The 388th Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
Room 9204 – 6
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
6:30 p.m.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of May 5, 2015 (enclosed)
  3. Invited Guests
    1. Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer Brian Cohen, 6:30 p.m.
    2. Vice Chancellor for Budget Matt Sapienza, 7:15 p.m.
  4. New Business
    1. Faculty IP Rights for Hybrid/Online Courses from Libraries/IT Committee (enclosed)
  5.  Reports
    1. Representatives to Board of Trustees Committees (oral)
    2. Standing Committees – Libraries/IT (Prof. J. Albrecht)
    3. Status of the Faculty (Prof. Burke)
    4. Student Affairs (Prof. Lawton)
    5. Chair

Social starts at 6:00 p.m.

Committee meetings:

  • Community College Caucus will meet at 5:00 p.m., Room 7113.08 (Philosophy Dept conference room)
  • None of the standing committees will meet this time


Baruch: Present – Bazzoni, Edwards, Harel, Martell, and Weiser. Absent – Ellis, Pence, Wine and Wymbs.  BMCC: Present – Bratsis, Conway, Freas, Gosslau, Salam, and Alternate Danila.  Absent – Brockington, Perdomo and Tsiklauri.  Bronx CC: Present – Edwards, Kossak and Lawton.  Absent – Cahn, Harris and Mais-Jeter.  Brooklyn: Present – Cohen, Ebert, Haggerty, McEntree, Queneau, Wild and Alternate Suarez. Absent – Braine, Florence, Fox, Hainline and Okome.  CCNY: Present – Brass, Crain, Dalglish, Jeruzalmi and Miller. Absent – Kalia, Khanbilvardi, Lascar and Raj. Vacancies – 1 (p/t). CSI: Present – Petratos and Simpson.  Absent – Cason, Feola Lavender, Sanchez and Verzani.  CUNY Law School: Present – Sokkar-Harker. Absent – Kassem. Graduate Center:  Present – Albrecht, Burke, Dauben, Giannikos and Wunder. Absent –Aguirre-Molina and Nolan.  Hostos CC: Present – August, Ostrin, Trachman, Worrell and Alternate Wolf.  Hunter: Present – Hickman. Absent – Kuhn-Osius, Wirtz, and Young.  Vacancies – 8.  John Jay: Present – Crossman, Kaplowitz, Kapstein, Katz and Kimora.  Absent: Domashevskiy, Dunham and Tovar.  Kingsborough CC:  Present – Barnhart, Nanin, Spear and Stubin.  Absent – Hume, Majewicz and Ruoff.  LaGuardia CC: Present – Albrecht, Berke, Fernandez, Kapetanakos, Seo, and Alternate Licari.  Absent – Keyes.  Lehman: Present – Doyran, Duncker, Jervis, Philipp and Alternates Gitterman and O’Boy. Absent – Boston and Tilley.  Vacancies: 1. Medgar Evers: Present – Barker, Belcon, Lashley and Alternate Franz. Absent – Brown.  NYCCT: Present – Gelman, Hounion, Van Loon and Williams.  Absent: Bennani, Cermele and Okumakpeyi.  Queens: Present – Brody, Costigan, McElwaine, Nelson, Sanudo and Zevin.   Absent: Gandhi, Grover and Savage.  Vacancies – 2.  Queensborough CC: Present – Avens, Counihan, Meltzer, Pecorino, Rome, Tai, and Alternate Holden. Absent – Rossi-Miller.  York: Present – Gerena, Grosskopf and Rooney.  Absent: Bowman and Cleary.

Present for Item IIIA was Brian Cohen, Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer. Present for Item IIIB was Matt Sapienza, Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance.

Governance Leaders present included: Burke (GS), Castillo (NYCCT) Jeruzalmi (CCNY), Kaplowitz (JJ), Pecorino (QCC) and Sanudo (Queens),  Executive Director Phipps, Administrative Assistant Pasela, and Secretary Blanchard were also present.  Guests: Frank Riley, Sandi Cooper, Liza Shapiro and Thomas Kubic.

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. Eighty-four of 139 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as proposed.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of May 5, 2015 – The minutes were adopted as proposed.
  3. Invited Guests: Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer Brian Cohen and Vice Chancellor for Budget Matt Sapienza
    1. Chair Martell welcomed VC Cohen, saying the faculty realize that technology affects everything they do and thus have a natural interest staying informed about developments. VC Cohen said he always keeps in view the academic side of technology – what is working well and what is needed.
      1. Microsoft 365 – A deal has recently been concluding giving CUNY students free use of this Office software on up to five devices. At the request of faculty, CUNY is now trying to get Microsoft to extend this boon to faculty members also.
      2. Retiree email – Another recent accomplishment was working with the faculty to find a solution so that despite certain State regulations retired full-time faculty and librarians may retain their exact CUNY email accounts, enabling them to keep up with their professional network and connections throughout retirement. When asked, he said he thought this applied also to adjunct faculty but would confirm that.
      3. Blackboard – CUNY is the largest customer of Blackboard and has succeeded in getting attention and support from the company addressing slowdowns and other problems. Faculty should report problems promptly to their campus CIOs.
      4. Networks – Various University networks are being upgraded to higher speeds.
      5. Virtual labs – This is a platform for students now being installed, allowing them to access computer programs related to their studies from any location, 24/7.
      6. Licensing – VC Cohen invited faculty to tell him what additional software CUNY should license that would improve their research and teaching.
      7. In response to particular problems raised by senators in the Q & A, VC Cohen invited them to email him personally so he could address those concerns.
    2. VC Sapienza — he explained that the Chancellor had wanted him to come and clarify for the UFS the cuts being made in the budget this year (3% on the campuses and 6% for the central office) since there seemed to be many versions circulating as to what happened and some misunderstandings.
      1. He first presented details on how the community colleges and senior colleges were faring under the adopted budget (contained in one document attached to these minutes written by Prof. Conway, the Chair of the Budget Advisory Committee). He then explained that the inevitability of budget cuts became obvious in January when the Governor’s Executive Budget showed that the State would no longer fund CUNY’s mandatory costs. The Chancellor then testified to the same at an Albany hearing in February. The Budget Office then in June sent to colleges their allocations, which spelled out the situation in full. Thus the cuts were not in any way a September surprise, as rumored on some campuses.
      2. In the Q & A, senators shared various reflections about the hardship on students of tuition increases, about whether CUNY could trust Albany if the Compact is renewed for another five years since several provisions had not been honored, etc.
  4. New Business
    1. Faculty IP Rights for Hybrid/Online Courses from Libraries/IT Committee – The Chair, Prof. Albrecht, moved the resolution, which was seconded. He read aloud the resolved clauses:
      1. that the University Faculty Senate asserts that the faculty creating online and hybrid courses will continue to retain full intellectual property and ownership of their pedagogical works; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED;
      2. that the support provided to the faculty by CUNY to create and deliver these courses online does not fall under B1 or B2 of the Intellectual Property Policy and hence do not give CUNY ownership or the right to reuse the course material without the consent of the faculty members, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED;
      3. that the University Faculty Senate recommends that the faculty do not sign away such ownership rights.
      4. Chair Albrecht explained that the Committee had become aware that on some campuses faculty are receiving support to develop online/hybrid courses, after which they are told that by accepting that support they had waived their intellectual property rights to their creations. The Committee’s view is that there is no equivalency between receiving some support and forfeiting IT rights. The resolution was then unanimously adopted by voice vote. Chair Martell said he would personally bring the resolution to Chancellor Milliken’s attention.
  5.  Reports
    1. Chair – The Chair welcomed new senators and several came to the microphone and introduced themselves.
      1. Chair Martell strongly emphasized that his top goal for the year was for the UFS to exert all the effort it can, as individuals, committee members, and leaders at the campuses, to improve relations between the UFS and University Student Senate so the two bodies can work together on common interests. He introduced three main players in this process, UFS Student Affairs Committee Chair LaRoi Lawton, and UFS representatives to the Board of Trustees Student Affairs Committee Profs. Emily Tai and Hugo Fernandez (also Executive Committee liaison to the UFS Student Affairs Committee).
      2. Chair Martell pointed out that copies were available of a list of all USS members by campus along with their emails. He urged everyone to reach out and dialogue with USS members on the campuses. Someone on that list, he said, would be the next USS Chair one year from now.
      3. As to CUNY’s development of a strategic framework for CUNY in the 21st Century, Chair Martell noted that a website soliciting input from faculty and others had been created by the Chancellor’s office.  All were urged to go there and write their views on what CUNY should be like ten years from now.
      4. As to experiential learning, the task force (including Chair Martell) planned to issue a preliminary report in November to allow time for provisions to be included in the CUNY budget, if need be, with a final report in June to be approved by the Board of Trustees.  The current effort is to take an inventory at each campus of what types of activities are currently already available to student that might qualify as experiential learning.  Chair Martell noted that the UFS could take some pride in influencing amendments to the original directive from Governor Cuomo, which went from being a mandate that colleges require experiential learning in the form of a course, to a lesser demand that colleges make such opportunities widely available to students.
      5. In response to a question about the Pathways Review Committee, Chair Martell deferred to UFS representatives Profs. Barnhart and Conway, who said it was still too early to get deep information about the effects of Pathways on retention and graduation rates, and so on.  It did appear that as yet there are no signs in the data so far that the worst fears of some faculty are emerging, such as that Pathways would decimate the number of humanities or language courses.
      6. Chair Martell mentioned that the new University Provost Vita Rabinowitz would be a guest at the next plenary, when members would have the chance to ask questions in that vein
    2. Representatives to Board of Trustees Committees – A few brief reports were given.
    3. Standing Committees
      1. Libraries/IT (Prof. J. Albrecht)
      2. Status of the Faculty (Prof. Burke)
      3. Student Affairs (Prof. Lawton) – This item was inadvertently omitted.

A moment of silence was observed in memory of the long-serving senator Prof. Timothy Corkery of York College, who died on August 15. A motion expressing appreciation for his service was unanimously approved.

As to the COACHE survey, the UFS would be monitoring at each campus to ensure that the results are circulated to faculty in a meaningful way. The method is left to each provost, but the Central Office has been encouraging them to do so.

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

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps