After a 10-day voting period wrought with technical difficulties, the vote results are in and the California Faculty Association will negotiate two days per month furloughs with the California State University to help fix the system’s $584 million deficit.
The voting period closed Wednesday with 54 percent members voting ‘yes’ and 46 percent voting ‘no’ for the furloughs. In total, 68 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot — about 8,880 members.
A press release from the CFA outlined the split decision among faculty members:
Many wanted to vote “yes” because they wanted to save classes for their
students and jobs for their colleagues—even if they had to make a significant
monetary sacrifice to do so.
But they also wanted to vote “no” because they were angry at the Chancellor’s
handling of the furlough issue – including his blanket refusal to guarantee that the
furlough would save a single class or a single job.
The vote also reveals that members of the CFA have little confidence in CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed’s leadership. Only 4 percent voted “yes” they had confidence in him, 79 percent voted “no confidence” and 17 percent voted “don’t know.”
The voting period, which started Monday, July 13, got off to a bad start when some faculty members didn’t receive a ballot due to a “software glitch.” The glitch was a that some university e-mail systems interpreted the mass-distributed e-mails as spam, and filtered them out of faculty inboxes.
CFA officers re-ran the election to make sure that all votes were counted and there is confidence in the results. In an e-mail sent to CFA members CFA officers said the company handling the online voting had fixed the error and explaining that all members that voted on the first link will need to recast them on the second.
The Chronicle of Higher education reported that union representatives had to resort to sending out individual ballots to members who still hadn’t received a ballot.
The furlough is just one of many efforts made to deal with the CSU deficit. Tuesday, the CSU Board of Trustees voted to increase student fees by 20 percent. At Cal Poly, this fee increase is on top of a 10 percent College Based Fees increase that students approved in March. July 9, the chancellor’s office announced an enrollment freeze that would reduce enrollment by a total of 40,000 students for the 2010-2011 academic year.