The 384th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9204 – 6, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
December 9, 2014
6:45 p.m.


  1.  Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of October 28, 2014
  3. Reports
    1. Standing Committees
      1. Academic Freedom, Prof. Peter Alexanderson
      2. Libraries and Information Technology, Prof. Jochen Albrecht
      3. Status of the Faculty, Prof. Jason Young
      4. Student Affairs, Prof. Laroi Lawton
    2. Representatives to Board Committees
    3. Budget Advisory Committee, Prof. Kay Conway
    4. Success of Fall Conference on Online Education
    5. Chair – Heads-up on Forthcoming UFS Charter Amendments

Extended social hour from 6:00 until 6:45 with Holiday Cheer – Refreshments served-

Committee meetings:

  • Community College Caucus will meet from 5:00-6:00 p.m., Room 8301
  • Standing committees will NOT meet today


Baruch: Present – Bazzoni, Ellis, Harel, Martell, Wein, Weiser, and Wymbs. Absent – Edwards and Pence.  BMCC: Present – Conway, Freas, Friedman, Gosslau, Soto, and Alternate Wiseman.  Absent – Brockington, Salam, and Yablokova.  Bronx CC: Present – Kossak and Lawton.  Absent – Cahn, Edwards, Harris, and Mais-Jeter.   Brooklyn: Present – Cohen, Florence, Fox, Hainline, McEntee, and Sowers. Absent – Braine, Ebert, Haggerty, Okome, and Perez.  CCNY: Present – Brass and Alternate Stober. Absent – Crain, Dalglish, Jeruzalmi, Kalia, Khanbilvardi, Lascar, and Raj. Vacancies – 2, 1 (p/t). CSI: Present – Lavender, Petratos, and Simpson. Absent – Cason, Sanchez, and  Verzani.  Vacancy – 1.  CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Cicero. Graduate Center:  Present – Albrecht, Burke, and Dauben.  Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Giannikos, Maxfield, and Nolan.  Hostos CC: Present – August, Trachman, and Worrell. Absent – Pimentel and Shad. Hunter: Present – Hickman and Young.  Absent: Kuhn-Osius and Wirtz. Vacancies – 7.  John Jay: Present – Crossman, Kaplowitz, Katz, Kimora, and Tovar. Absent – Dunham, Kapstein, and Kubic.  Kingsborough CC:  Present – Barnhart, Nanin, and Stubin. Absent – Alessandrini, Hume, Ruoff, and Spear. LaGuardia CC: Present – Berke, Fernandez, Kapetanakos, Keyes, and Alternate Licari. Absent – Albrecht and Mettler. Lehman: Present – Alexanderson, Boston, and Philipp. Absent – DelaCruz, Doyen, Jervis, and Silverman.  Medgar Evers: Present – Barker and Alternate Franz. Absent – Belcon, Brown and Greene. NYCCT: Present – Bennani, Cermele, Gelman, Hounion, and Van Loon. Vacancies – 2.  Queens: Present – Brody, Gandhi, Gonzalez, McElwaine, Sanudo, Savage, and Zevin. Absent – Costigan and Grover.  Vacancies – 2.  Queensborough CC: Present – Counihan, Pecorino, and Tai.  Absent: Avens, Meltzer, and Rome.  Vacancies – 1 (p/t).  York: Present – Lewis. Absent: Barley, Corkery, and Klein.  Vacancies – 1.

Governance Leaders present included: Burke (GC), Kaplowitz (JJ), Keyes (LCC), Pecorino (QCC), and Sanudo (Queens).  Executive Director Phipps, Administrative Assistant Pasela, and Secretary Blanchard were also present.  Guests: Stefan Baumrin, William Kurzyna, Conor Skelding, Warrick Bell, and Stephanie Vella.

The meeting was called to order by UFS Chair Terrence Martell at 6:50 p.m. in the Room 9204 – 6 at the Graduate Center. Sixty-nine of 139 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as propose
  2. Approval of the Minutes of December 9, 2014 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. Reports
    1. Standing Committees
      1. Academic Freedom, Prof. Peter Alexanderson:  This Committee is doing an overview of assessment in all its forms and trying to develop a set of principles to guide such assessments in a way that respects faculty’s academic freedom and their rightful role in developing curriculum.  Prof. Alexanderson noted that the Committee was identifying so many types of actual and potential assessment, across so many fields and levels of instruction, that it was proving difficult to generalize enough to state principles.  But the Committee is asking questions like What is the justification for the different forms of assessment and what is their intended consequence (closing programs, penalizing faculty)?  Do sufficient institutional structures exist to guarantee the proper faculty role in assessment (discipline councils, curriculum committees, etc.)?  Work continues.
      2. Libraries and Information Technology, Prof. Jochen Albrecht:  This Committee is working on four areas.  The first is promoting communication both among the colleges and between the colleges and the central administration on IT issues.  The second is hybrid/online instruction, which includes issues such as intellectual property rights of faculty, the adequacy of resources offered to faculty by CUNY, and technical things like how best to manage office hours.  The third is recommending the best uses for CUNY’s new Institutional Repository, recommended a few years ago by the UFS Open Access Committee.   Fourth is whether CUNY gives enough freedom to faculty to use Internet resources other than those on or through CUNY’s website, such as alternatives to Blackboard.
      3. Status of the Faculty, Prof. Jason Young: This Committee is pursuing ways to increase opportunities for CUNY faculty to enrich their intellectual lives by interacting more, or at least to find out more easily about opportunities that already exist.  A method is being explored that would allow faculty to sign up and complete a check-off list on the CUNY website indicating their academic interests or types of fellowship programs they might want to apply for, which would result in an automatic email alerting them.  The Committee is also surveying college websites to see how many departments list the names and contact information for adjunct faculty, in hopes of persuading those which don’t to begin doing so.  In addition, it is looking into recommending minimum standards for adjunct office space, such as exist for full-time faculty.  The Committee is also in touch with administrators in charge of the Performance Management Process (PMP) to try to open up further opportunities for faculty to have input into the list of factors by which college presidents are evaluated.
      4. Student Affairs, Prof. Laroi Lawton:  This Committee’s intent for the current year is to press on with some of the initiatives from last year, including sending a member of the Committee to each plenary meeting of the University Student Senate (USS) and to communicate with them about their concerns on such things as the proposed new policy on sexual harassment and assault in order to keep building that relationship; continuing to meet with CUNY’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Frank Sanchez; and finishing the task started last year of compiling best practices from college Students Affairs Offices.
      5. Representatives to Board Committees
      6. Board Committee on Student Affairs:  Prof. Philipp noted a few irregularities at this meeting, where documents that the Committee acted on were either missing or incomplete.  Explanations were later offered for these mistakes but they did somewhat cloud deliberations.  The main item was an amendment to the Section XII of the Bylaws dealing with student disciplinary panels.  CUNY was attempting to eliminate a longstanding provision that a student’s refusal to give testimony could not be construed by “jurors” as implying the student’s guilt.  The reason given for eliminating it was that such a provision was only relevant in criminal law cases.  The student representative argued against the change, and Prof. Philipp abstained because the documents for the meeting did not show that this issue would be decided.  The Committee did pass the provision, but CUNY later withdrew it after a large turnout of students appeared at the Public Hearing speaking against it.
      7. Budget Advisory Committee:  Prof. Kay Conway presented the facts about CUNY’s Budget Request to the State of New York this year.  The slides consist of VC Sapienza’s original presentation to the Board of Trustees except for pages 5 and 6 which Prof. Conway added for her presentation).   The Request is for $3.3 billion this year, up from $3.1 billion last year.  She noted that the Compact expires at the end of the coming budget year, along with its rational tuition policy and other features.  She further noted that while one often hears that a good portion of the Compact money goes to hire new full-time faculty, it appears that a good deal of this hiring is replacement only, not net new full-time faculty.  This does not portend well for CUNY’s goal of achieving full-time instruction of 70% at the University, she said, especially given sizable increases in enrollment over the past several years.  On the bright side, CUNY receives a higher portion of its operating expenses from New York than most other states do, especially if TAP is counted in.
      8. Success of Fall Conference on Online Education – Noted.
      9. Chair – Chair Martell noted that the Executive Committee would propose next semester some minor amendments to modernize the UFS Charter.  A resolution would be moved as a first reading at the February plenary and then voted on at the March meeting.  The changes would only affect the Executive Committee itself.  One would eliminate two officer positions that bear two-year terms but long since have had no actual duties of any kind.   The remaining officer positions would then be the Chair and Vice Chair, with clear duties, and they would continue to be two-year terms.  To make up for the loss of those two seats on the Committee, two at-large seats with one-year terms would be added.   The other change would be a streamlining one, to shorten the term of outgoing UFS Chairs’ ex officio service on the Committee from the current two years to one.

Chair Martell also announced that a solution had been found with the administration to solve the problem that some faculty lose their existing email addresses upon retirement, which can hamper those who stay research active.  He cited this as a good case of how patient work in governance by faculty can succeed, and of how administrators can be willing to listen and make accommodations.

Prof. Petratos moved the following statement:  “The UFS is concerned, troubled, and critical of the decision of the grand juries in Ferguson, MO, and in Staten Island, NY, and demands that all laws in the U.S. are applied and enforced equitably to all our citizens.” It was agreed that the Executive Committee would take this up.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps