RESOLUTION IN RESPONSE TO RSCAP FUNDING CUTS

Resolved: That the Academic Senate of Sonoma State University (SSU) calls upon the Chancellor’s Office to reinstate the funding to Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Program (RSCAP); and be it further;

Resolved: That the SSU Academic Senate calls upon our representatives to the Statewide CSU Academic Senate to raise this concern within that body; and be it further;

Resolved: That the SSU Academic Senate forward copies of this resolution to our faculty, the SSU Provost and President, all CSU Academic Senates, the CSU Chancellor, the CSU Executive Vice Chancellors, and the CSU Board of Trustees.

RATIONALE:

In a letter of 10/15/09 to the Executive Committee of the SSU Academic Senate, the Faculty Standards and Affairs Committee (FSAC) has expressed its concern about the decision at the Chancellor's Office to not fund the Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Program (RSCAP) for 2009-2010.

RSCAP funds have been an important source of small grant funding to support the research, scholarship and creative activities of SSU's faculty. Although limited, these funds have been one of the few steady sources of faculty development funds that have provided funding to facilitate small research projects (many of which include student researchers), travel to research sites, travel to conferences to present research findings, and other resources for creative activities. RSCAP grants often allow new faculty, still in the process of making their transition to SSU, to get their research programs up and running, which can also set the stage for seeking larger grant funding from outside agencies. Summer RSCAP fellowships have allowed many faculty to spend focused time on their research, which regularly resulted in articles, book chapters, edited volumes, grants proposals, conferences and other scholarly activities, which are necessary to meet the requirements of the reappointment, tenure and promotion (RTP) process.

The loss of the RSCAP funds disproportionately affects the newer probationary faculty, at a time when their paychecks have already been reduced by 9.3% and their scholarly activities are impacted by furloughs, lack of equipment funds, larger class sizes, and lack of other professional development funds due to extraordinary budget fallouts.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) and the Faculty Subcommittee on Sponsored Programs (FSSP) are to be commended for their hard work in identifying limited funds (carryover from prior grants, private donations, etc.) to provide some scholarly opportunities for the faculty. Associated Students allocated additional funding for RSCAP projects from Instructionally Related Activities to support the inclusion of students in research projects because participation in research is recognized as a crucial form of education for our students. The Provost of SSU, recognizing research as crucial to the professional development of our faculty, also had already allocated additional funds from Academic Affairs to supplement the state-level funding –prior to the Chancellor’s cuts– because the levels had been deemed insufficient to meet the actual needs.

FSAC recognizes the importance of the RSCAP funds in providing critical support for the development of faculty as teacher-scholars. Therefore we urge our Statewide Senators to bring this matter to the State Academic Senate as a priority item. We heartily endorse any efforts to restore that funding from the Chancellor's Office.

Approved by the Senate 11/12/09