Executive Committee, 899th Meeting

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

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

AGENDA

  1. Adoption of the Agenda
  2. Adoption of Minutes from January 30, 2018
  3. Invited Guests:
    1. Website Update – Ms. Jan Mun, Senior IT Associate/User Experience/Information Architect, and Matthew J. Cotter, Executive Director, UFS
  4. Old Business:
    1. Update/Discussion of Fall 2018 UFS Conference – Karen Kaplowitz and Emily Tai
    2. Review of March 13, 2018 Plenary Session Agenda
  5. New Business:
    1. Update on AP Policy Clarification and Refinement Letter (attached) – Martin Burke
    2. Administrative Pressures Regarding Student Grades (attached) – Kathleen Barker and Philip Pecorino
    3. Review of Proposed Changes to Article XVI of the CUNY Bylaws and the CUNY Fiscal Accountability Handbook (attached) – Emily Tai and Hugo Fernandez
    4. Discussion on Campus Safety – Kay Conway
  6. Reports:
    1. Chair

 

 

 

MINUTES

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

  1. Adoption of the Agenda – Adopted as Proposed
  2. Adoption of Minutes from January 30, 2018 – Adopted as Proposed
  3. Invited Guests:
    1. Website Update – Ms. Jan Mun, Senior IT Associate/User Experience/Information Architect, and Matthew J. Cotter, Executive Director, UFS – Ms. Mun and Executive Director Cotter presented data from Google Analytics, illustrating which aspects/pages of the website garnered the most traffic and for how long. In order to increase site visibility, they then solicited input for ways in which to add content and style in “phase two” of the site’s development, including asking each FGL if the UFS could provide a link to its site on their senate web pages and vice versa. Executive Director Cotter and Ms. Mun will meet to discuss next steps.
  4. Old Business:
    1. Update/Discussion of Fall 2018 UFS Conference – Karen Kaplowitz and Emily Tai – Discussion over the conference’s topic/s and potential invitees resulted in a decision that the complicated and delicate relationship between funding higher education and how resources shape educational and administrative policies (assessment, for example) in higher education. Preliminary invitees were also discussed, and it was agreed that Profs. Tai and Kaplowitz would outline two panels of three speakers each and send for review.
    2. Review of March 13, 2018 Plenary Session Agenda – Agenda was discussed and amended accordingly.
  5. New Business:
    1. Update on AP Policy Clarification and Refinement Letter – Martin Burke – Prof. Burke apprised the committee of the recent discussion with EVC Rabinowitz and staff, and how members of the Academic Affairs Committee worked with them to improve some of the letter’s language, which indicates that faculty will determine how AP credits will be granted in their academic programs and the process will follow appropriate college governance.
    2. Administrative Pressures Regarding Student Grades – Kathleen Barker and Philip Pecorino –Prof. Barker distributed data tables related to Opportunity for Student Success (OSS) admissions by campus, pass rate comparison for OSS vs. non-OSS students on composition and math, and retention and graduation. Discussion ensued regarding CUNY enrollment, retention, credit accumulation, and course completion policies and data. With Prof. Pecorino absent, discussion of admissions criteria across campuses and courses with high failure rates ensued, and Chair Conway noted that these issues raise larger and interrelated questions about course pre- and corequisites, pedagogies, content, and faculty evaluations. A list of courses generated by ME OAA with high failure rates was circulated, discussed, and re-collected. Prof. Barker was concerned that such lists generate pressure on faculty. It was agreed that the question of what issues underscore high course failures is an important one, and Prof. Barker noted that she intends to follow up with campuses on the matter and with the Director of Enrollment Management, Laura Bruno. Prof. Burke asked for the policy matter related to these courses be referred to the FGLs – either at the next meeting or via the UFS listserve. Chair Conway requested that Professor Burke inquire into whether or not there is a Central Office policy regarding courses with high failure rates at the next pre-CAPPR meeting, and noted that she would personally follow up with the FGLs in an email on the matter. Prof. Barker then raised the matter of a recently formed and non-statutory committee capable of changing student grades at her campus. Discussion of what policies were in place across the campuses related to this issues followed, and it was agreed that Chair Conway would poll the FGLs via email.
    3. Review of Proposed Changes to Article XVI of the CUNY Bylaws and the CUNY Fiscal Accountability Handbook – Emily Tai and Hugo Fernandez – Prof. Fernandez distributed relevant materials and raised student concerns with the proposed language tantamount to the redistribution of activity funds away from the students themselves and into the President’s office at each campus. Fernandez and Tai will make sure that UFS Parliamentarian Kerin Coughlin has all the material provided by the OGC, and then we will determine next steps. Prof. Tai clarified the students’ frustrations and it was agreed that Kerin Coughlin, the UFS Parliamentarian, to reach out to Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Loretta Martinez to apprehend what extant legal precedents there were for necessitating the proposed changes. It was also agreed to add the matter to the Agenda of the upcoming Plenary Session.
    4. Discussion on Campus Safety – Kay Conway – Chair Conway briefly discussed Prof. Gail August’s concerns at Hostos Community College and it was agreed that since policy and procedural questions regarding campus safety varied from campus to campus, it was best to refer the matters to the FGLs. She noted that she will follow up with them in an email.
  6. Reports:
    1. Chair – Chair Conway briefly discussed the proceedings of the recent CFSA meeting regarding Graduate Center Provost Joy Connoly’s promotion to Distinguished Professor. Many of the other committee discussions were in Executive Session.
      1. She noted the recent appointments of Meg Egan Interim Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, the status of CUNY’s efforts regarding administrative efficiency, and the search for a new Risk Manager.
      2. She discussed the concerns over the fees associated with CCNY’s recently approved post-baccalaureate certificate program a program for students prepping for med school, as well as fees associated with other programs across CUNY (e.g. last month fee increases were approved for Feirstein Cinema programs)
      3. She briefly discussed the status of the search committee for the new Chancellor. The first meeting is scheduled for mid-March. The KBCC President search has not yet begun and she noted ongoing campus concerns about the delay.
      4. She shared with the group an email from a member of the Hunter senate, who questioned voting rights for Doctoral Lecturers without CCEs in CUNY and it was agreed to refer the Hunter representative to Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Loretta Martinez, as it is a question of overriding CUNY bylaws.
      5. She provided an update on the Research Foundation (RF) customer service survey, which is scheduled to go out in mid-March, as well as requests made to the RF to address PI concerns about disability leaves for grant-related staff, and well as the onboarding process at the RF for new hires.
      6. She noted that the timetable of the RF Memorandum of Understanding remains uncertain. Prof. Barker asked if the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) notes were available and she was directed to the UFS web page dedicated to it. She also asked if the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) notes were publicized as well and the consensus view was to confer with EVC Matt Sapienza about the appropriateness of publishing them. Several current and former members of BAC noted that much of the discussion at the meeting centers around reviewing CUNY financial statements and there may not be much to report beyond stating that.
    2. CAPPR – Martin Burke – Prof. Burke briefly noted that the meeting was abbreviated due to limited agenda items.
    3. Facilities and Planning – James McElwaine – Prof. McElwaine briefly discussed CUNY’s proposed leveraging of its resources with property developers. The meeting then went into Executive Session to discuss pending negotiations with landlords etc.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 12:15.

Respectfully Submitted,

Matthew J. Cotter