ROHNERT PARK - Sonoma State faculty picketed Tuesday, calling attention to protracted contract talks and protesting California State University officials.
About 60 faculty members protested at the university's entrances, carrying signs targeting California State University Chancellor Charles Reed and the leadership of the CSU system, as colleagues at the other 22 CSU campuses held their own protests.
"I know we're in a bad economy. Money is tight. Our priorities are that they should be putting money into education and teachers' salaries so we can do what CSU's are here to do, quality education," Patricia Kim-Rajal, a teacher of Chicano Latino studies, said as she braved cold temperatures to picket at the entrance to SSU in Rohnert Park.
SSU Faculty Protest
"We've been working without a contract and what we're trying to do is raise awareness about what our beliefs are for quality education and how they differ from the chancellor's," said David McCuan, a political science professor.
"This is about much more than money," McCuan said. "It's about saving higher education."
Sonoma State University President Ruben Armi?na was on campus Tuesday. He declined to answer questions about the picket line, saying he doesn't comment on job actions by unions.
Susan Kashack, SSU associate vice president, said SSU's administration values its faculty and agrees more money is necessary to better support the college system.
"We support anybody who is out there trying to get more funding for higher education," Kashack said.
"We are concerned students don't get caught in the middle of the negotiation process," she said.
Tuesday morning, with temperatures hovering in the high 30s, teachers and some students carried signs and handed out bright pink fliers outlining a range of concerns, citing skyrocketing student fees, contract clashes and a salary disparity between top administrators and staff.