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Home » Issues » Testimony from Board of Trustees Hearing February 5, 2024

Testimony from Board of Trustees Hearing February 5, 2024

Testimony from Board of Trustees Hearing at John Jay College, February 5, 2024


James Davis, PSC President: Excerpt. (Read James Davis’ full testimony)

Penny Lewis, PSC Secretary: Excerpt. (Read Penny Lewis’ full testimony)

Photo of Andrea Vasquez

Andrea Vásquez, PSC First Vice President: Excerpt. (Read Andrea Vásquez’ full testimony)

Felicia Wharton, PSC Treasurer: Excerpt. (Read Felicia Wharton’s full testimony)

Jillian Abbott, York College: This current administration despises my vison – a New York where every resident can reach their full potential – and is actively working to prevent it by hobbling teachers, condemning them to poverty, and to teaching in classrooms barely fit for human habitation, let along conducive to learning. In this way they ensure that inequality will increase and opportunity for New York’s underserved will evaporate further. (Read Jillian Abbott’s full testimony)

Sarah Chinn, Hunter College: Moreover, adjunct morale improved noticeably [with 3-year appointment]. Rather than feeling like fungible cogs in a machine, adjuncts told me that even this minimal job security relieved anxiety…Our department felt like a more humane place, where the crucial work that adjuncts provide the college was acknowledged. Ending this program is not pedagogically sound or administratively efficient, and –to be honest – it represents a heartless disregard for the faculty who are the backbone of the university.  (Read Sarah Chinn’s full testimony)

Holly Clarke, John Jay College: Just to highlight one of many impacts…As mentioned in earlier testimony, 69 class sections were cancelled less than two weeks before the semester began – and 90 percent of these were in-person classes!  To bring students back to campus, CUNY needs to plant the seeds and let them grow. In-person classes should be offered at a variety of time slots and allowed to run, even if enrollment is low for now. As the Chancellor and Board of Trustees of CUNY, you should be doing everything possible to attract and retain students not undermine enrollment. (Read Holly Clarke’s full testimony)

Karen Weingarten, Queens College: Our chancellor in his response to the open letter acknowledges that one of the reasons for CUNY’s financial issues—including Queens College’s—is because of decades of underfunding by New York state. The state’s funding of CUNY has not kept up with rising energy costs and the small step raises many CUNY employees receive that still don’t meet cost of living increases. Given this, why does this board—you the trustees of CUNY—not ask NY State to fully fund our university? (Read Karen Weingarten’s full testimony)







Published: February 8, 2024

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