The 378th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9204 – 6, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
December 10, 2013
6:30 p.m.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of October 22, 2013
  3. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees
    2. Standing Committees (Mid-year)
    3. Academic Freedom: Proposed Policy on Expressive Conduct & Other Topics
    4. Libraries and Information Technology: Institutional Repository & Other Topics
    5. Status of the Faculty: Adjunct inclusion on campuses, class size cut-offs, and faculty involvement in PMPStudent Affairs: Best Practices for Supporting Student/Faculty Communities & Other Topics
    6. Special Committees
      1. Budget Advisory: Budget Request Priorities per faculty questionnaire
    7. Chair

Social at 6:00 p.m. – Refreshments served: Happy Holidays!

Committee meetings:

  • Standing committees do not meet this month before Plenary.
  • 5:00-6:00 p.m. — Community College Caucus, Room 8301


Baruch: Present –Harel, Martell, Weiser, Wine, and Alternate Kumar. Absent – Bazzoni, Edwards, Ellis, Pence, and Wymbs. BMCC: Present – Conway, Freas, Salam, Soto, and Wiseman. Absent: Friedman, Vozick, and Yablokova. Bronx CC: Present – Ismail and Lawton. Absent – Bernard and Zevin. Vacancies – 2. Brooklyn: Present – Braine, Florence, Fox, Hainline, Okome, Perez, and Alternate Porter.   Absent – Buchholz, Day, Massood, McEntee, and Winslow. CCNY: Present – Brass, Crain, Dalglish, and Lascar. Absent – Kalia, Khanbilvardi, Laurich, Raj, and Watkins. Vacancies – 1. CSI: Present – Cooper, Levine, and Alternate Cason. Absent: Lavender, McCall, Petratos, Sanchez, and Verzani. CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Cicero.   Graduate Center: Present – Albrecht, Burke, and Dauben. Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Maxfield, and Terilla. Hostos CC: Present – August, Trachman, Worrell,   Absent – Pimentel and Shad. Hunter: Present – Hughes and Kuhn-Osius. Absent – Daniels, Donabedian, and Plichta. Vacancies – 7. John Jay: Present – Crossman, Kaplowitz, Katz, Kimora, Kubic, Munns, Tovar, and Alternate Kapstein. Absent – Dunham. Kingsborough CC: Present – Barnhart and Stubin. Absent – Alessandrini, Hume, Nanin, Ruoff, and Spear. LaGuardia CC: Present – Albrecht, Kapetanakos, and Alternate Kurzyna. Absent – Berke, Blagojevic, Fernandez, and Mettler. Lehman: Present –Alexanderson, Boston, DelaCruz, Doyran, and Philipp. Absent – Sembenu and Silverman. Medgar Evers: Present – Barker. Absent – Belcon, Brown, and Greene. NYCCT: Present – Cermele and Hounion. Absent – Gelman. Vacancies – 5. Queens: Present – Brody, Grover, and Savage. Absent – Gonzalez, and Zevin. Vacancies – 6. Queensborough CC: Present –Pecorino, Rome, and Tai. Absent: Avens and Meltzer. Vacancies – 1. York: Present – Klein and Rosenthal. Absent: Barley, Corkery, and Lewis.

Governance Leaders present included:  Brody (Queens), Burke (GC), Kaplowitz (JJ), Kurzyna (NYCCT), Martell (Baruch), and Pecorino (QCC).

Guests:   Fouad Bennani (NYCCT), Debbie Sonu (Hunter), Jason Young (Hunter), and Stefanie Jones (Stu.,GC).

The meeting was called to order by UFS Chair Terrence Martell at 6:30 p.m. in Rooms 9204 – 6 at the Graduate Center. Sixty-six of 136 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – Item IIIA was added at the request of Professor Crain, who wished to inform senators about the medical condition of long-time adjunct representative Mike Vozick. The agenda was then adopted as amended.
    1. On Mike Vozick – Professor Crain related sadly that Professor Vozick was now so ill as to be struggling for his life.  Professor Crain gave a tribute to Professor Vozick, saying he was a tireless advocate for adjuncts, an outstanding intellectual, sometime gadfly, and loyal friend. Professor Crain made a motion that the UFS extend its thanks to Professor Vozick for his years of service and his advocacy for adjuncts at CUNY. The motion was seconded, and passed unanimously by voice vote.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of October 22, 2013 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees – Professor Kathleen Barker, the UFS member of the Board of Trustees Committee on Faculty, Staff, and Administration (CFSA), alerted the body to the fact that CUNY’s Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy was scheduled to be amended at some point in the new year.  The changes have mainly to do with how CUNY handles Orders of Protection to provide the safest possible workplace for employees.  She offered to share details with any who were interested and said she was eager to receive comments about the proposed changes before deliberations begin in CFSA.
    2. Standing Committees (Mid-year):
      • Academic Freedom – Professor Alexanderson, the Chair, gave a progress report on his committee’s deliberations on the proposed Expressive Activities policy, now in its second draft.  The Committee has received many comments from all quarters.  On November 26 the Committee met and composed a red-lined version of the proposed policy based on those comments, eliminating some passages and adding new ones.  When further refined, the red-lined version will be presented to Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Rick Schaffer as a starting point for negotiating changes in the proposed policy. He also mentioned that discussion was continuing in the committee about all the new and growing forms of assessment that faculty must cope with, and their possible effects on academic freedom.
      • Libraries and Information Technology – Professor Hounion, the Chair, reviewed the Committee’s mandate, which generally is to monitor the effectiveness of the University’s IT and library systems in meeting CUNY’s academic goals.  Based on conversations with a verity of guests, the Committee is examining the CUNY Advance proposals that hybrid/MOOCs courses be used to open chronically closed classes, and that CUNYFirst be used as a vehicle to make textbooks easier to access and more affordable.  The Committee is also set to review the NYS Regents’ 2020 Vision Plan for Library Service in New York State and compare it with CUNY’s current Master Plan, to see how well they line up. In response to a question, Committee member Professor Jochen Albrecht explained that ‘virtual labs’ refers not to simulating instruction in a real lab on a computer, but rather to an arrangement whereby students can access at home all of the software and content they previously could access only by being physically present at a campus computer lab.
      • Status of the Faculty – Professor Young, the Chair, reported that discussions in Fall 2013 by the committee focused on developing specific courses of action for each of three concerns that Status of the Faculty decided to address this year. With regard to Adjunct/Part-time faculty concerns, the committee decided to focus on examining the extent to which colleges integrate adjuncts/part-timers into the college community.
      • Specific actions recommended included:
        1. reviewing department websites to see how many list adjunct/part-time faculty names, email addresses, office hours, and courses taught
        2. checking if campus phonebooks also list the above information
        3. checking if each campus has a clearly identified individual in HR in charge of adjunct/part-time faculty personnel matters, and identifying who that person is (or are, if there is more than one individual)
        4. A second issue, he explained, related to adjunct/part-time concerns and whether the UFS should draft a resolution encouraging academic departments to invite adjuncts to department meetings and to develop a fund to pay adjuncts an hourly wage if they choose to attend these meetings.  Professor Stanley Wine is conferring with the PSC-CUNY on what adjunct initiatives they may be pursuing to see if this might be an issue on which the UFS could join forces with the union.  The Committee will report back to the UFS Executive Committee once it gets a full picture of what the PSC is doing in this area.
        5. With regard to faculty quality of life concerns, the committee elected to look at what each college defines as the class-size cut-off beyond which a faculty course assignment is counted as two classes instead of one class.  In addition, is such a policy applied only to full-time faculty, or to adjunct/part-time faculty as well?
        6. With regard to “transition-related concerns” and new CUNY policies, the committee elected to explore ways to increase faculty involvement in the development of PMP goals.  The Interim Chancellor is looking to redraft the criteria used in future PMPs, so this may be an opportune time to provide faculty input in the process.
    3. Student Affairs – Prof. Siochain Hughes, the Chair, submitted this written report: This year, the Student Affairs Committee has been working towards the objectives set forth in our mandate. Our efforts have included working to establish a positive presence and relationship with the University Student Senate overall, along with student governance on committee members’ individual campuses. In addition, we have been developing a multifaceted report on the Status of Student Affairs at CUNY under the working title, Best practices for supporting student/faculty communities.From our research thus far, it is clear that regardless of the percentage dedicated to student responsibility for governance on each campus, the real challenge lies in the students not being involved in campus governance. Because of this finding, our current recommendations to the UFS body for best practices for supporting student/faculty communities are to establish bridges of supportive, collaborative communication between students, faculty and administration by: making a greater effort to include students on committees alongside faculty; to begin an effort across CUNY to institute leadership training for students on each campus (Such is already in place at Hostos, and it is clear that it makes a difference); and to make individual efforts as faculty, to mentor students in leadership and taking ownership of making changeIn our efforts to promote a positive relationship with the USS, we are in the process of planning some social events between members of the UFS and USS. We hope that one of these will include invitations to the entire UFS body—so that each member can be a part of establishing a strong and friendly connection between the two organizations. A connection that will foster an important cooperative work between faculty and students, and effect positive growth at CUNY well into the future.Chair Martell affirmed the need to build bridges to students and noted he had twice had lunch with Muhammad Arshad, the University Student Senate president.

In response to a complaint at this point about the technical nature of the evening’s committee reports, Chair Martell reminded the body of this year’s experiment to put more emphasis on committees’ work “in the weeds where policy-making is actually done,” to see whether that improves the overall effectiveness of the UFS.

Several senators asked whether enough time remained for the UFS to have its say on the proposed Expressive Activities policy, noting that it was being rejected outright by other bodies. Chair Martell assured the body that the proposal, if it does go forward, must be put through a Board of Trustees committee a month before the Board acts, giving the UFS sufficient lead time to complete its deliberations on this matter.

Budget Advisory – Professor Conway, the Chair, reported that the results of the survey at the last Plenary on priorities for the annual Budget Request had been compiled and forwarded to the CUNY Budget Office.  The two top items were more full-time faculty, and more time for research.  She also noted that her Committee had discussed the Performance Management Process (PMP) with the administrator in charge, Dr. Cheryl Littman, and had learned that most likely that program will be downsized significantly by drastically reducing the number of goals.  A few goals will be university-wide, a few will pertain to senior/community/comprehensive colleges as a group, and a few will pertain to individual colleges (local faculty are to be meaningfully consulted on these individual goals).

Chair – *Governor Cuomo has named two new CUNY Trustees:  Barry Schwartz and James Molinaro.  They replace Jeffrey Wiesenfeld and Katherine Pesile.  *The naming of a new chancellor is still on track for January.  * The UFS conference on December 6 about the future of graduate education at CUNY went some distance in providing basic data about the CUNY’s consortial system.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps