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ERIC Number: ED518394
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
Two Studies of a Faculty in Crisis: The CSU Crisis and California's Future
Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles
The fundamental asset of a university is its faculty. Without faculty working with students, the university is just a set of buildings. The faculty design and teach the courses, keep the educational program updated, and work with students to help them gain the skills and knowledge they need to prepare for their careers or professional education. The quality of faculty is very directly linked to the quality of a student's education and the value of the degree. The research released in these two new studies from the Civil Rights Project shows that the budget cutbacks at the California State University (CSU) system are already reducing the quality of education faculty can offer students. The CSU now faces large additional cuts. These reports are part of a series of independent original studies designed to analyze the impact of fiscal cutbacks in the CSU system on higher education opportunities. The Civil Rights Project is particularly interested in these issues because the CSU system is an extremely important pathway for opening opportunity to historically excluded groups of Latino, African American and poor students in California. The first of these new studies, "Faculty under Siege: Demoralization and Educational Decline in CSU" (Gary Orfield) shows that faculty in the CSU system are severely impacted by budget cuts as the sizes of their classrooms increase, and resources and support are cut away. What they can offer their students is declining given that teaching loads are too big and support too weak. This study offers new data showing specific shifts in workload and sources of stress before and after the budget cuts. This survey collected data from hundreds of faculty members at multiple CSU campuses, while the second survey provides more in-depth qualitative data on a smaller sample of faculty on one-campus. The second study, "The Worst of Times: Faculty Productivity and Job Satisfaction During the CSU Budget Crisis" (Helen H. Hyun, Rafael M. Diaz, and Sahar Khoury) concludes from in-depth interviews that faculty are experiencing increased workloads, larger class sizes, reductions in salary and resources, and a lack of time for scholarship due to significant budget cuts. These sources of stress, along with declining campus morale, and uncertainty about their futures in the profession, all led to reports of diminished career satisfaction and negative impacts on the personal lives of the faculty participants. While the second study adds much more depth in terms of qualitative data collected from faculty, this data supports the findings of the faculty survey conducted in the first study. The findings from both studies show that faculty overall have been negatively impacted by the budget cuts, creating more sources of stress due to increased workload and decreased resources. Both studies also point out that the additional budget cuts set for the system have the ability to critically change the mission of the educational system with long-term implications to the system's welfare. Appendices include: (1) Semi-structured Faculty Interview Protocol; and (2) Faculty Career Satisfaction Questionnaire. (Contains 7 figures and 2 footnotes.) [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the California State University (CSU) Faculty Association.]
Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles. 8370 Math Sciences, P.O. Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521. Tel: 310-267-5562; Fax: 310-206-6293; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of California, Los Angeles, Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles
Identifiers - Location: California