Executive Committee, 886th Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016

9:30 a.m.

  205 E. 42nd Street, Room 1002


  1. Adoption of the Agenda
  2. Adoption of the Minutes of Nov. 15, 2016
  3. Old Business
    1. Spring conference on governance
    2. Fall 2017 Conference (outline from Profs. Burke and Barker enclosed)
    3. Latest Expressive Activities Version (enclosed)
    4. Communication and Process issues (update on small group of faculty Profs. Tai and Weiser are forming to consult with on UFS communication strategy; also further discussion of UFS web            page)
    5. Charter revisions follow-up (update on Prof. Burke’s effort to convene small group of       professional school faculty about their role in UFS)
    6. Update on Academic Affairs Committee
  4. New Business
    1. Review questions for Chancellor at Lunch (enclosed)
    2. Diversity of UFS (reply being drafted)
    3. Definition of some letter grades needs clarifying
    4. Motions/Resolutions from the Floor (raised by Prof. Crain; see attached from Prof. Weiser; note – Prof. Crain would like the UFS to vote against tuition increases)
    5. Progress on White Paper/Blog series about online education and faculty rights
    6. Executive Committee suggestion of PMP rubric and of COACHE item for Faculty Advisory Board
    7. Discipline Councils
    8. ED Search Update
    9. Approve FGL agenda (draft enclosed)
  5. Reports
    1. Liaisons to Standing Committees/Reps to Board Committees, etc.
    2. IT (Prof. Pecorino)
    3. Chair
    4. No revised Computer Use Policy
    5. RF and FAC
    6. General Counsel Search

Lunch at noon with Chancellor follows.


  1. Adoption of the Agenda – Adopted as proposed.
  2. Adoption of the Minutes of Oct. 18, 2016 – Adopted as proposed.
  3. Old Business
    1. Fall workshop on budget, and spring conference on governance – The former will be held this coming Friday.  All campuses will be represented by faculty members active in local budget committees.  Officials from the Budget Office will give a short course in CUNY’s budget process
    2. Prof. Kaplowitz’s and Pecorino’s revised program for the spring conference on shared governance, which is filling out nicely, was distributed.
    3. Fall 2017 – An outline of a proposed conference on ‘major modern disruptors of higher education’ would be presented by Prof. Barker at the next meeting.
    4. Communication and Process issues – There was brief discussion of the UFS web page and what changes might improve it.  The pros and cons were discussed of letting CUNY host the site instead of using a private server as now.  More discussion is planned next meeting.
    5. Charter revisions follow-up – Prof. Burke had contacted a few faculty members from the schools of medicine, journalism, and public health to confer with them about the lack of a role for them so far in UFS. He would probably also reach out to faculty at Macaulay and at the ASRC. All agreed that Guttman should have a vote at plenaries, as should any other college/school with a governance body.
    6. Update on membership of Academic Affairs Committee – Prof. Burke reported having seven faculty members who’ve made a commitment to serve on this new committee. It will meet next month whenever the EVC can do it. The agenda this year will focus on CUNY’s developmental education reform and on CUNY’s planned expansion of online education.
    7. Decision on whether UFS should comment on religious observance policy – After due thought, Chair Conway had concluded that this was not business the UFS should be involved in.
  4. New Business
    1. Diversity of UFS – BoT Vice Chair Schwartz had asked Chair Conway about the apparent lack of diversity in UFS membership. Members discussed how to respond. It was noted that of course the makeup of the pool the UFS is drawn from, the whole faculty, is partly responsible. It was noted that generally diversity among the faculty is improving, presumably since there are more minority professors in the younger cohort. However that group is focused on teaching and research and local campus service to get tenure. In any case, this group is in great demand on their campuses to do what committee service they can, which may preempt their coming to the UFS. Finally, the UFS is reaching out to support graduate students who will soon be the main supply of a more diverse faculty. The Chair will draft a reply to Trustee SchwartzComing out of the discussion was a decision to begin sending letters to senators at the end of each year commending them on their service, cc’ing their department chairs.
    2. Motions/Resolutions from the Floor – Prof. Weiser had written out the guidelines dictated by Roberts Rules and UFS tradition on handling spontaneous motions at plenary. In his absence, discussion was postponed. The question is whether an individual can move a substantive resolution at a plenary without deference to any of the committees of the UFS, to the requirement of due notice to members, etc.
    3. Should Plenary vote (or have voted) on Expressive Activities? – At this point, it was thought the best approach would be to send senators the latest redlined version of the proposed policy, along with the Henderson Rules, informing them that the comment period before the policy goes to the Board is still open.
    4. Campus consultations by presidents with faculty on the budget – Though required to do so, some presidents consistently fail to consult with elected faculty on campus budgets. The issue would be raised on Friday at the budget workshop.
    5. Transparency on reassigned time at the campuses – While the UFS does make this information public about its own allotments of reassigned time, it was agreed that the UFS cannot influence department chairs around the system to do the same. (A member of one of the standing committees had suggested this.)
    6. White paper about online education and faculty rights – The Chair distributed the proposed outline for this project which had been revised based on input from the EC, and sought volunteers for the various topics. The volunteers would do background research and draft a few paragraphs. The Chair believes the UFS should proactively produce at least one white paper every year on an important policy issue, which can then be widely circulated.
    7. Clarity of Tenure guidelines at campuses – It was noted that the COACHE survey revealed that faculty overall did not indicate confusion about tenure guidelines.
    8. Executive Committee suggestion of Performance Management Plan (PMP) rubric and of COACHE items for Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) – It was decided to recommend that the Chancellor add as a new rubric to the annual PMP the following: a net increase in the number of full-time faculty, even if enrollment is falling. It was noted that the Master Plan no longer included the goal of reaching a 70% level of instruction at CUNY by full-time faculty. Prof. Conway would draft precise wording and circulate to members.
    9. As to COACHE items to be presented to the FAB, two areas were identified with low scores across CUNY: the need at senior colleges for more opportunities at interdisciplinary work with colleagues; and more support for mentoring
    10. Discipline Councils – The office is working to update the last list of these councils from 2011. Chair Conway would like to meet with the chairs of all the councils once the list is updated and possibly to encourage non-existent or dormant councils to get organized.
    11. Search Update – Good progress was being made in the Executive Director search. Interviews will be scheduled for Dec. 1st and 2nd.
    12. Approve Plenary agenda – It was decided to experiment with a different format at the next plenary, partly in response to the desire expressed at those meetings for senators to be able to have discussions among themselves on the issues, and not always to receive reports from guest administrators. Thus no guests will be at the next plenary, and those present will be ask to divide up in 4 or 5 discussion groups to discuss such topics as tuition, expressive conduct, online education, adult education, and remedial reform. Reporters from each group will then summarize the discussion for the full plenary. The prospect of inviting a prominent trustee to a plenary was discussed.
  5. Reports
    1. Liaisons to Standing Committees/Reps to Board Committees, etc. – There were none.
    2. Information Technology Matters – Prof. Pecorino brought up two items.  The Computer Use Policy is about to be revisited.  Originally when the policy was first written, several faculty members were invited to serve as members and were influential.  He hoped faculty would be invited to join this time.  The Chair would speak with VC Schaffer about this.  Also, the university, having made Microsoft 365 available free to faculty, is interested in polling faculty about additional applications they would like to have access to.  All agreed it made sense to request from the university the ability to use the email list of the entire faculty for the purpose of this poll and for occasional other announcements.  If willing, Prof. Jochen Albrecht, chair of the UFS IT/Libraries Committee, would be asked to receive and sort out these email replies.
    3. Chair – Due to the hour, this report was waived.

The meeting concluded at 1:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps



Council of Faculty Governance Leaders

205 E. 42nd Street, near Third Avenue

Room 1835

Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

10:00 a.m.

  1. Adoption of the Agenda
  1. Guest – Judy Bergtraum, Vice Chancellor for Facilities, Planning, and Management, to review existing campus projects and explain the capital budget
  1. Report of the Chair
  1. Old Business
  1. Policy on Expressive Activities
  1. New Business
  1. Upcoming survey of FGLs so UFS can create a schematic comparing governance structures at the colleges
  1. Faculty Mentoring at the Campuses
  1. Reports of Note from the Campuses

Lunch will be served.