The 391st Plenary Session
of The University Faculty Senate
of The City University Of New York
Room 0818, 205 E. 42nd Street
February 2, 2016
6:30 p.m.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Minutes of December 1, 2015
  3. Invited Guests
    1. Chancellor J.B. Milliken, 6:30 p.m.
    2. Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenson
    3. Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance Matthew Sapienza
  4. New Business
    1. Reports
    2. Representatives to Board of Trustees committees (written and/or oral)
    3. Jane Katz on CUNY Athletic Conference (written and attached, with Q & A)
    4. Chair

Community College Caucus meets in room 1179 at 4:00 p.m.

Standing Committee meetings:

Libraries and IT, room 1002 at 4:30 p.m.

Status of the Faculty, room 0962 at 4:30 p.m.

Student Affairs, room 0963 at 4:30 p.m.

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


Baruch: Present – Bazzoni, Ellis, Harel, Martell, Weiser and Wine. Absent – Edwards, Pence and Wymbs.  BMCC: Present – Bratsis, Conway, Freas, Gosslau, Salam, Tsiklauri and Alternate Danila. Absent – Brockington and Perdomo.  Bronx CC: Present – Kossak and Lawton. Absent – Cahn, Edwards, Harris and Mais-Jeter.  Brooklyn: Present – Hainline, McEntee, Queneau, Wild and Alternate Suarez. Absent – Braine, Cohen, Ebert, Florence, Fox, Haggerty, and Okome.  CCNY: Present – Brass, Crain, Jeruzalmi and Miller. Absent – Dalglish, Kalia and Raj. Vacancies – 2 and 1 (p/t).  CSI: Present – Cason, Feola, Lavender, Petratos, Simpson and Verzani.  Absent – 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 Alternate Pimentel.  Absent – Ostrin and Worrell.  Hunter: Present – Hickman. Absent – Kuhn-Osius, Wirtz and Young.  Vacancies – 8.  John Jay: Present – Crossman, Domashevskiy, Dunham, Kaplowitz, Kapstein, Katz and Kimora.  Absent – Tovar.  Kingsborough CC:  Present – Barnhart, Ruoff, Stubin and Alternates Echols and Skirka.  Absent – Hume, Majewicz, Nanin and Spear.  LaGuardia CC: Present – Albrecht, Berke, Fernandez, Kapetanakos and Alternate Sokolski. Absent – Keyes and Seo.  Lehman: Present –Duncker, Jervis, Philipp and Tilley. Absent – Doyran.  Vacancies: 1. Medgar Evers: Present – Barker. Absent – Belcon, Brown and Lashley.  NYCCT: Present – Bennani, Gelman, Hounion, Okumakpeyi and Van Loon.  Absent – Grujicic-Alatriste and Williams.  Queens: Present – Costigan, McElwaine, Nelson, Sanudo, Savage and Zevin. Absent – Brody, Gandhi, Grover and Vesselinov.  Vacancies – 1.  Queensborough CC: Present – Avens, Counihan, Meltzer, Pecorino, Rome, Tai and Alternate Holden. Absent – Rossi-Miller.  York: Present – Rooney.  Absent – Bowman, Cleary, Gerena and Grosskopf. Invited guests present were J.B. Milliken, Chancellor, Vita Rabinowitz, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Vice Chancellors Hershenson and Sapienza.

Governance Leaders present included: Burke (GC), Jeruzalmi (CCNY), Kaplowitz (JJ), Pecorino (QCC), Sanudo (Queens) and Verzani (CSI).  Guests present: Lizette Colon (Hostos CC) Sandi Cooper (CSI), Nivedita Majumdar (John Jay), Sharon Persinger (Bronx CC), Liza Shapiro (GC) Stefan Baumrin (GC) and Michael Arena (CUNY Central)).  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 Eighth Floor, Room 0818, 205 E. 42nd Street. Eighty of 139 voting members were present.

  1. Approval of the Agenda – The agenda was adopted as proposed.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of December 1, 2015
    1. The Chancellor amended one sentence as follows:  “[The Board of Trustees] sought to give the Board authority to increase tuition in the senior colleges if necessary by at most 5% $300…” The minutes were then approved as amended.
  3. Invited Guests
    1. Chancellor J.B. Milliken – The Chancellor announced that he was renewing the Community College Faculty Research Fellowship Program, because it turned out to be a great investment last year.  Twenty community college faculty will get release time from teaching to do more research.

Though not scheduled to appear, he said he had invited himself to this meeting in order to update the UFS about several recent developments. The two vice chancellors presiding over the budget and over government relations, Matt Sapienza and Jay Hershenson, respectively, were also present, he said, to give more details.

As to the Governor’s Executive Budget, released on January 13 after the last Plenary, it contains some good provisions like predictable tuition increases for the senior colleges that would go towards improving CUNY’s core academic mission.  But there were problematic provisions, too, notably a shift of $485 million of existing State support of CUNY to the City.  If the City agrees to increase its support of CUNY by that amount, the Governor then promises to kick in from State funds about half that amount to CUNY to cover its collective bargaining needs, but one will not happen without the other.

The Governor has spoken of the need for CUNY to find efficiencies, such as shared services and consolidation of back offices, to cover any budget gaps in CUNY’s future.  However the Chancellor noted that CUNY has naturally developed just this strategy over the years, made possible by the system’s location in a single city.  Thus admissions, IT, and facilities planning are all done centrally.  But all avenues to find efficiencies will be pursued.

He emphasized that in the context of CUNY’s budget everyone needs to remind themselves constantly of the special mission given to CUNY in the 1961 State education law founding the system.  The law recognizes CUNY as an equal access vehicle for upward mobility on the part of the urban disadvantaged, as an independent and integrated system, and as a public investment.  CUNY is doing and has done an excellent job of accomplishing its mission, he said.

Speaking of collective bargaining, he also mentioned that on January 26 the CUNY Board of Trustees and central administration, citing a significant amount of time and bargaining sessions, had petitioned PERB for impartial mediation.  Though not binding, it is hoped that this third party would help advance that bargaining.

Recently the Chancellor had received a letter from the State Director of Operations for the Governor’s Office, Jim Malatras, criticizing both SUNY and CUNY for too high salaries among administrators.  The highest 50 in the State were from SUNY (47) and CUNY (3), but he noted this is typical in all states and most of the employees in this group are medical professionals.  He noted that the picture might be quite different if instead of self-reported and possibly inaccurate IPEDS data, the analysis had been based on audited financials.

In response to a question about diversity on the faculty of the Graduate School, the Chancellor noted that CUNY has a new Dean for Recruitment and Diversity, and Provost Rabinowitz added that the situation varies greatly from campus to campus but that all campuses have serious action plans for diversifying.

In response to a question from the Chair of the UFS Budget Advisory Committee seeking greater budget transparency, Prof. Conway, the Chancellor agreed to provide consolidated financial statements for CUNY.

  1. Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance Matthew Sapienza and Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenson – VC Sapienza updated the body in detail about where the State and City budgets stood at the moment and later took questions.


Senior VC Hershenson provided handouts with information faculty can use to contact their legislative representatives effectively. He urged everyone to visit their representatives or their staffs in their district offices, to phone, or to use to send multiple emails stating CUNY’s budget needs. A chart of these needs, called the Gold Sheet, was handed out. He also ran a film clip showing how all the campuses now have customized brochures illustrating their version of the CUNY Value.


  1. New Business – There was none.
  2. Reports
  3. Representatives to Board of Trustees committees – Prof. Barker, faculty representative on the Board Committee on Faculty, Staff, and Administration, provided a written summary of that Committee’s last meeting.
  4. Jane Katz on CUNY Athletic Conference – Prof. Katz, the UFS representative to the CUNY Athletic Conference, spoke about how team sports gave a sense of belonging to students, including now female students which in her college days was not the case.
  5. Chair – Prof. Martell recognized that former UFS chair Manfred Philipp is retiring now and praised him for his long service and leadership that was patient, thorough, and efficient.  Prof. Philipp then thanked the body for their support and friendship over the years.

Professor Kimora, in response to a question she had from a previous plenary, had received clarification from VC Brian Cohen as to why most colleges cannot list Winter courses along with Spring courses:  on a technicality, it would cost many students their Pell Grants.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William Phipps