One important thing about this letter, from my perspective, is that it demonstrates my ability to communicate in writing - an important job skill I'll be counting on once I need to look for another form of employment.
Mr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
401 Golden Shore
Long Beach, CA 90802
September 28, 2009
Dear Chancellor Reed,
I am a full-time lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at California State University, Stanislaus – just one of the 23 underfunded campuses in the CSU system. I have taught here for eleven years, and contributed my time and energy to the university through uncompensated scholarship and service, just like many of my fellow lecturer colleagues routinely do.
Today is my second furlough day this academic year. I am taking the time today to write to you urging that you take a more active role advocating for the good of the CSU. Let me remind you of your words when announcing the higher education funding “compact” you agreed to with Governor Schwarzenegger:
“Gov. Schwarzenegger is to be congratulated for his exceptionally strong commitment to higher education, particularly given that the state still is experiencing fiscal difficulties. He clearly knows CSU’s and UC’s impact on the state’s economy, and recognizes that to keep the state strong, higher education must continue to produce graduates for the workforce and to provide research capabilities and community service that benefit the state and its residents,” said CSU Chancellor Reed.
This quotation, from the CSU press release of May 11, 2004, indicates your belief that the Governor understands the importance of the CSU to our students and to the state’s economy and fiscal well-being. However, it now appears that the CSU is not a significant spending priority for the governor at all. The governor, and the legislature, must be made to account for these decisions.
Instead, the CSU has offered employee furloughs and increased student fees. These are not solutions for the CSU’s long-term funding.
You, more than anyone else, are in a position to speak on behalf of the CSU. You, more than anyone else, should understand the significant role the CSU plays in the economic and social well-being of all Californians.
You are tasked with being a steward for the interests of the entire California State University system. This means, I believe, that you have a responsibility to advocate the common interest of the students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the CSU. That common interest is stated well in the Mission of the California State University:
- To advance and extend knowledge, learning, and culture, especially throughout California.
- To provide opportunities for individuals to develop intellectually, personally, and professionally.
- To prepare significant numbers of educated, responsible people to contribute to California's schools, economy, culture, and future.
- To encourage and provide access to an excellent education to all who are prepared for and wish to participate in collegiate study.
Chancellor Reed, I submit to you that respect for this mission demands a commitment to work to fully fund the CSU. Do not allow the CSU budget to be slashed still further. Join the California Faculty Association in support of AB 656, to provide a guaranteed and predictable revenue stream for higher education in California. Demonstrate your support for the CSU, and your own stewardship of the CSU.