Executive Committee, 896th Meeting

Tuesday, November 7th 2017

9:30 a.m., 205 E. 42nd Street, Room 1002


  1. Adoption of the Agenda
  2. Adoption of Minutes from October 17th, 2017
  3. Old Business:
    1. Fall Conference Report – Profs. Barker and Burke
  4. New Business:
    1. Proposed Certificate of Appreciation for SVC Matt Sapienza – Phil Pecorino
  5. Reports:
    1. Chair
    2. Status of the Faculty
    3. Article 9 – Distinguished Professors and Lecturers
    4. Budget Advisory Committee
      1. Sabbatical Funding
      2. TIAA Concerns
      3. Spring Workshop
    5. Academic Affairs
      1. Grade submission policy
      2. Strategic Framework Teams
      3. New Program Approval Process
  6. Discussion/Lunch with Chancellor James B. Milliken – 12:00 -1:00 p.m.
    1. Update on Research Foundation – Customer Service Survey & MOU Next Steps
    2. Faculty Diversity – Opportunity Fund; Retention Strategies; Increase New Hires
    3. Online Instruction – PSC Discussion; Status of the Vendor?
    4. Evaluation of College President Performance – Use of PMP or Other Means?
    5. Director of Development – Status of the Hire; Fundraising Goals?
    6. Adult Learners – Status of Plan/Initiatives to Attract Them


The meeting was called to order by Chair Katherine Conway at 9:30 a.m. Also present were Vice-Chair Kathleen Barker, Professors Michael Barnhart, Martin Burke, Hugo Fernandez, Karen Kaplowitz, James McElwaine, Philip Pecorino, and Emily Tai.

  1. Adoption of the Agenda – Adopted As Proposed
  2. Adoption of Minutes from October 17th, 2017 – Adopted as Amended. Professor Pecorino requested omitting a sentence related to CUNY’s contract with Adobe.
  3. Old Business:
    1. Fall Conference Report – Prof. Conway thanked Profs. Barker and Burke and Dr. Cotter for their work on the conference. Takeaways from the conference were discussed and Dr. Burke will work with Dr. Cotter to collect and share (via the blog) the panelist’s remarks. Further discussion revolved around what format best suits the UFS – conferences, workshops, podcasts, and the considerable time and effort that goes into organizing a conference. It was agreed that the Executive Committee will prepare a brief list of potential topics for future conferences/workshops etc. and solicit the feedback of the entire Senate.
  4. New Business:
    1. Proposed Certificate of Appreciation was tabled.
  5. Reports:
    1. Chair – the Chair waived her time to discuss the items below.
    2. Status of the Faculty
      1. Article 9 and Distinguished Professors and Lecturers – There are numerous issues related to Presidential appointments and promotions and the perceived lack of transparency in the process. Chair Conway recommended to Professor Barnhart that the committee begin to explore suggested revisions to Article 9.  Chair Conway will pursue with the OAA the creation of a web page for DLs comparable to the DP page.  Additionally, Chair Conway will follow up with the PSC to discuss the contractual guidelines as relates to DPs. It was suggested that Chair Conway reach out to Peter Zweibach, the PSC’s Director of Labor Affairs to this end. The matter of Presidential latitude under Article 9 was already raised by Chair Conway at the BOT level, but we will continue to press for more discussion on these issues.
    3. Budget Advisory Committee
      1. Sabbatical Funding – Chair Conway briefly noted that the matter is currently being discussed with Senior Vice Chancellor Matt Sapienza’s office and that a blog post explaining the matter was forthcoming from BAC Chair Sapienza. Verzani and Prof. Benton (JJay, also on BAC) drafted a letter to SVC Sapienza outlining requested changes to the policy. The Chair agreed to apprise the committee regarding updates.
      2. TIAA Concerns – Chair Conway noted that she has encouraged former UFS Chair Martell to prepare a blog post on the services provided by TIAA. Chair Conway provided an update on the issue of community college faculty not receiving their matching contributions on a timely basis, which is a function of NYC funding and resources.  At sr. colleges the payments are consistently made on a bi-weekly basis.  Legally the only requirement is to make an annual match, so while this may not be ideal it may not be actionable.  It is a matter best handled by the PSC and Chair Conway will raise it when she meets with the PSC to discuss the above matter on faculty promotions etc.
      3. Spring Workshop – Chair Conway noted that the date has been set for April 13th and the time is pending the commitment of Catherine Abata from the CUNY Budget Office. She also updated the committee on the status of the Discipline Council Chairs, who are scheduled to meet on November 10th and then again on April 13th. The issue of predatory journals and their impact on CUNY faculty was briefly discussed. At the behest of Prof. Fernandez, who raised concerns about transfer credits, Chair Conway noted that she will follow up with Profs. Wallach or McCauley regarding the Pathways Core at Hunter College.
    4. Academic Affairs – Discussion of the recent Office of Academic Affairs policy regarding awarding Advance Placement for college credit; Professor Burke, committee chair, will continue to pursue the question with EVC Rabinowitz. It was also agreed to request a list of names and activities of CUNY University Professors.
      1. Grade submission policy – there was no time to fully discuss this matter.
      2. Strategic Framework Teams – there was no time to fully discuss this matter.
      3. New Program Approval Process – there was no time to fully discuss this matter.

For the purposes of guiding discussion with the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Chair then briefly discussed her recent meeting with the Chancellor for the purposes of the audience with him over lunch.

  • Chair Conway updated the committee on her recent meeting with the Chancellor. She noted that she and Gayle Horwitz (recently named as Chair of the RF) discussed the proposed Research Foundation customer service survey and that she would get back to the committee once the new Chair is sufficiently apprised of the RF’s operations.
  • She then discussed recent initiatives with regard to faculty diversity, and Professor Barker noted that the question is one of gender as much as it is race. Professor Barker offered to raise the questions of CUNY’s Opportunity Fund.
  • She discussed her and Professor Pecorino’s involvement in the selection of the online vendor. A discussion of the character, content, and future of online education followed, and it was decided that the Discipline Councils would be an invaluable resource moving forward.
  • She updated the committee on the City College (pending, announcement expected shortly) and Kingsborough (faculty identified for the committee; trustee nominees not yet identified) presidential searches.

The committee then repaired to the Chancellor’s Conference Room at 12:00.

  1. Discussion/Lunch with Chancellor James B. Milliken and EVC Rabinowitz – 12:00 -1:00p.m. the following topics were discussed by the Executive Committee with the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor:
    1. Faculty diversity in CUNY – Chancellor noted that diversity is a priority and there is a task force in place to ensure best practices and faculty retention.
    2. Faculty participation in policy formation.
    3. Resources for conducting faculty searches – Chancellor noted CUNY’s Opportunity Fund as helpful in this process.
    4. Transparency and reciprocity in communication between Central office and the UFS.
    5. Status of the online vendor – Chancellor noted that it is at the negotiation stage.
    6. Status of adult learners in CUNY –EVC Rabinowitz described the various initiatives to attract, retain, and graduate them.
    7. Status of the CUNY PMP –Chancellor noted it is in development.
    8. Status of CUNY’s sexual harassment policy – Chancellor observed that CUNY implements NY State’s policies.

There being no further business the meeting and lunch adjourned at 1:15.

Respectfully submitted,

Matthew J. Cotter