By Jonathan Montgomery
Daily Titan Staff Writer
The Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) has called upon all 23 campuses comprising the California State University system to designate March 2, 2010 as a faculty furlough day. Referred to as â€œA Day Without CSU,â€ advocates of the plan believe this will act as a demonstration to educate people on the impact budget cuts have on students and the state as a whole.
Whether or not the call will be received and implemented into CSU, let alone Cal State Fullerton, has yet to be known. The call, which is not a binding or executive order, is voluntary for professors to choose, and depends on their own individual schedules, said Scott Hewitt, chair of the CSUF Academic Senate, in an e-mail.
According to the resolution sent out by ASCSU, the rationale behind summoning the CSU is a direct result of the, “unprecedented cut of over a half a billion dollars to state funding of the CSU,” that resulted in increased student fees, cuts in course offerings, denial of admission to eligible transfer students in spring 2010, possible delays in student graduation, cancellation of state-funded summer session on most campuses, and a furlough of faculty and staff.
â€œThe faculty of the CSU can educate its stakeholders about the effects that deep cuts in state funding to the CSU have on students and the state. Canceling all classes throughout the system on a single day will provide a powerful demonstration of the impact of state budget cuts on the CSU and provide an opportunity to educate our stakeholders about the lost opportunity for higher education faced by students denied access to the CSU,” reads the resolution.
â€œI think it works. People realize that without CSU working, thereâ€™s a big absence,â€ said Eric Reyes, assistant professor in the Asian American Studies Program.
Additionally, Reyes said the hope, dream and promise of education under the California Master Plan, which has allowed students to gain knowledge and skills, is being broken and warped.
â€œA Day without CSU shows that the cracks are wide; the riffs are getting bigger. People need to see that. People who work here, go to school here – we understand this. Everyone is walking around with an incredible sense of tension and anxiety. The general public needs to share that,” Reyes added.
However, not all professors agree that the â€œA Day without CSU,â€ will provide much of a message at all.
â€œThey ought to do six furlough days all at the same time, shut down the whole CSU system for a week,â€ said Donald Matthewson, professor in the Division of Politics, Administration & Justice.
â€œThat has an impact. A day? Nobody cares. The papers will barely pick it up. But if you shut down for a week or two weeks, and say â€˜these are our furlough days,â€™ then youâ€™re going to get somebodyâ€™s attention.â€
President Gordon had already announced three furlough days for instructional faculty during spring 2010 as Jan. 22, Feb. 12 and Feb. 16. By Dec. 11, faculty will have needed to submit which days they would like to have their furloughs to department chairs and program coordinators.
With spring semester looming, it is only a matter of time before the seriousness of this calling is revealed as professors disclose whether or not March 2, 2010, is one of the furlough days they selected.