We, the undersigned, full-time faculty of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, would like to share our experience and express our sentiment with regards to Pathways and the recent situation arising from the vote taken by our colleagues in the English Department.
The Pathways plan requires that the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures convert its basic elementary courses from 4 hours/4 credits to 3 hours/3 credit courses. After working on a proposal for 3 +1 courses that was unanimously approved by the faculty and presented to the college Curriculum Committee, the Administration communicated to the department that course proposals deviating from a 3/3 format would not meet Pathways requirements. Our department–which already faces a more than probable decrease in enrollment due to Pathways’ reduction of the core number of credits as well as the elimination of the language requirement in some degree programs–cast a second vote on a package of 3/3 courses that was approved by a majority of members and that is now under the consideration and heated debate of the college Curriculum Committee.
We deeply regret and oppose the process by which we and other faculty at CUNY have been pressed to vote against our best professional judgment, backed by years of study and experience, and a thorough understanding of our CUNY students and their needs.
We support and respect the right of the faculty of CUNY to vote in favor or against any curricular matter, freely and without fear of adverse consequences. We reject the formula by which a department is invited “to exercise [its] professional judgment,” as Chancellor Goldstein’s letter of September 19, 2012 states, only to learn, afterwards, that such judgment will not bear any weight in the implementation of Pathways.
We endorse Barbara Bowen’s call for a moratorium on Pathways with the purpose of affording our academic community the opportunity to initiate a more respectful and democratic process of reflection concerning the transfer debate at CUNY.
We strongly recommend that the appropriate channels be implemented so that this moratorium becomes a proposal under consideration at all senate meetings of all CUNY campuses as soon as possible.
Maan (Jenny) Lin
José Luis Madrigal