The 383rd Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9204- 6, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
October 28, 2014
6:30 p.m.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of September 9, 2014
  3. Invited Guests
    1. Dr. Chase Robinson, President, Graduate Center, 6:30 p.m.
    2. Prof. Peter Knuepfer, President, SUNY Faculty Senate, 7:15 p.m.
  4. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board Committees (oral)
    2. Chair

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

Committee meetings:

  • Community College Caucus will meet from 4:00-4:55 p.m., Room 8113.10 (Provost’s Office)
  • Standing committees WILL meet today as follows:
    • Academic Freedom, 5:00 p.m., Room 8402
    • Libraries and Information Technology, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Room 8301
    • Status of the Faculty, 5:00 p.m., Room 8400
    • Student Affairs, 5:00 p.m., Room 8304


Baruch: Present – Bazzoni, Ellis, Martell, Weiser, Wymbs, and Alternate Kumar. Absent – Edwards, Harel, and Pence.  BMCC: Present – Conway, Freas, Friedman, Gosslau, Salam, Soto, and Alternates Hoffmann and Wiseman.  Absent – Brockington and Yablokova.  Bronx CC: Present – Edwards and Kossak.  Absent – Cahn, Harris, Lawton, and Mais-Jeter.   Brooklyn: Present – Cohen, Ebert, Florence, Fox, Hainline, Sowers, and Alternate Grayson. Absent – Braine, Haggerty, Okome, and Perez.  CCNY: Present – Brass, Dalglish, Jeruzalmi, Lascar, and Alternate Stober. Absent – Crain, Kalia, Khanbilvardi, Lascar, and Raj. Vacancies – 2, 1 (p/t). CSI: Present – Levine, Petratos, and Verzani. Absent – Cason, Lavender, Sanchez, and Simpson.  CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Cicero. Graduate Center:  Present – Albrecht, Burke, Dauben, and Nolan.  Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Burke, J. Albrecht, and Maxfield. Hostos CC: Present – August, Pimentel, Trachman, Worrell, and Alternate Mitchell. Absent – Shad. Hunter: Present – Hickman, Kuhn-Osius, and Young.  Absent: Wirtz. Vacancies – 7.  John Jay: Present – Crossman, Dunham, Kaplowitz, Kapstein, Katz, Kimora, Tovar, and Alternate Domashevskiy. Absent – Kubic.  Kingsborough CC:  Present – Barnhart, Nanin, Spear, and Stubin. Absent – Alessandrini, Hume, and Ruoff. LaGuardia CC: Present – V. Albrecht, Berke, Fernandez, Kapetanakos, Keyes, and Alternate Licari. Absent – Mettler. Lehman: Present – Alexanderson, Boston, Doyran, and Philipp. Absent – DelaCruz, 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, McElwaine, Savage, and J. Zevin. Absent – Costigan, Gonzalez, and Grover.  Vacancies – 4.  Queensborough CC: Present – Avens, Meltzer, Pecorino, Rome, and Tai.  Absent: Counihan.  Vacancies – 1 (p/t).  York: Present – Lewis. Absent: Barley, Corkery, and Klein.  Vacancies – 1.

Governance Leaders present included: Burke (GC), Jeruzalmi (CCNY), Kaplowitz (JJ), Keyes (LCC), Pecorino (QCC), Sanudo (Queens), Tyner (GCC), and Verzani (CSI).  Executive Director Phipps, Administrative Assistant Pasela, and Secretary Blanchard were also present.

Guests: Sandi Cooper, Stefan Baumrin, William Kurzyna, and Stephanie Vella. Present for Item III were Dr. Chase Robinson, President of the Graduate Center, and Professor Peter Knuepfer, President of the SUNY Faculty Senate.

The meeting was called to order by UFS Chair Terrence Martell at 6:30 p.m. in the Room 9204/5/6 at the Graduate Center. Eighty-four of 139 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as propose
  2. Approval of the Minutes of October 28, 2014 – The minutes were adopted as propose
  3. Invited Guest:

A. Dr. Chase Robinson, President, Graduate Center

  • Chair Martell introduced Dr. Robinson, the new president of the Graduate Center and formerly its provost.  President Robinson gave a brief history of the Graduate Center, which he described as unique in American higher education.  It relies on the innovation of using a consortial system of relatively few centrally-appointed faculty members (now about 142 in number) who are joined by faculty members from the colleges (now about 1660 in number) to provide doctoral (and some Master’s) education to 4700 diverse and accomplished students. Thus the Graduate Center is the mechanism that efficiently organizes doctoral education at CUNY while taking full advantage of all the resources at the campuses.
  • The Graduate Center is developing a strategic plan that will formally go into effect in 2017.  One element, where much progress has already been made, is to ensure higher levels of support for graduate students.  The purpose is both to attract the best students and to see that they have a fair chance of completion.
  • The second strategic element will be to review programs and curricula to ensure that going forward that they reflect the true needs of higher education in the 21st Century.  Thus while the traditional mission of the Graduate Center will continue, stock of shifting demand among various academic careers needs to be taken.
  • A third strategic element is seeking ways to advance the role of the Graduate Center in creating and disseminating knowledge.  Already an initiative called the Advanced Research Collaborative has been created.  It will be used to promote interdisciplinary research by bringing faculty together to collaborate on research and ideas.   This will include providing funds for conferences and lectures, but the main emphasis will be on bringing distinguished faculty from inside and outside CUNY together to spend time at the Graduate Center working on projects.
  • In response to a question about an apparent effort now in some doctoral programs to cut the number of faculty participating in the consortium, President Robinson cited figures showing that overall the number of participating faculty was at an all-time high.  Some programs, he said, were attending to the faculty rolls now, after perhaps failing to do so consistently in previous years, in order to ensure that members were still qualified by their current interests and research activities.
  • In response to a question about last year’s widely discussed plan to move doctoral lab science programs from the Graduate Center to one or more campuses, President Robinson said the idea had proved to have many drawbacks and would not likely go forward.  He remained determined, he said, to find every way to continue offering excellent programs in the sciences.  One immediate thought along these lines, he said, is to appoint some pure theoreticians as central appointments at the Graduate Center who could interact and collaborate with lab scientists on the campuses.
  • In response to a question about whether the Graduate Center’s caps on the number of doctoral students admitted year after year to each program were too rigid, President Robinson conceded that he had recently begun to think this was so for some programs, provided colleges could show their ability to provide financial support to the extra students.
  • In response to a question about the results of a survey the Graduate Center was doing on the types of employment its graduates have found over the past 10 years, President Robinson said the Office of Institutional Research was still working on it.  He did separately recall one datum:  that 1700 of these graduates were known to be working full-time as teachers or researchers in the metropolitan area.
  • President Robinson was warmly thanked for attending.


  1. Peter Knuepfer, President, SUNY Faculty Senate [for four-year colleges; a separate body exists for SUNY’s community colleges, the Faculty Council of Community Colleges] – Chair Martell introduced his counterpart at SUNY, Prof. Knuepfer, and pointed to several joint activities of the two Faculty Senates, from co-sponsoring Poster Day in Albany to holding an annual meeting between their two Executive Committees.  Prof. Knuepfer spoke of several issues currently under debate at SUNY and related them where possible to analogous issues at CUNY.  Of particular concern at SUNY, he said, is the high probability that the Chancellor is moving that system towards ‘performance budgeting’, which the Senate would strongly oppose.   The Senate is also currently launching an effort to give faculty a more decisive a role in setting teacher education requirements.

In response to questions about how faculty can best have influence on issues such as these, Prof. Knuepfer suggested that often the best avenue for governance is to work with the faculty union.  In response to another question, he said he thought from what he knew that CUNY students who spend time in Pathways would probably be able to transfer fairly smoothly into SUNY.

Prof. Knuepfer was warmly thanked for attending.


  1. Reports
  1. Representatives to Board Committees – There were none.
  1. B.   Chair Martell – Things are still quiet as the new administration settles in.  The UFS continues to have frequent friendly and open communication with Chancellor Milliken. There are no initiatives yet on the horizon.  Meanwhile, the effort continues in the UFS to build stronger relations with the University Student Senate.  Chair Martell commended the outgoing student trustee, Mr. Muhammad Arshad, and said he looked forward to welcoming his successor, Mr. Joseph Awadjie, who is in a Master’s program at Brooklyn College.  Members who were interested were reminded to register for the fall conference about online education to be held on November 21.  He also gave brief progress reports on the main committees of the UFS, several of which will report formally at the next plenary.  Finally, delegations were reminded to fill their vacancies.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps