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Open Letter to the CSU Board of Trustees
Our Next Chancellor

We need a Chancellor who is devoted to public education and works tirelessly to secure state funding for the CSU. Our new Chancellor would know that rather than putting up more barriers to student access to the CSU (such as impaction, additional quantitative reasoning admission requirements, and suppressing enrollment), we need more state funding to fulfill the promise of four-year public higher education for all of California’s students. 

We need a Chancellor who knows our students – the majority of whom are students of color and many the first in their families to attend college – and what they face.  More than using students as photo opportunities, we need a Chancellor who will do whatever it takes to secure what students need to succeed. Knowing that success means more than four-year graduation rates, our new Chancellor should be committed to helping students follow their own paths unfettered – unfettered by ever-increasing tuition and fees, a lack of classes, overworked faculty without job security, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia on campus, homelessness, and food insecurity.  A worthy leader would not shame students for choosing their own pace or taking non-traditional paths to graduation.  Our students deserve a leader who will protect their mental health and the rights of undocumented immigrants. We need a Chancellor who will fight to make sure all students can succeed.

Our new Chancellor should know that students need dedicated and ethnically diverse faculty who have equitable salaries, job security, a humane work-life balance, academic freedom, and respect for their intellectual property, in order to serve students well. Respecting academic freedom, our new Chancellor should defend the rights of faculty when they face hateful attacks or say something unpopular.

We need a Chancellor who knows how to lead in a unionized workplace and works with, rather than against, their employees.  The relationship between labor and management in the CSU has always been fraught, but it need not be.  We need a leader who will change the toxic culture of disrespect for labor at the CSU, and value the work of all employees who serve the system.  It is possible to work with campus labor unions to create fair working conditions with competitive salaries.  The absence of labor representation in the stakeholder advisory group is a serious oversight by the Board and if uncorrected it will negatively affect the outcome of this important search.

When dissention happens, and students protest or faculty and staff exercise their rights as workers, we need a Chancellor who will not be afraid of oppositional free speech.  Students, staff, and community members exercising their rights should not be greeted with airport-style security searches, physical barriers, and militarized police wearing riot gear on state property.  Our new Chancellor should not be afraid of free speech on campuses or at the Chancellor’s Office.  They should welcome the airing of views and perspectives, and they should accept that free speech – even at times harsh, loud or uncomfortable – is part of working in a university environment.

The faculty, students, and staff of the People’s University deserve an open search process and meaningful participation in choosing the system’s next executive CFA has worked tirelessly to increase state funding and access and equity for students, reduce the cost of the university for students, promote anti-racism and social justice, and secure just salary and working conditions. We look forward to working with a new Chancellor who will partner with us in these efforts.

 

Sincerely,

Officers of the California Faculty Association

 

Charles Toombs
President                                                           

Kevin Wehr
Vice President

Diane Blair
Secretary

Susan Green
Treasurer

Leslie Bryan
Associate VP Lecturers, South

Meghan O’Donnell
Associate VP Lecturers, North

Darel Engen
Associate VP, South

Margarita Berta-Ávila
Associate VP, North                      

Sharon Elise
Associate VP Racial & Social Justice, South

Chris Cox
​Associate VP Racial & Social Justice, North

Commands