December 20, 2017 | University Life

By Matthew J. Cotter

NOTE: In the interest of greater transparency, the UFS Executive Director will publish more detailed notes from the UFS Plenary Sessions, the dates for which can be found here and the Agenda and abbreviated Minutes here.

Executive Director’s Notes
of The 402nd Plenary Session
of the University Faculty Senate
of The City University of New York
Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

  1. Approval of the Agenda – Adopted as Proposed
  2. Approval of the Minutes of October 24th, 2017 – Adopted as Proposed
  3. Invited Guests
    1. Chancellor James B. Milliken – the Chancellor thanked the UFS and the faculty and outlined his admiration for CUNY intrinsic value and accomplishments in light of his decision to step down as Chancellor. He noted approvingly the administrative efficiency he has overseen as well. He acknowledged how CUNY remains an instrumental engine for upward mobility in the United States, and how its faculty are indispensable to this. He then took questions. Prof. Crain expressed his gratitude for the Chancellor’s service. Prof. Jeruzalmi asked about the Research Foundation’s customer service survey, and expressed concerns about transparency in the course of its development. He further asked that CUNY conduct an independent survey, in which the RF would have no role other than an advisory one, and on the grounds that a survey conducted by the RF alone would lack credibility and obviate the need for City College faculty participation in it. The Chancellor responded by agreeing to have CUNY conduct an independent review of the RF. He then elaborated on the recent appointment of a Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and commended the BoT for approving his recommendation. Prof. Kornhauser asked what, if any, implications there were for CUNY in light of the proposed tax bill of the US Congress. The Chancellor indicated that CUNY’s endowment would most likely not be taxed, and thought the proposed taxes on graduate education and how the policy affects state budgets was lamentable. Prof. Wetzel asked about the status of the KBCC presidential search, and the Chancellor indicated it would commence in January.
  4. Reports
    1. Chair – Professor Conway opened by thanking the recent UFS conference organizers for their efforts. She then updated the Senate regarding the previous evening’s Board of Trustees meeting, including: CCNY’s presidential search, the recent appointment of a Vice Chancellor of Advancement, and the various administrative policies adopted.
      1. She described the Senate of an ongoing conversation with the leadership of the School of Professional Studies regarding its proposed governance structure.
      2. She apprised the Senate of the upcoming FGL meeting, the recent Budget Advisory Committee meeting, and the recent SUNY/CUNY UFS meeting.
    2. Committees
      1. Student Affairs – Committee Resolution in Support of USS Resolution 1718-P04 – Professor Kimora read the proposed Student Affairs Committee resolution aloud and opened the floor to debate. After some typographical observations the resolution was adopted unanimously.
  5. New Business
    1. Open Forum – faculty identified several burning issues on their campuses which might have some bearing on the role of the UFS in redressing them:
      1. Pecorino asked for further clarification on the NYS Inspector General Report, which the Chair was not at liberty to discuss at this time.
      2. August asked for clarification on the recent CUNY/SUNY meeting and the structure of SUNY institutions.
      3. Brass expressed his concerns over new faculty searches, namely their availability, how they are conducted, and what, if any, resources were available for them.
      4. Kornhauser lamented the hiring freeze in certain disciplines.
      5. Winred noted the growing dependence on contingent faculty as an unsustainable model, for it precludes the hiring of full-time faculty. Prof. Burke noted that the hiring of full-time lecturers only serves to compound this problem.
      6. Stubin discussed the administrative and fiduciary challenges associated with the prolonged absence of a President at KBCC
      7. Wilson raised matters related to the contract and was referred to his campus’ union representative.
      8. Li inquired into the assessment of online courses and was directed to Prof. Pecorino and the Committee on Academic Technology Committee for further information and guidance.
      9. Kapstein offered to share a draft resolution related to Lecturer steps at John Jay.
      10. Kafka raised the matter of faculty course distribution and was referred to her local union representative.
      11. Cooper asked of the status of the Faculty Advisory Council for the Research Foundation, and Chair Conway updated her on the last several months’ work of the Council, especially with regard to transparency in communication and accountability regarding their practices.
      12. August noted that the Lecturer practices imperil the values of shared governance.
      13. Tai apprised the Senate of the activities of the Committee on Higher Education and the Prisons and encouraged members to browse its page on the new UFS website.