Friday, March 15, 2013

Brooklyn College Faculty Council Censures Administration over Pathways Implementation

On March 12 the Brooklyn College Faculty Council voted overwhelming to “condemn the College administration’s grievous action of making curriculum changes not approved by the College’s faculty.” The text of the resolution is below.
 Over the last year the faculty at Brooklyn College, and throughout CUNY, have emphatically demonstrated their opposition to Pathways. The PSC website has links to the various resolutions, petitions, and letters of opposition: Many campuses refused totally or partially to implement Pathways, and even those that passed Pathways courses and implementation plans often did so only under extreme pressure from local administrators. The vast majority of CUNY faculty remain outraged at CUNY Central’s grab for control over curriculum.
Here at Brooklyn College, our Faculty Council has twice passed resolutions that condemn Pathways and refuses to implement it.  A straw poll at the fall Stated Meeting of the Faculty showed almost unanimous opposition to Pathways.
Despite this opposition, the local administration, responding to pressure from CUNY Central, moved to implement Pathways anyway. The Provost pressured department chairs and gave out thousands of dollars to get faculty to write new Pathways-compliant courses. These courses and others have been submitted to CUNY Central without Faculty Council and in some cases even departmental approval. At the December Faculty Council meeting the Provost also indicated that he would be changing the language in the College Bulletin, despite the explicit condemnation of this action at that very meeting.  All of these actions were taken despite CUNY governance plans that require faculty approval for such endeavors.
These actions fundamentally undermine the role of the faculty in developing curriculum. The wishes of departments, Faculty Council, and the faculty at large have been ignored.
On our new blog,, we will be relating Pathways to larger issues and trends both within CUNY and nationwide. In the next post, we will discuss the role of the Board of Trustees in pushing Pathways, and how Pathways fits into a broader project of sacrificing standards in the name of efficiency and cost-cutting.



March 12, 2013 

Special Resolution on Faculty Governance  
Committees on Course & Standing, Undergraduate Curriculum & Degree  
Requirements, Graduate Admissions & Standards, Graduate Curriculum, and  
Whereas, according to the Governance Plan of Brooklyn College (Article II), the  
faculty “shall be responsible for the formulation of policy relating to the  
admission and retention of students, including health and scholarship standards;  
student attendance, including leaves of absence; curriculum; awarding of college  
credit; granting of degrees”; and   

Whereas, Faculty Council is “the legislative body of the Faculty and shall have all  
the responsibilities of a faculty”;  and   

Whereas, Faculty Council, at its meeting of April 3, 2012, voted not to “implement  
a [CUNY] Pathways curriculum under the current guidelines,” and again, at its  
meeting of May 8, 2012, reaffirmed that stand, and since that time has not  
approved any Pathwaysrelated curricular changes; and    

Whereas, Provost William Tramontano, at the Faculty Council meeting of  
December 11, 2012, announced that, at the direction of EVC Logue, he had  
submitted 19 courses not approved by Faculty Council for Brooklyn College’s 
participation in Pathways, and at the Faculty Council meeting of February 19,  
2013, confirmed that “much behind the scenes work on Pathways” had occurred  
since then,  

Be it therefore resolved that the Faculty Council of Brooklyn College takes  
exception to this breach of the College’s governance plan and condemns the  
College administration’s grievous action of making curricular changes without the  
approval of Faculty Council. 

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