Friday, August 21, 2009

American Brokenness: A Lament

American Brokenness: A Lament
Daniel Schultz

Conservatives in the US are undergoing an existential crisis, but this is not the time for liberals to sit by smugly and watch.

Information Regarding CSUS Furlough Policy

Dear Students and Parents:

During this next academic year, faculty and staff have been required to take a 9.23% reduction in pay. In addition, your student fees have recently gone up 20%, this on top of a previous 10% increase from the spring of 2009. Along with the staff, we faculty have been asked to take responsibility for the debt incurred by a lack of state funding due in part to mismanagement by the leadership of the CSU system. Faculty and staff are now required to take off days throughout each semester. We are not to do any work during those days. For faculty, the number of days is nine, and for staff it is 16. To compensate students, some faculty will not be giving as many assignments, and the method of testing may be given in a simpler format. In addition, students will get more free days during the semester to study or work.

What will result from the furlough days is this: less work will be completed by both faculty and staff. For example, you may need assistance from a department secretary, but they may not be there or will be overwhelmed by the work they do have. Furthermore, you may wish to get in touch with a professor, but they won’t be available.

Specifically for my students:

* Assignments (quizzes, essays, lesson plans, theses) will not be able to be returned as quickly as has been done in the past. You will probably observe this in other classes as well.
* I will not grade, answer email, or prepare classes on weekends or furlough days.
* I will no longer have office hours. I will, however, be available both before and after classes to meet with you as well as by appointment on non-furlough days.
* Students will be expected to take more responsibility with their learning objectives and goals (e.g. study independently and grade/provide feedback for each others’ work, etc.)

* If you need assistance from me, I will do my best to provide you with my recommendations.
* If you ask for help on a furlough day, you will have to wait until a non-furlough day for a response.
* You will be provided with a list of my furlough days in order for you to plan accordingly.

Although I love what I do and respect and admire my students dearly, it is no longer sensible for me to continue to work on days on which I am not getting paid.

I believe in education and know that we can have a great semester despite the daunting conditions as long as students are willing to step up and do what they’re required to do to reach their goals.


Daniel C. Orey, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics and Multicultural Education

Core Faculty Member, Independent Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership

California State University, Sacramento