Student, Faculty and Staff Join Forces to Demand Investment in Public Higher Education
Hundreds of students, faculty and college staff traveled to Albany on February 26 from every corner of the state to demand a better state budget for CUNY and SUNY and a long-term strategy for investing in public higher education. The annual Student/Faculty/Staff Higher Education Action Day was cosponsored by the PSC, our sister union at SUNY, United University Professions, NYSUT, and two student organizations, the statewide student advocacy group, NYPIRG, and the CUNY-wide student government, CUNY USS. More than 120 meetings with legislators and their staff took place during the event. Click here for photos of the event and the joint student/faculty/staff platform.
PSC members are in Albany again today making the case for CUNY at the NYSUT Committee of 100 advocacy day. Click here for the union’s advocacy materials.
Faculty to NYC Council: Pathways is Bad for Students
On February 25, the City Council’s higher education committee held its first hearing on CUNY’s controversial Pathways curriculum. Faculty members warned that the narrower, administration-imposed curriculum is damaging the quality of students’ education. Click here for PSC coverage of the hearing, photos and testimony from a number of CUNY faculty. Archived video of the hearing is posted here on the City Council website.
Legal Decisions on Pathways
On February 21, State Supreme Court Judge Anil Singh ruled to dismiss a lawsuit contesting the original Pathways resolution passed by the Board of Trustees in 2011. The lawsuit was filed by leaders of the Professional Staff Congress and the University Faculty Senate. A lawsuit filed by the union against CUNY charging that the University violated the state’s Open Meetings Law in the implementation of Pathways was also dismissed last week by Judge Singh.
A statement by Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, and Terrence Martell, chair of the University Faculty Senate, plaintiffs in the lawsuit contesting the Pathways resolution, said:
“…We are disappointed in the decision, but we are fully prepared to appeal. We maintain that the initial Pathways resolution was passed in violation of the law and feel confident that our position will eventually be upheld. Nothing in the legal decision changes the terrible impact Pathways is having on our students or the importance of our collective fight for a curriculum that offers a meaningful college education…” Read the full statement here.
“Calling on Albany” Radio Ad
PSC’s statewide affiliate, NYSUT, has launched a radio ad campaign supporting the “Keep New York A State of Mind” campaign. Listen to it here. The campaign calls for increased state funding for CUNY and SUNY, along with additional state investment to strengthen and expand financial aid and opportunity programs. It also includes an innovative demand for the creation of an endowment to fund new full-time faculty and professional staff lines at CUNY and SUNY. The legislative platform is called the “Public Higher Education Quality Initiative.”
The ad says, in part: “New York State is at a crossroads. SUNY and CUNY’s budgets have been slashed by nearly $2 billion, driving up tuition and putting quality, affordable public education at risk for all New Yorkers. That’s why teachers, professors and other education professionals are taking action.” You can take action by signing up to join the PSC’s advocacy effort via this web form. You can also send an efax supporting the Initiative to your legislators via the NYSUT Member Action Center and “like” the campaign’s Facebook page.
Labor Goes to the Movies presents Hanna Arendt—March 14
The PSC’s film series continues with a screening of Hannah Arendt (Germany, 2012) next Friday, March 14, 6 PM, PSC Union Hall, 16th floor, 61 Broadway. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta and starring Barbara Sukowa, the film is about the German Jewish philosopher’s work. It focuses on Arendt’s witnessing and writing about the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann and the furor surrounding her book about the trial—famously subtitled “The Banality of Evil.” Doors open at 6 PM. A discussion will follow the film. Light refreshments provided.