May 31, 2018 | Academic Affairs

By Philip Pecorino email envelop with bullhorn

The Academic Senate at BMCC on May 23, 2018 unanimously adopted a resolution calling for their college “to acknowledge the rights and privileges for faculty with regard to their direct access to email distribution lists.”  The resolution specifies direct access for:

  1. The elected Faculty Governance Leaders should have direct email access to their electorate- to those they represent
  2. All faculty should have direct access to an “all faculty list” that permits members to opt out.
  3. All college employees should have direct access to an “all college list” that permits members to opt out.
  4. All faculty should have direct access to department email lists (full text is below)

BMCC’s Academic Senate is the first CUNY campus to consider the proposal that was circulated to the Council of Faculty Governance Leaders (FGLs) on April 2, 2018 asking each unit in CUNY pass a resolution to give faculty leaders access to their constituents via college email distribution lists.  Further the proposal also called for facilitating faculty contacting groups of colleagues; The rationale stated “Faculty need to communicate directly with other faculty in many ways that relate to their teaching and to their scholarly and creative work and to their service to the college and university”.

The UFS and FGLs will be following up with what develops on campuses. Please be in touch with updates, questions, and comments.

Resolution on Faculty Email Access for adoption by
The Governing Bodies of the City University of New York

The University Faculty Senate Executive Committee presents to the Faculty Governance Leaders of the City University of New York this proposed resolution for the adoption by the governing bodies in CUNY. Each CUNY Governing Body is urged to pass this resolution on their campus:

RESOLUTION:
Whereas; the AAUP statement, Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications,  recommends that,

Policies and practices regarding information technology should be within the purview of a representative faculty committee. Any new policy or major revision of an existing policy should be subject to approval by a broader faculty body such as a faculty senate.

Whereas; the AAUP report concludes with a declaration that “electronic communications are too important for the maintenance and protection of academic freedom to be left entirely to” institutional technology offices. “Faculty members must participate, preferably through representative institutions of shared governance, in the formulation and implementation of policies governing electronic-communications technologies.”

Whereas, faculty need to communicate with other faculty in many ways that relate to their teaching and to their scholarly and creative work and to their service to the college and university,

Whereas, it is understood that the CUNY Computer Use Policy does not nor was ever intended to prohibit faculty communicating with faculty singly or in groups about university or college matters or academic matters.

Therefore, be it resolved that it shall be the policy of this college to acknowledge the rights and privileges for faculty with regard to their direct access to email distribution lists and to provide for the following:

  1. The elected Faculty Governance Leaders should have direct email access to their electorate–to those they represent
  2. All faculty should have direct access to an “all faculty list” that permits members to opt out.
  3. All college employees should have direct access to an “all college list” that permits members to opt out.
  4. All faculty should have direct access to department email lists

RATIONALE: Faculty need to communicate directly with other faculty in many ways that relate to their teaching and to their scholarly and creative work and to their service to the college and university. Such needs include but are not limited to:

Intradepartmental:

  • To announce meetings of departmental level committees
  • To solicit membership in departmental committees
  • To solicit participants in department events
  • To announce opportunities for departmental colleagues in programs and events and projects and grants
  • To solicit partners in collaborative projects, grants and programs
  • To communicate events of significance in the lives of faculty members in the department

Collegewide and Interdepartmental:

  • To announce meetings of governing body committees
  • To announce events or call for information of governing body committees
  • To announce meetings of College level committees
  • To announce events of interest to more than one department
  • To announce opportunities for colleagues in programs and events and projects and grants of interest to more than one department
  • To solicit membership in committees
  • To solicit participants in department events
  • To announce opportunities for colleagues in programs and events and projects and grants
  • To solicit partners in collaborative projects, grants and programs
  • To communicate events of significance both professional and personal in the lives of faculty members

Philip Pecorino is Professor of Philosophy at Queensborough Community College and serves on the UFS Executive Committee.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.  Please send submissions to Stasia (stay-sha) Pasela, Assistant to the Chair. 

Image: modified, Joe, cc 2.0