The 370th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9204- 6, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
November 6, 2012
6:30 p.m.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of October 9, 2012
  3. Report
    1. Representatives to Board Committees (written)
    2. Using the CUNY Website for Information
    3. Chair
  4. Invited Guest
    1. Dr. Robert Ptachik, Senior University Dean for the Executive Office and Enrollment, on enrollment management issues, 6:30 p.m.
  5. New Business

Committee meetings:

  • Community College Caucus — 4 p.m. in Room 8301
  • Status of the Faculty – 5:30 p.m. in Room 8301
  • Academic Freedom — 5 p.m. in Room 8400
  • Libraries — 5 p.m. in Room 8304

Social at 6:15 p.m.—Refreshments served.


Baruch: Present – Hill, Martell, Weiser, and Wine. Absent – Bazzoni, Edwards, Ellis, Pence, and Wymbs. BMCC: Present – Conway, d’Erizans, Friedman, Wiseman, and Alternate Vozick. Absent: Salam, Samuel, Soto, and Yablokova.  Bronx CC: Present – Zevin.  Absent – Bernard, Ismail, Lawton, Prabhu, and Skinner. Brooklyn: Present – Fox and Jacobson. Absent – Buckholz, Cohen, Florence, Hainline,  Massood, Okome, Perez, Wills, and Winslow. CCNY: Present – Brass and Lascar. Absent – Crain, Dalglish, Khanbilvardi,  Laurich, Raj, Sank, and Watkins. CSI: Present – Levine and Petratos. Absent: Cooper, Dimitric, Klibaner, Talarico, and Verzani.  CUNY Law School: Present – none. Absent – Bratspies and Sokkar-Harker.   Graduate School: Present – Baumrin and Dauben. Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Albrecht, Burke, and Maxfield. Hostos CC: Present – Trachman. Absent – Ovtcharenko Pimentel, and Shad.  Hunter: Present – Baumann. Absent – Becker, Blundell, Daniels, Donabedian, Hughes, Kuhn-Osius, Plichta, Spark, and Young.  John Jay: Present – Kaplowitz, Katz, Kimora, and Kubic. Absent – Crossman, Dunham, Munns, and Tovar.  Kingsborough CC: Present – Stubin. Absent – Alessandrini, Arliss, Barnhart, Hume, and Ruoff.  LaGuardia CC: Present – Kurzyna and McCormick. Absent – Albrecht, Berke, Blagojevic, and Mettler. Lehman: Present – Alexanderson, Boston, and Alternate Carey. Absent – DelaCruz, Doyran, Philipp, Sembenu, and Silverman. Medgar Evers: Present – Barker and Greene.  Absent – Ezuma and Laude. NYCCT: Present – Bennani, Cermele, Gelman, and Hounion. Absent: Richardson.  Queens: Present – Gonzalez and Savage. Absent – Brody, Cool, Grover, and Zevin. Vacancies – 4. Queensborough CC: Present –  Tai.  Absent – Borrachero, Meltzer, Pecorino, and Volchok. Vacancies – 1.  York: Present – Klein. Absent – Corkery, Hughes, Lewis and Rosenthal.

Governance Leaders present: Baumrin (GC), Kaplowitz (John Jay), Kurzyna (NYCCT), Martell (Baruch), and Tai (QCC), attended.  Administrative Assistant Pasela, Secretary Blanchard, and Executive Director Phipps were also present.  Guests were Stefanie Jones and Terrence Podolsky.

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

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was moved, seconded, and approved by voice vote as proposed.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of October 9, 2012 – The minutes were moved, seconded, and  approved by voice vote as proposed.
  3. Invited Guest
    1. Dr. Robert Ptachik, Senior University Dean for the Executive Office and Enrollment – Dr. Ptachik’s full presentation on enrollment management issues and trends is attached to these minutes. Undergraduate enrollment is up 40% since 2001, equivalent to 70,000 additional students or triple the student body of NYU. Absorbing much of the growth, and the stress that goes along with it, are the community colleges since NYC public schools have lately seen higher graduation rates (but consisting of less well-prepared students) while senior colleges have raised their admission requirements. Another trend has been for the profile of CUNY’s students to conform more closely to the “traditional” college student – for instance, fewer are now older, married, or working full-time. Meanwhile, the student-faculty ratio has risen from about 24 to 1 in 1970 to 38 to 1 currently, which is a major concern to the central administration. To address this, formal college enrollment targets are being worked out with each campus; exceeding the target will subject campuses to financial penalties (proceeds from which will go to the ASAP program in the case of community colleges, and to the libraries in the case of senior colleges).
    2. Another major effort currently is improving graduate rates, and the central administration wants to work closely with the faculty to find ways of achieving this.  The key seems to be encouraging students to take 30 credits per year, including courses during weekends, intersession, and summer, as well as online.  This pattern lends momentum to students’ progress and increases graduation rates.
    3. He noted some concerns about financial aid – that TAP is now limited to eight semesters for all students, and PELL to 12.
    4. Finally, Dr. Ptachik reminded the faculty to document the exact methods they use to compensate for the lost days of instruction due to Hurricane Sandy in case the State Education Department demands a detailed accounting.
    5. In the Q & A, a suggestion was made by one senator that CUNY seriously pursue with the State per-credit TAP to give students maximum flexibility in planning their 30 credits each year.  Another senator pointed out that some campuses hurt their graduation rates by arbitrarily setting high enrollment minimums for classes, resulting in cancellations of courses that students need.
  4. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees – There were no reports.
    2. Using the CUNY Website for Information – A list was to be distributed with links to sites rich in information about CUNY policies, statistics, and Board actions. Mr. Phipps gave a presentation on several of them.
    3. Chair – Chair Martell reflected on the heavy human cost of Hurricane Sandy, which included the deaths of four CUNY students. A motion was made and unanimously approved to convey condolences to the families. He urged everyone to examine the three excellent papers that served as the basis for the October 12 joint PSC-UFS conference entitled “Pathways: We do Have a Choice.” Efforts continue on all fronts to resist the implementation of Pathways.
    4. At the Board Committee on Fiscal Affairs the day before it had been learned that CUNY’s 2014 budget request to the State includes funding for 425 new faculty hires at about $100,000 per line. Chair Martell thought that the central administration deserves credit for this move since it would put CUNY in the very beneficial situation of hiring while most other universities are not.
    5. Vice Chair Kaplowitz reported on a recent meeting of the Executive Committee with EVC Lexa Logue on eight of the 45 goals established for the year by the Office of Academic Affairs. The Committee had chosen which four of the 45 goals it deemed most important, and EVC Logue did the same at the Committee’s request. The session was productive, and a mechanism would be set up shortly so that the UFS can have early and effective input on the four goals it selected to work on. EVC Logue’s four goals all had to do with programs supporting the least prepared students, and she supplied detailed documentation on those programs to the Committee. Several of the Committee’s original concerns about the goals it chose turned out to be misunderstandings; for instance, a goal alluding to CUNY-wide guidelines for assessing general education outcomes referred not to recent controversies but to helping colleges share best practices in order to meet Middle States standards 7 and 14.
  5. New Business – There was none.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps

Executive Director