The 376th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Skylight Room, 9th floor, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
September 10, 2013
6:30 p.m.


  1.  Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of May 7, 2013 (attached)
  3. Invited Guest, Interim Chancellor William Kelly, 6:30 p.m.
  4. Approval of the Standing Committee Roster (available at the plenary)
  5. New Business
    1. Proposed Amendment to the UFS Charter – First reading and discussion (attached)
  6. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees (oral)
    2. Chair

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

Committee meetings:

  • Standing committees will not meet today
  • Community College Caucus, 5:00-6:00 p.m., Room 8402


Baruch: Present – Bazzoni, Ellis, Harel, Martell, Weiser, Wine, Wymbs, and Alternate Kumar. Absent: Edwards and Pence. BMCC: Present – Conway, Freas, Friedman, Salam, Soto, Wiseman, and Alternate Koroch. Absent: Vozick and Yablokova. Bronx CC: Present – None. Absent – Bernard, Ismail, Lawton, and Zevin. 1 vacancy. Brooklyn: Present – Braine, Florence, Fox, McEntee, Okome, and Perez. Absent –Buchholz, Day, Hainline, Massood, and Winslow. CCNY: Present – Brass, Crain, Dalglish, Lascar, and Alternate Bank. Absent – Kalia, Khanbilvardi, Laurich, Raj, and Watkins. Vacancies – 1. CSI: Present – Cooper, Levine, Petratos, and Verzani. Absent: Lavender, McCall, and Sanchez. CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Cicero.   Graduate Center: Present – Albrecht, Burke, Dauben, and Alternate Pigliucci. Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Maxfield, and Terilla. Hostos CC: Present – Trachman and Worrell. Absent – Pimental and Shad. Hunter: Present – Hughes and Kuhn-Osius. Absent – Daniels, Donabedian, and Plichta. Vacancies – 7. John Jay: Present – Crossman, Dunham, Kaplowitz, Katz, Kimora, Munns, and Tovar. Absent – Kubic. Kingsborough CC: Present – Barnhart and Stubin. Absent – Alessandrini, Arliss, and Hume. Vacancies – 2. LaGuardia CC: Present – Berke, Fernandez, Kurzyna. Absent – Albrecht, Blagojevic, and Mettler. Lehman: Present –Boston, DelaCruz, Doyran, Philipp. Absent –Sembenu. Medgar Evers: Present – Barker. Absent – Greene and Laude. Vacancy – 1. NYCCT: Present – Cermele and Hounion. Vacancies – 5. Queens: Present – Gonzalez, Savage, and Zevin. Absent – Cool and Grover. Vacancies – 6. Queensborough CC: Present – Avens, Meltzer, Pecorino, Rome, Tai, and Alternate Corneau-Kirschner. Vacancies – 1. York: Present –Barley, Corkery, Klein, and Lewis. Absent – Hughes and Rosenthal.

Governance Leaders present included:  Brody (Queens), Burke (GC), Kaplowitz (JJ), Kurzyna (LaG), Martell (Baruch), Pecorino (QCC), Saint-Louis (GCC), and Verzani (CSI).

Guests (some are senators from last year whose reelection was pending):  Peter Alexanderson (Lehman), Maya Sharma (HCC), Gail August (HCC), Andrew Hubner (HCC), Jason Young (Hunter), Boris Gelman (NYCCT), Stefanie Jones (Stu., GC), William Kelly, Alexandra Logue, and Barbara Cura (CO).

The meeting was called to order by UFS Chair Terrence Martell at 6:30 p.m. in the Skylight Room at the Graduate Center. Seventy-two of 136 voting members were present.

    1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as proposed.
    2. Approval of the Minutes of May 7, 2013 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
    3. Invited Guest
      1. Interim Chancellor William Kelly – Dr. Kelly began by thanking members for their service on the UFS, emphasizing the importance of the work that the body does.
      2. He described his activities since taking the interim post in July — meeting with the UFS Chair, college presidents, student leaders, government officials, and SUNY leaders.   He also outlined some of his projects and goals for the immediate future:
      3. CUNY must prepare for the advent of performance budgeting, which seems inevitable. Not only will it spread here from Europe, but President Obama’s new initiative rolled out at the University of Buffalo in August is another omen. CUNY must try to ensure that the metrics eventually adopted in any new federal programs will be as favorable as possible. CUNY must also constantly address its chronic underfunding. Efforts are being made to increase TAP support and to see that the Compact is extended and fully funded.
      4. Enrollment is steady but colleges must remain vigilant that they keep the right balance among serving as many students as possible, meeting revenue needs, and maintaining the high quality of education they offer students.
      5. He would be forcefully asking colleges to identify additional funds for the hiring of full-time faculty. Doing so is difficult because the funds must come either from permanent reallocations or from new funds in the face of many other needs. The net number of faculty has grown appreciably but has not kept pace with the growth of enrollment lately, and system-wide the number of courses taught by full-time faculty has stayed at around an unsatisfactory 42%.
      6. CUNY itself is a prominent institution that is diverse and international, but to reach its potential it needs to develop more engagement with similar institutions in research and cooperation.
      7. In regard to Pathways, he noted that he intends to look toward the future, not the past. A committee to do the mandatory review of Pathways in 2014 will be formed in the fall; he will consult with the UFS about membership. The committee will gather data, make judgments about any needed modifications or improvements, and move forward.
      8. The advance of digital technology must be carefully watched; it affects a wide range of issues from workload, IT, and consortial arrangements.
      9. He promised to follow up on three questions with which he was not yet unfamiliar:
        1. The prospects that CUNY might make the position of VC for the Community Colleges a permanent one.
        2. The new policy at York College that places restraints on video/audio recording and photography on campus, which Prof. Lewis suggested goes against the trend in citizen journalism.
        3. The impact of new State licensing requirements for teachers that could cost candidates up to $2,000.
      10. Dr. Kelly was thanked for attending.
    4. Approval of the Standing Committee Roster – The roster was moved and unanimously approved.  Senators wishing to join a committee were invited do so by speaking with its Chair.
    5. New Business
      1. Proposed Amendment to the UFS Charter – A written explanation of the reasoning behind the amendment was handed out.  Professor Kaplowitz supplemented it with remarks.  She accepted several suggestions and criticisms of the wording, which she said the Executive Committee would incorporate into the final version.  In general, the body supported the amendment.
    6. Reports
      1. Representatives to Board Committees – Chair Martell, the UFS representative to Fiscal Affairs, noted the committee had been shown a draft of a joint CUNY-SUNY request soon going to the State arguing for changes in the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).  While he could not reveal the content, he said some long-favored UFS changes do appear in the draft.  Professor Barker noted that Faculty/Staff/Administration Committee had passed a new Conflict of Interest Policy and approved a set of new titles conforming the School of Journalism and the MBA Executive Program at Baruch with existing law/medical school titles.  Both measures are headed for Board approval.
      2. Chair – The Chair introduced new senators.
        • In regard to the upcoming Pathways review, he read a statement from the Executive Committee, the essence of which he had conveyed to Interim Chancellor Kelly: “Though aware that the exact purpose of this review has not been clearly spelled out, the Executive Committee adopted two principles that it would like to urge on the Acting Chancellor:  the review should include representatives of the UFS in a meaningful way, and it should also include members from outside the university who are truly independent.  These outsiders should be (1) academic experts in general education with extensive classroom experience, (2) officials from professional organizations such as the MLA or AHA, and/or (3) faculty members from systems such as SUNY who have already gone through major revisions to their core curricula. The goal of participating is to demonstrate that the UFS is committed to the highest quality education for our undergraduates.”
        • As an experiment, the Executive Committee is trimming back from 8 to 6 the number of plenaries held this year to initiate a new focus on standing committees.  On the view that they have been hindered by short meetings and limited agendas, they are being asked to meet 4 times per year on non-plenary evenings with longer meetings and only twice per year in the old time slots.  Not only will their meeting time be expanded, but much work has been done over the summer to give them richer agendas; the Executive Committee will also delegate issues that arise during the year to the standing committees rather than handling them alone.  The new plan will be reevaluated at the end of the end of the year to see if it is worth continuing.
        • The Chair was at the beginning stages of planning a conference for this fall on the future of doctoral education at CUNY; the date would be announced soon.  It is clear that changes are afoot in all three disciplinary branches, but of immediate interest is the fact that a steering committee is about to be formed, composed largely of faculty who hold major grants, which will decide on the configuration and governance of the bench sciences at CUNY.  Details are not yet clear, including how they will be selected.  The main purpose of the conference will be to help make the process as public and transparent as possible by providing hard data that will enable everyone to make informed judgments about where this goes.
        • Over the summer, a new UFS Facilities Advisory Committee, modeled on UFS Budget Advisory Committee, was established with the cooperation of Vice Chancellor for Facilities Iris Weinshall.
        • Similar committees have been tried in the past, but this one will focus on the five-year planning level rather than getting bogged down in reviewing individual projects.
        • In discussions with the Interim Chancellor, the Chair had requested that in the future governance plans for colleges and schools not be rushed through the Board, and that the UFS always be given ample time to review these.

A moment of silence was observed in memory of Professor Jean Anyon, Department of Urban Education at the Graduate Center, who died on September 7.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps