Politicians protest top pick
The long road to picking a new president for City College has taken yet another dramatic turn.
CUNY’s Board of Trustees delayed a vote on October 23 for the confirmation of interim President Vincent Boudreau as permanent president, a move that at the time seemed all but assured. A group of 20 political and community leaders from Harlem – including former Governor David Paterson and former Congressman Charles Rangel – said in a letter obtained by The New York Times that they protested Boudreau’s appointment.
“We can collectively attest that he has made no substantial effort to forge nurturing and meaningful bonds with the surrounding community,” the email said, according to the paper. “Based upon this horrendous dearth of civic concern, social intelligence, political ingenuity and lack of community engagement, we cannot support this finalist’s candidacy for the office of president.”
SUPPORT FOR INTERIM PRESIDENT
Boudreau serves as the gap-filler for CCNY at a topsy-turvy time: Lisa Coico resigned in October 2016 as a result of a federal investigation into financial improprieties by the school’s administration. As the PSC chapter previously noted, some faculty had hoped Boudreau, a two-and-a-half-decades-long veteran of CCNY, would become permanent president, but were dismayed to learn last year from the search committee he was not considered for the job.
The college went on to consider Boudreau, but now his candidacy hangs in the balance.
As news broke of the delay in Boudreau’s appointment, City College PSC Chapter Chair Carol Huang said she and other faculty members were still in support of his candidacy for the school’s top job.
“Boudreau’s presidency will be a natural transition,” she told Clarion. “Boudreau was a quick learner during his interim period and has presented plans and directions to cope with the deficit at CCNY. He is able to convince CUNY that CCNY’s fiscal difficulty should be viewed more realistically by separating it from the budget of the medical school and creating a four-year course-offering plan to cope with the tight budget and make sure students will meet their graduation requirements. He has done the groundwork in talking about his plans to many departments and schools.”
RECOGNIZING UNION GAINS
Huang added, “In terms of a labor relationship, Boudreau understands that in a college where 85 percent of its budget goes to pay for faculty and staff salaries, the maintenance of the campus has to come from the state. He acknowledged through our last labor-management meeting that the union is an important advocate for the college.”