The 368th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9204 – 6, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
September 4, 2012
6:30 p.m.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of May 15, 2012
  3. Reports
    1. Chair
    2. Discussion of OAA’s Projects for the Coming Year (Prof. Pecorino)
    3. Representatives to Board Committees (oral)
    4. Reports on Campus Conditions/Pathways (oral)
  4. New Business
    1. Standing Committee Memberships
    2. CUNY’s Dedicated Sick Leave Program

Standing Committee Meetings: None this month.

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

* room not available at usual 6:00 this month


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

Governance Leaders present: Brody (Queens), Kaplowitz (John Jay), Kurzyna (LaGuardia), Martell (Baruch), Saint-Louis (NCC), Tai (QCC), Tyner (NCC), and Verzani (CSI) attended.  Administrative Assistant Pasela, and Secretary Blanchard, and Executive Director Phipps were also present.

Guests were Stefanie Jones (Hunter), Michelle Lagunes, (Lehman), Elizabeth Olana (Hostos), Terrence Podolsky (CCNY).

The meeting was called to order by UFS Chair Cooper at 6:30 p.m. in Rooms 9204- 5 at the Graduate Center. Seventy-eight of  126 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was moved, seconded, and approved by voice vote.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of May 15, 2012 – The minutes were moved, seconded, and approved by voice vote.
  3. Reports
    1. Chair – Newly-installed Chair Terrence Martell reported devoting time over the summer to meeting with as many CUNY officials as he could in order to let them know he was eager to find common ground from which the UFS and the central administration can work together for the good of all over the next two years of his term. The only exception is Pathways, he explained, given the constraints that pending legal action imposes.  He noted that his message had been received cordially but also somewhat neutrally.
    2. Meanwhile, the Chair and the PSC filed a second legal action in August. It is an Article 78 proceeding based on an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Law when six college presidents forwarded Pathways courses to 80th Street without prior votes in the proper local governance body. No movement on this front is expected until after the fall semester. However, since all of the filing deadlines for the first lawsuit have passed, alleging that in carrying out the Pathways initiative CUNY had violated the 1996 settlement agreement in Polishook v. CUNY, a ruling of some sort could come in that case at any time.
    3. In a related development over the summer, the PSC and the UFS decided to try to devise an alternative transfer system to Pathways that was truly faculty-driven.   Thus over the summer several joint meetings were held with curriculum-savvy faculty members from the campuses to (1) explore what data would be needed for this task and examine whether CUNY had actually looked at this data, (2) find out whether any other large public universities have workable systems for handling transfer that CUNY could borrow from, and (3) catalogue all of CUNY’s existing articulation agreements to determine which ones work well and which do not and why, and whether expansion of joint/dual degrees would relieve some transfer problems.  The findings of this project will be presented at the UFS Fall Conference on October 12.  Registration forms were available.
    4. Soon, the Chair was undertaking with PSC President Bowen to write a letter to all CUNY faculty emphasizing the responsibility they have to their students in voting on curricular matters this fall. If faculty determine that curricular changes are favorable to their students, they should of course vote in favor; if not, faculty should vote their conscience.
    5. Finally, the Executive Committee is trying a new approach to doing business.  Over the summer, it had selected three areas to focus on for the entire year, and formed subcommittees to work on them.  The three areas are UFS communications, evaluating how well the UFS communicates with both its members and with CUNY communities beyond, and what means are best (blogs, websites, listservs, newsletters, etc.); enrollment management, which will aim to increase faculty input on admissions policy and similar areas; and academic technology, which aims to strengthening the faculty voice in policies where IT affects teaching, learning, and research.
    6. Chair Martell then called on representatives from each campus who introduce new senators.
  4. Discussion of Projects for the Coming Year in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) – Professor Kaplowitz, the UFS representative on the Board Committee on Academic Program, Policy, and Research (CAPPR), informed the plenary that OAA posts to its website at the beginning of each academic year a list of all the projects (around 45 in number) that it will be working on. Some are continuing projects, while some are new. Professor Kaplowitz said that the Executive Committee wished to call these projects to the attention of all senators and request that they review the projects with an eye specifically to their potential impact on their local campus, and then communicate their conclusions to her so that the UFS can address them appropriately through its committees, the Council of Faculty Governance Leaders, and CAPPR. She then introduced Professor Pecorino to present the selection of the projects that he thought demanded particular attention. He explained that he had posed a number of questions to the OAA through the designated channel about the projects, and was told he would get answers but not immediately. Examples of his concerns were: if the ASAP program is to be expanded, who will bear the costs; if the CUNYStart program is to be expanded, will faculty be appropriately consulted about admissions standards and at what level will the consultation take place; will defining measures of student success be done centrally, or will colleges be able to tailor them to their own realities (e.g., since some community college students attend only to take certain courses they need, not to graduate, retention/graduate rates may not capture those success stories); why should there be a directive that the number of online courses shall be increased without first doing a sound evaluation of the educational quality of such instruction? Discussion followed about whether there was any concrete value in reviewing these projects, in view of their multiplicity and of past difficulties in imparting faculty views to the OAA. Others lamented that such review is reactive, while proactiveness is what is needed. Chair Martell replied that the review was timed to be as early as it could be, and that a positive effect can be achieved by the UFS if it is appropriately selective, and if it does effective monitoring. Others pointed out that action at the local level, as described above, is perhaps most essential to success.
  5. Reports on Status of Pathways at the Campuses – Campuses made brief reports.
  6. New Business
    1. Standing Committee Memberships – Senators were reminded to review the list of UFS standing committee and to volunteer to serve on one that appeals to them.
    2. CUNY’s Dedicated Sick Leave Program – On behalf of the Executive Committee, Professor Conway explained how CUNY faculty could donate their surplus sick leave to ill colleagues. Forms were distributed. There is an immediate need for donations on the part of a particular senator (for details, contact the UFS office).

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps

Executive Director