Sonoma State University Ethnic Studies Resolution In Opposition to the Chancellor’s Office (CO) Proposed Implementation of AB 1460
RESOLVED, that the Sonoma State University (SSU) Academic Senate stands in opposition to the CSU Chancellor’s Office interpretation of AB 1460 which requires the creation of a new General Education Area F Ethnic Studies 3-unit requirement and a simultaneous reduction in Area D units, specifically D-3; and be it further resolved
RESOLVED, that the SSU Academic Senate of Sonoma State University ask the Board of Trustees to rescind their Title V July 2020 changes; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the SSU Academic Senate ask that the leadership of the Academic Senate CSU (ASCSU) and the Chancellor’s Office rescind their acceptance of the Ethnic Studies core competencies until the CSU Council on Ethnic Studies (CSUCES) has met with CSU Ethnic Studies Department or Program experts, to discuss, vet, and officially approve the proposed Student Learning Outcomes (core competencies) and there has been authentic collaboration among the CSUES, the ASCSU and Chancellor’s Office about the competencies as required by AB 1460; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the SSU Academic Senate endorses the suggestion of several of our sibling campus senates that the timeline for implementation of the requirement be extended to allow for effective and genuine collaboration between the CO, ASCSU, CSUCES and Ethnic Studies faculty as defined by AB 1460, and to allow for campuses to implement transitional plans that meet the spirit and provisions of the bill while developing longer-term implementations; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the SSU Academic Senate strongly urge that campuses be given autonomy in the implementation of AB1460 in order to consult with campus shared governance bodies and Ethnic Studies faculty about the most appropriate way to implement the requirement for each campus; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the SSU Academic Senate proposes that consistent with campus autonomy, campuses be free to structure the requirement to allow students the flexibility to meet the Ethnic Studies requirement with either lower division or upper division courses; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the SSU Academic Senate asserts that campuses should be trusted to take into consideration the important issues of time to degree and the transferability of requirements across institutions that is so crucial to the timely completion of degree for all students in the CSU, especially those in majors with limited flexibility because of high unit requirements; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the SSU Academic Senate extend our thanks to the Northridge, San Francisco, San Marcos, Monterey Bay, Humboldt, Pomona and Stanislaus campus senates for their templates for this resolution; and be it further
RESOLVED, that this resolution be distributed to Chancellor White, Executive Vice Chancellor Student and Academic Affairs Blanchard, CSU Board of Trustees, ASCSU Chair, CSU Council on Ethnic Studies, Council of Academic Senate Chairs, SSU Deans and Department Chairs, and the SSU Council on Ethnic Studies.
Governor Newsom signed AB 1460 into law on August 17, 2020 providing an explicit pathway for an Ethnic Studies requirement in the CSU.* Anticipating the Governor’s signature on the bill, in May 2020 the Chancellor’s Office proposed to the CSU Board of Trustees a new General Education Area F 3-unit requirement in Ethnic Studies and Social Justice and a simultaneous reduction of Area D by 3 units. The Board of Trustees approved said proposal at their July 2020 meeting. After the Governor signed AB 1460, the Chancellor’s Office proposed an amendment to the new Title V Area F language to remove “and Social Justice” which is before the Board of Trustees as an action item at their November 2020 meeting. In addition, the Chancellor’s office issued a memo on September 10, 2020 outlining a restrictive timeline for implementation of AB 1460 and general parameters for the requirement. On October 8, 2020, the Chancellor’s Office issued draft changes to EO 1100 proposing the new General Education requirement be structured by moving 3 units from GE Area D to the new Area F and mandating that the new requirement be met by Ethnic Studies or Ethnic Studies cross-listed courses.
AB-1460 does not specify that the Ethnic Studies requirement be in General Education nor that it be met with be an upper or lower division course. Campus faculty are the experts in designing and executing curriculum and our Ethnic Studies faculty across departments are experts in the discipline. Furthermore, the Chancellor’s Office interpretation of AB 1460 would necessitate substantial impacts to many programs at Sonoma State University, requiring time to consider and address those impacts. The Chancellor's Office has created an impossible timeline to ensure appropriate consultation, deliberation, and conversation with constituent groups on how to design and implement the requirement as is most appropriate for each campus. In addition, many CSU campuses experienced tumultuous changes in GE in due to E.O. 1100 Revised. And all campuses are also currently constrained by contingent emergencies including, but not limited to—the COVID-19 global pandemic, wildfires and other climate-based natural disasters, and the national economic downturn affecting state allocations to the CSU. We therefore join the Northridge, San Francisco, San Marcos, Monterey Bay, Humboldt, Pomona and Stanislaus senates in opposing the Chancellor’s Office plan to implement AB 1460, and recommend that campuses retain the autonomy to implement the new Ethnic Studies requirement consistent with the provisions of AB 1460 in a way most appropriate for their unique circumstances.
*AB 1460 stipulates the following be added to the Education Code: SEC. 2. Section 89032 is added to the Education Code, to read: 89032.
It is the intent of the Legislature that students of the California State University acquire the knowledge and skills that will help them comprehend the diversity and social justice history of the United States and of the society in which they live to enable them to contribute to that society as responsible and constructive citizens.
Commencing with the 2021–22 academic year, the California State University shall provide for courses in ethnic studies at each of its campuses.
The California State University shall collaborate with the California State University Council on Ethnic Studies and the Academic Senate of the California State University to develop core competencies to be achieved by students who complete an ethnic studies course pursuant to implementation of this section. The council and the academic senate shall approve the core competencies before commencement of the 2021–22 academic year.
Commencing with students graduating in the 2024–25 academic year, the California State University shall require, as an undergraduate graduation requirement, the completion of, at minimum, one three-unit course in ethnic studies. The university shall not increase the number of units required to graduate from the university with a baccalaureate degree by the enforcement of this requirement. This graduation requirement shall not apply to a post baccalaureate student who is enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program at the university if the student has satisfied either of the following:
The student has earned a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency.
The student has completed an ethnic studies course at a postsecondary educational institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency.