Race to the Bottom: The Price Students Pay

The following is the Executive Summary of a report issued by the California Faculty Association, which represents all faculty in the 23-campus California State University system.  The report is the fourth and final one in a series.  To see the entire series go to http://www.calfac.org/race-to-the-bottom

Over the last decade, the administration of the California State University has failed to adequately fund its core mission of teaching, as the previous three papers in this “Race to the Bottom” series demonstrated.

In “Salary, Staffing Priorities and the CSU’s 1%,” we showed the priority the CSU has given to the administrative function rather than the actual teaching that is the central purpose of the system and most important to students. While the number of managers grew, investment in permanent faculty positions that would promote student success declined. At the same time, while faculty salaries lost ground economically over the last decade, administrative salaries increased significantly.

In fact, as we showed in our first paper, “CSU’s 10-year Failure to Fund its Core Mission,” that failure is shocking in both its magnitude and its consistency over time. It is extraordinary by almost any measure: when compared to other universities around the country, and to every education segment in California, the CSU stands out for its unparalleled failure to improve faculty salaries or even to protect them from the ravages of inflation over the last decade.

And as evidenced in our third paper, “Losing Ground and Losing Faith,” this failure to provide adequate salaries is having devastating effects on the everyday lives of faculty.

The truth is disheartening. Faculty members and their families are not the only ones who suffer from the system’s failure to fund its core mission. When faculty are not hired in sufficient numbers or provided adequate salaries, students also pay a price. Unfortunately, as this paper will detail, that price is high.

Click here to download the paper (large PDF).

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