Executive Committee, 887th Meeting
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017
9:30 a.m.
205 E. 42nd Street, Room 1002

AGENDA

  1. Adoption of the Agenda
  2. Adoption of the Minutes of December 6, 2017
  3. Old Business
    1. Spring conference on governance – update
    2. Further discussion of UFS web page
    3. Clarification of certain letter grades
    4. Diversity of faculty and UFS (new data enclosed)
    5. Motions/Resolutions from the Floor (Prof. Weiser’s amended explanation enclosed)
    6. Progress on White Paper/Blog series about online education and faculty rights
    7. Discipline Councils
  4. Guest, Provost Rabinowitz at 11 a.m. to discuss Strategic Framework working document
  5. New Business
    1. Approve Feb. 24 FGL agenda
    2. Approve Plenary agenda
    3. Approve updated preface to UFS Charter
    4. Online Education: Intellectual Property; RFP for Vendors
    5. Revision of Sexual Misconduct and Sex Discrimination Policy
  6. Reports
    1. Liaisons to Standing Committees/Reps to Board Committees, etc.
    2. IT (Prof. Pecorino)
    3. Chair

MINUTES

The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Kay Conway, at 9:30 a.m.  Also present were Karen Kaplowitz, Terrence Martell, Michael Barnhart, Emily Tai, Jay Weiser, Hugo Fernandez, Phil Pecorino, and Martin Burke.

  1. Adoption of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as proposed.
  2. Adoption of the Minutes of December 6, 2017 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. Old Business
  4. Spring conference on governance update – Progress. Registration forms would be handed out at plenary.
    1. Further discussion of UFS web page – Postponed to next meeting, in order to allow for discussions with incoming Executive Director.
    2. Clarification of certain letter grades – Professors Kaplowitz and Burke would take up this matter with VC Rabinowitz in their regular meetings with her.
    3. Diversity of faculty and UFS – Two new reports rich in information on this topic were put out last week by HR. The Committee has promised the Board that it would pay attention to the issue this year. It was decided to send copies to the FGLs (see further details below at 4A).
    4. Motions/Resolutions from the Floor – Mostly in response to the Chair’s comments, Professor Weiser agreed to do another draft or reorganization of his one-page explanation of this issue that he had written. It will be distributed in the plenary packet, and will be on the agenda for discussion.
    5. Progress on White Paper/Blog series about online education and faculty rights – Agreement was reached at an earlier meeting that this item would be postponed pending arrival of new Executive Director and that approach would be to utilize the blog rather than create position papers.
    6. Discipline Councils – Discussion questions will be generated at or before the next Exec in anticipation of a March meeting.
  5. Guest, Provost Vita Rabinowitz to discuss Strategic Framework working document
    1. The Provost began by discussing NYS’s new financial aid program, Excelsior. The Provost mentioned that CUNY students will only be eligible if they are taking 15 credits and making progress towards degree.   A discussion ensued about the feasibility of putting the whole CUNY system on the 12-6-12- 6 semester scheme so that students could do 12 credits in the longer stretches and 3 credits in the both intersession and summer sessions. Additional discussion centered around the possibility of making all CUNY courses a minimum of 4 credits and hours, which in addition to a 12-6-12-6 calendar would also allow faculty to spread out their teaching load, providing more flexibility perhaps in managing the multiple responsibilities of teaching, scholarship and service. It would also allow for greater faculty-student interactions. Course non-availability at CUNY was also discussed as a problem, with students struggling to fill a schedule with the 5 courses needed (in a 3 cr. environment) for their program and conducive to working, etc. Issues about the delay in financial aid funding and the impact on student drops and course cancellations were also raised. The McKinsey initiative may address some of these problems. The Provost also said her office was consulting with scheduling experts and was trying to solve some of the problems associated with e-permit (e.g., the sending college gets no share of the tuition).
    2. As to the Strategic Framework (SF) working document, the Provost said it was not yet public but would soon be put on the CUNY website for comment. The document is expected to evolve in light of comments received. Members made several suggestions that they thought would improve the document. First, they thought the document should steadfastly state the goal of increasing full-time faculty since this is a need that overarches all the particulars in the document, and was the PMP item requested of the Chancellor by the Exec. Second, while the emphasis on speed to completion is fine, it should be balanced by language affirming academic quality. Third, broaden “skills” to mean not just technical ones but also communications skills and other types of skills that students learn in the humanities and social sciences. Fourth, Section IV’s enumeration of faculty supports is insufficient and speaks to broad efforts (diversity, facilities) but not directly enough to faculty support in the form of funding or time.
    3. The Exec asked how often the SF would be assessed and modified. The VC suggested it will be a living document and while not “changed with the rapidity of a Wikipedia page” it will be evaluated and updated frequently
    4. Finally, the Provost asked for advice in dolling out the new 25 adjunct replacement lines. Suggestions were to give the lines to colleges with the worst full-time/part-time faculty ratios, or to those with the lowest student/faculty ratios.
  6. New Business
    1. Approve Feb. 24 FGL agenda – Subject to review by Prof. Barker, who is the rep to the BOT CFSA, and who was absent, FGLs would be asked in advance of the next meeting to answer a few questions about faculty diversity on their campuses.
    2. The Exec agreed on the following questions:
    3. What is the role of your governing body in increasing faculty diversity;
    4. How has your administration demonstrated their concern about faculty diversity?; and
    5. What is one tangible thing that could be done to improve faculty diversity on your campus
    6. The UFS rep to the University Diversity Committee, Lisa Ellis, would be invited to the FGL meeting. FGLs will be told that the Executive Committee will be consulting with the Trustees in coming months, but wanted first to seek input from the campuses in this way. FGLs will be sent the reports in advance via email.
    7. Approve Plenary agenda – The draft was approved, but if VC Sapienza can attend and give an update on the State budget, then he would be invited.
    8. Approve updated preface to UFS Charter – The two-page Introduction attached to the UFS Charter has not been updated for years. The staff had written an update which members were asked to read and approve at their leisure. After approval, the Intro will be merged onto the front of the Charter on the website.
    9. Online Education: Intellectual Property – An RFP is shortly going out to Vendors who will offer to all the campuses a “menu” of services and other tools necessary to build up CUNY’s online offerings. This will be cheaper than letting each college go on its own. Prof. Conway and Prof. Pecorino are on the committee drafting the RFP.
    10. Revision of Sexual Misconduct and Sex Discrimination Policy – No time for this item.
  7. Reports
    1. Liaisons to Standing Committees/Reps to Board Committees, etc. – No time for this item.
    2. IT (Prof. Pecorino) – No time for this item.
    3. Chair – No time for this item.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps