July 2020 Cabinet response to Boycott USF Tuition Demands

July 2020 Cabinet response to Boycott USF Tuition Demands
  • WE DEMAND that the University of San Francisco lower the tuition by 4.4% (the amount of the initial increase) and eliminate fees of inaccessible services during the virtual semester
    • The university commits to reversing the transportation fee. We have been in conversation with student leadership of the undergraduate and graduate student senates, and they have decided to preserve their student activity fees in order to fund their planned student activities, even if in a virtual environment.

      While in-person classes will be replaced with remote learning and the day-to-day educational experience will be very different this fall, USF’s focus and educational principles still put students at the center. The expertise and attentive mentorship of your professors and staff will continue. The highly personalized education that you have come to expect from USF will continue -- even though the delivery method may change.

      For that reason, USF is not reducing or waiving tuition for the 2020–21 academic year. The university’s financial aid officers are receiving and responding to student requests for reviews to financial aid packages, given changes in families’ financial conditions. We encourage all students who have experienced changes to their financial situations and who wish for a review of their need-based aid to participate in this process. We want every USF student, regardless of changed financial circumstances, to be able to complete their degree program, and we will do everything we can to assure that outcome.
  • WE DEMAND that the university release an itemized budget as it pertains to the 2020-2021 academic year.
    • We want to share with the Boycott USF organizers the following information, available on myUSF: the Board of Trustees budget document for FY2021 and the Office of Planning and Budget site containing current and previous budget reports. Student representatives have been engaged as full partners during the past academic year on the recently created University Budget Advisory Committee, and these students have received important, relevant, and comprehensive information about the university’s budget. We will continue to work with UBAC student representatives and AUSF Senate to develop strategies to enhance communication with students about the university's finances.
  • WE DEMAND that the University of San Francisco launches an external investigation into the negligence of the Title IX office. And that those who have been found incompetent be removed from their positions.
    • The university must know whether negligence occurred in any aspect of the operations of our Title IX Office, so we have launched an external investigation and have engage Rachel S. Hulst and Gabrielle Handler Marks of Hulst & Handler LLP to conduct such an investigation. This project has already begun, and the USF administration strongly encouraged all parties who have information to come forward, and all those who are contacted by our external investigators to cooperate fully. Heretofore, no staff in the Title IX office have been found to have been negligent in their responsibilities or actions.
  • WE DEMAND a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and that those who are found guilty be expelled and removed from campus housing.
    • We have a zero tolerance policy for not only sexual assault but also for sexual harassment, stalking, cyberbullying, and every other violation of the USF student honor code. We are redoubling our educational efforts to make every member of our community aware of and knowledgeable about our Title IX policies and procedures, and all of our many reporting tools and channels. Together, we can all make USF an even safer, more respectful, and more inclusive campus community.

      Sanctions for any student who is found responsible for sexual assault or other serious violations of the university honor code are handled on a case-by-case basis. Sanctions include expulsion from the university and removal from university housing.
  • WE DEMAND that the university continues to fully fund faculty and staff and continue to allow them to work full-time. This should be made possible, in part, by top USF officials taking pay cuts.
    • The global pandemic will lead to a serious shortfall in USF’s budgeted fiscal year 2021 total net revenue. This shortfall will require very substantial cuts to various expense budgets around the university, and careful thought about the university’s spending priorities. We are prioritizing expenditures related to the health, safety, and well-being of our community members; support for the faculty members and staff who are creating high-quality learning opportunities; preserving financial aid packages, or even increasing them for students whose parents have lost their jobs during the current crisis; and technology investments that support remote teaching and learning at the university. USF leadership has voluntarily agreed to significant reductions in compensation, ranging from 15 to 20%. Members of the full-time faculty association have voted overwhelmingly to accept reductions in their compensation. Non-represented staff members will similarly see reductions in their fiscal year 2021 salaries. Other unions are considering reductions to their compensation as well. All of these sacrifices are being made to preserve the university and to ensure that our students will be able to continue their education and attain their degrees in a timely manner.
  • WE DEMAND that all USF faculty and staff keep their health insurance in the midst of the pandemic.
    • Thank you for this important note of solidarity. To date, all faculty and staff, including those who have been furloughed, have seen the continuity of their health insurance.
  • WE DEMAND that the university take a more firm and direct approach in condemning hate speech toward Black students and holding staff, faculty, and students who engage in hate speech accountable to their action.
    • We promise to step up every day in support of Black-identified people in this country and around the world. We invite students to suggest ways in which we can support their efforts to be agents of true, deep, and lasting changes that will finally end anti-Black racism here and everywhere.
  • WE DEMAND the defunding of on-campus police to combat systemic racism. These funds should be allocated to support Black students and students of color.
    • We maintain our commitment to ensuring the safety of every member of the USF community. Our public safety officers and our patrol and community service officers are trained and dedicated professionals who are committed to our university mission, vision, and values, and whose primary responsibility is to insure the safety and well-being of our students on an open campus in a wonderful and relatively safe city. Our officers are all trained in first aid and CPR. We have established the Progressive Policing Advisory Board and will continue to advance our project to involve student leaders, staff, faculty, and community partners so that our public safety officers have the trust and confidence of every member of our university community.
  • WE DEMAND that the pass-fail grading system be extended for the fall 2020 semester. It was first implemented due to many students not being able to study in their usual environments. The circumstances have not changed. Many students will still be home and have very chaotic home environments where they won’t be able to study to their full potential.
    • The pass-fail option was an emergency measure implemented in the spring due to our mid-semester pivot to emergency remote instruction. The provost agreed to this emergency measure to accommodate students as they were having to adjust suddenly to a new modality. Faculty members have been preparing diligently for the fall semester. Students know in advance that their courses will be remote and online.
Friday, Jul 31