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In defense of shared governance
Last Thursday, the PSC Delegate Assembly passed a resolution urging the CUNY Board of Trustees to reject the proposed “Resolution on Creating an Efficient Transfer System,” a measure that would threaten academic quality at CUNY by overhauling the university’s general education requirements without adequate faculty input. The DA resolution charges that that proposed transfer/general education policy “violates both the spirit and letter of [the CUNY] Bylaws…and the principle of shared governance.” The DA resolution also calls on the Chancellor to work with the University Faculty Senate to reformulate the transfer/general education policy so that faculty governance rights are adequately protected.
Monday evening, the CUNY Board of Trustees held a public hearing at Hostos Community College to hear testimony on the proposed transfer/general education policy and other topics. PSC Treasurer Mike Fabricant testified.
“For faculty, the issue is both a matter of principle and pragmatic difficulties of implementation,” said Fabricant in his testimony. “Faculty prerogative regarding curricula reform has been usurped by management and equally important issues regarding implementation, which have plagued other initiatives such as CUNY First, are being ignored.”
Sandi Cooper, chair of the University Faculty Senate, also spoke. In her post-hearing email to the UFS, Cooper reported that many of the faculty who testified at the hearing agreed that a transfer problem existed. According to Cooper, the crux of the faculty argument was that transfer and general education were two separate categories, and that a common core of general education requirements could be created without diminishing academic standards. Resources for better advisement and improved information technology were what faculty saw as crucial to smooth transfer.
Video and a audio podcast of the hearing should be posted on the CUNY website soon. (As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, it had not yet been posted.)
Keep up the fight against the Mayor’s budget cuts
- The City budget will be finalized in the next 10 days or so and community colleges, Vallone scholarships, the Murphy Institute and other vital CUNY programs are on the chopping block. The Council has restored proposed cuts to CUNY in the past, but only after hearing from thousands of constituents. PSC members have already sent more than 8,600 Act Now letters to the Council, but we’re not finished yet. Add your letter to the pile today—before it’s too late!
- Read and share an analysis from Gotham Gazette written by James Parrott of the Fiscal Policy Institute. In it, Parrott explains how city and state budget cuts have contributed to the stagnant economy. He also makes the case for the kind of progressive taxation that the PSC supports.
- Our brothers and sisters at CWA Local 1180 have an Act Now letter of their own on their website: nycisnot4sale.com. They have other resources too. Take a look at the powerful videos they have posted and use their myth vs. fact sheets to convince your friends and colleagues to take action.
- Activists from the Beyond May 12 coalition have been sleeping outside City Hall since June 14 to protest the Mayor’s budget. Members of the PSC Delegate Assembly visited the residents of “Bloombergville” to show our support after the last DA meeting. Please consider doing the same. If you oppose cuts to CUNY, elimination of social safety net programs and layoffs of thousands of teachers and firefighters, you’re welcome to stop by—for an hour, an evening or as long as it takes. Videos, media coverage, and a schedule of protest activities are available at the Bloombergville Now blog.
Musical comedy with a message
PSC members are eligible for a $10 discount on tickets for the musical review Pins and Needles, performed by members of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), a Brooklyn-based multiracial organization made up of almost exclusively women of color. Pins and Needles is 1937 rabble-rousing musical comedy written and performed on Broadway by members of the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. The women of FUREE have added a modern, Brooklyn twist that draws connections between the struggles of the past and the present fight for racial, gender and economic justice.
A nine-performance run of the show will run from June 22 – July 9 on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. at the Irondale Theater Center, 85 South Oxford Street in Brooklyn. Tickets are $15 for PSC members (regular, $25). Reserve your tickets online. Use the code “PSC” to receive your discount.