By Christian Manoukian
In a statement released by the California Faculty Association on Jan. 31, the CFA stated that it was “outraged” by recent rhetoric and policy decisions made by President Donald Trump.
“We will not stand by and watch as our colleagues, students, staff and community members are detained and their status questioned,” the statement went on to say.
The CFA believes that any of Trump’s current or proposed policies “could directly impact the lives of many students and faculty, as well as impact learning and working conditions within the California State University system.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra criticized Trump’s recent immigration ban, calling it “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful.”
The CFA represents more than 27,000 faculty, including tenured and tenure-track professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, according to the association’s official website.
The CFA has been a highly visible presence on CSU campuses since the beginning of the 2016 political campaign, but also far before.
A walkout of faculty and staff was planned by the CFA during winter quarter of 2016 to demand higher faculty salaries. After an almost year-long dispute, the CSU and the CFA reached a tentative agreement to raise salaries that signaled a victory for the CFA.
But faculty life is not the only area of the CSU system where the CFA has been particularly active. They have been very vocal in mobilizing the CSU student population to speak out for issues they are passionate about. In the past, this has included CSU tuition hikes, class registration, parking on campus and school-life balance.
In more recent times, though, the CFA has focused much of its grassroots efforts on politics. They are speaking out on a myriad of political issues impacting higher education, as well as policy decisions that carry implications for higher education and the entire nation.
And as Trump’s presidency has began to pick up pace, the CFA has now turned its attention to addressing many of his administration’s actions and policies they view as harmful to society.
The Cal Poly Pomona chapter of the CFA has taken particular issue with Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education.
Dorothy Wills, a former CPP chapter chair of CFA and current membership chair, labeled DeVos’ policies as “hostile to public education.”
The CFA in the past has campaigned vigorously against deep cuts to public education and higher education budgets.
These principles are in direct contrast to what so many, including Wills, have fought for: advancing public education research, experimentation and standards.
And for the CFA, the fight is not over.
“The CFA will not cease to fight on behalf of civil rights and academic freedom,” according to the CFA statement. “Now, and into the future, we remain committed to the pursuit of truth and knowledge, and we will do everything to uphold those while protecting the faculty we represent.”
Courtesy of California Faculty Association
The CFA works to help students, staff and faculty achieve optimal educational results
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