Citing Series of Conflicts, San Jose State U. Asks for Governance Review

Academic leaders at San Jose State University on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution asking the chancellor of the California State University system to review governance at the university, where unease over the introduction of massive open online courses has exacerbated difficulties caused by tight budgets.

The resolution cited “a series of conflicts over the past year” that have highlighted “communication and transparency” issues and “opened serious rifts in our shared sense of community.”

The Academic Senate passed the resolution by a vote of 38 to 2, with five abstentions, but delayed until its December meeting a vote on another measure related to the president’s push to adopt MOOCs.

“In my 24 years at SJSU—most of that time on the Senate—I have never heard such widespread and deep concern about the direction our campus has been taking,” said Kenneth B. Peter, a professor of political science, in a prepared statement provided to The Chronicle.

Mohammad H. Qayoumi, San Jose State’s president, spoke at the meeting and endorsed the resolution.

“As I said during the meeting, communication is the basis for effective governance,” Mr. Qayoumi wrote in a blog post on the university website. “I am hopeful that today’s Senate conversation, and others to come, will bring us closer together and help us exceed our individual and collective aspirations.”

“Let us do all we can to support the chancellor’s office in responding to this request,” he wrote.

The senate also discussed a policy proposal that would clarify the rules governing “technology intensive, hybrid, and online courses and programs” at the university. The session ended before that proposal came to a vote. It will be taken up when the senate meets again, in December.

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