Thursday, October 23, 2014

PSC Address to Stated Meeting of the Faculty October 2014

Address to the Stated Meeting of the Faculty
October 23, 2014

Alex S. Vitale
Brooklyn College Chapter

We remain concerned about developments in the School of Business. In their drive to accreditation, the administration seems to have adopted an approach that consistently attempts to go around faculty. Unelected Department Chairs are being brought in, departments are being reconfigured with little or no faculty input, faculty are being told what and how to teach and what journals and conferences are acceptable, and the school appears to be increasingly walling itself off from the rest of the college. The administration seems to be pursuing a very narrow vision of how accreditation can be achieved that distances the school from the rest of the college, rather than embracing a broader liberal arts approach that would build on the college’s many strengths in this area in a way that would enhance the overall education our business students receive. We will be meeting with Business School faculty over the coming weeks to get a clearer picture of the situation and will continue to update you on the blog and at the Spring Stated Meeting.

Once again the faculty has rejected a call from the administration to embrace Pathways. At the October meeting of Faculty Council a motion to authorize participation in CUNY wide Pathways course review committees was defeated by a huge margin. It is clear that the faculty at BC and throughout CUNY continue to view Pathways as a failed policy. Here at BC the faculty is working hard on our own vision of General Education, which may or may not comport with Pathways. At our last meeting, this body voted almost unanimously to support that faculty driven effort and called on the President and Chancellor to support us. That support has not been forthcoming. Instead the administration continues to try to pressure faculty to accept a curriculum that we believe to be flawed --, one that is a disservice to students and a blatant attack on the central role of the faculty in developing curriculum. We expect the President to work vigorously with the new Chancellor to make sure that he and the Board of Trustees accept our General Education proposal, which we hope to see completed this spring.

As you know, contract bargaining is well underway. CUNY and the PSC continue to bargain over a variety of non-economic issues but are stymied by the lack of a reasonable financial offer from the City and the State. It is imperative that the Governor and the Mayor put real resources on the table. After 4 years without a raise, CUNY is losing out on hiring faculty and staff because of our uncompetitive salaries. One of our greatest concerns is that Gov. Cuomo may authorize some minimal salary increases and then force CUNY to pay for those increases out of existing diminished resources. This would be yet another attack on CUNY and its core mission of educating our students and a clear attempt to divide the faculty, students, staff, and administration. We call on the Governor to add new resources to CUNY, not take them away. We expect the President to convey this to the Chancellor and Board but we also need to communicate directly with the Governor and Mayor. So, today we will begin distributing postcards to be sent to them, demanding a real non-concessionary financial offer so that bargaining can be completed.  Please fill them out and return them to us so that we can keep track of the total number and deliver them as a group at time that is strategically beneficial.

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