The 389th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 9204 – 6, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
6:30 p.m.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of Sept. 29, 2015
  3. Invited Guest
    1. Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Vita Rabinowitz, 6:45 p.m.
  4. New Business
  5. Reports
  6. Representatives to Board of Trustees Committees (oral)
  7. Chair

Social starts at 6:00 p.m. Light refreshments served.

Committee meetings before plenary:

Libraries and IT – Room 8301 at 4 p.m.

Status of the Faculty – Room 8400 at 4:45 p.m.

  • Community College Caucus will meet at 4:00 p.m. in the Philosophy Department conference room: 7113.08.


Baruch: Present – Bazzoni, Edwards, Ellis, Harel, Martell, Weiser, Wine and Wymbs. Absent – Pence.  BMCC: Present – Bratsis, Conway, Gosslau and Tsiklauri. Absent – Brockington, Freas, Perdomo and Salam.  Bronx CC: Present – Edwards, Kossak and Lawton. Absent – Cahn, Harris and Mais-Jeter.  Brooklyn: Present – Cohen, Haggerty, Hainline, Queneau, Wild and Alternate Suarez. Absent – Braine, Ebert, Florence, Fox, McEntree and Okome.  CCNY: Present – Brass, Crain, Jeruzalmi and Miller. Absent – Dalglish, Kalia, and Raj. Vacancies – 2 and 1 (p/t).  CSI: Present – Feola, Petratos, Simpson and Verzani.  Absent – Cason, Lavender and Sanchez.  CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Kassem.  Graduate Center: Present – Albrecht, Burke, Giannikos and Nolan. Absent – Aguirre-Molina, Dauben and Wunder.  Hostos CC: Present – August, Trachman and Worrell. Absent – Ostrin.  Hunter: Present – Hickman and Kuhn-Osius. Absent – Wirtz, and Young.  Vacancies – 8.  John Jay: Present – Crossman, Kaplowitz, Kapstein, Katz and Kimora.  Absent: – Domashevskiy, Dunham and Tovar.  Kingsborough CC:  Present – Barnhart, Hume, Ruoff, and Stubin.  Absent – Majewicz, Nanin and Spear.  LaGuardia CC: Present – Albrecht, Berke, Fernandez, Kapetanakos, Keyes and Seo.  Lehman: Present –Duncker, Jervis, Philipp, Tilley and Alternate Gitterman. Absent – Doyran.  Vacancies: 1. Medgar Evers: Present – Barker, Lashley and Alternate Franz. Absent – Belcon and Brown.  NYCCT: Present – Gelman, Hounion, Okumakpeyi and Williams.  Absent: – Bennani, Cermele and Van Loon.  Queens: Present – Brody, Costigan, McElwaine, Nelson, Sanudo and Savage. Absent: – Gandhi, Grover, and Zevin.  Vacancies – 2.  Queensborough CC: Present – Counihan, Pecorino, Rome, Tai, and Alternate Holden. Absent – Avens, Meltzer and Rossi-Miller.  York: Present – Grosskopf.  Absent: – Bowman, Cleary, Gerena and Rooney. Present for Item IIIA was Vita Rabinowitz, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Governance Leaders present included: Burke (GS), Hume (KBCC), Jeruzalmi (CCNY), Kaplowitz (JJ),) Keyes (LGCC), McCauley (Hunter), Pecorino (QCC), Sanudo (Queens) and Verzani (CSI).  Guests present: Dina Dahbany-Miraglia (QCC), Stefan Baumrin (GC), Laxmi Ramasubramania (Hunter) and Liza Shapiro (GC). Executive Director Phipps, Administrative Assistant Pasela, and Secretary Blanchard were also present.

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

  1. Approval of the Agenda – Item 5A was modified to include reports of Standing Committee Chairs.  The agenda was then adopted as amended.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of September 29, 2015 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. Invited Guest
    1. Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Vita Rabinowitz – Chair Martell introduced and welcomed the new system Provost, saying he was confident that her appointment marked a new era of positive relations between the UFS and the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) that would widen and deepen in coming years. In return, Dr. Rabinowitz said that she was thrilled and energized to take the position. She enumerated what OAA’s priorities would be under her leadership:
      1. Review remediation – Given that 82% of A.A. students entering CUNY still require some type of remediation, she has empowered and is chairing a task force composed of faculty, provosts, and OAA officials to evaluate all aspects of remediation used by CUNY, to survey best national best practices, and to share its findings.
      2. Improve degree completion/academic momentum – Though progress has been made on this, more is needed – better transfer and articulation, clearer course equivalents, and more “reverse transfer.” It will also be seen in due course whether Pathways is leading to such improvement.
      3. Improve teacher education and relations with the DoE – This will involve achieving high enrollment, high pass rates, and rigor at CUNY schools of education.
      4. Be more responsive to workforce education and adult learners – This will involve paying more attention to workplace development needs of the City and the needs of returning students.
      5. Improve faculty satisfaction, development, and advancement – To this end OAA has hired for the first time a University Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (Annemarie Nicols-Grinenko).
      6. Research innovation and entrepreneurship – On her campus tours, she had heard from many faculty that they want more support for research. Emphasis would likely be on interdisciplinary and inter-campus work related to 21st Century CUNY goals.
      7. Experiential learning – A task force is working to inventory all of the opportunities for this now available to students at the CUNY campuses, as requested by the Governor.
      8. Do strategic and master planning – A strategic framework is now being worked on by a task force, which will be broad enough that campus planning can be done within it. It will precede a new CUNY master plan in the spring of 2016.
      9. Expand online learning – This is expected to aid #2 above by increasing student access to courses
      10. Global CUNY – This will include promoting language study, study abroad, and increased use by students of NYC cultural institutions.
  4. New Business – There was none.
  5. Reports
    1. Representatives to Board of Trustees Committees/UFS Standing Committee Chairs – Prof. Lawton, Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, noted that his committee was continuing to enhance UFS connections with the University Student Senate.  He also urged senators to become acquainted with the student government leaders on their campus to promote communication. Prof. Burke, chair of the Status of the Faculty Committee, noted that his committee routinely reviews and vets items going to the Board of Trustees Committee on Faculty, Staff, and Administration. Also engaging the committee is how the COACHE survey will be integrated into the Performance Management Process PMP), and how faculty input on the PMP can be enhanced; issues of adjunct faculty; and seeing how CUNY can ensure that research funds are available to community college and comprehensive college faculty.
    2. Chair – Chair Martell was continuing to keep up the UFS’s contacts with our SUNY faculty counterparts, namely the SUNY UFS and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges, the governance body for SUNY’s state-wide community colleges.  The connection can be particularly useful when all three groups can speak with one voice to the players in Albany.

The Chair had received a good response from Vice Chancellor Schaffer to last month’s plenary resolution on faculty, online courses, and intellectual property. The Chair would forward it to the Libraries/IT Committee for follow up.

The Council of Faculty Governance Leaders had received a report from officials in charge of the CUNY-wide inventory of existing experiential learning opportunities. In February the plenary would receive an updated report.

The Commack study to review the funds totaling $8 billion that CUNY employees invest in is making good progress.  The goal is to ensure that the plans are state of the art with the lowest possible fees for financial services.  He cited this as one more example of a collaborative effort between faculty and the administration or Board that has worked and been fruitful for all.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps


Disapproval and Disappointment in the Current Adopted Budget

Approved: Unanimously, October 16, 2015

Resolved, that the University Senate of CUNY, representing the diverse colleges and communities of the City University, hereby express their strong disappointment in, and disapproval of, the adopted budget as described by the administration’s budget director, Mr. Sapienza, at our October meeting. In particular, we object to the use of student tuition set aside for faculty salary increases (projected but not given) because this pits students against faculty at a time when the faculty have not had a contract for nearly six years and the students have experienced a series of tuition increases in a period of low inflation, mostly due to actual budget stagnation and cutbacks by Albany.

In addition, we deeply object to the plans for a ‘contest’ among colleges to compete for up to six million dollars for individual projects. This is highly inappropriate because it pits colleges against each other for relatively small amounts of funding that will breed conflict and jealousy rather than cooperation. Lack of funding for mandatory costs and lack of willingness to fill the gap between TAP grant limits and real college tuition costs will bring even more damage to the status and function of CUNY than has taken place to date, and will cause enrollment declines.

In our view, the actual budget of CUNY has been cut and eroded to such an extent that many colleges are suffering from cutbacks and will suffer more even though student tuitions rise. Students, too, are reeling from the impacts of these changes as well as many additional fees, test costs, certification or graduation requirements, resulting in declining enrollments in many subject areas, particularly at the graduate levels and in education.

Any administration that tolerates these conditions is not deserving of  the faculty’s or University Senate’s confidence.

Respectfully submitted,

Jack Zevin