January 25, 2002
CSU Needs Student Voices!
The CSU Board of Trustees (BOT) wants to hire fewer tenured full-time faculty to teach you!
Indeed the BOT has used your tuition and fees dollars to pay attorneys to allow unlimited part-time faculty and unlimited non-tenured faculty at CSU. After spending your money to achieve this, you can bet that the BOT plans to escalate the number of these faculty who lack true academic freedom and who serve only instructional roles. The AAUP believes your tuition dollars should be working to improve your education rather than to degrade it!
Why Does CSU Need Tenured Full-Time Faculty?
In addition to standard instruction, full-time tenured faculty provide your academic advising, direct your independent study research, write letters of recommendation for your employment or graduate school, design modern courses incorporating new technology, administer department funds for your instruction, evaluate teaching in your home department, search for new faculty to add new dimensions to your program of study, provide leadership on committees that govern how the university operates, are a critical element in accreditation for your degree program, and carry out critical research that makes your instruction modern and can involve you in cutting-edge research experiences. CSU needs more full-time tenured faculty to provide these critical services to you and your fellow students.
Could Part-Time Faculty Provide These Services?
The AAUP is not saying that part-time faculty fail to provide excellent instruction in the classroom, rather, part-time faculty simply do not provide the other essential services listed above. This is no personal fault of part-time faculty. The fact is that part-time faculty rarely have offices, telephones, or computers on campus to assist you...even in course-related ways. Part-time faculty pay is so poor that part-time faculty must work at several universities in order to earn a sufficient living to provide for their families. The commuting time and teaching time at other universities leaves no time for them to provide non-instructional services at CSU. Because part-time faculty have no guarantee of future employment, they may not even be here when you might need a letter of recommendation in the future.
I'm Graduating in May, Why Should I Care?
Even if you are a graduating senior, your opinion needs to be heard. The perceived value of your degree depends upon the continuing high-quality of the educational experience at CSU. If the BOT is allowed to cut the quality of the complete educational package at CSU, then the diploma you have worked so hard to earn becomes worth much less. As new alumni, your voice could speak powerfully to the BOT to maintain the level of quality instructional support at CSU.
What Can Students Do To Help Prevent This?
The purpose of CSU is to serve the needs of you...our students. This is the center of CSU's mission and the BOT, the Governor, and the Legislature must listen to your concerns about the quality of your experience at CSU. If you feel that the BOT lacks the vision that it takes to provide for your needs at CSU, you need to tell them so. None of us can afford to have the accreditation of CSU in jeopardy, and the part-time faculty percentage is already a concern of NEASC in their last visit. For Fall 2001, the percentage of course instruction by part-time faculty at ECSU is 32%. Further increases in this percentage will only cheapen your degree and reduce your chances for employment or graduate school in the future. Adding the new class of untenurable faculty on top of this just makes conditions worse. This needs to be explained in your own words, and in your parent's own words, to the people at the following addresses:
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