Executive Committee of the CUNY University Faculty Senate 2017-18



KATHERINE M. CONWAY is the Chair of the University Faculty Senate (UFS) and an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. She was elected in 2016 to a two-year term by the UFS. A Professor of Business at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), she is currently a co-Principal Investigator on a multi-year National Science Foundation grant on online education. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on online education, and issues of accessibility and success of community college, minority, non-traditional and STEM students. Prior to joining CUNY in 1996, Dr. Conway worked in finance for more than a dozen years, leading credit teams in both commercial and private banking. She currently also serves on the Board of Trustees’ Standing Committee on Audit, the Committee on Fiscal Affairs and its Subcommittee on Investment.

Dr. Conway received her B.S. in Marketing, her M.B.A. in Finance, and her Ph.D. in Administration, Leadership and Technology – all from New York University.

Vice Chair


KATHLEEN BARKER is a Professor of Psychology at Medgar Evers College and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the University Faculty Senate (UFS). Prior to her employment at CUNY, Dr. Barker was the Director of Gender Studies at Bard College; directed Via Pace, a social action consortium; was elected Senior College Representative to the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) for 2 terms (six years); a PSC Grievance Counselor for too many years; and served since 2001 as a Senator in the UFS. In 2009, she conducted the Faculty Experience Survey, a study of faculty experiences among both full- and part-time faculty. The study, a technical report and 4 appendices, is available on this website and the results can be compared with subsequent COACHE surveys  (also on this website) for a longitudinal view. Dr. Barker was a member of the Status of the Faculty Committee since 2001, and chaired the committee before being elected to the Executive Committee of the UFS in 2012.

Dr. Barker received her Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology from The Graduate Center, CUNY, and has authored/co-authored 46 publications and 52 presentations. She has conducted multidisciplinary research in the areas of nonstandard work, higher education and social justice, as well as on methodological issues. Dr. Barker’s reputation in labor studies was established by her forward-looking examination of contingent work in the United States: Contingent Work: American Employment Relations in Transition (ILR/Cornell University Press). The text was selected by Princeton University’s Firestone Library as its year’s noteworthy book in industrial relations and labor economics.

Executive Committee Members

Michael Barnhart

MICHAEL BARNHART is currently chair of and full professor in the History, Philosophy, and Political Science Department of Kingsborough Community College, where he teaches philosophy. A full-time CUNY faculty member since 1992, Dr. Barnhart has been a part of the UFS since 1997 and has in previous years chaired the Academic Policy Committee and the Student Affairs Committee. He has been the UFS representative to CUNY’s Enrollment Management Council since fall 2006, and was also active with the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), serving as Kingsborough’s campus grievance counselor for over ten years.

Dr. Barnhart received his Ph.D. from Temple University and has published widely on issues in ethics, bioethics, comparative philosophy, political theory, and metaphysics.


MARTIN J. BURKE is Associate Professor of History at Lehman College and serves on the doctoral faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center. After several years as a Senator representing the Graduate Center he was elected member-at-large of the University Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee, on which he has served two terms. He is also the Chair of the UFS Academic Affairs Committee and participates in the Council of Faculty Governance Leaders (FGLs). Dr. Burke was recently appointed Representative on the CUNY Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Policy, Programs and Research (CAPPR).

Dr. Burke received his A.B. in History from the City College of New York (CUNY) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan.


HUGO FERNANDEZ is a Cuban-American photographer from Miami, Florida. He is currently an Associate Professor of Fine Art and Photography programs of the LaGCC Humanities Department, where he has taught since 1994. His photography is predominantly made in a documentary style, in color, which includes stills, large scale panoramas, and scans of archival images juxtaposed with anecdotal text which deals with his family’s Cuban history and exile experience. He has been in the University Faculty Senate (UFS) for LaGCC for three years and he begins his third one-year tenure as a member-at-large of the Executive Committee (EC) in May of 2017. He has been a member of the UFS Libraries and Technology Committee, as well as the Student Affairs Committee. He is currently the EC Liaison to the Student Affairs Committee, as well as an alternate UFS representative to the CUNY Board of Trustees Committees on Student Affairs and Special Programs, and the Facilities Committee, and an observer on the City University Construction Fund.

Prof. Fernandez did his undergraduate work at Miami Dade Community College and Florida International University, and received an MFA from the Yale School of Art in Fine Art Photography.


KAREN M. KAPLOWITZ is a member of the English Department of John Jay College and the immediate past president of John Jay’s Faculty Senate, a position she held from 1988 to last May. She is currently a member of the John Jay Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee and an member-at-large of the University Faculty Senate (UFS). In this capacity she was the faculty member on the CUNY Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Policy, Programs and Research (CAPPR); previously she served as the faculty member on the CUNY Board of Trustees committees on fiscal affairs; on facilities; and on faculty, staff, and administration. Dr. Kaplowitz has served on search committees for various CUNY vice chancellors, including the vice chancellor for academic affairs, the vice chancellor for faculty and staff relations, and the vice chancellor for fiscal affairs as well as for the CUNY director of the budget.

As a longtime advocate for people with disabilities, Dr. Kaplowitz has served on City and State commissions on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Dr. Kaplowitz received her B.A. in literature from Queens College/CUNY, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received both an M.A. and Ph.D. in literature from New York University.


JAMES McELWAINE has been a University Faculty Senator since 2013. He previously chaired the CUNY-UFS Student Affairs Committee, and serves now as a member-at-large on the CUNY-UFS Executive Committee.

He teaches digital audio production, songwriting, lyric writing, melody writing, college writing, and music appreciation at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College – CUNY and at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Prior to CUNY, he was a professor of music for 38 years at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College–SUNY in Westchester County. Shortly before being named a SUNY professor of music emeritus, he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Lifetime Award for Excellence.

As a college educator, Prof. McElwaine is regarded as an innovator and pioneer in popular music studies, specifically for his curricular developments in the incorporation of popular music and media arts into conventional music, arts, and history curricula in public higher education, developing eight new curricula in these professional studies over the last 40 years.

Since 1970, he has composed, performed, conducted and produced popular music, (and some unpopular music too) on stages and in recording studios throughout the world.

He has received the Critic’s Outer Circle Award for best orchestrations for Goblin Market (1985) as well as acclaim for his musical work for two Broadway shows, Starmites (1989) and The Slow Drag (1996). Formerly, he was a biographer for Scribner’s Encyclopedia of American Lives.


PHILIP PECORINO has been an instructor in Philosophy at Queensborough Community College (QCC) for 40 years and is currently Chair of the Faculty, PSC-QCC Chapter Vice Chair, and its Grievance Counsellor. He has actively served on many committees in the UFS, including: Intellectual Property Committee, Steering Committee for Online Resources and Education, the  Task Force on Computer Use and Privacy, CUNY Committee on Academic Technology, and the FS Committee on Educational Technology. He is also Faculty representative on BOT Committees on Student Affairs and on Faculty, Staff, and Administration and alternate on CAPPR. He is also a frequent contributor to the UFS blog and organized the UFS Spring 2017 conference with Dr. Karen Kaplowitz. Dr. Pecorino is an ardent defender of academic freedom and frequently advocates on behalf of faculty on such matters as CUNY Use of a Standardized Test of Basic Skills (CLA), The CUNY Performance Management Process (PMP) and its relation to local Mission and Governance, and the new MSCHE accreditation standards.

Dr. Pecorino attended Fordham University, where he received both an M. A. and a Ph. D. in Philosophy. He has also attended New York University for post graduate work in Educational Psychology. Professor Pecorino has published several articles in philosophical publications, humanities publications and elsewhere. He has held offices in such local and national organizations as the Long Island Philosophical Society, the Community College Humanities Association, the American Philosophical Association, the Committee on Two-Year College Philosophy, and the American Association of Philosophy Teachers.

Emily Tai

EMILY S. TAI is an associate professor of History at Queensborough Community College (QCC), where she’s served in several governance roles, as a member of QCC’s Academic Senate Steering Committee, Curriculum Committee, and chair of the recently established Committee on Food Insecurity. At the UFS, where she’s represented QCC since 2006, Dr. Tai has served on the Budget Advisory Committee (since 2006); the UFS Executive Committee (since 2010), and served as secretary (2010-2012) and then Chair of the Committee on Higher Education in the Prisons (2012-present). Professor Tai began as editor of the paper UFS publication (established in 1968), The Senate Digest; beginning in 2012, she worked with former UFS Executive Committee Jay Weiser to turn The Senate Digest into the current UFS Blog online. For the last two years, with fellow UFS-Executive Committee member Hugo Fernandez, Professor Tai has also served as UFS Representative on the Board of Trustees Committee on Student Affairs.

Dr. Tai received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and researches the Medieval Mediterranean, with a special focus on the history of piracy. At QCC she teaches the History of Western Europe, and courses on Women’s History and the History of Religion.