The 386th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room C201 – 3, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
March 24, 2015
6:30 p.m.


  1.  Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of February 10, 2015
  3. Old Business
    1. Proposal to Amend the UFS Charter, for final vote
    2. Nominations for Officers and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee
  4. Reports
    1. Chair
  5. Invited Guest – Dr. Robert Ptachik, Senior University Dean for the Executive Office and Enrollment, on enrollment trends, 6:30 p.m.

Social starts at 6:00 p.m.

Committee meetings:

  • Community College Caucus will meet from 4:00-5:00 p.m., Room 8301.
  • Standing committees will not meet today


Baruch: Present –Edwards, Ellis, Harel, Pence, Martell, Weiser, Wymbs, and Alternates Henken and Kumar.  Absent – Bazzoni and Wein.  BMCC: Present – Conway, Freas, and Gosslau.   Absent – Brockington, Friedman, Salam, Soto, and Yablokova.  Bronx CC: Present – Kossak and Lawton.  Absent – Cahn, Edwards, Harris, and Mais-Jeter.   Brooklyn: Present – Cohen, Ebert, Florence, Fox, Hainline, and Alternate Grayson. Absent – Braine, Haggerty, McEntree, Okome, Perez, and Sowers.  CCNY: Present – Brass, Dalglish, Jeruzalmi, Miller, and Alternate Stober. Absent – Crain, Kalia, Khanbilvardi, Lascar, and Raj. Vacancies –  1 (p/t). CSI: Present – Cason, Simpson, and Verzani.  Absent – Feola, Lavender, Petratos, and Sanchez.  CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Cicero. Graduate Center:  Present – Albrecht, Burke, Giannikos, and Nolan.  Absent –Aguirre-Molina, Dauben, and Maxfield.  Hostos CC: Present – August and Trachman. Absent – Pimentel, Shad, and Worrell. Hunter: Present – Hickman, Kuhn-Osius, and Young.  Absent: Wirtz. Vacancies – 7.  John Jay: Present – Crossman, Dunham, Kaplowitz, Kimora, Tovar,  and Alternate Domashevskiy.  Absent: Kapstein, Katz, and Kubic. Kingsborough CC:  Present – Barnhart, Nanin, Ruoff, Spear, and Alternate Skirka. Absent – Alessandrini, Hume, Ruoff, and Stubin. LaGuardia CC: Present – Albrecht, Berke, Fernandez, Kapetanakos, and Alternate Licari.  Absent – Keyes. Vacancies: 1 (p/t). Lehman: Present – Duncker and Philipp. Absent – Alexanderson, Boston, Doyran, and Jervis.  Vacancies: 1. Medgar Evers: Present – Barker, Belcon, and Alternates Franz and Riley. Absent – Brown and Greene. NYCCT: Present – Cermele, Gelman, Hounion, Okumakpeyi, Van Loon, and Williams.  Absent: Bennani.  Queens: Present – McElwaine, Sanudo, and Savage. Absent – Brody, Costigan, Gandhi, Gonzalez, Grover, and Zevin.   Vacancies – 2.  Queensborough CC: Present – Avens, Counihan, Metzger, Pecorino, Rome, and Tai.  Vacancies – 1 (p/t).  York: Present – None.  Absent: Barley, Corkery, Klein, and Lewis.  Vacancies – 1.

Governance Leaders present included: Burke (GS), Jeruzalmi (CCNY), Kaplowitz (JJ), Pecorino (QCC), Sanudo (Queens), and Verzani (CSI).  Executive Director Phipps, Administrative Assistant Pasela, and Secretary Blanchard were also present.  Guests: Stephanie Vella, Patricia Sokolski, Sandi Cooper, Stefan Baumrin, Daniel Cleary, and Dina Dahbany-Miraglia.

The meeting was called to order by UFS Chair Terrence Martell at 6:30 p.m. in the Room C201 – 3 at the Graduate Center. Seventy-five of 139 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as proposed.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of February 10, 2015 –The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. Old Business
    1. Proposal to Amend the UFS Charter, for final vote – The amendment was moved by the Chair, who asked for approval by unanimous consent, which the body gave by voice vote. The changes dealt with the makeup of the Executive Committee.
    2. Nominations for 7 Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee – The following were nominated from the floor:
      1. Jochen Albrecht, Ph.D. Program in Earth & Environmental Sciences, Graduate Center
      2. Kathleen Barker, Psychology, Medgar Evers College
      3. Michael Barnhart, Philosophy, Kingsborough Community College
      4. Peter Brass, Computer Science, City College
      5. Kay Conway, Business Management, BMCC
      6. Hugo Fernandez, Humanities, LaGuardia Community College
      7. James McElwaine, School of Music, Queens College
      8. Phil Pecorino, Philosophy, Queensborough Community College
      9. Emily Tai, History, Queensborough Community College
      10. John Verzani, Math, College of Staten Island
      11. Jay Weiser, Law & Real Estate, Baruch College
      12. Nominations would remain open until the night of the election at the plenary on May 5.  In the meanwhile, senators may nominate themselves or others (with their permission) simply by notifying the UFS office.
  4. Reports
    1. Chair – Chair Martell related that the search for a new EVC for Academic Affairs and Provost was under way again.
    2. He described the process now taking place in which the State Assembly, State Senate, and the Governor are negotiating their separate proposed budget bills, each with its own revenue estimate, working on a deadline of April 1.  The outcome is impossible to predict, but in all versions the crunch remains that mandatory costs are not to be covered, and no pay increase for a new contract is included.  The Governor’s experiential learning requirement is greatly watered down in the Senate version (Chair Martell and his counterparts at SUNY and the federation of SUNY community colleges had also written to the Governor’s office pointing out many practical difficulties with the initiative.)
  5. Invited Guest – Dr. Robert Ptachik, Senior University Dean for the Executive Office and Enrollment, spoke about four areas of concern he has about enrollment trends:
    1. On the undergraduate level, enrollment numbers are relatively stable.  However, the number of students graduating from NYC schools is expected to decrease, and their college readiness may decrease as well, meaning more will be headed toward the over-crowded community colleges.
    2. Several small private colleges in the area, some giving their students a tuition discount as high as 60%, will not survive for long, presenting another challenge to CUNY’s capacity.
    3. On the Master’s degree level, enrollment continues to be weak.  Recent marketing and advertising efforts have helped somewhat.  New degrees should be created by faculty, he urged, and faculty should also step up efforts to help admissions professionals recruit new students.  Other schools that CUNY competes with are very adept at this.
    4. A new admissions system using CUNYFirst will be rolled out in a while.  There will be advantages.  For instance, the new system can accommodate letters of recommendation, portfolios, and writing samples.  The downside could be that these non-formulaic items, unlike the current CUNY benchmarks of GPA, SAT scores, and academic units, will require more judgment calls by faculty participating in the admissions process than ever before.  It will be demanding to keep the right balance between admissions professionals and faculty.  Following a Q & A session, Dr. Ptachik was warmly thanked for attending.  Chair Martell then told senators that they should expect and welcome a more meaningful faculty role in admissions since it is one of the key rights and responsibilities outlined in the CUNY Bylaws.  He also advised faculty, when they create new programs at the Master’s level, to demand budgeted funding for advertising for those programs.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps