Cal State Fullerton may lay off its American Language Program faculty

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International students listen to an American Language Program lecturer speak during a course at Cal State Fullerton.
(Elizabeth Hummer / Daily Titan File Photo)

The CSU Chancellor’s office has notified the California Faculty Association that faculty members may be laid off from the American Language Program at Cal State Fullerton due to a “programmatic change,” according to March 8 emails between ALP lecturer Bruce Rubin and CFA field representative Charles Marchese.

“Few people on campus … are aware of this pending move. (ALP students) are starting to hear about it through the rumor mill, and they’re panicking,” Rubin said in an email to the Daily Titan. “They have complex visa issues to worry about.”

Rubin also said in the email that faculty were told in a meeting that ALP would no longer be accepting applications from students for the 32-year-old program.

ALP offers courses and guidance to familiarize incoming international students from more than 60 countries with American language and culture. It also provides networking exercises and resources to students who may find themselves perplexed by or unaccustomed to the U.S.

Christopher Swarat, interim associate vice president of University Extended Education and International Programs and Global Engagement at CSUF, said in an email that the ALP is currently “under review.”

When asked to specify what he meant by “under review,” Swarat said in an email that self-support programs like the ALP are routinely assessed on enrollment trends and financial viability, but there was “no additional information to share at the time.”

“CFA representatives, including a bargaining committee of ALP faculty, will be meeting with CSU representatives in the near future,” Marchese said in the email to Rubin.

At Thursday’s Academic Senate meeting, senator Jon Bruschke asked Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Kari Knutson Miller about the status of the ALP after being approached by instructors in the program who were concerned it might be phased out.

Knutson Miller did not give any details about the program’s status, and would not say how or when a decision on the program’s fate would be made.

“(Students) are in limbo not knowing whether they will be able to complete their program or take the classes. That’s just a bad spot for the students to be in,” Bruschke said. “There are families living in other countries that have invested all of their scarce resources trying to get a family member to our campus to get a degree.”

Breanna Belken contributed to this report.

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