Executive Committee, 877th Meeting
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016
9:30 a.m.
205 E. 42nd Street, Room 1002


  1. Adoption of the Agenda
  2. Adoption of the Minutes
  3. Topics for Guests
  4. Invited Guests: Chancellor Milliken and Provost Rabinowitz, 10 a.m.
  5. Old Business
    1. School of Public Health reorganization
    2. CCNY Survey on Research Foundation, update
  6. New Business
    1. Approval of Plenary Agenda
  7. Reports
    1. Chair
    2. Liaisons to Standing Committees/Reps to Board Committees, etc.

Enclosed: Material on the OAA’s Faculty Affairs Advisory Board


The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Terrence Martell, at 9:00 a.m. in room 1002 of Board Headquarters. Also present were: Kathleen Barker, Hugo Fernandez, Kay Conway, Jay Weiser, Phil Pecorino, Emily Tai, Karen Kaplowitz, and Michael Barnhart.

  1. Adoption of the Agenda – Adopted as proposed.
  2. Adoption of the Minutes – Adopted as proposed.
  3. Old Business
    1. Albany Poster Day – It is planned this year for Feb. 24.  There was discussion of whether this event pays off since it is guesswork as to whether the Legislature will be in session on the planned day.  The past few years, traffic by the poster displays has been light.  Members speculated whether doing such an event in Manhattan either for the City Council, for entrepreneurs from NYC, or for Legislators locally when Albany is known to be out of session would not be a better investment of the effort.  The topic would be broached when the Executive Committees of the CUNY and SUNY UFS meet in January.
    2. Debriefing on fall and other recent conferences – As to the good and bad aspects of recent conferences, members discussed what is the ideal number of speakers and the ideal length for UFS conferences (some thought both were too high recently, resulting in rushing and a loss of audience); attendance (most favored overbooking more than in the recent past, by as much as one-third; and topics (have we wandered too far away from conferences primarily about governance and aimed at faculty members rather than other groups).
    3. How are UFS committees functioning? – There was discussion about how standing committees were faring.  This includes Libraries/IT, Status of the Faculty, and Student Affairs only.  Most agreed that standing committees were in a slump, while advisory committees were relatively thriving.  An experiment has been tried for the past two years to invigorate the standing committees, raise attendance, and enhance their productivity.  While this seems to have happened last year, the committees now show signs of flagging.  In the experiment, membership was reduced to about 10 members, committees were encouraged to meet on nights other than plenary to afford more time, concrete goals (or deliverables) were written into each committee mandate, and members were picked by the committee chairs rather than advertising for volunteers.

Speculations on the reasons for the slump:

  • Low morale from Pathways and lack of a contract; that is, rewards for service at all-time low; “deliverables” are defined too vaguely in the mandates; topics seen as “make-work”; lack of recognition and praise for chairs; lack of Exec liaisons support (Chair Martell had attempted to de-emphasize their role because they naturally tended to dominate the committee chairs); neglect of direct contact with vice chancellors.

Other observations made by members:

  • Committees are important to getting newer faculty involved in the UFS and to help build the “bench” for future Executive Committee membership.  UFS should return to practice of giving written rather than oral plenary reports from Reps to Board Committees to give everyone broader awareness of what the issues are.
  1. New Business
    1. UFS Reps on CUNY CAT – It was agreed that the Chair would ask George Otte if the UFS could have an additional (third) member on the CUNY CAT, which would be Prof. Pecorino who promised to make regular reports back to the Executive Committee (the other two members, Roberta Brody and Jochen Albrecht, are not on the Executive Committee).
    2. Questions for lunch with Chancellor – A list was drawn up.
    3. Selection of faculty from campuses on Faculty Affairs Advisory Board – Prof. Pecorino noted that this new Board that advises OAA was appointed without going through elected campus governance leaders.  All agreed that this was the case on their campuses, and that the UFS should raise the awareness of OAA administrators that such committees should be nominated or appointed through the UFS.  It was conceded that many years went by before the UFS got this message through to the VC for Budget, but it was finally accomplished.
    4. Website pitch at next plenary – Prof. Weiser agreed to postpone this until a less busy plenary.
  1. Reports
    1. Liaisons to Standing Committees/Reps to Board Committees, etc. – None given.
    2. Chair – Two items were noted quickly: the unifying of some campus programs into a centralized School of Public Health is a hot topic because some faculty have so many offer letters and tangled deals; and the work with Commack of rationalizing CUNY’s many pension offerings is proceeding apace.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12 Noon.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps