By Stasia Pasela
The University Faculty Senate is an elected body representing the CUNY faculty through shared governance on matters of university-wide scope to the Board of Trustees, to the central administration and, on occasion, to college administrations and public authorities. There are both full-time and part-time faculty Senators and Alternates who represent their colleagues in deliberations, and policy formation within the UFS, and to the many committees and governing structures of CUNY. Since the early 1970s, the CUNY faculty have regularly elected Senators who represent part-time faculty.
Once elected all Senators and Alternates serve as equal members in deliberations and on committees. There are no role differentiations between part-time faculty and full-time faculty; governance is a Faculty role and responsibility. Collectively the Senators and Alternates all represent the voice of the CUNY faculty and every Senator votes in formal motions of the UFS.
In May, the UFS elected to its Executive Committee Professor Kimora (John Jay) and Professor James McElwaine (Queens). Both faculty members teach at CUNY part-time and are active members of UFS — Professor Kimora has Chaired the UFS Student Affairs Committee and Professor McElwaine has lead the Student Research Symposia for example.
This semester Professor Kimora and Professor James McElwaine are launching CUNY One Faculty, a blog series on shared governance and part-time faculty. Their inaugural post acquaints us with a new inclusive description – “contingent faculty” – which seems to be nudging out the use of “part-time” faculty in some parts of higher education. Watch for the CUNY One Faculty posts and please share them with your colleagues.
Not sure who your UFS representatives are? The UFS website has a directory of members that is searchable by college. By the way, the next plenary session is Tuesday, October 2nd and the schedule is available on the events page.
Footnote – The UFS is a faculty governance body focused on matters of university-wide academic professional responsibility of the faculty and on shared governance. The UFS does not engage in issues of contract or compensation which are matters of the Professional Staff Congress.