Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Brooklyn College Faculty Council Rebukes Provost and Chancellor in Three Pathways Resolutions

As implementation of Pathways moves forward it is becoming increasingly clear how it is degrading educational standards. By strictly limiting the number of hours per course and the total number of courses required for General Education, colleges are being forced to make untenable choices about what to keep and what to sacrifice. What’s worse is that in some cases the local administrations are making these choices themselves, despite the clear directives of faculty governance.

At Brooklyn College, the Provost has eliminated general education requirements related to foreign languages, speech, and ESL. He made these decisions in the context of a Pathways framework that required that the college eliminate some of its existing requirements in order to comply with the Chancellor and Board’s grand plan.

Faculty have been aware of these potential trade-offs inherent in the Pathways system for some time. That’s why the Faculty Council has been so adamant in resisting it for over a year now. In addition, they gave the Provost specific guidance about how to move forward if he implemented Pathways over faculty objection. He ignored these directives.

In response two resolutions were passed yesterday by huge margins. The first resolves:

BE IT RESOLVED, for the record, that the faculty is strongly opposed to the elimination by Pathways of the language requirement from the General Education curriculum of the College.

The second dealing with speech ends:

BE IT RESOLVED that the faculty of Brooklyn College joins the faculty of the Department of Speech Communication Arts and Sciences in vigorously and vocally opposing Pathways’ elimination of the Speech Screening requirement from the General Education curriculum of Brooklyn College.

The third resolution mirrors ones passed by UFS and Baruch. It calls for the elimination of unelected bodies hand-picked by the Chancellor to oversee the Pathways curriculum process. These committees operate entirely outside of governance and are not accountable in any way to the faculty.


May 7, 2013

Resolution Objecting to the Extension of Pathways Common Core Course Review Committees

Whereas, the CUNY Bylaws give the University Faculty Senate and college senates jurisdiction over curriculum, and

Whereas, the central Pathways committees have wrongly usurped the role of these legitimate senates, and

Whereas, although these committees had expired, the Office of Academic Affairs is now extending the life of these committees until the end of June 2013, and

Whereas, if the pattern holds OAA is likely to make these committees permanent, and

Whereas the University Faculty Senate passed a resolution that objects to OAA’s further extension of these extra-governance curriculum committees and calls for a permanent end to them.

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Faculty Council of Brooklyn College endorses the resolution as passed by the University Faculty Senate.

It is essential that faculty governance bodies directly challenge the implementation of Pathways and that the faculty support the No Confidence vote. By documenting the failings of Pathways and the depth of faculty opposition, we set the groundwork for both rolling back Pathways under a new Chancellor and fending off additional policies that deprofessionalize the faculty and degrade CUNY's educational standards.

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