Shared Governance Transcript
BOILARD: So we've been able to cover a number of different facets of governance at the University level. We--just when we took our break, Juanita was more specifically just addressing the faculty-shared governance topic. I want to ask Jolene just to once again kind of set the table for us, and then we'll get into a deeper conversation about that.
KOESTER: Right. Clearly, we have people sitting around the table who were much more integrally involved in faculty governance already when I arrived at Sacramento in 1983. Again, just a reminder, in '84 my Department, Com Studies, had elected me to serve on the Academic Senate, which was the fate for new faculty. They often got elevated to that role, and one could ask why that was the case, but nevertheless, that's, that’s what happened. And I was elected to serve on the Academic Senate, it was then, Executive Committee. And it was a bit of a surprise to me because it was that I was on it. And then I was then exposed to some of the tensions that several of you all described pretty eloquently here this morning. So that dimension, administrative/faculty tension, lack of trust, partnership, both positive and negative-- adjectives, I think, and characterizations is a rich theme for us to talk about. I also think we ought to go back to what Juanita said earlier around the relationship or non-relationship between the California Faculty Association, the Union, and the faculty governance apparatus in Sacramento. And the third theme I hope we can talk about a bit is what I also saw under Don's leadership, which was a recognition that other constituencies, other than just the faculty, had a stake in the governance of the institution. Which I think was also sometimes a source or a point of tension. So I think those are some of the arenas. And then, I think as well, the active interest Don had in the academic issues and promoting the growth and changes of the University on the academic side would be important for us to touch upon.
BOILARD: Okay, so we got some very rich themes to address. Juanita, you had been Chair of, as well as Mike, of the Faculty Senate. Would you like to take up any of these themes that Jolene brought up? Particularly, expanding on this CFA theme.
BARRENA: What I'm going to pick up on initially is that what is, or what became, I think, quite contentious with the faculty; which is the extent to which the faculty voice and the Senate voice is heard on certain matters. I mean I think a positive thing about Don's administration is actually shown right here [Barrena points to the panel participants]. Because it's right here. The only thing missing here is the student voice, in terms of ASI; so that, and I think very much in keeping with the Statement on Collegiality from the CSU, that all constituencies need to be consulted and have input in the governance of the University. I think where it, at least for the Senate, it became somewhat contentious was when the voices stepped over into academic policies. And I think that became a concern with CUP sometimes, because sometimes financial allocations or financial decisions, in effect, become academic policy decisions. And when those lines got crossed, it became problematic, at least from the Faculty Senate’s perspective. And when—one thing always brought up was that when you have a group, and it happens to include people who happen to be faculty members, and you're consulting with that group, it does not constitute consultation with the faculty, from my perspective.
BOILARD: As opposed to consulting directly with the--
BARRENA: As opposed to “the Senate” and the Senate's constitutional role as the voice of the faculty. So, it--that became problematic with CUP. That was some of my concern about CUP. I was never a big fan of CUP. And even though the constituency that had, in a sense, the most number of people. So like, you would have like five persons or something who happened to be faculty members. Now they mostly came from the Senate, like Anne Louise as a Chair of a committee. But that--they had no real relationship to the Senate as a whole. I mean I would have preferred that there only be one faculty member on that CUP, and that would be the Senate Chair. Because then the Senate Chair could go back to the faculty, the Senate, and that voice would be that same voice instead of five disparate voices. So I had some concerns about CUP. But I don't know where I'm going with that. But, anyway. So, well it had to do with the constituencies. So you've got this, and I think, what I would call--the Senate or the faculty would have the weighty voice on certain issues that affect the instructional program-- curriculum, academic policies, all of those things-- that they have the weighty voice. And sometimes decisions got made through the administrative structure. And almost a kind of parallel system of governance--what I would call parallel system of governance. So you'd come up through the Academic Deans and there's some decisions getting made through that route. And then you've got the Faculty Senate coming up and giving its recommendations. And sometimes those would conflict with each other. But, then you have the situation where, for the first time really in the Academic Senate, you've got a president who comes to all the meetings. And he's right in there, and he's going to butt in on whatever, for whatever he thinks--you know, should we have a foreign language requirement. And he's going to participate with the faculty in a collaborative way. And he's going to make those Deans come to the Senate meeting and sit through, whether this should be a “the” or an “a” on the thing. And they're just going to have to be there and be expected to participate because it is an Academic Senate. And that was very strong, I think, in the beginning of Don's tenure. Then, I think, I think, my own view is, that the administration thought Don was too chummy with the faculty-- way too chummy. And maybe listening a little bit too much to them. And so there was kind of a, I think, a change there and more decision making getting made through CUP and through the administrative councils than there was through the faculty side of it. And I'll give it to Mike on that issue, which then resulted in the change-- of the initiative-- to go back to a Faculty Senate.
BOILARD: from an Academic Senate.
BARRENA: from an Academic Senate to a Faculty Senate. Then maybe you can --
BOILARD: Mike, is that how you see it?
FITZGERALD: Well that was a nice handoff because I just happen to have an anecdote, you know. I'm a journalist. I live on anecdotes. So, but, not too long after I came to campus, Don and I had a meeting. That was one of the things. I came from Chico State. I taught at Chico state for four years before I came here. And where the President, Robin Wilson, liked to tell everyone that he had worked for the CIA, and he couldn't really talk about it. He was not a real inclusive character, at least for a young faculty member on campus.
GERTH: He did the same thing at the Executive Council meetings with the other 18 presidents. I think we 19 campuses in those days.
FITZGERALD: Also, I have to say that in the, all my years here, Don Gerth never called me at home, but Robin Wilson used to call me every week at home when the campus newspaper would come out up there-- to tell me what was wrong with it and what was going to happen to me if I -- If it continued. And it was true. I left. But what I wanted to say that the conversation Don and I had was a good one. It was about the campus newspaper. And I came here, and I was presented with a document called, I can't even remember what we called that thing. It was the constitution actually giving the rights to the newspaper to exist on campus. And it was a kind of a quasi-legal agreement. And we were talking about it, and he said- you know, what do you need? And I said I need some equipment. I need computers. I need about $20,000 I think it was. And Don says, you got it. You've got it. Go talk to Mernoy Harrison.
SHULOCK: Get it out of his bottom drawer.
FITZGERALD: So very quickly, I went down. It was down-- no it was on the same floor.
FITZGERALD: It was on the same floor. I walked down the hall, and that was my first introduction to Mernoy Harrison, and I walked in and I said -- Mernoy, I just, got, came from the President's office, and he said that, you know, I get this $20,000. And he [Mernoy] says, he doesn't get to say that you get that $20,000. He [Mernoy] says that comes through my office. And I said, well do I get it? And he says, we'll have to talk about it. We eventually did get the $20,000. But, that, what you were talking about, you know, there was, you know, Don was the President. But there was, there's definitely a bureaucracy, which is, I think, all that's keeping the national government alive right now is there's a bureaucracy underneath the President of the United States.
What I wanted to talk about, though that was part of it, but what I wanted to talk about was this sort of antagonism or the climate issue. And Bill set it up very nicely. We were talking about what it was like. When I got here in 1986, coming from Chico, all I knew was I wanted to teach my classes and do things. And I was initially amazed that I could actually get in to talk to the President and that he actually wanted to talk to me. So that was good. But then I was hearing a lot of, hearing a lot of kind of noise going on. But I didn't pay a lot of attention to it because I had classes to teach. I wasn't involved in faculty governance at that level. I was just a faculty member. I had the campus newspaper as part of my duties. And, which was, which in a way was kind of a watch, trying to be a watchdog for the campus. I was trying to get them to understand, the students to understand that role, and how to do it without libeling anyone at the same time. And then, and I won't go into great detail, but eventually I became Chair of the Journalism Department, a reluctant Chair. I think everyone becomes a reluctant Chair of academic departments. And if you're not a reluctant Chair-- I think you have to be very careful ever electing somebody who really wants that job. So, then there were a series-- I served for five years. The last year was a somewhat tumultuous year. For the historical record, I'll just say that the Journalism Department had a faculty food fight that was epic-- that resulted in the Journalism Department closing up shop and the faculty being scattered somewhat to academic winds around campus. Now, in all cases, I think it turned out fine. The Journalism major survived. But out of all that, I ended up becoming elected Faculty Senate Chair the very next year. I don't know if the faculty felt sorry that I lost my department. But, it was handled as elegantly as possible on the Journalism end. And then I became Senate Chair. And I discovered that there was a strain of unhappiness and rancor going on. And what I attributed to it now, looking back-- I mean I had, I just became the Chair. I started wearing this very coat, by the way, which is why I wore it today. I found it. It's amazing it still holds up all this time. I attribute it now to the Chancellor who had come in, Barry Munitz, because Barry had come in right just before that. And he brought in a wave of corporatization that was not well thought of, was not well received. And I think that was a lot of what was going on within the Senate that particular year. It wasn't necessarily our President. It was a reaction to what was going on, some of what was going on in Long Beach, which was, of course, reflected on our campus with the 10%, later the 10% and things like that. Because Barry, I'm sure, I suspect everyone here probably actually met him. He could be charming, or he could be something else. And I think the faculty really responded to that something else. I wanted to, I wanted to say something else about the CFA. The CFA at that time when I was Chair, I believe that Jeff -
[unknown speaker]: Lustig.
FITZGERALD: Lustig, might have been the head of CFA at that time. And Jeff was a larger than life kind of guy. And he had a lot of influence at that time too. And that also caused a lot of, I won't say tension, but it certainly kept issues alive within the faculty Senate. I didn't know that much about the Faculty Senate, even though I'd sat on it for years. I did the same thing that unfortunately a lot of faculty members did when things got slow and people were deciding whether to use “a” or “the”, I would grade papers. So I probably missed a lot. But I just took it over and listened to the Executive Committee that I had. I had a good Executive Committee. So it was a good year, but I was happy when that year was over to be honest. So I don't have a good segue for Scott, but I'm just going to hand it over to him.
FARRAND: I'm not sure how to tie in with everything else. I was, I feel more like I didn't have such a perspective of what was going on. I was much younger then, like we were all much younger then [laughter]. But so I was just sort of living in those days. And I remember some of the things that I think, one of the things, Juanita mentioned that Don sat with the Senate and how significant that was. I also remember that he would, he would bring issues that he thought the Senate needed to hear. For example, I remember when the report started coming out about how the demographics of California were changing, and you [Don Gerth] placed that in front of the faculty and the Senate and said, this is something you really, really, need to think about. Everybody in the university needs to think about how the state is changing. And I think for me, personally, that had a huge impact. It was something I really did think about. And of course, it has been like the dominant theme of what's happened at Sac State and then the CSU in years since. So I think that was a matter of interacting with the administration in a way that wasn't just where we’re butting heads, but let's put ourselves together and think about this, because this is something that's going to require all of our energies for all of our careers.
The other issue that I think that's just a tricky issue is-- budget issues; are automatically an area of interaction between administration and faculty. Because faculty-- as Juanita says, administration can make budgetary decisions that are effective, that do have the effect of being academic decisions. And faculty can make decisions about academics that cost money. So we decide how a course is going to be categorized and what sort of, you know, back in the Orange Book days we’d say, we'd check that box, and that meant it cost more money. So there was necessarily interaction. But it's an extremely difficult thing to do because it requires enormous knowledge about the budget from the faculty that are participating in it. And it requires a lot of trust and transparency because, the, it's so easy to present just the right parts of the budget and snow everybody in the room. So you really need to know a lot, and there needs to be a lot of faith in that process. And URPC and CUP were sort of a first step in that direction of let's put the budget on the table in front of everybody and look at it. It was still, the challenge there was to come up to speed quickly enough to know what you were looking at. And the distrust that this is the real budget, but there's Mernoy's drawer on the side or that all the decisions were actually being made outside of the meeting, outside of the URPC or CUP meeting. And it was just being presented with faculty present so that we would nod at it. So there are big issues of trust involved in the budget decisions. And that's a continuing challenge for the University, you know, at infinitum I suppose. How to involve faculty effectively in budget decisions.
DORMAN: Mike talks about, I think, an important point. I stopped my historical analysis at Don's arrival. Were I to continue it, which I am doing now, I would say not only was he laboring under Munitz--he was laboring under Reed. And both of those were vastly, now I'm not going to get into an argument over their merits. I'm just saying, they were vastly unpopular on this campus. As top-down types who were interested in corporatization and really weren't faculty-oriented at all. A great deal --
BOILARD: Charlie Reed was the Chancellor
DORMAN: Yes, yes. And Don was laboring under both of those. His problems, as far as I remember, and my memory is no better than most of yours. But his problem, Donald's problems began around eight or nine years into his tenure. He was a beneficiary of the [Lloyd] John's the second interregnum. And things were going fairly well until Munitz became Chancellor and then Reed followed him. And that's when things accelerated. And Don weathered that storm; and said, I'm not going to resign. And stayed until 2003. And I think that began the normalization process by the fact that he was willing to endure what he had to endure. But I don't think it was entirely his doing at all. All of the issues that he faced -- Athletics, which is the third rail of academic politics out here. Athletics, affirmative action, all of those issues had been festering long before Don Gerth set foot on this campus. But he had to deal with them anew during his tenure; and Munitz and Reed made it a very difficult chore.
WAGNER: Although the real third rail [was] always parking.
SHULCOK: Parking, yeah.
WAGNER: It's not academic governance. It's parking.
KOESTER: The first rail.
KOESTER: Well, I would say that I think what we are all alluding to in some way, this is a more neutral or abstract way of describing this, is what are the appropriate topics and initiatives and responsibilities of a faculty or an Academic Senate, and what needs or should or can be done administratively? And where, and I think what was happening in Sacramento was some renegotiation of some of those elements. And I'll just, I'll give you an example from the perspective. I'll give you two examples from the perspective of a faculty member sitting on the Senate Executive Committee and then as a Provost, a Vice President for Academic Affairs. And this sort of, you know, maybe gets at both parts of it. Don gets here-- I said I was a naive, uninformed faculty member on the Senate Executive Committee-- and at some point along the way, I think Sandy Barkdull announces that she's going to retire. And Don, and I don't remember the sequence, but there had to be an interim, and Betty Moulds gets appointed as the interim. Well, there was apoplexy in the Senate Executive Committee about however it is that was done. And I don't remember the details. I sat there thinking, well this is strange. Why are my other colleagues here upset about this? He's the President. This person is going to work for him. You know, she, in this case, is accountable to him, but yet the rest of these folks are really, really upset. And I had to try to understand sort of what was the set of expectations about the appointment of an academic administrator. But for me, it was, he's the President. He's the one who's going to be held accountable. I mean. So then, you know, you roll the clock forward, and I'm a, an Academic Affairs Vice President. I had to watch a video that was crudely done from some folks at the Chancellor's Office-- at one point as an Associate Vice President. The title of the video was, “Be a manager, go to jail.”
[unknown speaker]: Yes.
KOESTER: All right, that, that, video, which was horribly done for those of you who are in this facility here, from a video, a visual perspective. But it was-- if you're a manager, which I was in the CSU, and you know that there's something going on that could harm, take a life, hurt, you are not just personally civilly liable, as well as the system, but you are criminally liable. And so, you know, from my perspective, when I became a Chief Academic Officer, that video and my Lutheran background, had put the fear of God in me. And so I think there was some natural and expected tension between me as an administrator, who had responsibility for things, and some of the expectations in terms of governance-- appropriate expectations in terms of governance. I might say. And so the norm, I think, that I wish I'd done probably better work toward, but it is that partnership. I think I got another chance when I was at Cal State Northridge, you know, to redo some of those things. But, you can't get, there's no clear map over what needs to go to a Faculty or Academic Senate and what needs to be done administratively. You can go to the AAUP statement. You can go to the “CSU Statement on Collegiality.” You can go to the individual Senate constitutions, and Sacramento had one. And then you can look at the history. And then you've got individuals who have strong points of view. And then you have these flashpoints that come in-- Munitz, Reed, merit increases, faculty merit increases that came in from the union contract. I mean, you know, there were these little bombs, little things that dropped in sometimes. System activity on General Education or non-activity on General Education. Right now, it's the executive orders on General Education and math remediation. So those things happen. But I think during Don's tenure as president, that was what was in the mixing bowl for all of us as we were making our way through the collegial relationships between administration and the Academic and then Faculty Senate.
FITZERALD: You know, well, Jolene was on the Executive Committee the year that I was Senate Chair when Don was President. And I don't remember all of the different things that happened. It was an interesting year. They always are interesting years, I'm sure. But what I remember the most clearly about what you talked about--about, you know, what should the Senate take up versus maybe not take up. Because we also had that conversation in the Executive Committee on a number of occasions. And what my feeling was, was that in a lot of cases, what was coming to me as Senate Chair and eventually to the Executive Committee and then maybe to the Senate itself, were things that, issues that people weren't getting what they thought was good resolution anywhere else. We were like the last court --
KOESTER: Court of last resort.
FITZGERALD: Court of last resort. And so I thought, rightly or wrongly, I was Chair. So I guess I was right. But I always, but I would just say, why not. Let's take it up. And sometimes it worked out to our advantage and it worked out better, and sometimes it worked out somewhat disastrously. I can't remember the disasters. I can only remember the things that worked out well. But there was a tension, and there probably still is within that thing. So I can understand exactly what you're talking about. But, and that's where I think Senate Chairs really make, can really make a difference. I mean, either for one way or the other. We're not going to talk about my second term except, second term as Chair, which was exactly ten years later. But the reason I went in was because faculty wanted me to be the Chair that I had been ten years before. They wanted somebody to take up any and everything, because the faculty at that point had any and everything on their minds to talk about.
BARRENA: I want to talk about how well it worked in the early years. I mean when I was --
DORMAN: About what?
BARRENA: How well it worked in the early years, especially. I mean I think I was very fortunate to have been preceded by Peter Shattuck. I think that that was extraordinary, he had such a, he had a mell--much more mellow kind of approach. You know, he wasn't Alan Wade. I love Alan Wade, and Don loved Alan Wade.
KOESTER: I’d forgotten about Alan Wade.
BARRENA: Yeah. But it was a different kind of personality. And he was also out of the early days when we were running presidents out of town. And so you, you know, there was so much hype, there was so much hype, around the so-called hostile faculty. Which really didn't exist among many of them. And, Peter Shattuck I think, you know, right there in '84-- he was right there in '84 when you came.
BARRENA: That's when he was elected. That was his first term. And then he served three years, and then I followed him for four years. So you had a lot of consistency there. And I didn't have so many of the old tapes at that time because I was still young. But it worked really well. And I think the reason it worked well, I mean I would meet with Don all the time. I mean, all the time. Even when I was going to introduce a resolution or there was something bad going on, I would come and say Don, there's something bad going on. And this is the way it's going to come down. And what are we going to do about it, you know? But this is the way it's going to come down. So, we could be very frank with each other. And then he didn't take it personally. So, here comes this resolution condemning something that he did. It didn't condemn Don Gerth. It condemned something that Don Gerth did, a decision that was made. That was like the first time with ROTC when it first started. Didn't like his decision on ROTC the first time and told him so. And then, he changed his decision, not because of the resolution; but then the Senate applauded him for doing so. And so, you could move from. Don-- you could move from we don't like this decision, and, and then move on. And go on to the next decision. Whereas with some presidents, you know, once you do a resolution condemning something that the person did, then you are forever damned. And that didn't happen with Don. And I think that was his success; that you could turn around and go to the next thing. And we still go out to coffee and breakfast. I mean no matter how many, you know, I always said that the reason Don retired when he did was because we were even on the number of resolutions condemning his actions and the number applauding them. So he had to go. Otherwise, the tie would be broken.
GERTH: The fact that I was 75 didn't have anything to do with it.
BOILARD: I want to make sure that we hear from Anne-Louise on your experience.
RADIMSKY: Well I think I'm somewhat of a counterpoint to my colleagues in that I come from a College of Engineering, and traditionally, being very active in the governance of the University is not quite typical. I remember my days in Berkeley, when during the free speech movement. And on one side of the campus there was tear gas and all sorts of activities. In Engineering, which was the other side of the campus, it was perfectly quiet with clean air. And I was in fact one of the few in those days. I think it has changed somewhat recently. But I was one of the few to be involved on the campus level. People were involved at the college level but not beyond that. And for me, first of all, I served two years on the Academic Senate [at CSUS]. And I said, never again. It was not my style of place to discuss. There was not enough problem solving in my mind. So I ended up serving on a number of committees and chairing some of them. And I enjoyed very much working on CUP. I guess I may have been naive. I thought we had some effect, and I didn't suspect that we were just rubber stamping something that the academic or whatever the group, the Executive Committee, I guess, was supposed to be, as some apparently thought that was the case. And it was, it was a way, as a faculty member to be involved at the campus level. I was a Department Chair for six years as well, but it was really something that I enjoyed very much. And I thought we had, we were solving problems. That's where I found that aspect.
BOILARD: Anne-Louise brings up an element of governance we hadn't really talked much about before; and that is, differences among the Colleges or Divisions on campus and how those relate to one another and how resources are allocated. Was that a concern under Don? Or did he approach that differently the way—so, I know there's the one big change of the kind of AT&T breakup of what is it, letters and science?
KOESTER: Arts and Sciences.
BOILARD: Arts and sciences.
KOESTER: School Arts and Sciences.
BOILARD: So that was at Don's initiative?
KOESTER: Actually, I would-- No. It happened while Don was President. I was the Chief Academic Officer. And it was initiated by several faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences in the sciences. Not anybody from Biology. It was Physics and Chemistry. And I actually was telling Don and Bev, recounting the story, and I actually tell this story when I work with new Presidents. Because Mike Shea, everybody here will remember his name, a very well-respected member of the Physics faculty, approached me at a reception on campus one night, the cheese and wine reception. You know that one. And he said, there are several of us in the sciences who have something we want you to do. And I said, what is this? What is it you want me to do? He said we want you to break up the School of Arts and Sciences. And I looked at him and I said, Mike, that's not something I do. I don't do that. If you want that to be done, if you want that to be considered, then you have to publicly go on the record and ask me to initiate a process by which we look at that. Now, in my heart of hearts, I thought it should happen. And you and I will eternally disagree about that, Juanita. But that was not something I was going to do. If you're going to lead change, you often lead change from the middle. And this was a case of the middle of these well-respected faculty members saying that. So they wrote me a letter. They did go on the record. I think it was Jim Hill, Mike Shea, and a couple of other people. Jim Hill was the Chair of Chemistry.
KOESTER: No, Jim Hill was Chemistry.
BARRENA: No, no, Geology was --
KOESTER: Geology was also part of it. Okay, you would remember those people too. And in the meantime, of course, I had talked with Don about whether I, I didn't know that they would actually come through, with the formal request. And so we went forward with a process by which it was discussed. And recommendations were provided to me in terms of a path going forward that were not particularly organizationally functional. I mean it was a, but it was a split it up. And then we had some tumultuous times with it, including some interaction and communication from Ted Hornback, which probably Nancy and I remember and nobody else will. But I tell that story too. And ultimately, that happened. But it didn't come, it had the support administratively for the process. But the request came from the faculty.
BARRENA: I do think the organizational structure of colleges is very much a part of governance. I mean that's, and a lot of times, sometimes there's tension between the department-college line and the Senate. Where the Senate is making or recommending policies that affect the entire University. So you may be making the decision that Engineering doesn't like. And so, and so there's a tension in decision making of that route like in the Academic Councils of the varying Colleges and going up that route to the Academic Vice President. And then those decisions getting made through the Senate process. And sometimes those are at odds with each other. The opposite of the breakup of the College of Arts and Sciences is the consolidation of the health-- to create Health and Human Services,. which I think-- that also happened under your tenure. And as far as I'm concerned, that was extraordinarily successful and effective and continues to be. Because it united their-- their commonality and enabled those departments in the sense to support each other and created a much better, in my view, governance system within that college. So I think, whereas, and its motivation was a kind of different motivation than the motivation that came from the sciences, which really was they wanted more money.
[unknown speaker]: Yeah.
KOESTER: it was, it was they did want more money, but their perception was that other programs, Biology in their case, were treated with privilege -- both on a day-to-day basis and that they'd been treated with privilege historically. There was also support in other parts of the School of Arts and Sciences because of the same phenomena. The sense there were certain programs that were hegemonic, if you will, in that School and received more of the money. Certainly, I know that Ethnic Studies, Environmental Studies, Women Studies, the newer academic areas really felt disenfranchised in the governance and the resource distribution. And sort of the place, you know, their importance, their ability to flourish in that School of Arts and Sciences. So, you know, it was a, it was not just in the sciences that I think that was being expressed and a-- driver.
SHULOCK: I don't know if this is related, but as a whole, the School of Arts and Sciences was what, 50, 60 --
KOESTER: It was 65%.
SHULOCK: Yeah, and I say, you know, 95% of the political power on the faculty, and at the same time that we were trying to rationalize the allocations, the money would come in. And this was at the time that this, at this time, liberal arts enrollments and majors were going down, and professional schools were going up. And so the allocations would come in every year and just get prorated to the way they were before. And so, the professional schools were by some rational computations getting more and more underfunded, and liberal arts was overfunded. And I think maybe it was related. And that kind of breaking up that power center then allowed us to do the faculty allocation approaches a little bit more in line with student demands. Student enrollment patterns.
DORMAN: I've got a long-time question, and perhaps somebody here can answer it for me. When I first joined the faculty and then for a number of years, members, representatives of the Faculty Senate were elected at large.
DORMAN: And we had slates. And there was a sense of political community because of the slate making. I remember once we did a demonstration and somebody came up and said, introduced themselves, and I told him my name. And he said, oh, famous name. And I had done nothing to be famous. And it was because my name had appeared on slates a lot. And there was a sense of a community interest, political community interest. Political community interest. And then I don't know when and I've tried to find out, the method of election was changed to a unit representation, where, in essence, Departments and Schools, whatever would have. Has that had any kind of a salutatory effect or a negative effect?
KOESTER: It was that way when I got here.
RADIMSKY: It was that way when I served in '81 but not --
RAMEY: It was Department. It was Department -- was the unit.
DORMAN: Well, so no one remembers the at large system.
BARRENA: No, it was prior to '75.
DORMAN: So we have no basis, in other words, we don't – we have no basis
BARRENA: I tried to get it changed. I did want to go back to an at large, or even to, or perhaps even from college based, as opposed to departmentally based. Because there are pluses and minuses because the departmental representation then at least supposedly informs the Senate of what is peculiar about the programs in that department. Because, you know, you make decisions about, you know, every class has got to have 50 students in it, for example. Well that's not going to work in the sciences because you've got lab. So there are a lot of areas where the Senate needs to be informed of the impact of certain policies on the discipline. So that's the positive aspect of it. But the negative aspect of it is it becomes parochial. I mean, and that their, unless they can rise, unless the senators can rise above their parochial interests in the interest of the University, then it fails.
[unknown speaker]: Yeah.
BARRENA: And you don't make good policy.
FITZGERALD: I just want to say something else. And it was my experience in both terms, but certainly in the first term, the first term as Senate Chair, that the person who ends up as senator from many departments is the newest, least experienced, brand-new, yeah, you have to go and even, and of course, you're going to go because you're the new person. You don't have tenure even, and you're going to go. And you really can't, and these people do their, they're actually pretty good about trying to do their thing. But they're not, but as Bill said, there's no political community to getting in there and support. In fact, everyone else on that particular department breathes a sigh of relief because that means they don't have to go on Thursday afternoons and sit for those few hours. So I think that that model would have been, I wish now that's something I wish someone would have suggested when I was Senate Chair. I would have loved to have brought that one up to the group.
BOILARD: And part of this is a classic problem with representation in a democracy.
[more than one unidentified speaker]: Yes, yes.
BOILARD: Representing interests. And there's many different ways to mix that up by, and think about what Juanita was saying earlier, that, you know, you were saying, gosh, it'd be really nice if on the CUP there was just one representative of the faculty. But that even makes it harder to represent that, you know, the sciences can have one view on some issues. So I don't see an answer to it, but clearly that’s a, it sounds like universities have tried it several different ways build the same, many years ago was at large representation.
[unidentified speaker]: Well there's, yeah.
SHULOCK: As I recall, I'm might be wrong, but on CUP we had the Chair of the three major standing Senate Committees and then two at large faculty. That's my memory. And the thought was, which you don't agree with, but the thought was that that would provide that kind of representation back to curriculum, fiscal affairs, and faculty-- academic policies or something. Yeah.
BOILARD: Scott, you were, it looks like you were trying to say something.
RADIMSKY: [inaudible] slate. I think unless it was based on the College, and again, with my experience in Engineering, would disenfranchise Engineering. If it was done at-large, truly across, because the Engineer would not volunteer. So you would end up, I suspect, with the liberal arts dominating the Academic Senate.
FARRAND: What's underlying some of this is that this, as much as there are tensions between faculty and administration, people forget there are tensions between faculty based on department and program. And if you don't believe you, let's do a GE review or let's talk about faculty allocation model. Or let's talk about program review.
DORMAN: [inaudible] GE review.
WAGNER: And Scott, I want to like not only second that, like triple that, if there's such a concept. Because the Senate and my Department was smart enough to not put me in that model of new kid on the block- serve. Because I started with debate coach, which means I wasn't here very often. I was on the road with the debaters. But I have the record, I think, for back benching, particularly as an administrator. Even when it was an [Academic Senate], yes, I had my corner of the back bench. And, the Senate as a governance body has never reached the conclusion of what do I represent as a senator. Because it merges the concept of the US Senate and the US House.
[unidentified speaker]: Yeah.
WAGNER: Am I there representing my Department? Maybe my College. But my Department versus a concept of the good of the whole. And because you get new members, by the time that it starts to dawn on them that there is such a thing as a collective, that they have responsibility to, they're termed out, or they're tired out. And so they leave the Senate. And that was always the frustration sitting in the back of the room as an administrator who never wants to intervene in Senate stuff because the fact that you're an administrator means you never intervene on the floor of the Senate. But it's the frustration of saying, how do we collectively get our act together, so that the Senate is a better deliberative body because it's not just I want the bridge for my district. We need to talk about who needs a freeway instead of a bridge. And that was the, that was just the frustration of sitting in the back as an observer. Not that there weren't flashes of brilliance. There were. There were times when any deliberative body really gets it. But sadly, those were few and far between. And they usually were contentious things that folks were able to rally to kind of regardless of the department they were in. They were more universal themes. But boy, we're still trying to get it right in GE. And we have since I came here in '75. And I, and the Senate is still talking about general ed, the role of the Senate, the role of remediation. Look at the topics, and they're the same topics. And I think it's the same difficulty of marshalling the voice, the collective voice. That's a struggle kind of, in receiving information from the Senate is just, boy, you had to pull it out of them sometimes. And you as Chairs must have been totally frustrated with this. Because you had a bigger agenda that would get bogged down in, Mike, it's your point. Fix the potholes on my street. And since they're not paying attention to it, I want you as the Senate Chair to find out what administrator is responsible for fixing the potholes and have something done.
[unidentified speaker]: Yeah.
BOILARD: Jolene had something; and then, Juanita.
KOESTER: Well, let's go to Juanita because I want to, I want to, with your indulgence, move to a discussion on one of the points of tension that I think Juanita identified, that I think is also one of the strengths of what Don did in terms of governance, which was to formally recognize other constituencies.
[unidentified speaker]: Yeah, well said.
KOESTER: So I want to make sure that within our time to do that first, so I'd prefer to --
BOILARD: Okay, first Juanita, and then to Jolene.
BARRENA: Well, I mean, on this topic over here, I think that that was the benefit of having the senior leadership, and that, elected at large, but also just senior leadership on the Senate. And the Senate structure did not respond appropriately in my view, to changes in the size of the University and the numbers of Departments in the University. So, it kept creeping up and up and up. And when you're sitting there with 60, 70 people, that you're trying to engage in decision making, that is tough. That is really tough. And you have to really, you know, I mean I think parliamentary procedure is very effective, or can be very effective in facilitating decision making. But when you got all those people who also don't know squat about it and can't use it, then you've got a problem.
The one, but again, to this departmental thing, and Jolene will be relieved to know, that the Senate did fail, again, in instructional program priorities. Because that's where, and I'll go back to also this sense of the culture of the University. And those senior leaders, old ones, came from an egalitarian perspective. Egalitarian. And for a number of years, we would not have outstanding professors or outstanding faculty members. Because nobody could be more outstanding than somebody else. And we couldn't deal with the instructional program priorities. That broke my heart. Broke my heart that we couldn't get that through. And then, again, it came through again, in more recent years. Couldn't do it. They just can't do it. They won't have, they won't make those value judgments and establish priorities of that sort.
DORMAN: The phrase that was often used was “invidious distinctions.“
DORMAN: The problem is, sometimes you have to make decisions.
BOILARD: All right, Jolene.
KOESTER: Well let me focus in on and maybe trigger some reactions from the rest of you on, what I'm going to frame as a positive and as a, again, an innovative contribution that Don made in terms of the governance environment at Cal State Sacramento. And then what Juanita, I think you identified as a source of the tension in terms of the faculty and administrative shared governance, which typically just encompasses faculty. And I don't remember the exact sequence here, the chronology of it. But Don had been involved at the system level in the preparing of the Board of Trustees' “Statement on Collegiality,” which was post-certification of the union. And it was drafted at the Trustee level in order to preserve and protect, frankly, the role of Senates, in, with the presence of a union that was supposed to deal with terms and conditions of employment, but the Senates were supposed to be focused primarily on academic policies. And there's some language in that Statement on Collegiality that mirrors the AAUP statement. Not fully, but it does. And, at some point-- you know, I think it would have been around '95, that's sort of my guess in the time. And there was tension between the Senates and—the Senate and the administration around that time. You took, Don, that Statement on Collegiality, and you re-issued it for California State University, Sacramento. But you made explicit in that statement something that you had indirectly acted on as a value and an approach. And you put students, community and alumni --
SHULOCK: And staff.
KOESTER: and staff, into this Statement on Collegiality. And you offered, you didn't put them into shared governance, that umbrella, but you put them into those other constituencies, into a formal role in caring about and therefore needing to consult and collaborate with. I think it recognized what's happening right now, all over. What happened after is that the students have been clamoring for shared governance, which I always cringe a little bit about, right. I mean I'm just being very direct, because I-- you cannot have that same kind of relationship with Associated Students. You can't take everything back to Associated Students and have them vote on it the same way that you would be expected to with the Senate. But it was a recognition that the University's constituencies, powerful constituencies, that must be appropriately consulted. That's where the rub is-- probably. But that needed to happen. And again, I will say, I think that was innovative. Again, I personally have used that Statement on Collegiality of the Board and what took place in Sacramento in my own further professional work and the kind of consulting work that I do now. But I think it, I think it also reflects what you said, Juanita, that it was a source of tension.
BARRENA: I don’t-- I don't disagree with you. I think that fits, entirely, the model, well the Statement on Collegiality, the 1985 statement, where it states very clearly that there are all of these constituencies and that they need-- and all these different voices-- need to be heard by the University in the governance of the University. And then it assigns a special place on certain topics for the Senates.
KOESTER: Curriculum and academic topics.
BARRENA: And sometimes, in my view, sometimes where the tension came was when those areas of the special place, decisions and policies impacting the instructional program, that that crossed a line.
BARRENA: And that's where the tensions, I think the tension came from-- In those later years.
BARRENA: In the earlier years, it was very, it was very clearly demarcated. And then I think it got obscured in the later years. But there was all that other stuff happening like, that, you know, it’s so multifactorial, you know. They were having the “pissies” [PSSI’S], right. I mean that was in that same year in the '96, '97- .
KOESTER: Performance? What did – What did
DORMAN: They changed the name very quickly.
KOESTER: Yeah, yeah
SHULOCK: Performance step increases, PSSI, or something like that
KOESTER: Performance, improvement, service --
WAGNER: Step increases
BARRENA: Yeah, and then that, you know, who got two steps and who got four steps, and it was like-- I mean that made people crazy.
KOESTER: See, and again, that's that intersection with the impact of the certification of a faculty union and those things being bargained. And, then those things get introduced--they have to be implemented. And the implementation of them takes place in a way that has consequences for the overall governance environment.
WAGNER: And is triggered by the board saying there will be no contract without merit pay.
KOESTER: Right. Right.
WAGNER: So that you're entering negotiations and the union understands-- don't talk about general pay increases. There will be no pay increases unless there is some provision for merit pay. Because, in fairness, to the Board, that's what they were hearing.
KOESTER: Yes, from faculty.
WAGNER: They were hearing from faculty and others that you just can't give everyone the same. They don't-- everyone doesn't work to the same level.
KOESTER: Right. We're not all from Lake Wobegon.
WAGNER: Yes. Yes.
RADIMSKY: It sounded something which was great in theory, but its application was awful.
WAGNER: Yes. Yes.
SHULUCK: Back to the issue of the representation of other constituencies. So CUP had three student members, and some years it worked much better. They were much more effective, and they had a member from the staff assembly. But I just have a little anecdote, and I don't really know what it's worth. But, I remember we were talking, somebody was talking earlier about that corporatization elements that were going on. I remember, really explicitly, we were having a CUP meeting, and we were in 275, that room. And we were talking, I think it was about student services and trying to make them more user friendly. And some people were using the words about customer-- customer service. And I actually believe it might have been you Anne-Louise-- I'm not sure-- who said something like, well, this is not a business. And if it's not you, I apologize. But, you know, this is not a business, and the students aren't customers because if they were, then everybody would get an A because, you know, the customer's always right or whatever. And a student, and a student representative stood up and said, well, I'm sorry, but I paid my tuition. I consider myself a customer. And I want to have efficient services that work for me. And I just bring that up as an example of how, you know, it enriched the conversation to have the different constituents all talking together.
BOILARD: [inaudible], you need-- there is a taxpayer who is also paying for that student's education.
RADIMSKY: They-- most students don't seem to think of it that way.
KOESTER: Go ahead, Bill.
DORMAN: I blanched when they started talking about profit centers, and said what the hell's that? And they said, well a department or a program.
KOESTER: Program. It was program center.
DORMAN: That seemed to me like, you know --
SHULOCK: No, we never called them profit centers. Program centers.
DORMAN: You know, one thing that I would really like to see is a trained historian go back and do an historical inventory of areas of cooperation.
DORMAN: During this period of time.
DORMAN: Things that were achieved collaboratively. We've never done that. We've got a lot of anecdotes about discord and distrust. And I'm as guilty as anyone. But that's not a substitute for data. And it would be interesting to know. And I'll bet you, there are far more than anybody suspects. That because conflict always sticks in our memory, but collaboration doesn't. And it would be interesting to see if somebody could go through 2000, I mean 1983 to 2003 to find areas of cooperation and collaboration that emerged from --
KOESTER: I think that's an excellent suggestion.
BOILARD: Well Don, you said, so there's a graduate student already watching these tapes with interest.
BOILARD: So, graduate student, master's thesis, yep?
GERTH: Well, actually, James Fox introduced the two of us. Bev, you and I were, I think meeting with James in the archives area. And so that's an interesting idea because there was lots. There are lots of good things being done over all the years of this University. By individual faculty. By individual, I can think of a couple of student leaders who made extraordinary differences in the, it was sort of the culture of this campus from the standpoint of students. And two of them married each other from one of the years. And so on, and then there's some staff members who have made really an extraordinary difference-- but sort of more quietly. They're not as well positioned, just given the structure of the University and the pressure of the unions, you know. We would, our Staff Assembly, I don't know what the name of the game is now, but when we established the Staff Assembly, we did that in, with the active opposition of some of the unions, going to the level of the Trustees, saying stop the campus from doing it. But we went ahead and did it anyway. And that's one of the advantages of getting old. So what! Older.
SHULOCK: David, so you have the Staff Assembly kind of in your domain?
WAGNER: Yeah, we served as the liaison with Staff Assembly; and we would send-- one of our managers would go to each of their meetings to keep them briefed on administration issues. We did wind up in trouble. Our campus and one other campus in terms of a misunderstanding on the part of some of the unions as to how we were utilizing the Staff Assembly because the unions deal with wages and working conditions. And they wanted to make sure we weren't discussing wages and working conditions with the Staff Assembly. Because we met at least every quarter, if not every other month. And there were representatives elected by, for those of you looking at representation, by the building you were in. The building you were in sent a representative to the Staff Assembly.
BOILARD: Geographic representation.
WAGNER: Geographic representation. We could toss that into-- people talk about constitutional amendments, we could toss that in there and say that the building you're in, you send the rep. So it was a different idea, but it was important and empowering for staff to know that they had a way, just like the faculty had a way, of getting issues that could be heard by administrators. So that was their way of both big issues, like: the need for staff to get beyond their own department-- an issue we've got as faculty; and, what, what, how do staff integrate as part of an academic community when sometimes there is either inadvertent, and sometimes not, classism that exists at the university. As well as, the how do you fix the potholes. I've got X going on in my building, and we-- who do we go to-- to get that taken care of? And there was another source of-- Don is a rabid egalitarian. Just, he would take time out of his schedule every week to have coffees, remember his coffees, with the faculty. And you got invited to sit down for coffee with the President. And I think the first year nobody believed it was really the President that was going to be sitting there. There was some cutout or a tape recording device-- but, it was the President.
GERTH: We never did it by department because if we did it by department, all you would do was discuss the departmental budget.
WAGNER: Right, and then about six weeks ago, two months ago, I told Don, I said I always knew when he had those coffees. And he said, well how did you know that? I said, because within 24 hours, I got my list from the President's office of things that faculty had raised that the President wanted a response on by next week as to. And usually, it was like, he was, he would say is this really going on? Can you? But, it was -- and all of these things can create pressure points with the Senate or a union because they're saying, “whoa, whoa, wait a minute, that kind of moves into this area. But in defense of the approach, I think it's a wonderful approach for a University. Because it's empowering and reaffirming of values that people have. And then what you need, which I think we had, is a President who doesn't take the disagreements personally and is committed to resolving them. He doesn't hide behind the process. If it's an issue for the Senate, whether he things it's misguided or not, it's an issue for the Senate, and then it's a issue that the President's involved with, or appropriate administrators are involved with, to see what you do with it. And so I-- so it was a different structure. And that was disconcerting for some administrators we brought in from elsewhere. I mean this rampant democracy on this campus was something they were not used to. But it very much reflected Don's style. And it wasn't as, it wasn't robust at all until he got here. And I don't know what's happened. Some of those structures are still here, thankfully. I know the Staff Assembly is still here, still operates. ASI is still here, as representatives of the students. But it was a different mindset. Not just the structure, but it was a different mindset in terms of the campus. It made it very interesting.
FARRAND: This is a slightly different topic. There's another, and I think it happens a lot, that perhaps was less endearing at these times. At least from the faculty perspective, when a new President or new Chief Academic Officer comes to the campus, we typically perceive that what they're telling us is don't worry, I'll save you. You're a sleepy little college, and we're going to put you on the map. And I believe my responsibility to the people above me is to put you on the map by requiring, increasing the amount of research. And, I've got a program for doing this. And you'll thank me when we're done, right. That sort of, and that is pretty common, I think. And what I recall, I was so young then, that when Don got here, I remember very-- a conversation that we had. We had it, it was at some hotel in town. We sat around tables and talked about where the University was going. I remember he sat next to me, and we talked for a little while about, you know, about research versus teaching. Because the Sac State, the culture that I came to, the culture that attracted me here, was a campus that really cares about doing a good job for its students-- that really cares about teaching. And it wasn't going to go with the winds blowing around that always were blowing around about, you know, technology and huge classes, and all these other things that tend to just be-- that often times distract from the quality of education. And so I remember a discussion about are we, I remember telling you, I thought we'll never be the UC Berkley-- we'll never be the best research university in the state. But, we could be the best teaching university in the state. And this aspect of the culture is still here at Sac State in large part. And that's something, you know, that didn't have to happen. I mean, that wasn't a tension that I was aware of significantly during your administration. But certainly have been under more recently.
BARRENA: And in that, however, the faculty are their own worst enemy in terms of RTP. And that the, that mission of the university in terms of being a teaching university, it's the faculty who want more research dollars and more publications and reward research and publication in the RTP process. That comes from the faculty themselves. Comes from administrators, as well. But it comes from the faculty.
KOESTER: Comes from the larger higher education culture. There is, I mean it's another whole topic. But there is a hierarchy of status that inhibits and creates the obstacles for universities like this one. That is just endemic, and that's all I'll say. I mean I'm going to stop because I couldn't get on a rant.
DORMAN: I have 20 years' experience, including Chairship of secondary committees, and I've seen thousands of faculty files here. And I can't agree with you. I don't think the pressure, until relatively recently because of the culture you're describing, being brought. And a new generation of faculty are hired here now, which I think now are imbued with that particular ethic. But for years, in fact, the problem I always had was that-- that they argued--that too many faculty felt-- if we're not publishing, we must be a hell of a teacher. And I never saw the correlation.
BOILLARD: Fel, a moment ago, you wanted to --
RAMEY: Yeah, I was just going to say I agree with you. A lot of times it comes from outside. I mean obviously, the College of Business emphasized research. And if we didn't, we wouldn't have ever had –accreditation. We were really in a big mess with that, okay. So it doesn't necessarily come from the faculty. And I found that whenever the secondary committee in the College were reviewing faculty members, if they came up with somebody that I had seen poor teaching evaluations, they actually knocked them down, okay. Which I was happy about because I would have knocked it down. Because that is an integral part. We got it at 50% believe it or not.
BARRENA: So that has been maintained. I think one of the things we haven't focused on is all the challenges that were faced during Don's tenure and how they were successfully met. I mean there was a lot of stuff going on. And-- We had proposition 209 --
KOESTER: I went exactly there.
BARRENA: 187, you know. We had—well, the ROTC issue. And those really huge issues were, diversity issues, and those issues were positively faced collaboratively and effectively.
KOESTER: And I would say driven by values, which-- for me, Don is a leader who was driven by values. Ultimately, when the decisions were made, it was about his values, the collegial values, university values, and he wasn't afraid of making those decisions based on those values. That's rarer than it ought to be in higher education leadership, I think. So I think you're right, Juanita. I mean, think of what you did, Don, in opposition to 209. And the debate with --
GERTH: I got called on the carpet for that. Bob Corrigan and I were-- Bob Corrigan was the President of San Francisco State at the time and a good friend. I happened to have been on the search committee that recommended him to the Board. But we got keel hauled on that one because we were disobeying orders.
BOILARD: By Long Beach?
GERTH: Yeah, yes.
[unidentified speakers] : [overlapped speaking ]
GERTH: It's not that, whoever was after us, favored 209. It's that they wanted the System [CSU] to stay clear of that because of the political situation here in Sacramento. And Bob and I just went charging ahead, and so on. Part of it may have been age. I was getting old. And, so on…But --
KOESTER You were also hammered on ROTC.
GERTH: Well, yes.
DOMICH: During my years, with Robert for sixteen years and then four with you, I remember the ROTC, the file-- like one or two pieces of paper-- it grew. It took up like two shelves in a filing cabinet. It just was huge. Just that, just visually, it was huge.
GERTH: I felt very strongly about that. I was in the Air Force for almost five years. And my final assignment, which is where Bev and I met, was at major command headquarters, which meant that we have the military justice system. At major command headquarters, you have a court martial arrangement, where even the death penalty can be applied. And we got into this whole ROT—well, the whole sexual orientation thing. And took a very strong stand. I'm trying to remember, it would have been-- Eisenhower would have been the President. And we had finally gotten rid of “Engine” Charlie Wilson, who was a disaster as Secretary of Defense. I was a Captain in the Air Force at the time, and I sat on the judicial group. And we took the position that sexual matters would not-- had nothing to do with gender. It had to do with behavior. And if you engaged in intrusive behavior, that was something that could be dealt with in the military justice system. But, never dealt with it in terms of, or deal with it, in terms of sexual orientation. And I'm not supposed to talk, but I can't help but say this. I got, for reasons that I have no idea, I got picked by ASCU [Association of State Colleges and Universities] to be one of the, I think there were about five of us presidents. I got to know the guy who eventually became President of San Diego State-- he's no longer there, Steve Weber. In that same context, he was in New York at that time, where, we actually got to the point where we thought we had a solution to the sexual orientation issue in 1992. And then the election happened. And then the issue got thrust back into the political limelight, nationally, after the election. And in my judgment, and this is an amazing story because the Secretary of Defense was Cheney. And, Cheney had a personal reason in his own family wanting to be supportive of the sexual orient-- to our approach-- on the sexual orientation issue. But it got wiped out in the public discourse after that. And then we were, got into this “don't ask don't tell” nonsense, and so on. And then, we got on this campus, of course, into considerable discussion on the matter, which was very complicated because the politicians in Washington kept interfering. We did not get support on this campus from statewide leadership. It was sort of a-- why don't you solve it yourself and don't bother us approach. And I talk too much. I always, I shouldn't be talking.
RAMEY: I just want to inject one thing. One of the reasons why a lot of people were upset about it was that there were like 300 or so ROTC students. And the grade point average was 3.0 or above. And, their funds were paid. And I think a lot of people felt that-- yes, people who have different sexual orientations have a right to be at a university, but so do the military people have a right to be there. And the university means- we're universal. And so it includes them two.
GERTH: Well, there's a variable here in defense of our own crew here. We had Air Force ROTC. Remember this? And UC Davis had Army ROTC. And our students who wanted to do Army ROTC could register over at Davis. And their students could register over here if they wanted Air Force. And the Air Force ROTC guy here, the senior officer was a Lieutenant Colonel. The Army ROTC at the “world's greatest university,” they like to say, was a Bird Colonel, a Full Colonel. A Bird Colonel is an Air Force idea. And he came to Davis believing that he had a God-given mission to stamp out homosexuality. And he tried to impose that on our students who wanted Army ROTC. You know, that's got to be a political nightmare. The Chancellor at Davis was Larry Vanderhoef, who was wonderfully helpful. He always was wonderfully helpful. He was a good guy to deal with. And it just got to be a mess.
RAMEY: Thank you.
GERTH: But that, of course, the national-- I know your husband was a Dean at Davis.
RAMEY: He wasn't in the military.
GERTH: Pardon me?
RAMEY: He wasn't a military person. He wasn't.
GERTH: Yeah, I'll shut up.
SHULOCK: I want to bring up another example that -- I think we're looking for examples of successful collaboration and also reflect on its values-- and this is one of the downturns in the budget. And, you know, we went through a couple of cycles. I don't know which one this was, but it might have been in the early 90s.
KOESTER: I think that's the one.
SHULOCK: And, a lot of the campuses in the system were cutting enrollment and laying off faculty. And Don just said, we are not going there. We are not going to do that. It just sets in motion as downward spiral and morale and enrollment, and you just can't get out of it. And so, it took a lot of belt tightening and a lot of agreement on how we were going to manage through those couple years of downturns without taking the-- in one sense, easier approach. But, in your well-knowing mind, a really not easy approach because of what it would set in motion for the next many years to try to climb out of.
BARRENA: That was also one on the promotions-- where promotions were kind of limited by the budget. It didn't matter whether you were highly meritorious or whatever. But if money wasn't there, forget about it. And then, and Don implemented where that's not the limit. We'll find the money. If you've been recommended for a promotion, then you ought to get the promotion.
KOESTER: Right. Yeah, my department, I was just looking at David because my department had schisms from the earlier decisions around promotion that lasted well beyond my presence here at Cal State Sacramento, those schisms. And, as a department Chair, I knew where people were going to vote on an issue based on what had taken place in promotion decisions-- who had gotten it and who hadn't gotten it, even though everybody had been recommended. But there were some people ranked higher than others because that's what they had to do. And it affected the culture of that department.
WAGNER: And let me assure you that that carries even into retirement, Jolene.
KOESTER: I bet it does, David.
WAGNER: No, it --
KOESTER: You and I won't use any names.
WAGNER: No, but it's-- and I don't think Com Studies was alone in there.
KOESTER: No, I'm sure.
WAGNER: There were departments that were hopelessly fractured by decisions made. And sometimes it was budget decisions made as to who got equipment and who got travel money. But for whatever reason, we tended to hold those as personal insults and treated them appropriately. But yes.
BARRENA: How about when you got top rank because you got the long straw.
WAGNER: Oh God.
BARRENA: Seriously, seriously.
KOESTER: Brutal. Brutal.
BOILARD: Fel, you'd had--
RAMEY: Yeah, I just wanted to comment on the fact that when Don came, I thought one of the wonderful things that he did was-- he invited community people here. And you know, you're living in this city, which has all of the Legislature here-- and he sought to seek out all these different people here. And I think that really made your life at least easier with a lot of people on the outside. You value the community. You valued the politicians. Of course, you're a political science person. But I think that that was the strength you had also in your years at the University.
BOILARD: One, one kind of final aspect of governance that we've touched on just a little bit, I just wanted to see if anybody had anything to add to that-- is, how this campus' efforts at governance were affected by Long Beach or the Legislature-- you know, external governmental forces. It sounds, Don, you make it sound like there were a few occasions, at least, in which case-- in which, the Chancellor's Office was trying to get you not to do something. You kind of went ahead and did it anyway. But I'm wondering to what extent did directives or pressure from the Chancellor's Office or the Trustees impinge upon this campus' ability to go the direction it wanted to go.
KOESTER: Well, I can come up with a very specific example of this-- and this was in the context of the budget reductions of the beginning 90s. You all remember that one? That was one where we thought, oh my goodness, right. And we were ordered to reduce enrollment, or to keep enrollment at a particular level. And we were, as a consequence of that, we -- which is a fairly familiar theme and directive that comes out of Long Beach to campuses, when there are budget reductions. The same thing happened in the first decade of this century when there were budget reductions. Lots of tensions around those enrollment directives. So, we were ordered to keep our enrollment down. We stopped recruiting a lot of new students. And we added classes so that the students we had here could move forward. And there was, and then there was some outcry. I don't even remember where it came from. But we then got large amounts of money at the last moment from Long Beach that came from the Legislature. Do you remember this? We were scurrying around. You were in your office, and I was not the Chief Academic Officer yet, ‘cause I can remember the two of us going back and forth. You know, there was sort of a worn carpet between Nancy's office and my office. And we were adding sections. It had A D A, or it wasn't ADA, or there was some label with As on it. And so we were throwing money at the last minute at adding sections for students who were here. But we weren't looking, we weren't able to, in that context-- because of their, of Long Beach's directives-- to look at the longer term. You know, we were forced into the short-term reactive steps. And then I became the Interim Vice President in the Fall of '93. And I think I woke up one morning and came into campus to look at the census data, because we were coming out of the budget reductions. But I looked at the census data, and we were down. No, I think I got a call from Long Beach. Maybe they had talked to you first. But I think the call came first to me. That we were under, are going to be under our enrollment target for the year. And they were going to be nice to us and not take money away. You know, my reaction was sort of “gag me with a spoon.” Were here because of your directives. And now you're telling me that you're not, you're going to be nice to us and not take money away. I probably would have never said to you [President Gerth], “gag me with a spoon;” but I think that's how I -- I would have said it to you [Nancy Shulock]-- I would have said it to you. But there was a, you know, what it was is-- Long Beach tried to handle political pressures with short-term solutions.
SHULOCK: Well, I think part of the politics of the budget, I think, from their point of view, is if we are seen by the legislature to be able to accommodate more students with less money, then the legislature will say, well you don't need the money.
KOESTER: It was Charlie Reed's mantra. It was Barry Munitz's mantra. They're wrong!
SHULOCK: That if you cut the enrollment, and that was a flashpoint with the [campus].
KOESTER: Yeah, but I mean, I think the meaning of that really is that they're trying to respond to political pressures. They direct the campuses in certain ways. And the direction to the campuses don't give the campuses, typically, flexibility to look at the longer term consequences. So you do what your bosses tell you to do. In your case [President Gerth] your boss was the Chancellor and the Board. And then it closes off the options for campus choice. So you're at your own peril as a President.
SHULOCK: Well I also think he was willing to imperil himself.
SHULOCK: You know, for the benefit of the students and the campus
DORMAN: From the faculty perspective, we were not, we didn't understand nor did we know about what's going on behind the scenes. All we knew was that there was confusion or that there was last minute expenditures. And therefore, the problem is deferred upon or rested upon the faculty’s, I mean the administrator’s head.
DORMAN: Reinforcing this notion that administrators are from Pluto and that the faculty are from Cleveland.
KOESTER: Right. And that there is money. And that there is money.
KOESTER: And that there is money --
DORMAN: And that there is money, and you guys are playing games with it.
KOESTER: Right. Right.
DORMAN: So yes, we were laboring under constant pressure. I think particularly at time of budgetary pressure, or when there was political pressure being put on Long Beach. But all politics are local except when they aren't. And politics accrue to you.
KOESTER: Yeah, that’s a great comment on your part in response to this example because you're right. We were doing what we needed to do in order to do the right thing for the institution, for students. I mean that was the driver at that point because that was going to put students in classes. But to a faculty member, it looks like-- What?
DORMAN: Yeah, yeah.
KOESTER: You've been telling us we have no money. You've been telling us we can't add sections. And now all of a sudden there's this flood of money, and these folks over in Academic Affairs are calling the Dean's office and say, add in 20 more sections of math. And you know, it undermines credibility is what it does--
[unidentified speaker]: Absolutely.
[unidentified speaker]: Yes.
KOESTER: And trust.
FITZGERALD: And to explain it too much also puts you at risk.
FITZGERALD: Because then the greater, you know, the greater government, state government let's say, gets a vision of what, how you're moving the three cards around.
[unidentified speaker]: Right.
FITZGERALD: And then --
KOESTER: And, in Sacramento, there's even a greater risk. Because if what is happening on this campus gets described in the Sacramento Bee. Now, I think to some extent that's been reduced as newspapers don't have quite the same efficacy and impact, and social media has taken over or something.
DORMAN: Oh they don't have that same-- the layoffs at the Bee have been so incredible that they don't have the same staff covering it today.
KOESTER: But when we were all doing this.
DORMAN: Oh yeah.
KOESTER: If there would be something in the Sacramento Bee about what we were doing here, then --
SHULOCK: Don would get a phone call.
KOESTER: Don would get a phone call.
DORMAN: Speaking of that, that's why I go back to—I object to your [Barrena’s] continued use of the phrase, “we ran presidents off campus.” After the Bee's coverage on certain things, the mantra would be-- this is the campus that chews up presidents. Well, some of them needed chewing.
DORMAN: They definitely did. They really did.
[unidentified speaker]: Yeah, really.
BOILARD: Well, we're nearing the end of our time. We'll ask Karen for a couple of words.
DOMICH: I just wanted to say one thing. I feel like in the President's Office, we got a taste of Don Gerth that probably you didn't get. Maybe some of you did. I don't know. But we sort of thought we were special. There was an unbelievable amount of warm, family feeling. And I always think of him on certain nights he would leave the office before us, which rarely happened. And he would always say, don't forget to put the cat out. And it was such a nice feeling in a work environment to have somebody make such a warm, comforting statement. It was sort of like Tom Bodett and the Motel 6-- I'll leave the lights on. But it, I mean it was a very warm, caring, supportive place, and I felt very privileged to have that opportunity to work there.
WAGNER: Well I've got one final thought for myself too. And, it's because she refuses to be on air. Don meant it when he said he and Bev were a team. And, the more I’ve observed administrators and faculty, it was a very good team. So thank you, Bev.
[multiple speakers]: Yeah.
[multiple speakers]: Thank you.
GERTH: I couldn't agree more. I was very, very fortunate. One of the interesting things about her-- it was true here and at Chico and at Dominguez Hills. Not at San Francisco State-- our kids were little, and we were focused on two little girls. But, I may have been President Gerth and all that kind of stuff, but for students and faculty, people here on this campus, she was Bev. And that says something about her. And thank you all very much for a good session. You talked, you used the word Don a little much more than the other three sessions did. However, people have been kind in all of these. There's no question about it. And so on. It's been a very interesting discussion. And it's brought lots of memories back and lots of thoughts about other people and Chancellor's Office types and Trustees, and so on. Some of whom have been wonderful-- and a few of whom have been a pain in the posterior. And I guess I shouldn't be saying this with this recording going on. Anyways, thank you very much. Steve. Thank you for doing all four of these.
[unidentified speaker(s)]: Thank you Don.