Resolution Urging Amendments to California SB 520, Steinberg (D-Sacramento) Creating the “California Online Student Access Platform”

Resolved:  That the Sonoma State University Academic Senate affirm the legal requirement that the State of California established under the California Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) that “academic and professional matters” be determined by “faculty shared governance mechanisms” (Sec. 3561) rather than legislatively or administratively; and be it further
 
Resolved:  That the Sonoma State University (SSU) Academic Senate welcome Senator Darrell Steinberg’s commitment to fostering innovation in teaching and access to courses in California public higher education; and be it further

Resolved: That the SSU Academic Senate endorse the findings in the April 4, 2013 letter from The Executive Committee of the Academic Senate CSU to Senator Steinberg, which provides useful analysis of the problems in the existing draft of SB 520; and be it further

Resolved:  That the SSU Academic Senate urge Senator Steinberg and all interested stakeholders to come together to modify SB 520 to achieve its worthy goals without sacrificing the principle of faculty control of the curriculum established in HEERA; and be it further

Resolved:  That the SSU Academic Senate maintain that SB 520 and any similar legislation should abide by principles linked to existing academic and professional standards, among which are:

  1. All classes offered for credit in California public higher education should be taught by faculty-of-record who have been hired and evaluated according to professional standards established by the three segments’ shared governance systems.
  2. All classes offered for credit in California public higher education should be approved by the offering campus according to the curricular standards established by the shared governance bodies on that campus.
  3. All classes accepted for transfer in California public higher education should originate in or be formally approved through established curricular review processes in accredited institutions of higher education.
  4. In order to maintain the quality of coursework used to satisfy degree requirements, students wishing to substitute coursework from non-accredited institutions/entities for requirements in California’s institutions of public higher education, should be advised to use existing mechanisms for credit by exam (or an institution’s alternative such as a portfolio) to demonstrate satisfactory attainment of course/program learning objectives.

Resolved:  That copies of this resolution be distributed to Senator Darrell Steinberg, all members of the California State Legislature, the Academic Senates and systemwide administrations of all institutions of California Public Higher Education, the California Faculty Association, and to the press (Press Democrat, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed).

Approved by the Senate 4/11/13