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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (01.27.14): PSC outlines goals for the incoming chancellor

Jan 27, 2014

PSC outlines goals for incoming chancellor, Chancellor James B. Milliken

During the intersession, the CUNY Board of Trustees voted to appoint James B. Milliken, president of the University of Nebraska system, as the next Chancellor of CUNY. (Read CUNY’s announcement.) Barbara Bowen, president of the PSC, released this statement welcoming the new chancellor and pledging to work with him to “address the urgent needs of CUNY faculty, staff and students.” In her statement, President Bowen said the union looks forward to working with the new chancellor to develop an adequate response to the faculty’s denunciation of Pathways, to press for increased public funding for CUNY and to negotiate a new contract. About the contract she said:

“The PSC looks forward to working with the new chancellor to negotiate a contract that provides fair compensation for CUNY’s extraordinary faculty and staff, and helps to create the working conditions we need to teach and serve our students.” Read the full statement.

President Bowen was prominently quoted in the New York Times story and in several other publications.

“Keep New York A State of Mind” Campaign

At the urging of PSC, United University Professions, and SUNY community college union leaders, our statewide affiliate, NYSUT, has launched a sustained campaign demanding an end to chronic underfunding of CUNY and SUNY, and a proactive plan for reinvigorating the state’s public colleges and universities. The legislative campaign, “Keep New York A State of Mind,” includes an innovative demand for the creation of an endowment to fund new full-time faculty and professional staff lines at CUNY and SUNY, as well as for additional student aid and support for opportunity programs. The legislative platform is called the “Public Higher Education Quality Initiative.” A communications effort to support the campaign started last week with a media release and print advertisements. A social media campaign is also in the works.

CUNY Adjuncts in the News

PSC’s work to improve working conditions and job security for CUNY adjuncts has received prominent coverage in the New York Times and In the NY Times, see “Crowded Out of Ivory Tower, Adjuncts See a Life Less Lofty” by author of The Working Life column, Rachel Swarns. On, see “Class divide on campus: adjunct professors fight for better pay, benefits” by Nona Willis Aronowitz.

Organizing for the Future of Higher Education

Over the weekend of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holday, PSC hosted the Sixth National Gathering of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE). CFHE is a national grassroots campaign to support quality higher education; it is comprised of faculty organizations from 21 states, including the PSC and our sister union at SUNY, United University Professions, and the California Faculty Association, representing the Cal State campuses. The theme for the Sixth National Gathering was “Building Effective Campaigns to Defend and Promote Higher Education.” It was a working conference with sessions about campaign-building, case studies of effective campaigns waged by university faculty and staff, and workshops on speaking to the media. Photos from the conference are posted on the PSC website here. Video will be added soon.

Watch Mike Fabricant, treasurer of the PSC, discuss MOOCs, the need for public reinvestment in higher education and other topics on this HuffPost Live segment broadcast just before the CFHE conference. UUP President Fred Kowal was also on the panel.

In Case You Missed the Executive Budget

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal fails to fully fund CUNY’s mandatory cost increases and continues overall flat funding levels for CUNY, SUNY and community colleges. Read an initial statement from NYSUT. The PSC is examining the details of the budget, which would spend a projected budget surplus on tax cuts worth $2 billion while leaving our University woefully underfunded. A coalition of labor unions and progressive groups that includes the PSC and our affiliates, NYSUT and the Working Families Party, is lining up demand a better budget. See coverage of their press conference.

Be Part of the PSC’s State Budget Campaign

As part of NYSUT’s “Keep New York A State of Mind” Campaign and through our own organizing, the PSC will mount an aggressive campaign to urge the legislature to increase investment in CUNY senior colleges and community colleges. You can help make the case for CUNY by signing up to lobby alongside your colleagues and CUNY students at the NYSUT Higher Ed Action DayDay (Feb. Tues., Feb 25 – Wed., Feb. 26) or the Student/Faculty/Staff Higher Education Lobby Day (Wed., Feb. 26). Sign up via this web form if you’re interested.

Transportation, food and hotel costs for the Feb. 25-26 Albany trip is covered by NYSUT. Members can also ride back and forth to Albany in one day with students on the buses for the Feb. 26 Student/Faculty/Staff Higher Ed Action Day. Contact Amanda Magalhaes ([email protected]) if you need further information.

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