Class Action rally and march at CSUF

Class Action Rally and March in Fresno

Students, faculty and their allies held a rally and march at Fresno State on April 13 protesting fee increases; demanding the resignation of Dr. Charles B. Reed, chancellor of the California State University system; and presenting a list of demands to Fresno State president John Welty. Organizers estimated 300 people participated in the event, which included a march through the campus, the library and to the campus administration offices.

About 300 people participated in the march and rally at Fresno State.

The following is a FACT sheet given to the Community Alliance by a student activist:

What are your demands?

Our Demands: What We Want

1)      Chancellor Reed’s Resignation

2)      Democratize the CSU Board of Trustees: Trustees Should Consist of Students, Staff and Faculty

3)      Full transparency to CSU’s Budget

4)      Fair contracts and fair working conditions for all faculty and staff

5)      Funding should go to instruction and student services, while cuts should be allocated to Administrative Bloat:

  • Cap CSU Executive & Administrators’ salaries to that of the average faculty member.
  • Cut housing & car allowances of our campus presidents ($72,000/year for each president).

6)      A renewed Commitment to the California Master Plan and Dedicated Funding for Higher Education

7)      We want to meet with Jerry Brown and state leaders to discuss how to implement these changes.

One of the demands was for Dr. Charles B. Reed, chancellor of the California State University system, to resign, but organizers say that is not enough.

What do you hope to gain by doing this?

We want to bring attention to Reed’s corruption and focus on ensuring that the administration receives their fair share of budget cuts. We want CSU to re-prioritize funding for instruction, not corruption, quality education, not a bloated administration.

How is Reed corrupt?

Reed opposes CSU budget transparency and advocates for unallocated cuts, which allows him to minimize cuts to administration while cuts are directed toward classes, student services and loss of faculty and staff. While Reed never seems to be concerned with fee increases, he is consistently vocal about his concern about executive compensation.

Examples of his lack of advocacy for using funding for education include:

  • May 2009 Letter to Conference Committee on the Budget: “I will not waste your time calling on you to refrain from the reductions to the CSU that the Governor proposed on May 14. I will ask that whatever reductions your committee recommends to the Assembly and the Senate be unallocated.”
  • October 2008: Chancellor Reed voluntarily gave back to the Governor $31.3 million in CSU funding when CSU wasn’t required to.
  • February 2010: Reed withheld distributing $50.9 million in unused federal stimulus funds and only released it after students and faculty demanded that he use it on classes.

One of our demands is to “cap CSU Executive & Administrators’ salaries to that of the average faculty member.” We’ve heard from the Chancellor’s Office that the average faculty member’s salary is $85,000.

We made this demand to point out that a university should not compensate administrators above educators, and that is why we want administrators to make no more than the average faculty member. If you factor in full-time lecturers with tenured faculty, then the average is closer to $67,000.

CSU is facing a $1 billion budget cut. Even with the changes you want to see, it won’t equal a $1 billion cut. Why aren’t you protesting the budget cuts instead?

We have consistently protested budget cuts and will continue to do so. But we can’t ensure that any funding we do receive will be used on education as long as Reed remains chancellor.

  • Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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