Some news from the GC English Student Association, which adopted a very thorough resolution of support for the English faculty at Queensborough Community College. The resolution reads:
ENGLISH STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
CUNY GRADUATE CENTER
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE ENGLISH FACULTY TO ESTABLISH CURRICULAR POLICIES
WHEREAS Article 8.2 of the Bylaws of the Faculty of QCC and Article 9.1 of the CUNY Bylaws of the Board of Trustees state that “Each department […] shall have control of the educational policies of the department through the vote of all its members;” and
WHEREAS the CUNY Board of Trustees has resolved to establish the Pathways to Degree Completion Initiative (“Pathways”) and the Pathways Task Force has proposed a Common Core framework for the implementation of Pathways; and
WHEREAS, Pathways sidesteps shared governance structures and processes and has been met with broad opposition by faculty and students across CUNY; and
WHEREAS the Pathways Common Core, which dictates composition courses be 3 credits and 3 hours, was passed without the consultation of elected faculty, and in violation of the shared governance principle established in the CUNY bylaws; and
WHEREAS the Queensborough Community College (QCC) Academic Senate passed a resolution on March 12, 2012, stating the harm to “the careers of our graduates and faculty, and to shared governance and academic freedom,” recommended that CUNY suspend and fundamentally rethink Pathways; and
WHEREAS the QCC English Department faculty voted on September 12 to maintain 4-hour composition courses; and
WHEREAS QCC Vice-President for Academic Affairs Karen Steele responded to this faculty vote by threatening that composition courses may no longer be offered at QCC starting in Fall 2013, that part time faculty may not be reappointed in Fall 2013, and full time faculty face non-reappointment “subject to ability to pay and Fall 2013 enrollment in department courses;” and
WHEREAS Vice-President Steele’s initial response is consistent with CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein’s September message that “the faculty are not empowered to ignore or violate a policy established by the Board of Trustees or the implementation of that policy by the Chancellor,” and expresses a fundamental difference with the faculty’s understanding of its role and authority; and
WHEREAS the English Students’ Association (ESA) represents over 280 doctoral students, many of whom are faculty members of English departments across the CUNY campuses, including QCC; therefore, now be it
RESOLVED, that the ESA affirms the authority of departments and duly elected faculty and students to establish curriculum; and
FINALLY RESOLVED, that the ESA calls upon CUNY to halt the implementation of Pathways and recognize faculty senates’, disciplinary councils’, and departmental bodies’ authority to establish curricular policies.
Please read, and disseminate as widely as possible.