Thank you for taking the time to sign the petition In Support of General Education and Faculty Governance at CUNY. As you may remember, on June 27, the Board of Trustees will be voting on a resolution to impose a single framework for general education on all of CUNY's campuses. Despite many statements from faculty and student bodies opposing this hasty and ill-conceived plan, the Chancellery and Board Chairman Benno Schmidt continue to voice their full support for the resolution. Some minor details of the framework have been refined, but the basic idea is unchanged (take a look at http://www.cuny.edu/pathways for the latest version; also see http://www.cunyufs.org/A for a full list of statements of concern, including a letter from the national office of Phi Beta Kappa).
On this coming Monday, June 20, the Board will be holding a public hearing on the matters which will be discussed at the June 27 meeting. If you are in the New York City area and would like to testify, please do: you need to call the Board office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17, 2011 at 212 794 5450 and ask to address Item 5M. The hearing will be held at Hostos Community College (450 Grand Concourse, in The Bronx, in the 3rd floor cafeteria) at 5:00 p.m.; sign-in starts at 4:30 pm, and speakers are normally called in the order that they have signed in at the door.
If you are unable to attend this hearing but wish to share your views with the Board, you may email Vice-Chancellor and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson, at Jay.Hershenson@mail.cuny.edu. (We will be sending him the full list of signatories and comments from this petition, as well.)
Regardless of the outcome of the Board's deliberations on this matter, it is clear that CUNY's historic mission to provide an excellent and affordable education to the poor and working-class students of New York is under intensifying assault. If you would like to stay abreast of these developments, please keep an eye on news from the University Faculty Senate (http://cunyufs.org), the Professional Staff Congress (http://www.psc-cuny.org), and our nascent blog, http://coalitionforcunysfuture.blogspot.com/
Yours for CUNY's Future
Matthew Moore and Scott Dexter
On May 2 CUNY's Board of Trustees will vote on an amendment to Section 8.6 of the Bylaws which will downgrade faculty's responsibility for setting curriculum and other academic policies to the making of recommendations on such policies. On June 27 CUNY's Board of Trustees will vote on a resolution to create a homogenizing framework for general education which will severely restrict both the autonomy of individual campuses and the number of credits devoted to general education. Correction (April 15): The proposed Bylaw amendments are being formally announced on May 2; the vote on them will occur on June 27, along with the general education resolution.
The effects of these resolutions will be to wrest control over the curriculum away from faculty and to substantially reduce the rigor of CUNY's general education programs and thereby much less adequately prepare our students for their careers.
We urge the CUNY Board of Trustees to respect the University's historical adherence to the norms of faculty governance, and to preserve the high quality of general education at CUNY, by rejecting both of these resolutions.
We the undersigned urge the CUNY Board of Trustees to reject the proposed amendment to Section 8.6 of the Bylaws, reducing the faculty's responsibility for academic policy, and to reject the resolution on "Creating an Efficient Transfer System."
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