Report 2007-102.2 Recommendations and Responses in 2014-041

Report 2007-102.2: California State University: It Is Inconsistent in Considering Diversity When Hiring Professors, Management Personnel, Presidents, and System Executives

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of 2013-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California State University 6 14 12 4 4

Recommendation To: University, California State

To ensure that campuses employ consistent search processes and develop appropriate policies, the university should issue systemwide guidance on the hiring process for management personnel. In developing this guidance, the university should instruct campuses to compare the proportions of women and minorities in the total applicant pool with the proportions in the labor pool to help assess the success of their outreach efforts in recruiting female and minority applicants. To help ensure that they have sufficient data from applicants to effectively compare these proportions, campuses could send reminders to applicants requesting them to submit information regarding their gender and ethnicity.

Response

The CSU takes seriously its obligation to effectively manage all aspects of its hiring policies and procedures while balancing state and federal regulations. Careful consideration must be given to whether any changes in these policies and procedures might be perceived to constitute an illegal preference in violation of Proposition 209. Notably, Proposition 209 exempts actions that are required by federal law to retain federal funding, but does not exempt actions not specifically required by federal law. In that regard, campuses are not required by federal affirmative action regulations to compare the proportions of women and minorities in the total applicant pool with the proportions in the labor pool to help assess the success of their outreach efforts in recruiting female and minority applicants. However, campuses are comparing the proportions of women and minorities in their current workforce by job groups with the proportions of women and minorities in the labor pool, as is required by federal affirmative action regulations. In addition, CSU continues to abide by affirmative action regulations by offering applicants an opportunity to voluntarily submit information regarding their gender and ethnicity and respecting the applicants' choice, even the choice not to provide demographics information.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: University, California State

To ensure that campuses employ consistent search processes and develop appropriate policies, the university should issue systemwide guidance on the hiring process for management personnel. In developing this guidance, the university should advise campuses to compare and report the gender and ethnicity of their current workforce to the labor pool by separating management personnel positions into groups based on the function of their positions to ensure that placement goals are meaningful and useful to those involved in the hiring process. Direct campuses to have search committees review affirmative action plans so they are aware of the availability and placement goals for women and minorities when planning the search process. The guidance should address the purpose of placement goals and the affirmative action plan in general so that the search committees have the appropriate context and do not misuse the information.

Response

The 2008 webinar titled "Valuing Diversity in Recruitment" and the 2010 on-demand, web-based training, titled "Faculty and Administrative Searches in the CSU," review examples of practices that reflect good faith efforts to reach affirmative action goals and model the concepts of non-discrimination and equal employment opportunity. Among the concepts discussed was apprising the search committee of the campus affirmative action obligations and putting it in the appropriate context of nondiscrimination so that they do not misperceive affirmative action goals as quotas. These trainings are available at http://centralstationu.calstate.edu/howthingswork/. While campuses are encouraged to ensure that placement goals are meaningful and useful to those involved in the search/hiring process, a university task force formed in 2008 reviewed the appropriate use of affirmative action plans and availability data, and concluded that allowing campuses some flexibility in carrying out their utilization analysis and developing the campus affirmative action plan was appropriate.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: University, California State

To ensure that campuses employ hiring practices that are consistent with laws and regulations, the university should issue systemwide guidance on the hiring process for professors. In developing this guidance, the university should devise and implement a uniform method for campuses to use when calculating availability of data to better enable the university to identify and compare availability and placement goals systemwide and among campuses. Additionally, direct campuses to compare and report the gender and ethnicity of their current workforce to the labor pool by individual department to ensure that placement goals are meaningful and useful to those involved in the hiring process.

Response

While some variation in analytical methodology from campus to campus exists, a university task force concluded that allowing campuses some flexibility in carrying out their analysis and developing the campus affirmative action plan was appropriate and did not recommend a system wide mandate. However, the training module described in our response and available at http://centralstationu.calstate.edu/howthingswork (Module 1, Non discrimination and Affirmative Action Programs) provides a step by step description of an availability analysis and the development of placement goals.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: University, California State

To broaden the perspective of the committees and increase the reach of the search for presidential positions, the university should develop policies regarding the diversity of the trustees committee and the advisory committee and consider alternatives on the manner in which to increase committee diversity.

Response

As explained in past responses, it remains the position of the CSU that because the composition of the Board of Trustees is determined by the governor, the CSU administration will likely never be in a position to fully implement this recommendation through a policy change. The Trustees are mindful of the importance of diverse search committees and make efforts to achieve such diversity within the existing composition of the Board.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2013

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2014-041