The 371st Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9205- 7, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
December 4, 2012
6:30 p.m.

Agenda

  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of November 6, 2012
  3. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees (written)
    2. Chair
  4. Invited Guest
    1. Chancellor Goldstein, 6:30 p.m
  5. New Business

Resolution Calling for a Review of and Moratorium on Pathways

Committee meetings:

  • Academic Freedom, 5:30 p.m., Room 8400
  • Community College Caucus, 4:00 p.m., Room 8301
  • Library & Information Technology, 5:00 p.m., Room 8304
  • Status of the Faculty, 5:30 p.m., Room 8400
  • Student Affairs, 5:00 p.m., Room 8400

Social at 6:00 p.m.—Refreshments served.

Please contact the office if you are having problems receiving the packet electronically.

Minutes

Baruch: Present – Bazzoni, Hill, Martell, Weiser, Wine, Wymbs, and Alternate Harel. Absent – Edwards, Ellis, and Pence. BMCC: Present – Conway, d’Erizans, Friedman, Salam, Samuel, Soto, Wiseman, Yablokova, and Alternates Freas and Vozick. Bronx CC: Present –  Lawton and Skinner. Absent – Bernard, Ismail, Prabhu, and Zevin.  Brooklyn: Present – Cohen, Florence, Jacobson, Okome, and Alternate Siegel.  Absent – Buckholz, Fox, Hainline, Massood, Perez, Wills, and Winslow. CCNY: Present – Brass, Crain, and Raj.  Absent – Dalglish, Khanbilvardi,  Lascar, Laurich, Raj, Sank, and Watkins. CSI: Present – Cooper, Levine, and Verzani. Absent: Dimitric, Klibaner, Petratos, and Talarico.  CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Bratspies.   Graduate School: Present – Baumrin and Alternate Giannikos. Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Albrecht, Burke, Dauben, and Maxfield. Hostos CC: Present – Pimentel, Trachman, and Alternates August and Hubner. Absent – Ovtcharenko and Shad.  Vacancies – 1 (p/t). Hunter: Present – Baumann. Donabedian, Hughes, Kuhn-Osius, and Young.  Absent – Becker, Blundell, Daniels, Plichta, and Spark.  John Jay: Present – Dunham, Kaplowitz, Katz, Kimora, and Munns. Absent – Crossman, Kubic, and Tovar.  Kingsborough CC:  Present – Barnhart, Hume, and Stubin. Absent – Alessandrini, Arliss, and Ruoff.  LaGuardia CC: Present – Berke, Kurzyna, and Mettler. Absent – Albrecht, Blagojevic, and McCormick.  Lehman: Present – Alexanderson, Doyran, and Silverman. Absent – Boston, DelaCruz, Philipp, and Sembenu.  Medgar Evers: Present – Barker.  Absent – Ezuma, Greene and Laude. NYCCT: Present – Bennani, Cermele, Gelman, and Hounion. Absent: Richardson.  Queens:  Present – Brody, Cool, Gonzalez, Grover, and Savage. Absent – Zevin. Vacancies – 4.  Queensborough CC: Present – Meltzer, Pecorino, Tai, and Alterate Avens.  Absent – Borrachero and Volchok. Vacancies – 1.  York: Present – Barley, Klein, and Rosenthal. Absent – Hughes and Lewis.   Present for item IIIA were Chancellor Goldstein, EVC Logue, and VC for Legal Affairs Schaffer.

Governance Leaders present: Baumrin (GC), Brody (Queens), Hume (KCC), Kaplowitz (John Jay), Kurzyna (NYCCT), Martell (Baruch), Raj (CCNY), Tai (QCC), and Verzani (CSI) attended.  Administrative Assistant Pasela, Secretary Blanchard, and Executive Director Phipps were also present.  Guests included Stefanie Jones.

The meeting was called to order by UFS Chair Terrence Martell at 6:30 p.m. in Rooms 9204/05 at the Graduate Center.   Seventy-one of 125 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as proposed
  2. Approval of the Minutes of November 6, 2012 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. Invited Guests
    1. Chancellor Matthew Goldstein – Chancellor Goldstein informed the UFS about the severe effects of Hurricane Sandy on the University and about the steps the University had taken to help students, employees, and the larger community recover.
    2. He noted that CUNY is leading a national effort to improve STEM education, including helping to organize a national conference in Dallas in March.  Illustrating the dire need for action, he noted that in 2001 there were 4 million 8th graders in the U.S.  Ten years later, only 160,000 of them are colleges graduates with degrees in STEM fields.  He said this amounted to an emerging national security crisis unless the country wakes up to it.
    3. On government relations, he described his involvement at Governor Cuomo’s request in the NYC Regional Economic Development Council and the recently completed effort of the New York Education Reform Commission.
    4. In response to a question about whether apparent trends at the Graduate School (more central hiring of faculty and fewer student admissions) might diminish opportunities for faculty from the campuses to participate in doctoral education, the Chancellor replied that he was not aware of such trends but would welcome receiving more information.
    5. In response to a question as to whether the apparent trend of flattening or falling enrollment would affect CUNY’s budgeting and programming, which have built in an assumption of 2% growth per year, the Chancellor replied that it was obvious such growth could not be sustained forever.  In any case, it always came at the peril of academic quality, he noted, making it a mixed blessing.  Future enrollment will depend partly on the budget that is available and partly on the stream of NYC high school students.  On the graduate level, he noted that doctoral programs in the sciences had not shown the same energy as some humanities and social science fields, and suggested that strategic reductions in enrollment to the science programs might be desirable if it strengthened them.
    6. In response to a question about the expected delivery date of the outside evaluation being conducted of the Medgar Evers College administration, the Chancellor replied that he expected it in a week or so but certainly no later than the spring semester.  Upon receipt, he would study it and put into effect any needed remedies.
    7. The Chancellor, noting that according to the agenda the UFS would be voting on a resolution that supports a moratorium on Pathways, invoked the concept of the rule of law to explain that in his view passing such an action would be tantamount to relinquishing one’s place at the table of University decision making. Once the Board of Trustees sets policy, he said, it is everyone’s duty to do their part in its implementation. His opinion was that it would be an unfortunate mistake for a governing body to throw away its potential contribution in this way. Prof. Okome and others argued that elected governance bodies had not been given a chance to participate meaningfully and that the opposition of many faculty members during the whole process had not been adequately heard.
    8. Executive Vice Chancellor Logue responded to a question about credit and contact hours under Pathways, saying that some of the rules for counting these are established by the PSC Contract although campuses nevertheless have some individual leeway.
    9. The Chancellor said he regretted not attending more plenaries in the current semester but pledged to do so as often as his schedule allowed.
  4. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees – There were no reports.
    2. Chair – The Chair called for a moment of silence to remember the four CUNY students who were killed in Hurricane Sandy.
      1. There was some discussion about the best ways of organizing questions and discussion at plenaries, and how best to get certain issues on the record.
      2. Chair Martell reviewed various developments on Pathways, including a new petition widely circulated by the PSC intended to raise national awareness within the higher education community of the curricular issues raised by the initiative.
  5. New Business
    1. Resolution Calling for a Review of and Moratorium on Pathways: The resolution was moved by Chair Martell, and seconded. He explained that the resolution asked that the 2013 review called for in the original Board resolution be moved up to January of 2013, and that, pending such review, implementation of Pathways be delayed. After discussion, and with 71 voting members present, the resolution was passed by a vote of 3 Nays (Barnhart, Hubner, and Hume), and 2 Abstentions (Alexanderson and Brody). Afterwards, a hand count revealed 63 in favor.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps

Executive Director

Resolution Calling for a Review of and Moratorium on Pathways

Adopted: December 4, 2012

63 in favor, 3 opposed, 2 abstentions

Whereas, the CUNY faculty is committed to providing our students with an excellent education, and   Whereas, the University Faculty Senate has expressed its objections to both the process and substance of the Pathways curriculum many times, both formally and informally, both in writing and orally, and   Whereas, as the implementation of Pathways has progressed to each subsequent stage, the flaws of the Pathways curriculum have emerged more and more clearly to the faculty who will be teaching these courses and approving degree candidates, faculty who have spent their professional lives and careers devoted to the education of our students, and   Whereas, faculty members have created courses under protest and in the context of coercion and because of the necessity of providing new courses for their students, and   Whereas, certain curricular problems have been identified at campus after campus, specifically the need for modification of the numbers of contact hours for courses in certain disciplines and the number of credits overall, and   Whereas, faculty at several campuses have declined to act to approve courses proposed by their own colleagues because of these curricular problems, and   Whereas, the Board of Trustees Resolution of June 2011 which established Pathways calls for “all of these pathways policies and processes, including the Common Core, be reviewed and evaluated each year for three years beginning in 2013, and every three years thereafter, to modify them as necessary to improve them or to meet changing needs,”   Therefore, be it Resolved, that the University Faculty Senate calls upon the Chancellery to begin the required review in January 2013 and conduct this review in consultation with the University Faculty Senate, and   Be it further Resolved, that the University Faculty Senate calls for a moratorium by the Chancellery on all further implementation of Pathways until this initial and collaborative review is concluded.

 

Proponent: Executive Committee, unanimously adopted