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Cal State trustees leave intact remedial education reforms while officials warn of tuition hike

By in Press Enterprise on November 9, 2017

By EdSource

By LARRY GORDON, EdSource

The governing body of the Cal State University system in effect upheld an education reform plan that eliminates non-credit remedial courses and overhauls math requirements, despite faculty claims that the changes are happening too quickly and without enough study.

However, some members of the CSU board of trustees said they were concerned about protests from the Northridge campus that its requirements for students to take ethnic studies and cultural diversity classes might get squeezed out by new statewide rules aimed at speeding the time to graduation. So, CSU administrators said they were willing to grant the Northridge campus an extra year, until 2019, to work out a solution on that issue.

Trustee Peter Taylor, chairman of the board’s finance committee, otherwise expressed strong support for keeping the fall 2018 deadline for most of the academic changes enacted by CSU chancellor Timothy White and his staff. Taylor said delays would hurt efforts to raise graduation rates, particularly for under-represented minorities. “The status quo is simply not acceptable,” he said.

He dismissed complaints from the faculty union and Academic Senate that administrators did not consult with professors enough, and he supported the administration’s contention that the issue had been discussed for two years and it was time to “move an agenda forward.”

There was no formal vote to endorse, revoke or, as the system wide Academic Senate wanted, delay the overall plan by a year until 2019. By opting not to act, beyond addressing Northridge’s ethnic studies classes, trustees appeared to quash any faculty hopes for a board revolt against White.

Earlier, Jennifer Eagan, president of the professors’ union, California Faculty Association, called on the trustees to rescind the executive orders that put the changes in motion. “You can not successfully govern the CSU by fiat,” she told them at their meeting in Long […]    

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