Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reclaim the University- Administration and Faculty Failure at Sacramento State

by Duane Campbell
I just returned from a panel discussion at Sac State by faculty and students on Reclaim the University.  The event was sponsored by Students for Quality Education an organizing group with years of experience.  There  were strong positions on the need to hire new ethnic faculty made by both faculty and students.  Student after student reported that they had few contacts with ethnic faculty.   While there are some 22% of the students who are Latino, less than 6 % of the faculty are Latinos - less today than in 1974.
 African Americans are similarly under represented.
In 1972 the Government Dept. at Sac State had 2 African American faculty members and one Latino.  Today that department has 1 African American faculty member.  A parallel decline in Chicano/Latino faculty has occurred in the History Department and in the College of Education.

A major contributor to the problem in the College of Education has been the elimination of the Department of Bilingual/Multicultural Education.
When the BMED department existed from 1994- 2010,  Mexican American/Latino credential students in the College constituted some 34 % of the total students enrolled.  Since the elimination of the department Mexican American/Latino students constitute some 6% of the students in teacher preparation.  Latino students make up more than 40% of the students in local k-12 schools. Who will be their teachers?

Sac State  currently has a Hispanic President and an African American woman as Dean of the College of Education.  This is a complete failure of leadership. It is also a failure of the faculty to recruit and to hire.  While allocation of positions is a product of administration, faculty recruitment is ultimately a decision of faculty members, not by administrators.  
Worse than the 1970’s.
These figures indicate a return to the structural racism that existed in the CSU system prior to the 1970’s.  Indeed, at Sac State at least, the proportion of faculty of color has decline below that of 1974.   For a detailed analysis see

Latino students now constitute over 50% of k-12 students in California and over 22% of students at CSU-Sacramento.

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