New tenure faculty assumes larger role at CSUN

Newly+hired+assistant+professor%2C+Debbie+Ma%2C+is+on+her+second+week+of+teaching+for+the+Psychology+Department+at+CSUN+and+says+she%27s+not+only+%22really+enthused+to+be+here%2C%22+but+also+really+excited+to+get+the+job.+Photo+Credit%3A+Andres+Aguila+%2F+Daily+Sundial

Newly hired assistant professor, Debbie Ma, is on her second week of teaching for the Psychology Department at CSUN and says she's not only "really enthused to be here," but also really excited to get the job. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Madison Kaufmann

Newly hired assistant professor, Debbie Ma, is on her second week of teaching for the Psychology Department at CSUN and says she's not only "really enthused to be here," but also really excited to get the job. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Nearly 100 tenure faculty have been appointed to run departments and committees and head classes for the 2011-12 year, according to officials in CSUN faculty affairs.

“I think that it is a tremendous boost to what we can offer our students,” said Stella Theodoulou, social and behavioral sciences college dean. “It shows a commitment to this institution, to our students and to the growth and future of this university.”

Social and Behavioral Sciences, which has the largest number of enrolled students, received a quarter of the 97 new faculty, said Iliana Carvajal, faculty affairs confidential office support.

Local CSU hires dwarf in comparison to CSUN’s. CSU Los Angeles brought in 14 new faculty for the Fall 2011 semester, said Gloria Mendoza, assistant to CSULA’s vice president of academic affairs.

CSUN hired more than any other CSU in 2010, but in 2009 the university only hired 12 people, anticipating worsening budget cuts, said Harry Hellenbrand, CSUN provost and vice president of academic affairs.

“We want to make sure we have enough people around to do things around the university,” Hellenbrand said.  “When less than half the people are around it makes it hard to get the job done.”

New faculty earn lower starting salaries than those they replace because they were hired in 2011 as opposed to the 1980s, said Hellenbrand.

“The salary isn’t as great as it used to be,” he added.

New-hire psychology professor Debbie Ma, Ph.D, submitted her application in September 2010 and was hired on tenure in December that same year.

“Last year there were few jobs and I was glad to see Northridge had openings,” she said. “I wanted to get a job with a Cal State. I am on board with the mission at large.”

It takes six years for faculty on the tenure track to become an associate professor, and five years to achieve full professor, said Nate Thomas, president of the Northridge chapter of California Faculty Association (CFA).

Many of the new faculty came to campus over summer to work on their classes and create ground proposals to bring research funding to campus and involve students as their research assistants, Theodoulou said.

Ma said finding her way to CSUN will benefit her research and courses, which focus on stereotype and prejudice, she said.

“The diversity of CSUN will help shape my projects in the future,” Ma added.