To restore academic freedom, autonomy and integrity

 Urban forest: Lost forever on May 23, 2012

About Us

In the academic year 2011-2012 the Administration of the California State University, Fresno, adopted a series of measures and took certain actions that outraged many faculty and community members. Among these was a failed attempt to dismantle and combine some colleges without prior consultation with the faculty and the Academic Senate of California State University, Fresno. The attempt would have reduced the academic standards of the University. The Administration also tried to reduce the relative autonomy and academic freedom of the faculty by pushing forward its unpopular plan for “cohort hires” and centralized funding scheme. Even though the Senate overwhelmingly voted against such hires, the practice continued. The Administration also decided unilaterally to “rebrand” the University as “Fresno State” and redesign its logo to include a symbolic bulldog paw. The rebranding, which also lowered university standards, was done without any proper consultation with the faculty or the Senate.  Furthermore, after the graduation ceremonies and the departure of many faculty and students, in yet another unilateral act, the Administration cut down a large number of mature trees, which formed an urban forest, to expand a parking lot. Many faculty, students and community members were shocked when they heard the news and saw the destruction.  As a result of these acts, as well as the Administration’s lack of transparency in budget matters, a number of concerned faculty members met throughout the academic year to take back their rights. The culmination of these meetings was an open letter signed by 141 faculty members, which appeared in the Fresno Bee, and a number of resolutions which were passed unanimously or with a large majority in the Academic Senate. On May 31, 2012, the concerned faculty members met once again and put forward the following demands: 1) respect for academic freedom and relative autonomy, 2) consultation with the faculty on any decision that affects them, 3) transparency with regard to decision making and budget allocation, and 4) following rules and regulations set forth by the Constitution of Academic Senate of California State University. They also decided to develop electronic forums, such as this site, where they can communicate with faculty, students and the community. The site is intended to provide information on and analysis of issues that affect the lives of the faculty and students. It also provides links to other communication systems set up by the faculty.