Wednesday, August 12, 2009

are we gonna get sued?

Andrew brought it up, I think. The impact of the state budget cuts to the CSU, and of the furlough deemed necessary to achieve salary savings to make ends meet, is that the CSU is admittedly doing all that it can to cut enrollment and reduce class offerings. What no one ever seems to make a fuss about is that these budget-cutting policies probably violate state law and executive orders from the CSU Chancellor's office.

For instance, executive order 523 (EO 523 in pdf), issued in 1988, sets out formulas for determining eligibility for regular admission to the CSU. The goal of that EO is to create a policy that will permit the CSU to comply with California ed code sections 40753, 40754, and 40601 (at the time; I'm not sure the numbering has remained consistent).

Some deans have proposed shifting basic courses to extended education, across a number of departments. These are regular, credit-bearing courses, so shifting them over to extension would save some bucks - students would pay an additional fee per unit, and faculty would be paid much lower extension rates and receive no benefits. But the policy would also probably violate EO 804 and relevant ed code sections.

The furlough program will make it very challenging for the CSU faculty to comply with EO 79, Individual Faculty Obligation to Meet Classes. (This is one of my favorites. It's fun to speculate exactly what was going on in 1969 - when the EO was promulgated - that required this policy.)

This academic year, the entire CSU - 23 campuses, maybe 18,000 faculty when all the contingent faculty are caused to disappear, around 400,000 students - will almost certainly fail to follow its own policies, and may violate state law regarding higher education. So, does this possibly subject the CSU to a massive law suit, say, a class action, literally, on behalf of the students? Or a criminal investigation by the attorney general? (Is the CSU about to commit massive fraud?)

No comments: