CSU plans to hire 600 to 700 new faculty by fall

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The California State University plans to hire 600 to 700 full-time positions by this fall as both the CSU and UC systems struggle to hire more tenure-track faculty in light of recent budget cuts.

An allotment of $125 million from the state last year to the CSU system helped fund 470 new faculty positions. The proposed allocation for this year’s budget is $142.2 million each for the CSU and UC systems, although they are requesting an additional $95 million and $124.9 million, respectively. Steven Filling, chair of the CSU Academic Senate, stressed that with the net loss of 59 CSU faculty members last year, more funds are needed to support faculty positions.

“Ideally, we’d get new money for additional faculty and therefore better services for students. Then we wouldn’t have to turn away students who are qualified,” Filling said. “Increase in teachers, increase in classes offered.”

CSU students can expect to see new tenure-track professors in the classroom by fall. But the net hiring impact at the end of the academic year may only be about 250 with retirements and resignations factored in, according to C. Judson King, director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education. Additionally, temporary or part-time positions may be taken over by new tenure-track faculty.

Meanwhile, the UC system wants to use $21.8 million of the extra $124.9 million they are requesting to fund hiring new faculty, buying new equipment and enrolling 2,100 more students, according to UC spokesperson Dianne Klein.

Gov. Jerry Brown previously pushed UC and CSU schools to reduce costs themselves through online courses and flexible curriculum.

“Right now, the state legislature is in negotiations, so we’re hopeful,” Klein said. “(The $124.9 million) is not a wish list, per se. It’s our very best effort, and we’re looking under every rock.”

Caitlin Quinn, 2014-2015 ASUC external affairs vice president, said she hopes the UC system will follow the CSU system’s lead and acquire more funding to prevent departments like Gender and Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies from shrinking.

“I think it’s good to see a big influx of faculty for the students, and as UC students, we should be in solidarity with the CSU students and advocate for more faculty and funding here,” Quinn said.

The CSU has about 23,000 faculty, including tenure-track, full-time, part-time and temporary positions. According to Filling, the CSU system falls far below meeting the 75 percent tenure-track recommendation of a resolution passed by the state legislature in 2001.

“In the intervening years, we’ve taken more students and the classes get bigger,” Filling said. “When they do, we start to not do as much of the thing that makes that successful, which is develop relationships directly with students.”

Contact Natalie Meier at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nat_meier.