most people. The majority of Californians qualified to pursue higher education cannot resort to private institutions with high tuition. We must therefore continue to demand publicly-supported education. Whether through income tax, corporate taxes such as the oil extraction tax (AB 1326), and/or other levies on excess profit, property, capital, or luxury purchases such as restoring the dramatically cut back corporate taxes while retaining Prop 13’s tax relief for homeowners, we must return our state to a rational footing by creating community wealth again. We know it is not fashionable to request taxation of the rich and the corporations, since they threaten to leave the state if we do. Others less wealthy do not have this prerogative of extorting personal gain from the community. The rich should not have it, either.

We recognize that the funding situation is serious. Given the limitations on the ability of the Legislature to increase taxation, and the unwillingness of one of the political parties that controls over one-third of the Legislature to have equitable taxation upon those who can afford such taxation but and rather demands a curtailment of state functions, the reality is that the epoch of a state-supported CSU – as required by the original Master Plan – is over. At present, the CSU is state-subsidized, and soon may merely be state-located. This is different from the UC that has been at best state-subsidized almost from the first Master Plan and today is in fact state-located, but highly dependent upon support other than from the State. For better or worse, the UC funding model must be allowed to the CSU. 

There is discussion of a new raw materials (primarily oil) separation revenue stream, similar to what is used in a number of states to fund the public universities therein. This certainly will help, and we strongly encourage such a revenue stream.  Nonetheless, without a state Constitutional Amendment, it is unlikely that the minority party in the Legislature will support such a new revenue stream, unless it can be done through the initiative process, in which case those who would have to pay the new state revenue – for example, major petroleum extracting for-profit corporations – would muster all of their resources to cause the initiative to fail. Under the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court, a for-profit corporation can spend as much as it wishes to influence a political outcome, short of direct bribery or extortion.

However, without sufficient funding, the CSU’s ability to hire and retain quality tenure-stream faculty members and to have those faculty members engage in both teaching and research is strongly diminished. A reduction in the overhead represented by the bloated CSU management structure will recoup some of the funds needed, but even this will not be enough. Thus, other revenue streams are needed to maintain and expand (as the number of students increase) the capabilities of the CSU.

Recommendation. The most cost-efficient solution might be as follows. The original Master Plan envisioned a three-tiered system of public higher education. In this system, the UC was designed and supported to compete and compare with elite institutions worldwide – institutions such as Harvard or Oxford – to serve the elite of the state. The UC was to have a complete monopoly on public advanced and terminal degrees – doctorates and the production of attorneys, medical doctors, dentists, and the like – only allowing independent (private) institutions to compete with the UC. Although the infrastructure is in place for the public production of the medical, dental, and veterinary doctor for state licensure strictly within the UC, for the other fields (such as Ph.D.), it is much less clear that these should be reserved for the elite. If the state cannot afford a viable CSU – as a university – then the only cost-effective thing to do is to merge the UC and CSU, much as in systems in other states (e.g., Wisconsin, New York), similar to what is present in the SUNY system in the State of New York.

This approach may cause howls of anguish and much politicking against it by the management of both the UC and CSU, and by many faculty members in the UC who regard CSU faculty as unworthy and inferior, and faculty in the CSU who regard UC faculty as professional researchers and external funding specialists, but with little or no interest in undergraduate instruction. However, the UC and the CSU management– the Regents and the BOT and all of the rest of the tiers of management – are not the People of California, and do not have to endure the inherent duplication of two senior university systems. The People do. Because of the elite nature of the UC, it is reasonable for present UC campuses to maintain this elite status and not serve ALL of the People, while the present CSU campuses would serve ALL of the People. 

The CSU’s enforcement of only the upper 1/3 of high school graduates is more fiction than reality, whereas the UC is much more steadfast in maintaining the upper twelve percent that it admits, with the “upper” being measured by some combination of high school grades as well as college entrance examination (e.g., SAT) scores, provided that the high school transcript also shows completion of the high school courses (curriculum) required by the UC for admission. Thus, in the sense of nearly open admissions, the CSU is much closer to a People's University. This merger would lead to dramatic cost reductions through the elimination of unnecessary management and facilities duplication. There is no reason to have a UC Riverside a short distance from a CSU San Bernardino, a UC Merced formed out of whole cloth at great expense when there is a CSU Fresno a short distance away.

A multi-prong approach is needed. First, a dedicated secure revenue stream, such as that on the separation of resources from the state (e.g., petroleum extraction), must be identified and drawn upon.

Second, there seems to be no choice but to vitiate the original Master Plan and have the students pay for a larger portion of their education, comparable to what is charged by public institutions in many other States. This approach is strongly opposed by CFA – but short of increased taxes, CFA has no fiscally viable solution. It is true that the reduction in CSU managers and the overhead costs these positions represent, a position on which we agree with CFA, would help, but it simply is not sufficient to meet fair compensation and sane workloads for a majority tenure-stream faculty composition. However, there are a number of considerations for increased student fees/tuition that must be addressed. The state and the People need an educated population in fields that do not pay extremely well – not everyone can be a corporate attorney, a medical doctor, or a for-profit corporate executive. If the state is not willing to tax those with excessive wealth so as to support public institutions, the people will have to accept the idea that many young people capable of doing college-level work will not get the chance to do it, if they cannot afford the tuition. Thus, we dispel the illusion of a public university.

The state needs K-12 teachers, CSU tenure-stream faculty members, and persons otherwise working more in the public interest (even if in the private sector) than simply out of avarice. However, if the cost of an education, particularly an education in the CSU – the People's University – is such that the student loans required to complete such an education make the graduate a permanent indentured servant to pay for those loans, then only those persons planning on careers in very high-paying fields will stay, and the needs of the state and the People will not be met. Thus, the CSU must have a sensible forgivable loan program where the payments correspond to a pre-agreed-upon fraction of the salary/income of the student. This is not an income tax, but rather a means to allow graduates to pursue careers – vital to the state and the People – that are not extremely lucrative and do not have the expectation of allowing the graduate a reasonable standard of living for a professional with academic training rather than mostly servicing an excessive debt burden.

Third, additional revenue streams must be generated. A public university has four sources of revenue: state funds that are dependent upon some sort of taxation by the state (the only source of revenue to a state), student fees, external grants and contracts (from federal, state, private, corporate, and international sources – some truly competitive and others essentially “earmarked”), and private (non-state) donations. The latter two, but especially private donations, are controlled by the CSU management and under little control or direction of the faculty. This must change.

Private donations can be used to fund tenure-stream positions and research and instructional facilities. Obviously, a public secular university must place constraints on restrictions by a donor – a faculty position or research or instructional support dedicated to the defense and promulgation, say, of Aryan Racial Supremacy, is not proper nor should be accepted. At present, each campus President keeps tight control of which programs may seek external funding, not allowing all to go forward but setting the priorities. The priorities for donors need to be set by the faculty, perhaps through each campus Senate as well as through the Statewide CSU Senate, not by the Presidents. These programs must represent the needs of the faculty in both research and instruction, as well as students’ needs to defray fees. There must be an aggressive campaign to seek out support for the People's University.

Grants and contracts are the other source of external funding. In many cases, even to be allowed to submit a grant with a faculty member as Principal Investigator, the submission must meet the priorities of management. If there is no priority, either the grant will not be submitted or the university will offer none of the earnestness needed for a successful (awarded) grant – such earnestness will be kept as a management prerogative for those programs, other managers, and even faculty members that the management favors, both in violation of the academic mission and shared governance. This is waste of resources of the CSU, often establishing management boondoggles that in the long run offer little benefit for the amount of funds received.

Result.  A stable funding stream for the CSU, allowing the faculty to conduct instruction and research, while at the same time providing sensible class sizes for both undergraduate and graduate students, actually taught in these sensible sizes by faculty, not teaching assistants – faculty of whom most are tenure-stream appointments. This will enable predictable costs to students; by providing loan forgiveness to those students who otherwise would need loans but who want to pursue relatively low-paying careers that are vital to society, and such careers could then still remain attractive.

F.             Fix the middle class financial aid problem.

Federal and state student aid programs do not help students whose family earnings exceed about $80,000 per annum. With the high expense of housing and transportation these days, this is not a very high income, especially for families with more than one student in college. The fee increases at the UC, CSU and community colleges will soon put them out of reach for even more Californians. Fees of students who can pay them end up supporting financial aid for those who cannot. We have all seen the scandals surrounding for-profit schools whose exorbitant fees are exceeded only by the worthlessness of the promises of future employment used to lure students. Such students end up with a huge burden of debt and little means to pay it off; the school has extracted the profit; the taxpayer holds the bag in the end. Student loan debt now exceeds that of credit card debt in the U.S. Insofar as some CSU campuses target the vocational/professional market and emphasize practical, applied, or technical programs to the detriment of traditional majors, we are using the same marketing strategy. The steadily rising tuition suggests students should find any means to pay, or not attend. In a reduced grant and scholarship setting, this means more loans and indebtedness created by the public university. We must change the calculus for student financial assistance.

Recommendation. Raise the ceiling to $100,000 for family earnings and a specified amount for each additional student enrolled in college.

Result.  More students go to college.

G.            Significantly revamp the administration.

Problem. The cost of the CSU Chancellor’s Office is the equivalent of a small CSU campus. When we add to that the costs that are being regularly squandered by wrong-headed policies by the Chancellor’s Office (such as the $660 million squandered on the boondoggle of PeopleSoft and the $4.3 million Chancellor Reed is now spending to hire an outside, anti-faculty union consultant to represent him in his duties at the bargaining table with the faculty union), eliminating these functionaries would make a very big difference both financially and even more importantly would end the current destructively antagonistic stance of the Chancellor’s Office and his various Campus Presidents to the core mission of the universities. The CSU system is a house divided and cannot continue in such a fashion. We have an excessive number of managers, academic and non-academic, as contrasted with faculty who both teach and conduct research. In the CSU, these positions are termed MPP for Management Plan Personnel.

1975-2008 (CSU full and part-time)

Service and Maintenance          -33%
Clerical and Secretarial             -29%
Technical and Paraprofessional        - 4%
Skilled Crafts               +18%
Faculty                  +28%
Managerial and Professional          +229%

Source: California State University – Statistical Abstract – 2008-2009 - Table 166
Ethnicity and Gender of Total CSU Employees by Occupational Group, 1975-1976 through 2008-2009 (pp. 296-298)

Recommendation.  Reduce the number of managers, eliminating many of the non-essential MPP positions. For example, every University campus needs an executive (in the CSU, President, an executive, not MPP), a Provost, and each college within a university (arts and letters, natural sciences, engineering, business, etc.) needs a Dean. One also needs a manager with academic retreat rights and credentials in charge of graduate programs as well as having access to research support. In the CSU, there is a central administrator in charge of the official mechanisms of Academic Personnel (such as a formal binding offer letter, answering questions about specifics of the administration view on faculty employment issues); this position is needed. Most other matters can be handled by staff appointments, not management. 

Outside of the academic sector, one needs a manager in charge of the physical plant (including custodians, grounds maintenance, and building and related infrastructure repair) as well as a manager over the financial matters, typically an accounting position. Many administrators have retreat rights (job reassignment) to either the tenured faculty or the permanent staff, and such current administrators either should retreat or separate (including retirement for those who are eligible to retire and do not wish to retreat). The Chancellor must resign and other administrators who do not perform their duties in line with the highest needs of the university system must go. The highly distorted pay for top administrators must be curtailed. The Chancellor now is paid more than the President of the United States. We do not think that this is appropriate, especially for a system in financial crisis. He does not protect or effectively advocate for the university.

Results.  Increased number of operational faculty and staff, helping to address item two below.  Decreased overhead and thus a reduction in cost towards operational goals.

We suggest that operational staff should be allowed to decrease through attrition, and then that administrative personnel work in operational functions as needed to handle cyclical peaks. In addition, administrative functions need to be evaluated for effectiveness just as academic programs are currently being evaluated. If they cannot demonstrate clear-cut benefits in excess of costs, they need to be eliminated or reorganized in ways that reduce the need for highly paid personnel.

The benefits of revamping the administration along the lines suggested would be:

1.      Reduce administrative costs, and thus lessen the need to cut academic programs and faculty.

2.      Make the administrators experientially aware of the impacts of the budget cuts on our students, and hopefully more concerned about reducing non-essential spending.

3.      Help public relations. Many members of the public feel that there is a lot of administrative bloat and waste in the system. This would demonstrate a commitment on our part to address such problems rather than demanding money that would go into overhead rather than benefitting the students. (We have no problems with asking for more money. However, we should do what we can to reassure the voters that it will go where it would do the most good.)

Restoring the CSU Faculty

In light of not only AAUP findings and HEERA, but also of Public Employees Relations Board Decision No. 173-H and ACR 73, this CSU Master White Paper makes short- and long-term recommendations regarding the hiring practices and working conditions of instructors with the goal of stabilizing the CSU faculty for the benefit of student learning and faculty careers. These recommendations aim at accomplishing the restoration of the integrity of faculty work, academic freedom and shared governance, as well as the stability and permanency of all faculty employment - as the only way for the CSU to fulfill its social contract.

H.            Regularization of actual programs of the CSU with the actual RTP (aka RPT)[18] requirements.

Problem.  The original Master Plan had one real university system in California, the University of California (UC), and then two teaching college systems: the California State Colleges (CSC) and the Community Colleges (CC). The vitality of a real university was deemed so important that the UC was made quasi-independent of the State with a payroll system from the UC Regents (not the State) and to which the Legislature may only suggest and request, but not actually require any action. The CSC was not intended to be a real university, but rather a six year version (through the Master degree) of the academic (non-vocational, non-remedial) portion of the CC, preparing K-12 teachers and many others for whom a 4 year undergraduate education and degree was sufficient to provide the needs of society. The CC nominally had the first two years of the academic curriculum of the CSC and UC systems, but also offered purely vocational fields (e.g., automotive repair technician training) as well as completion of the high school diploma for those who had not completed the secondary school curriculum. Typically, a UC Faculty appointment required a terminal degree (e.g., PhD), whereas a CSC Faculty appointment – as strictly a teaching institution, not a university – would often only need a Master degree without any real research “training” or the proof that one is a scholar and can conduct original research. Such “proof” of scholarly attainment is represented by the PhD dissertation (thesis) that has been reviewed and accepted by the academic research community of scholars.

The preceding is simply no longer the case, as the CSC became the California State University (CSU). The modern CSU tenure-stream Faculty member generally has a terminal degree that is often a condition of employment (no terminal degree, no tenure stream appointment), typically a PhD from a research background with a research dissertation. Intellectually and academically, a modern CSU tenure-stream Faculty member is as competent and as much a scholar as is the equivalent tenure-stream Faculty member at a typical PhD granting university, including the general UC. Then what is the difference? Why do CSU tenure-stream Faculty members often have fewer scholarly outputs than their equivalent at PhD institutions? In the CSU, the only work assignment allowed by the BOT under the CFA contract is teaching. The load is measured in a metric called the Weighted Teaching Unit (WTU); although some current chicanery attempts to claim that WTUs are not used, these are very much in place. The base load for a tenure-stream CSU Faculty member is 15 WTUs – 12 WTUs of direct instructional responsibility and 3 WTUs of advising, service, and other activities. Perhaps, and only perhaps, 1 WTU might sometimes in practice be allocated to research, and even that would be unofficial. On a semester calendar, 12 WTUs of direct instruction corresponds to four courses every semester. At a typical research university, such as the UC, the direct instructional load is one course every semester, and in universities that keep a balanced approach between teaching and research, the direct instructional load may be two courses per semester, but not four courses. What institutions have an instructional responsibility of four courses per semester? Community colleges and other strictly teaching institutions – except for the CSU.

Recommendation  Support the research mission required under the RPT process in the CSU through a teaching responsibility under which such research realistically is possible. As an interim, for a 15 WTU load, 3 WTUs of advising and other non-research responsibilities, 3 WTUs of research, and 9 WTUs of direct instruction, with an eventual goal of these categories respectively becoming 3, 6, and 6.

A research active program requires PhD or equivalent terminal degree students and programs. The present Master Plan allows the CSU to have such programs (except for the EdD degree recent allowed to the CSU) only as a joint program with a unit of the UC or any independent  (private, including those that are affiliated with or supported by a religious organization) accredited college or university located within the State of California. In general, under this provision, the “senior” PhD-granting-allowed University treats the CSU campus and faculty as very “junior” partners. This approach is a leftover throwback to the CSC, and simply is not appropriate to the CSU. The CSU must be allowed either to initiate independent terminal degree programs or the “joint” programs must be expanded so that a UC or private institution cannot hold the CSU forever hostage – otherwise the People will not have the opportunities to a true higher education that the People's University must be allowed to provide. Research is a fundamental part of a true higher education for those students who truly want to understand the field they have selected.

Alternatively, if this is not to be the case, then turn back the clock: eliminate research as a RPT requirement or activity from a re-established CSC (not CSU, not a university), do not require a terminal research degree for appointment and tenure to the tenure-stream Faculty, and become once again a six-year, teaching-only college. Because the Legislature has this control over the CSU, the return to the CSC can be done, although we feel it should not be done.  However, such a return would be better than to demand the maintenance of research and a research capable and active Faculty without any meaningful provisions to succor such activities.  Note that the Carnegie Foundation (that evaluates the actual mission and niche of a university) places one CSU campus, San Diego State University (SDSU), as a research university, the only CSU campus so placed by Carnegie. In the event that the CSC is re-established, SDSU should be given exceptional status – perhaps merged with the UC.

Results:  A university in which the actual mission under which Faculty are evaluated and expected to perform will be consistent with the mandated mission under the Master Plan.

Protecting the CSU as the People's University

We have made recommendations regarding the management role and organization, the mission and direction of the CSU and public higher education in California, and alternative means of funding this branch of education. We offer our critique and ideas in the most collegial spirit and out of our dedication to our institutions and the youth, communities, and future of California. All of these analyses and recommendations will work together to protect this precious social good for the people of California.

Appendix 1
PERB Decision No. 173-H, September 22, 1981:
Composition of CSU Bargaining Unit 3[19]

In 1981, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) determined the composition of bargaining Unit 3 employees based on “the internal and occupational community of interest among the employees” and not on the basis of tenure-/non-tenure-track status:

After careful consideration of the evidence and the arguments of the parties, and the recommendations of the hearing officer, we have concluded that the purposes and policies embodied in HEERA [Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act] will be best served by placing all instructional faculty, full-time and part-time, tenured and non-tenured, including coaches and librarians, together in a comprehensive unit. It is important to note that the Decision refers to all Unit 3 employees as “instructional faculty.”

The community of interest shared by all faculty groups includes the following factors: (1) instruction as the primary function and goal; (2) supervision by means of a common scheme; (3) teaching ability as the primary qualification for employment and retention; (4) preference of advanced degrees as a basic qualification. While the Decision notes that there are a community of interest factors that differ among the faculty groups, they are insufficient to outweigh the “substantial similarity.” Tenure is not considered “so important as to overcome the community of interest which exists between tenured and non-tenured faculty.” In regards to participation in shared governance, the Decision observes that

Because the membership and participation rights of faculty members in the campus and statewide academic senates do not fully conform to their status as tenured, full-time temporary, or part-time temporary faculty . . . we do not find that the degree to which faculty participate in these governance bodies provides a basis for splitting faculty along such lines.

Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 73[20]

In 2001, the California Assembly passed a resolution urging the CSU Trustees (1) to “study its faculty hiring practices over the past decade in order to effectuate improvements in those practices” and (2) “along with the Academic Senate of the California State University and the California Faculty Association, to jointly develop a plan to raise the percentage of tenured or tenure-track faculty to at least 75%. . . .” The Resolution acknowledges that, contrary to contingent (lecturer) appointments,

Appointments of faculty to tenured and tenure-track positions recognize a mutually beneficial relationship that contributes to the long-term development of the faculty member and the quality of the instructional program available to California State University students…

It urges the Board of Trustees, the statewide Academic Senate and the California Faculty Association to develop a plan providing that “no lecturers currently employed by the university will lose their jobs as a result of implementing the plan” and that “qualified lecturers will be seriously considered for tenure-track positions.”
Appendix 2.  Recommendations for Lecturers.
For the Short Term

1.  The CSU should follow best practices with respect to lecturer provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
·                  Offer unconditional appointments to part-time lecturers with six or more years of service in a department/program with the view of extending layoff rights to them. Although not mandated by the CBA, present CSU practice is to offer all part-time lecturers conditional appointments (Articles 12 & 38).
·               Consult with lecturers regarding availability and preference for classes (Article 12), and issue assignments on a timely fashion so that lecturer names may appear on the class schedule when student enrollment begins.
·                  Incorporate service and scholarship in lecturer assignments so as to ‘re-bundle’ faculty work.[21] The CBA does not prohibit this practice and there is precedent.
·                  In terms of workload, institute lecturer class caps that are the same as for tenure-track faculty and based on the principle that “educational quality is a function of the number and quality of faculty resources” and that a lower student-faculty ratio (SFR) improves the quality of instruction (Article 20).
·                  Upon initial hire, appoint lecturers to the highest salary range available to them based on qualifications, recommendations and experience (Salary Schedule).

2. The CSU should consider statewide implementation of these other best practices from individual campuses.
·                  Grant an automatic range elevation to lecturers who complete a terminal degree
·                  Include lecturers in Emerita/Emeritus Faculty programs
·                  Allow lecturers to bank units towards SSI’s
·                  Extend to lecturers eligibility for travel, professional development and research funding/grants
·                  Upon hiring, provide lecturers with a joint CSU-CFA orientation
·                  Train department Chairs regarding lecturer rights and, in particular, correct application of the preference for work provisions in Article 12 of the CBA
·                  Provide appointment letters in a timely fashion[22]
·                  Provide notification of non-reappointment[23] and of assignment reduction in a timely fashion
·                  Provide access to office space, phones, instructional technology and support, etc.

3. Academic Senates should:
·                  Officially recognize all lecturers as faculty for the purpose of representation at all levels of shared governance in accordance with CSU Senate Resolution AS-2674-04.[24]
·                  Inform lecturer faculty about the university’s commitment to the protection of their academic freedom, and encourage them to report violations. 
·                 Develop a plan for achieving equity between lecturers and tenure-track faculty.[25]

4. Departments should:         
·               Encourage eligible full-time lecturers to participate in difference-in-pay and sabbatical leaves and in other programs that provide opportunities for professional development (CBA Articles 27 & 28). 
·               Give lecturers priority consideration for tenure-track positions, in the spirit of ACR 73.

For the Long Term
HEERA, PERB Decision No. 173-H and ACR 73 provide compelling arguments in support of implementing AAUP recommendations on conversion of part- and full-time lecturers in the CSU.
The CSU, the CFA and the academic senates should jointly develop and implement a plan for the conversion of qualified lecturers to tenured and tenure-eligible status based on the principles and guidelines set forth by the AAUP in Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession (2003) and Conversion of Appointments to the Tenure Track (2009). The former includes guidelines for the development of a conversion plan (for example, through the “grandfathering” of positions) and recommends that “plans for conversion…be addressed by duly constituted faculty bodies that invite the participation of contingent faculty.”[26] The latter contains an appendix on existing conversion practices and proposals. Like ACR-73, both documents emphasize that conversion of appointments can and should be carried out without negative consequences for faculty currently serving in contingent positions.[27]
American Association of University Professors, “Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession,” statement adopted November, 2003.
Bandura, A. 1977. Social learning theory.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Barber, M. 2007. Instruction to Deliver: Fighting to Transform Britain’s Public Services. Politico’s Publishing: London.
Baum, Sandy and Kathleen Payea. 2005 (rev. ed.) “The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society,” Education Pays 2004, Trends in Higher Education Series. College Board.
Brechin, Gray, “Republic of Dunces: Why and Who is Dismantling California’s Public Education System, with a Sidelong Glance at how the New Deal Built it during the last Depression,” UC Berkeley, Sept. 24, 2009.
Callahan, R.E. 1962. Education and the cult of efficiency: A study of the social forces that have shaped the administration of the public schools. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dewey, J.  1938.  Experience and education.  Indianapolis: Kappa Delta Pi.
Douglass, John Aubrey. 2010.  “Re-Imagining California Higher Education,” Research and Occasional Paper Series, Center for Studies in Higher Education 14: 10, University of California, Berkeley, October.
Douglass, John Aubrey. 2010.  “From Chaos to Order and Back? A Revisionist Reflection on the California Master Plan for Higher Education@50 and Thoughts About Its Future,” Research and Occasional Paper Series, Center for Studies in Higher Education7:10, University of California, Berkeley, May.
Miller, Shazia, Elaine Allensworth, and Julie Kochanek.  May, 2002. The State of Chicago Public High Schools: 1993 to 2000, Student Performance: Course Taking, Test Scores, and Outcomes. Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Nelson, Cary. 2010. No University is an Island.  New York: NYU Press.
Porter, Kathleen. 2002. The Value of a College Degree. ERIC Digest,
Ravitch, Diane. 2010. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books.
Seddon, John. 2008. Systems Thinking in the Public Sector: The Failure of the Reform Regime.... and a Manifesto for a Better Way United Kingdom: Triarchy Press
Tyack, D.B. 1974. The one best system: A history of American urban education.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Vygotsky, L.S. 1997. Collected works.  New York: Plenum Press.
Yamada, Teri. 2010. “Restructuring the California State University: A Call to Action,” Thought and Action Fall, V. 26: 91-107.
Zemsky, Robert and Joni Finney, “Changing the Subject: Costs, Graduation Rates, and the Importance of Re-engineering the Undergraduate Curriculum,” Institute for Research on Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania, Feb. 2010.

[1] The authors all teach at CSU campuses, so much of our argument refers to the CSU, though we make the same kinds of observations about the University of California and the California Community College systems. We have collaborators from these other branches of the public higher education establishment, whose input is greatly valued.
[2] We owe to Teri Yamada a thoroughgoing and precise historical overview of the re-structuring ‘movement’ in the CSU (2010).
[3] At Cal State Sacramento, administrators used general fund money to cover an investment that went bad. See Jack Dolan, “California public universities tap student fees of unintended projects,” Los Angeles Times online, April 4, 2010,
[4] An on-going example of these practices is the hiring of a retired administrator into a half-time administrative post at CSU Fullerton. The individual is earning $165,104 for this half-time position, while his retirement income is $105,129. Were a faculty member to have this kind of opportunity or income, the trustees and public would be up at arms. Examples of this costly double standard abound on all campuses and at the CSU system headquarters.
[6] If someone offered you money, and the only strings attached to it were that you had to spend the money that they gave you on food, your hands would not be tied regarding the rest of your budget. The gift would free you to reallocate funds, such as towards your other bills that were going unpaid because you previously had to devote your inadequate funds to food. California’s higher educational system could do the equivalent of this. The CSU Chancellor’s Office’s rejection of AB 1326 on these grounds thus surpasses all understanding.
[7] "Perspectives on CSU Budget Gap," July 24, 2009. His view that reorganization, increased class size, changes in admission policy, program elimination, and more distance learning were a natural response to budget cuts, was echoed in a later memorandum from Vice Chancellor and CFO Benjamin Quillian (2009).
[8] Every entity in a resource-limited environment must deal with costs, and outcomes are a reasonable approach to a cost-benefit analysis. However, it is the benefits – the outcomes – that are not properly constructed in the CSU model, nor are all of the costs – such as the extravagantly expensive CMS (Common Management System software) that cost the CSU over $660 million – justifiable.
[9] Public Citizen provides a comprehensive analysis of the transition of higher education from public service to global service industry, “WTO U: GATs and Higher Education Policy,”
[10] These programs can be easily found on the web sites of any CSU institutions.
[11] This was at a public gathering attended by some of the authors.
[12] Benjamin Bloom has described two basic stages to cognitive development. The first and lower stage consists of recognition and recall, comprehension and application. The second, and higher, stage consists of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Higher education should be designed to ensure that students achieve this higher stage.

Stage I:
Recognition and recall is what you are being tested for when you are asked on a test, for example, to repeat a definition for a term. Rote memorization is an example of this process. When you know a second language enough to understand some words and phrases, you are using recognition and recall. To actually speak well in that second language, you need to understand the language better, using stage II skills (see below).

Comprehension means that you understand what you are reading, hearing or seeing on the level of “it makes sense to me.” This is the level at which students often stop in their studying. Comprehension is not yet at the level at which you can fully explain a concept to someone else.

Application means taking a concept and using that concept in a specific and concrete way. This goes beyond being able to recite a definition for a concept since in application one is actually using the concept. When you are given a question that cites a hypothetical or real situation, and you are asked which concept best explains that situation, you are being asked to apply your knowledge.

Stage II:

Analysis means taking something apart, and understanding its component parts and their inter-relationships. For example, analysis of a car might involve taking that car apart, and being able to explain what each part does. Analysis of a language could involve looking at sentence structure and the rules for forming sentences. Analysis of a movie would be movie criticism.

Synthesis means being able to create something new from disparate parts. Synthesis occurs on the basis of analysis, but is a higher stage in that it involves the creation of something that did not exist before. For example, synthesis would be to take certain parts of a car and by using some other parts put together a tractor or some other machine. When you take words and write a new poem, you have done synthesis. If instead of simply analyzing a movie or play, you wrote a screenplay or play, this would be synthesis.

Evaluation is the highest stage of cognitive development in Bloom's taxonomy. It builds upon all of the preceding. It is the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an argument and compare and contrast different arguments. It is Meta-Analysis. Without this, you would be unable to reach a true independent judgment. Instead, you would have to accept the opinions of others. A plethora of information is available today, and information is, of course, important. But what is even more important is the ability to sift through the information and sources and the ability to figure out what’s valid and what is not.
[13] Ivan Illich makes this argument in several of his works, but especially DeSchooling Society, (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1971).
[14] One of us was surprised and pleased to see that her alma mater, Mount Holyoke College, was undertaking a President’s Commission on Work-Life Balance, cf. .  Such a community-oriented, collegial initiative would never occur to the corporate leadership of the modern CSU.
[15] A true People’s University would have universal access, i.e., no financial restriction on those who are qualified to attend. We are far from this goal in our country.
[16] American Association of University Professors, “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,”    
[17] American Association of University Professors, “Tenure and Teaching-Intensive Appointments (2010),
[18] Retention, Promotion, and Tenure.
[19] State of California Decision of the Public Employment Relations Board, PERB Decision No. 173-H, September 22, 1981, 1
[20] Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 73--Relative to the California State University, May 15, 2001,
[21]To support the essential mission of higher education, faculty appointments, including contingent appointments, should incorporate all aspects of university life: active engagement with an academic discipline, teaching or mentoring of undergraduate or graduate students, participation in academic decision making, and service on campus and to the surrounding community. Faculty who are appointed to less-than-full-time positions should participate at least to some extent in the full range of faculty responsibilities. For all faculty members in contingent positions, this participation should be supported by compensation and institutional resources and recognized in the processes of evaluation and peer review’. Policy Statement on Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession (2003),
[22] For part-time faculty, the AAUP recommends that ‘Written notice of reappointment or non-reappointment…be issued no later than one month before the end of the existing appointment.’ Regulation 13 on ‘Part-Time Faculty Appointments’ in Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure (2006), For full-time faculty, the AAUP recommends greater advance notice. 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,
[23] Ibid.
[24] Service of Lecturer Faculty on Campus Academic Senates, AS-2674-04/FA, November 11-12, 2004,
[25]The isolation of contingent faculty from opportunities to interact with their tenured or tenure-track colleagues and to participate in faculty governance, professional development, and scholarly pursuits promotes divisions and distinctions that undermine the collegial nature of the academic community. Taken together, these inequities weaken the whole profession and diminish its capacity to serve the public good’. Policy Statement on Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession (2003),
[26] Ibid.
[27] American Association of University Professionals, Tenure and Teaching-Intensive Appointments (2010),