The 372nd Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9204 – 6, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
February 5, 2013
6:30 p.m.


  1.  Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of December 4, 2012
  3. Guest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance Matthew Sapienza, 6:30 p.m.
  4. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees (written; available at meeting)
    2. Chair
  5. New Business

Committee meetings:

  • Community College Caucus, Room 8301, 4:00 p.m.
  • Library Committee, Room 8304, 5:00 p.m.
  • Student Affairs Committee, Room 8400, 5:00 p.m.
  • Academic Freedom, Room 9204/5/6 (plenary room), 5:00 p.m.

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


Baruch: Present – Ellis, Hill, Martell, Wine, Wymbs.  Absent – Bazzoni, Edwards, Pence, and Weiser.  BMCC: Present – Conway, d’Erizans, Friedman, Salam, Wiseman, Yablokova, and Alternates Freas, Medina, and Vozick.  Absent: Samuel and Soto.  Bronx CC: Present – Lawton. Absent – Bernard, Ismail, Prabhu, Skinner, and Zevin.  Brooklyn: Present – Cohen, Florence, Fox, Okome, Perez, and Alternate Siegel.  Absent – Buckholz, Hainline, Jacobson, Massood, Wills, and Winslow. CCNY: Present – Lascar, Laurich, and Alternate Stober.  Absent – Brass, Crain, Dalglish, Khanbilvardi,  Raj, Sank, and Watkins. CSI: Present – Cooper, Levine, and Petratos. Absent:  Dimitric, Klibaner, Talarico,  and Verzani.  CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Bratspies.   Graduate School:  Present – Albrecht, Baumrin, and Burke. Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Dauben, and Maxfield. Hostos CC: Present –Trachman, and Alternates August and Hubner. Absent – Ovtcharenko, Pimentel, and Shad.  Vacancies – 1 (p/t). Hunter: Present – Baumann,  Hughes, and Young.  Absent – Becker, Blundell, Daniels, Donabedian, Kuhn-Osius, Plichta, and Spark.  John Jay: Present – Crossman, Dunham, Kaplowitz, Katz, Kimora, and Tovar. Absent – Kubic and Munns.  Kingsborough CC:  Present – Stubin. Absent – Alessandrini, Arliss, Barnhart, Hume, and Ruoff.  Vacancies – 1. LaGuardia CC: Present – Blagojevic and Mettler.  Absent – Albrecht, Berke, Kurzyna, and McCormick.  Lehman: Present –Doyran, Silverman, and Alternate Carey. Absent – Alexanderson, Boston, DelaCruz, Philipp, and Sembenu.  Medgar Evers: Present – Barker.  Absent – Ezuma, Greene and Laude. NYCCT: Present – Gelman and Hounion.  Absent: Bennani, Cermele, Richardson.  Vacancies – 2.  Queens:  Present – Gonzalez, Grover, and Savage. Absent – Brody, Cool, and Zevin. Vacancies – 5.  Queensborough CC: Present – Meltzer, Pecorino, Tai, and Alterate Avens.  Absent – Borrachero and Volchok. Vacancies – 1.  York: Present – Corkery, Klein, Lewis, and Rosenthal. Absent – Barley and Hughes.   Present for item IIIA was Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance Matthew Sapienza.

Governance Leaders present: Baumrin (GC), Burke (GC), Kaplowitz (John Jay), Martell (Baruch), St. Louis (NCC), Tai (QCC), and Tyner (NCC) attended.  Administrative Assistant Pasela, Secretary Blanchard, and Executive Director Phipps were also present.  Guests included 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.   Sixty-two of 139 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as proposed.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of December 4, 2012 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. InvitedGuest
    1. Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance Matthew Sapienza – Chair Martell introduced Mr. Sapienza as a good friend of the faculty and an invaluable source of information.  In return, Mr. Sapienza said he was grateful to have the counsel of the UFS Budget Advisory Committee every month.
    2. Referring to slides, Mr. Sapienza went over the highlights of the Governor’s proposed budget.  Overall he described CUNY’s financial position for the coming fiscal year as stable and sound.  There were a few hints that the State might be thinking of tying some dollars to economic development.  This might be a cause for future concern but no details were yet available, and it would be more likely to affect SUNY than CUNY.
    3. Questions elicited additional information:
      1. CUNY Compact funds for the coming year will be around $47 million.  Chair Martell pointed out that the appropriate elected governance bodies at each campus should be deciding right now how to recommend that their campuses’ spend their share of the funds.
      2. Following national trends enrollment is down slightly across CUNY, but this is having only negligible budget impact.  Partly this is a deliberate correction of too fast growth in the recent past, although in some areas like Masters programs it is because of declining jobs in areas such as education where the correction may be for colleges to diversify offerings.
      3. Given the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) cap and the fact that CUNY tuition now exceeds that cap, there is a valid concern about a snowballing effect over the next several years, as the additional tuition revenue stream will be diminished by the share being consumed by the university’s fund to cover for the neediest student.  Pushing for a higher TAP cap would be one solution.
      4. The trend of recent years for growth in the adjunct budget will decline as CUNY hires more full-time faculty with the increased tuition dollars and if enrollment growth also subsides.
  4. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees (written) – The reports were received.
    2. Chair – Chair Martell conveyed the following information about a new opportunity that campuses have to compete for capital funds called the CUNY 2020 Challenge Grants. This information was supplied at his request by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Facilities, Planning, and Management: “The Grants will provide $55M in capital funding per year over the next five years.  The competitive process is open to all CUNY senior colleges, graduate and professional schools, Community Colleges and/or multiple campus consortiums.  Awards of $5M to $25M will be made to support transformational projects that meet the four key pillars outlined in the New York City Regional Economic Council Strategic Plan – improve quality of life; create a pro-growth, pro-jobs environment; invest in the future; and foster innovation and inter-regional cooperation. Projects should be seek to take advantage of New York City industry market and CUNY college academic strengths.  Fields that could participate include scientific research focusing on the STEM areas, finance, advertising, the entertainment industry including film, television and stage production, as well as aviation, security, and clean energy technologies.”  Chair Martell urged all of those present to take this information back to their campuses and encourage their leadership to take advantage of the opportunity.
    3. As to Pathways, he pointed out that the phase of campus governance involvement was now, with approval of 1200 core courses via the Chancellor’s University Report on the previous day by the Board of Trustees, virtually over.  Taking together all recent developments, he said he expected that the legal channel was the only remaining hope of meaningful opposition.
    4. Meanwhile, the UFS is working on many fronts to ensure that the faculty voice is heard.  For example, recently the Executive Committee had a productive session with officials who oversee the Early College Initiative.  Much was learned and members were able to register several misgivings for follow-up discussion. In addition, a subcommittee of the UFS Budget Advisory Committee had just met with the Provost of the Graduate Center to begin gathering information about how the consortial arrangement was faring in view of widespread rumors about trends that may threaten it.  At the same time, other members of the Budget Advisory Committee are sifting through data that they hope will enable them to estimate the total costs of CUNY’s central administration.  Also, the Executive Committee guided by Professor Kathleen Barker is preparing to survey campus governance leaders about faculty involvement in enrollment management and admissions at their campuses, which is the beginning of an effort to raise awareness of faculty’s proper role in such decisions.
  5. New Business
    1. The Kroll Report was released in late January.  It is a review by an outside firm about how CUNY security handled a protest that occurred outside a public hearing at Baruch College in November of 2011.  After consultation with the UFS, the Chancellery decided to address the Kroll report at the February Trustee’s meeting.  He said that while the discussion will not be public, he will be present and will be able to raise points of concern to the faculty.The spring conference of the UFS is on April 19 and will take the form of a workshop to educate faculty about CUNY’s budget process.  It is primarily aimed at governance leaders on the campuses who serve on local budget committees.In questions and comments, Professor Cooper noted that the UFS as well as a group of graduate students had been promised a chance to comment on the Kroll Report before it was published, but this did not occur.  Professor Vozick added that the Report could not be regarded as an impartial investigation and should offend faculty’s sense of justice.  Professor Cooper, recalling the UFS resolution in November of 2011 calling for an end to police surveillance of Muslim students, also noted that a motion just filed in federal district court may reopen how the Handschu Agreement is interpreted.Professor Tai announced that the Senate Digest (or newsletter) was changing format from paper to online blog.  Those interested in contributing to the blog were encouraged to do so.  Those interested in receiving each blog as they are published can sign up under ‘Subscribe to Posts’ on the blog site.

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

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps

Executive Director

Resolution of the University Faculty Senate Academic Freedom Committee

Adopted: Without dissent February 5, 2013

The UFS supports the academic freedom of the Brooklyn College community in the matter of the program organized by Students for Justice in Palestine and co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science.

The University Faculty Senate deplores attacks on the Department of Political Science for co-sponsoring a presentation on a controversial issue, as well as attacks on the faculty and the administration of Brooklyn College for supporting the Department.

To assume that co-sponsoring a presentation means uncritical endorsement of one side or another would impose an ideological litmus test on all controversial debates.

Academic Freedom is the core ethos of the University.