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Cal State faculty, administrators at odds over implementation of new general education and remedial course policies

Luckman Center at Cal State University-Los Angeles
Luckman Center at Cal State University-Los Angeles
Steve Devol via Flickr Creative Commons

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Cal State faculty members are pushing back on administrators over two executive orders issued over the summer that would bring significant changes to the Cal States’ general education requirements, remedial classes and placement exams.

It’s part of a larger effort by the Cal State system to get its four year graduation rate to 40 percent by 2025, effectively doubling it.

The Academic Senate for the California State Universities (ASCSU) drafted a resolution saying that the orders were released hastily over the summer while most ASCSU faculty members weren’t on campus and that more time was needed for them to review, understand and talk over the policies with the Chancellor’s Office. The L.A. Times reports some faculty worried they wouldn’t have time to rework their courses and curriculum to fit the new standards. They asked that the changes not start until at least the fall of 2019.

In early August, Cal State Chancellor Timothy White issued an executive order that discontinues noncredit remedial courses currently required for many freshmen as well as math and English placement exams for incoming students, starting in the fall of 2018. Later that month, White issued a second executive order calling for several major changes to Cal State’s general education policy, maybe most notably by allowing students to satisfy their general math requirement by skipping intermediate algebra.

On AirTalk, Larry Mantle talks with an Academic Senate member and a Cal State administrator about how the two bodies can move forward with implementing the new standards.


Christine “Chris” Miller, chair of the Academic Senate of the California State University and a professor of communication studies at Cal State-Sacramento

Christine Mallon, assistant vice chancellor for academic programs and faculty development at California State University and the dean for academic programs