UFS Blog

This CUNY governance forum discusses UFS activities and national higher education 
policy issues. UFS Blog index here.  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @CUNY_UFS and bookmark us on your smartphone at http://tinyurl.com/cunyfacsenblog.

Recent Posts

  • University URLS: The Disruptions of Summer From Emily Tai Yes, it’s been a tough summer, with more scrutiny for CUNY from the New York Inspector General, and disquieting suspension of regulatory measures for For-Profit ...
    Posted Jul 7, 2017, 2:26 PM by Emily Tai
  • Paying for Education: Doing the Math By Emily Tai Graduation may be past, and future freshmen may already be anticipating their first college courses this fall. But it's scholarship season in New York, where Governor ...
    Posted Jun 21, 2017, 6:39 PM by Jay Weiser
  • How Quickly Can You Graduate? By Emily Tai  The strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” bring a close to another academic year -- and bad news on economic diversity, which has been in decline at the nation ...
    Posted Jun 14, 2017, 5:57 PM by Jay Weiser
  • University URLs: Benchmarking CUNY Critical Maintenance and Student Performance From Jay Weiser Wall Street Journal articles compare CUNY with other university systems nationwide.  On the (relatively) bright side, Aging Pipes and Leaky Roofs Plague College Campuses flags CUNY's ...
    Posted Jun 8, 2017, 11:51 PM by Jay Weiser
  • University URLs: The Illiberal Arts -- Campus Freedom of Speech Update From Jay Weiser Days before receiving an honorary degree from the CUNY School of Public Health, Muslim activist Linda Sarsour denounced a student at a public Dartmouth College question and ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2017, 11:04 PM by Jay Weiser
  • CUNY Master Plan Comments: Faculty's Pivotal Role By the Committee on the Status of the Faculty The measures in the CUNY Master Plan of 2016, “The Connected University,” do not properly acknowledge the pivotal role of the ...
    Posted Jun 7, 2017, 11:36 PM by Jay Weiser
  • College or Certificates? Education for Students after Prison By Emily Tai A recent article in The Wall Street Journal quoted Brooklyn College Professor of Economics, Robert Cherry in arguing for the value of vocational certificate programs for incarcerated ...
    Posted Jun 7, 2017, 7:21 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Fighting those Mid-Career Blues By Emily Tai Among the findings of the recent survey conducted across CUNY through the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) was evidence that some faculty see their ...
    Posted May 30, 2017, 11:15 AM by Jay Weiser
  • Defending Academic Freedom at CUNY SPH: University Faculty Senate Statement Press release: CUNY University Faculty Senate in Defense of Academic Freedom May 1, 2017 We, the undersigned members of the Executive Committee of the University Faculty Senate at the City ...
    Posted Jun 3, 2017, 9:54 PM by Jay Weiser
  • UFS Shared Governance Conference Wrapup By Kay Conway Last Friday, April 28, the University Faculty Senate sponsored its Spring Conference, Shared Governance: Structures and Best Practices, at John Jay College.  The audience included faculty, Presidents ...
    Posted May 15, 2017, 1:52 PM by Stasia Pasela
  • Defending their Right to Say It -- at Graduation By Jay Weiser Clouds of pollen are blowing off the trees, which means it must be college commencement disinvitation season. Here in New York, sights are currently trained on Linda ...
    Posted May 14, 2017, 7:01 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Still Time to Register: UFS Conference on Shared Governance By Philip Pecorino and Karen Kaplowitz There’s still time to register for this year’s Spring UFS Conference, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, on Friday, April 28 ...
    Posted May 15, 2017, 1:53 PM by Stasia Pasela
  • University URLs: Evaluating Excelsior From Emily Tai  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new Excelsior Scholarship --  specifics in the 2017 New York State Budget -- is stirring debate across New York State and the country. Private universities ...
    Posted May 2, 2017, 5:13 PM by CUNY UFS
  • Supporting Part-time Students: UFS Student Affairs Committee Position Paper By Bill Crain, Laroi M. Lawton, and James McElwaine Since 2007, one of every three CUNY students has been enrolled as a part-time student. Part-time students now account ...
    Posted May 2, 2017, 5:20 PM by CUNY UFS
  • Please Lecture Me By Emily Tai Among the many advantages of online education have been the arguments that it substitutes customized, individual learning for the old-fashioned college lecture—the apparent dinosaur of ...
    Posted May 2, 2017, 5:28 PM by CUNY UFS
  • Who Finishes College? By Emily Tai Only 1 in 3 Americans hold a college degree.  Although 69.2 % of America’s high school graduates enrolled in college in 2015, only 59% completed a ...
    Posted May 2, 2017, 5:33 PM by CUNY UFS
  • University URLs: Madge, Badges and Microcredentials From Jay Weiser Readers of a certain age may remember Madge the manicurist telling customers, "You're soaking in it!" Madge astonished her clientele for 27 years with claims that ...
    Posted Apr 3, 2017, 5:01 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Catching the Online Wave: Hanging Ten with Cross-College Course Adoptions By Jay Weiser CUNY's Administration has made it a priority to increase online offerings in degree programs, reflected in funding for the School of Professional Studies online bachelors degrees ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2017, 8:57 PM by Jay Weiser
  • UFS Shared Governance Conference, F 04/28/17: Save the Date! by Philip Pecorino and Karen Kaplowitz  Come to this year’s Spring UFS Conference, where administrators and expert faculty will share perspectives and practical suggestions on making shared governance ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2017, 10:46 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Discipline . . . and Punish? Deconstructing CUNY's Discipline Councils By Jay Weiser Michel Foucault's classic Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison states: There is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2017, 10:31 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Flying Coache At John Jay, With Better Results By Angela Crossman The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey was administered to all full-time faculty across CUNY in the spring of 2015. John Jay College ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2017, 10:35 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Reconfiguring Community College Semesters By Philip Pecorino and Kay Conway Several initiatives are driving CUNY’s community colleges (CCs) to consider moving from a 15 week semester schedule to a 12/6 schedule, where ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2017, 10:39 PM by Jay Weiser
  • NY Women’s Suffrage Centennial: UFS & USS Commemorate 100 CUNY Women by Emily Tai In a ground-breaking collaboration, the University Faculty Senate and the University Student Senate will be joining forces to help celebrate the coming centennial of women’s ...
    Posted Mar 2, 2017, 12:02 AM by Jay Weiser
  • Excelsior Scholarship Proposal: Faculty Q&A By Ned Benton The Excelsior Scholarship Program (ES) is a proposed New York State financial aid program designed to cover tuition costs for students whose family income does not exceed ...
    Posted Mar 2, 2017, 12:03 AM by Jay Weiser
  • Budget Update: Excelsior and the IG By Kay Conway Governor Cuomo released his Executive Budget last month, which included the Excelsior Scholarship, a program he announced at LaGuardia Community College. Excelsior or bustThe Excelsior was ...
    Posted Feb 21, 2017, 9:36 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Graduation Rates Up, Preparedness Down: No Cause for CUNY Celebration By Philip Pecorino Both the State and the City of New York have recently reported a rise in high school graduation rates.  But college preparedness still leaves much to ...
    Posted Mar 2, 2017, 12:05 AM by Jay Weiser
  • Higher Education and Upward Mobility By Emily Tai Last Monday evening, a conference/panel at the CUNY Graduate Center presented more findings from the recent study mentioned in a recent New York Times article, discussing ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2017, 7:41 PM by Jay Weiser
  • University URLs: College & the Job Market, Reconsidered by Emily Tai Last Sunday’s New York Times Education Life section considered the role that college education, linked with professional apprenticeships, can play in preparing Americans for manufacturing jobs ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2017, 11:31 PM by Jay Weiser
  • What Happened to Mathematics? By Roman Kossak “Let nobody ignorant of geometry enter here” was a warning at the entrance to Plato's Academy."The Book of Nature is written in the language of ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2017, 11:31 PM by Jay Weiser
  • Quarterly Report on Faculty Diversity Now Available By Kathleen Barker The Board of Trustees has approved the Quarterly Report on Faculty Diversity, January 18, 2017, authored by Vice Chancellor Gloriana Waters and Dean of Recruitment, Diversity and ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2017, 11:38 PM by Jay Weiser
Showing posts 1 - 30 of 259. View more »


University URLS: The Disruptions of Summer

posted Jul 7, 2017, 2:25 PM by Emily Tai   [ updated Jul 7, 2017, 2:26 PM ]

From Emily Tai

Yes, it’s been a tough summer, with more scrutiny for CUNY from the New York Inspector General, and disquieting suspension of regulatory measures for For-Profit educational institutions, that has, as of yesterday, spurred eighteen state attorney generals (and another in the District of Columbia) to file lawsuits against Secretary of Education Betsy De Vos.
Supreme Court Decision on Travel Ban: The Good and the Bad

But there’s also been some good news, sort of.  While the Supreme Court upheld certain aspects of President Trump’s Travel Ban issued last winter, a key provision will protect foreign students, as well as foreign nationals who travel to the United States to accept employment or join loved ones: those who can show a “bona fide” relationship with institutions and persons in the United States will be able to enter the country. 

Judge Clarence Thomas, along with Judges Alito and newly-appointed Judge Neil Gorsuch expressed reservations concerning the possibility that proving “credible claims” of such relationships might invite complications in enforcement, and possible litigation.  In this decision, the majority of the Court nevertheless expresses implicit respect for the contribution American higher education makes to workforce training and the creation of new knowledge, world wide.  At the same time, it imposes a level of scrutiny on those who come to this country as immigrants that seems inconsistent with traditions of openness that have enriched our society, and particularly the American Academy.
Expanding Pell Grants: It's All Good

Better news is the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act, proposed legislation that would expand Pell coverage to match the rising cost of college tuition, and allow students access to funding for summer classes.—a measure that was already endorsed by Congress in the omnibus funding bill for summer, 2017.  The new bill would be an especially valuable leg up for CUNY students, better enabling them to satisfy the academic progress requirements they would need to meet in order to be eligible for additional funding from Governor Cuomo’s new Excelsior scholarship.

In other words, whatever reservations some legislators may have about how CUNY promotes our colleges and our students, they agree that our students matter, and that they deserve support—wherever they may come from.

#PellGrants; #TravelBan; #Excelsior

Emily S. Tai is a professor of History at Queensborough Community College who serves on the UFS Executive Committee, and edits the UFS Blog.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CUNY_UFS.

Paying for Education: Doing the Math

posted Jun 19, 2017, 8:31 AM by Emily Tai   [ updated Jun 21, 2017, 6:39 PM by Jay Weiser ]

By Emily Tai 


Graduation may be past, and future freshmen may already be anticipating their first college courses this fall. But it's scholarship season in New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new Excelsior scholarship has opened its first application period, active until July 21.

The response has been overwhelming: over 21,000 applications in the first week. Many of the first round of applicants, according to Inside Higher Ed, were prospective CUNY students, undeterred by the Excelsior’s many requirements:
  • finish 30 credits each academic year, exclusive of any remedial courses a student may be required to take; 
  • live and work in New York State for five years past college graduation, or see the scholarship turn into a loan that students will have to repay. 
The list of scholarship specifications is sufficiently complex that CUNY has established a “Frequently Asked Questions” page for student reference. And CUNYStart, a program recently praised by New York Times Education columnist David Kirp, can help students avoid commitments to lengthy remediation courses. But the number of stipulations that hedge this last-dollar-in scholarship has many in New York higher education concerned that the Excelsior scholarship may not be as generous as it initially sounded—and that many of the students who apply, or who are in need, will not be eligible.

Springtime for For-Profit Colleges?

As the long, hot summer begins, the Department of Education, headed by Betsy DeVos, has announced plans to reevaluate and roll back many of the restrictions placed on for-profit colleges by the Obama administration—requirements that protect student borrowers and hold vocational colleges accountable if they fail to place their graduates. The borrower protection provisions, which allow students to obtain a discharge from their loans, have also stirred apprehension among smaller colleges that draw enrollment from first-generation college students. Secretary DeVos is in receipt of a joint letter from the United Negro College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education that has requested involvement in the reevaluation process for that reason. Critics, meanwhile, are concerned that the Trump administration may be advancing the interests of for-profit education—which maintains lobbies in Washington—over the needs of financially-strapped students who fail to secure the job that was promised, and can’t pay their loans.

Adding it all up

Even if the recipient of an Excelsior scholarship winds up leaving the state and owing the cost of their college scholarship to New York State, that CUNY or SUNY graduate will still have received a first-rate liberal arts education from one of New York’s finest public colleges. But that’s not always the case for graduates of for-profit colleges, who’ve often paid a lot for an education that won’t get them very far.

A college loan is worth the investment if the borrower receives value for their money.

Kudos to CUNY students for doing the math—and applying for the Excelsior Scholarship.

The UFS is wishing them all the best of luck.

#ExcelsiorNY #ForProfitColleges

Emily S. Tai is a professor of History at Queensborough Community College who serves on the UFS Executive Committee, and edits the UFS Blog.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CUNY_UFS.

Image credit: Joel, Money leis...wonderful graduation gift!, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0).

How Quickly Can You Graduate?

posted Jun 9, 2017, 7:21 PM by Jay Weiser   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 5:57 PM ]

By Emily Tai  


The strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” bring a close to another academic year -- and bad news on economic diversity
which has been in decline at the nation’s top public universities, thanks to diminished funding from state and federal government. David Leonhardt reports on the New York Times College Access Index, which measures economic diversity at colleges with a graduation rate of 75%, based upon the number of lower- and middle-income students institutions enroll and the price they charge those students. While  University of California campuses rank highest, even access at these institutions is declining.

CUNY: Missing in action

Only two public universities in New York were listed among this year’s top 170: the State University of New York at Binghamton and SUNY-Geneseo.

Why isn’t CUNY — whose institutions ranked highest in the 2016 Social Mobility Index—listed among the critical institutions in the New York Times College Access index?

Perhaps it has to do with CUNY’s overall graduation rates: While roughly 44% of students on undergraduate campuses of the City University eventually finish a degree—about the national average—most do not do so within the five-year mark recognized as ideal by the College Access Index.

Hurdles in the graduation race

We’re nonetheless wondering if college should really be imagined as a race. Of course, it’s better to earn the degree faster; but if you’re a parent — as over 10% of CUNY students are — or caring for elderly relatives; or working off-campus to pay for your education—or all of the above -- a five-year graduation plan may not be realistic. Should the achievements of students who need to move more slowly through college be overlooked?

Medgar Evers commencement speaker Hillary Clinton didn’t appear to think so: “You come from 94 countries, speak 44 different languages,” she told Medgar Evers’s class of 2017, to strong applause. “You embody what makes New York and America great already.”

Nor did Brooklyn College commencement speaker Senator Bernie Sanders. Describing his low-income childhood in Brooklyn, Sanders recalled the many problems his family faced as he was growing up—the same problems many Americans are facing now. He nonetheless called for graduates to “stand together” to fight economic inequality. “Think big, not small,” Sanders told the graduating class of 2017, “and help us create the nation that we all know we can become.”

Adjusting state and federal funding priorities to make an affordable, quality college education available to more Americans can help every student who is ready to “think big” achieve their goals—no matter how long it may take them to graduate.

#collegegraduationrates #parttimestudents #economicdiversity

The UFS Blog would like to extend its congratulations to all the CUNY graduating classes of 2017.

Emily S. Tai is a professor of History at Queensborough Community College who serves on the UFS Executive Committee, and edits the UFS Blog.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view. Send contributions to the editor at etai@qcc.cuny.edu

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CUNY_UFS.


Photo credit: Wesley Farnsworth, Air Force marathon, public domain.

University URLs: Benchmarking CUNY Critical Maintenance and Student Performance

posted Jun 6, 2017, 8:42 PM by Jay Weiser   [ updated Jun 8, 2017, 11:51 PM ]

From Jay Weiser


Wall Street Journal articles compare CUNY with other university systems nationwide.  
  • On the (relatively) bright side, Aging Pipes and Leaky Roofs Plague College Campuses flags CUNY's Critical Maintenance program as a national leader.  Nationally, universities face a looming disaster after neglecting their existing physical plant, often in favor of glitzy new buildings.  As the WSJ notes, CUNY has earmarked $3 billion in capital budget money for this over the next five years -- essential given our ancient real estate portfolio. ("Earmarked" is not the same as hard dollars for projects underway, given CUNY's byzantine capital budget process.)  Many thanks to Vice Chancellor Judy Bergtraum and the Facilities Planning, Construction and Management staff for their energy and persistence on this giant, unglamorous and crucial initiative, which started back in 2008.
  • Exclusive Test Data: Many Colleges Fail to Improve Critical-Thinking Skills will come as no surprise to readers who have just finished grading student papers. This massive piece of enterprise journalism, based on freedom of information requests, compares freshman and senior results, primarily from public universities around the country, using the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+). The companion article, A Closer Look at CLA+ Test Results, includes value-added scores for seven CUNY senior colleges.  All show a net negative, as well as low percentile scores based on national comparisons. The CLA+ design skews CUNY's numbers lower. CUNY senior college freshmen tend to come in with higher levels of academic preparation, but the colleges' senior classes include many transfers from community colleges with lower levels of preparation. The best endorsement of CLA+ may come from the universities that tell the Journal they've stopped using it: in American education, the truth hurts. Here's Phil Pecorino's earlier take on CLA.
  • In The Diminishing Returns of a College Degree, Dick Vedder and and  Justin Strehle add to their series on the college degree glut.  Reporting national statistics, this piece doesn't benchmark across universities.  The subhed notes: "In the mid-1970s, far less than 1% of taxi drivers were graduates. By 2010 more than 15% were."
#CLA #collegiatelearningassessement #criticalmaintenance #collegeinfrastructure

Jay Weiser is Associate Professor of Law at Baruch College, a member of the UFS Executive Committee and UFS Legal Affairs Chair.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view. Have a comment about this post? Send it to the editor at etai@qcc.cuny.edu

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CUNY_UFS.

Image credit:  Jason Lengstorf, Bench PressCreative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

University URLs: The Illiberal Arts -- Campus Freedom of Speech Update

posted Jun 3, 2017, 10:01 PM by Jay Weiser   [ updated Jun 6, 2017, 11:04 PM ]

From Jay Weiser 

Days before receiving an honorary degree from the CUNY School of Public Health, Muslim activist Linda Sarsour denounced a student 
at a public Dartmouth College question and answer event for having the temerity to be white, male and ask her a question. Welcome to CUNY's distinguished roster of honorees, Ms. Sarsour!

In other academic freedom/campus free speech news:
#academicfreedom #campusfreespeech #campussegregation #antifa #bikelockbandit #freedomofspeech #lindasarsour

Jay Weiser is Associate Professor of Law at Baruch College, a member of the UFS Executive Committee and UFS Legal Affairs Chair.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view. Have a comment about this post? Send it to the editor at etai@qcc.cuny.edu

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 
@CUNY_UFS.

Image credit: Nick Youngson, The First AmendmentCreative Commons 3 - CC BY-SA 3.0

CUNY Master Plan Comments: Faculty's Pivotal Role

posted May 30, 2017, 10:52 AM by Emily Tai   [ updated Jun 7, 2017, 11:36 PM by Jay Weiser ]

By the Committee on the Status of the Faculty


The measures in the
 CUNY Master Plan of 2016, “The Connected University,” do not properly acknowledge the pivotal role of the faculty in shaping the educational direction of the university and the well-being of its students” and called attention to three critical areas that need to be reconsidered. 
  • The University and the World
The report calls for a greater integration of “technology” and an adaptation to “globalization,” through the expansion of “experiential” learning; online courses, and technological education.” But the mission of the University, contend members of the Committee, is to complement, rather than replicate, the private sector students may expect to enter after graduation: “The MP needs to highlight the value of the university, rather than the private sector, as the university’s best source of leadership in forming the bases of knowledge our students for the world of work in which they will participate after they receive their degrees.”
  • The Faculty and the Curriculum
Members of the Committee are concerned that the Master Plan is “insufficiently attentive to the principal role of university faculty in shaping independently the curricula undertaken by our students.” “Our university, as is the case with many others…” is “led by individuals with skills and experience drawn from business, law, and government. University faculty respects these skills and recognizes how they can improve the working of the university. But their skills and leadership must not interfere with the faculty when it comes to controlling what is taught.”
  • Academic Freedom
“Since its invention, the academy has been an institution devoted to critical thinking at odds with conventional wisdom and routinized paths of thought,” write members of the Committee. “Its value always has stemmed from its position as simultaneously outside and inside the currents of intellect that dominant public discourse in the sciences and the arts.” Members of the Committee call for more faculty involvement in shaping CUNY’s future direction—with ideas originating from academic departments, rather than CUNY administration.

Read the whole report here.

#cunymasterplan #sharedgovernance #curriculum

The Committee on the Status of the Faculty is chaired by Cynthia Wiseman, Associate Professor of Academic Literacy and Linguistics at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Faculty with an interest in serving on this Committee in the 2017-2018 year should contact Professor Wiseman at cwiseman@bmcc.cuny.edu

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view. 

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CUNY_UFS.
 

Image credit: Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Damon J. Moritz, U.S. Navy photo, public domain. 

College or Certificates? Education for Students after Prison

posted May 17, 2017, 10:51 AM by Emily Tai   [ updated Jun 7, 2017, 7:21 PM by Jay Weiser ]

By Emily Tai 


A recent article in The Wall Street Journal quoted Brooklyn College Professor of Economics, Robert Cherry in arguing for the value of vocational certificate programs for incarcerated students. A 2003 study by the Bureau of Justice statistics found that 68% of the adults incarcerated in state prisons have not completed a high school diploma. Such individuals, Professor Cherry asserted in a Manhattan Institute position paper, would be better served by vocational programs that allowed them to master workplace skills than a traditional liberal arts college degree, as vocational education would give them a better shot at finding, and keeping, a job upon re-entry.

Professor Cherry’s interest in supporting vocational programs for incarcerated students—such as the program in Air Conditioning Maintenance which is currently offered on Riker’s Island, with participation from several CUNY faculty—may be contrasted with the “Prison to College Pipeline” program offered through the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Ranked among the nation’s top programs for re-entering students, the Prison to College Pipeline has matched the success levels of programs offered through private colleges and universities in New York State, such as the Bard Prison Initiative, in helping re-entering men and women complete four-year baccalaureate degrees, find employment, and rebuild their lives. As a research center, the Prisoner Reentry Institute has also become a national resource for faculty studying the challenges reentering students may face, including the special needs of re-entering women; the problem of carceral debt, which imposes significant financial burdens that can precipitate recidivism; and current exclusions imposed on re-entering men and women, including access to public housing.

A college education, while it may not address such practical issues directly, can transform individuals, with significant, positive implications for the interactions incarcerated students may have with family members, especially children, even before release. A traditional liberal arts education moreover helps re-entering students hone critical skills in self-advocacy that are often needed as formerly incarcerated men and women face a range of post-release difficulties. Recent books, such as Daniel Karpowitz’s College in Prison: Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration, have argued for this impact, noting that re-entering college graduates are incidentally far less likely to return to prison.

Perhaps the best solution is to make both a traditional liberal arts degree and vocational training available to incarcerated and re-entering students—just as we make a full range of educational options available to any CUNY student.

Emily S. Tai is a professor of History at Queensborough Community College who serves on the UFS Executive Committee, edits the UFS Blog, and Chairs the UFS Committee on Higher Education in the Prisons. She would like to thank Jay Weiser, Associate Professor of Law at Baruch College, a member of the UFS Executive Committee and UFS Legal Affairs Chair, and Professor Robert Cherry, for supplying some of the references included in this post.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CUNY_UFS.

Image credit: PixabayCC0 Public Domain.

Fighting those Mid-Career Blues

posted May 15, 2017, 10:54 AM by Emily Tai   [ updated May 30, 2017, 11:15 AM by Jay Weiser ]

By Emily Tai

Among the findings of the recent survey conducted across CUNY through the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) was evidence that some faculty see their careers stall after earning tenure and making the all-important transition from assistant to associate professor. As noted in a recent article in The Chronicle for Higher Education, this difficulty, while identified, and even pronounced, at CUNY, is by no means limited to the City University of New York. Coache surveys administered around the country have exposed evidence for this problem among higher education faculty across the country.

So, what can be done to chase away those mid-career blues?

Several programs have been established to address this problem:
It is to the great credit of CUNY’s administrative leadership that, in the year since COACHE survey results were released, Vice-Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz and University Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Annemarie Nicols-Grinenko have consulted with representatives of the University Faculty Senate to devise programs for mid-career faculty that replicate the best of these national programs—and then go beyond them. At CUNY, there have been workshops and leadership seminars for mid-career faculty. More substantively, however, additional programs have funded released time for Associate Professors to make progress on scholarly projects.

After all, the best cure for mid-career blues is simply being allowed a bit more time, in a busy schedule, to focus on the disciplinary research that brought so many of us to the academy in the first place.

Emily S. Tai is a professor of History at Queensborough Community College who serves on the UFS Executive Committee, and edits the UFS Blog.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook.
 

Photo credit: Egghead06, public domain.

Defending Academic Freedom at CUNY SPH: University Faculty Senate Statement

posted May 4, 2017, 7:34 PM by Emily Tai   [ updated Jun 3, 2017, 9:54 PM by Jay Weiser ]

Press release: 
CUNY University Faculty Senate in Defense of Academic Freedom 
May 1, 2017 

We, the undersigned members of the Executive Committee of the University Faculty Senate at the City University of New York (CUNY) defend the School of Public Health’s invitation to Ms. Linda Sarsour and the right to deliver her commencement address. As in previous controversies, we take no position on Ms. Sarsour’s views. We strongly endorse the tradition that CUNY, and all universities, should be a forum for free discussion of all viewpoints, consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution, the principles of academic freedom, and CUNY’s own Academic Freedom Policy.

We must resist external pressure to disinvite speakers at any institution of higher learning. For the cornerstone of higher education is the maintenance of free inquiry, which entails the sharing of different viewpoints, a tolerance for diversity, and a sensitivity to the values of a humane and civilized culture – namely sustained social and community engagement. Rigorous, thoughtful debate – in the tradition of a great university – is the best answer, not censorship.

Katherine Conway, Chair
Kathleen Barker, Vice-Chair

Members-At-Large
Michael Barnhart
Martin J. Burke
Hugo Fernandez
Karen Kaplowitz
Philip Pecorino
Emily Tai
Jay Weiser

Terrence Martell, Ex Officio

For further information, contact the Executive Director of the City University Faculty Senate, Dr. Matthew J. Cotter, at Matthew.Cotter@cuny.edu or 646-664-9032 or 646-664-9035

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.

Like the UFS Blog on Facebook

Image credit: Nick Youngson, The First AmendmentCreative Commons 3 - CC BY-SA 3.0

UFS Shared Governance Conference Wrapup

posted May 3, 2017, 2:24 PM by Emily Tai   [ updated May 15, 2017, 1:52 PM by Stasia Pasela ]

By Kay Conway


Last Friday, April 28, the University Faculty Senate sponsored its Spring Conference, Shared Governance: Structures and Best Practices, at John Jay College.  The audience included faculty, Presidents, Provosts and other administrators. The full room was a testament to the importance of the topic.

President Jeremy Travis provided a welcome greeting and shared his experiences with shared governance at John Jay. There was much head nodding when he spoke of the need to be nimble while still consulting with stakeholders, and the revelation that at John Jay they identified 197 active college committees!

Past UFS Chair Terrence Martell moderated a panel comprised of CUNY Board of Trustees Chair William C. Thompson, Jr.; Queens College President Felix Matos-Rodriguez, and Professor James Cauthen, Political Scientist and Chair of a study group that examined the Governance Charter of John Jay College of Criminal Justice . Each provided their perspective on shared governance, with transparency, trust and communication being key themes. Chair Thompson emphasized collaboration, President Matos suggested that we put the institution first, and Prof. Cauthen shared best practices at other governance bodies.

Prof. Cauthen cited The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), which leads me to our Keynote speaker, its President, Dr. Barbara Gitenstein, the 2006 recipient of the AAUP Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance. Our conference website offers her thoughtful remarks, 
Shared Leadership and Shared Responsibility: Successful Shared Governance.  We will be updating the website with other conference materials.

Our fall conference, Innovations and Disruptions in American Higher Education: A View From the Professoriate will be held November 3rd at the CUNY Graduate Center. Save the date!

Kay Conway is a Professor of Business Management at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Chair of the University Faculty Senate. 

The UFS Blog welcomes posts from faculty who attended the conference, which may be sent to the editor at etai@qcc.cuny.edu.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.

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