Cal State lost 10% of teaching force, union says

California State University lost 10% of its teaching force in the last year, a result of crippling budget cuts that reduced job opportunities on many campuses, according to a faculty union group.

Numbers released by the California Faculty Assn. found that about 2,500 fewer faculty members were employed on the university’s 23 campuses in May 2010 than in May 2009. The figures are based on payroll data and include full- and part-time faculty, coaches, counselors and others.

The numbers represent a loss of about 1,230 full-time equivalent faculty positions.

“This is a horrific one-year drop in the number of faculty teaching our students,” said the group’s president, Lillian Taiz, a history professor at Cal State L.A. “These budget cuts are job killers for university faculty and staff, and they are opportunity killers for our students.”

Job losses varied by campus. Faculty numbers at Cal State Monterey Bay and the California Maritime Academy increased over the year, while the teacher count at Cal State Long Beach decreased by 237, an 11% drop.

At Cal State Dominguez Hills, the number of faculty members dropped from 702 to 601, according to the group. But campus spokeswoman Amy Bentley-Smith said the figure did not reflect recent hires for the spring semester.

The faculty union numbers roughly match those calculated by the Cal State system, said spokesman Erik Fallis. The vast majority of job losses were of lecturers who work on a contract basis and are especially vulnerable to the budget ax.

State funding for Cal Sate was cut by $625 million over the last two years, resulting in student fee hikes, course reductions, enrollment cuts and employee furloughs.

Campuses were able to restore 4,000 course sections this spring and hope to add 8,000 more in the fall with money freed up from the receipt of one-time federal stimulus dollars, Fallis said.