October 18, 2010
National Union Urges Changes in New Community College
While commending the CUNY faculty and staff who have worked to enrich the proposal for a new community college at CUNY, the American Federation of Teachers last week passed a resolution urging the New York State Department of Education not to approve CUNY's proposal, and the US Department of Education not to adopt the proposal as a model, until certain educational and labor issues are resolved.
Among the issues are: quality of education provided by a limited selection of majors; the need for tenured or tenure-track faculty based at the college; concerns about the ratio of students to full-time faculty; respect for academic governance and academic departments; preservation of open admissions; and concerns that the new college would divert attention from the urgent need for increased funding at CUNY's existing community colleges.
City Council Hearing on CUNY Graduation Rates
On Thursday, October 21, at 10:00 AM, the City Council Committee on Higher Education will hold a hearing on retention and graduation rates at CUNY. Renewed public investment in CUNY is needed to improve both rates significantly – but public discussion on graduation rates has too often taken a narrow and punitive focus. The hearing will take place at 250 Broadway in the 16th Floor Committee Room. If you are interested in testifying, contact Kate Pfordresher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-354-1252.
Make CUNY’s Voice Heard in National Adjunct Survey
CUNY adjuncts are strongly encouraged to take part in national survey of contingent faculty pay, benefits and working conditions, conducted by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW). The survey is online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/VNNNRVS; deadline is November 30.
The strength of the survey’s impact will be determined by how many contingent faculty take part. CUNY adjuncts teach half the classes in the largest urban public university system in the nation, so it is especially important that their experience be included in the survey results. Respondents can opt to be included in a drawing for one of several $50 bookstore gift certificates.
CAW is a coalition of 21 professional and disciplinary organizations, whose members include groups such as the American Anthropological Association, the Modern Language Association, the AFT and the AAUP.
November 2 Elections: You Can Make a Difference
This year’s election will be critical to our ability to defend our jobs and CUNY. Today’s Daily News reports that “New York may offer [the Republican Party] its best chance at picking up seats next month.” A shift in control of the House would be a major setback to CUNY, because the GOP leadership is pledged to kill further federal stimulus funding. Blocking this important source of aid to the states would have a disastrous impact on New York’s budget next year. So the PSC and other unions are working hard for a different outcome; to volunteer, contact Isabel Mercado at email@example.com or 212-354-1252. PSC- and NYSUT-endorsed candidates are listed at www.psc-politicalaction.org.
Oct. 20: Ellen Schrecker Discusses End of the American University
Professor Ellen Schrecker discusses her new book, The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the American University on Wednesday, October 20, at 6:00 pm at the PSC Union Hall, on the 16th floor at 61 Broadway. More information from Steve Leberstein, chair of the PSC Academic Freedom Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 21: PSC Treasurer Takes Budget Questions
PSC Treasurer Mike Fabricant will be available to discuss the PSC’s proposed budget for 2010-2011 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM on Thursday, October 21, in the PSC Union Hall – all members are welcome. The Delegate Assembly votes on the union’s budget later that evening.