| Baruch College Faculty Senate Plenary Meeting
Minutes of September 7, 2017
Senators Attending: E. Axelrod (Law), C. Christoforatou (ENG), M. Edwards (Law), B. Fontana (Pol.Sci.), K. Frank (Eng), L. Friedman (IS/S), K. Guest (Soc/Anth), W. Gordon (Math), ), C. Hessel (Eco/Fin), S. Johnson (Psy), T. Martell (Eco/Fin), R. McManus (Pol.Sci.), R. Merkin (Comm), E. Minei (Comm), J. Peifer (Mgt.), M. Seltzer (SPIA), E. Stepp (Math), C. Tuthill (Lib), A.Vora (Eco/Fin), R.Wilkins (Comm), S. Wine (IS/S), Bi-Juan Zhong (Mkt).
Senators Absent: K. Bahar (FPA), D. Caplan (FPA), E. Chou (Eng), S. Chugani (Mkt/Int’lBus), S. Dishart (Comm), W. Finke (ModLang), R. Freedman (ZSB), A. Grein (Mkt/Int’lBus), S. Gross (IS/S G. Jurkevich (ModLang), S. Korenman (SPIA), D. Luna (Mkt/Int’lBus), W. McClellan (Eng), M. Ozbilgin (Acct), G. Petersen (Soc./Anth), L. Placido (Econ/Fin), P. Sethi (Mgt), L. Rath (Lib), R. Sawant (Mkt.), S. Thomas (Acct), J. Weiser (Law), R. Zachary (Mgt),
Forty-one additional members of the faculty, staff and students noted their presence, making a total attendance of sixty-two.
The meeting was convened at 12:45 p.m. in VC 14-250 by Professor Samuel Johnson, Chair of the Baruch Faculty Senate.
Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved by assent.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of Meeting of May 4, 2017 were approved by assent.
Report from the Chair:
Professor Johnson welcomes everyone to the first plenary of the Fall 2017 semester. This year is the beginning of strategic planning for the college. Professor Johnson and Professor Frank will be representing the faculty senate on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee at the college. Professor Johnson goes onto identify the following goals for the senate. Firstly, we will ensure that the faculty senate is effectively operationalizing the shared governance model for CUNY. This includes the need to increase faculty participation in governance and to follow up on concerns and complaints brought to us by members of the Baruch community. The senate will consider the means of reducing the trust and information gap between administration and faculty. The senate will broaden collaboration on achieving shared goals regarding Faculty Diversity. The senate will also take a new look at the security and audit procedures on college information and records systems. After the COACHE Survey the senate looked at processes and procedures at the departmental level with respect to the guidance for faculty development promotion and tenure, recruitment and hiring procedures especially vis a vis diversity goals, and the management and governance processes. One of the recommendations to emerge from this discussion was to engage in reviewing department by-laws as these were not consistent across the various departments at the college. The senate will be engaging department chairs with the goal of both trying to understand departmental cultures and help improve them.
Professor Johnson invites Professor Glenn Peterson to offer some remarks. Professor Peterson first references the Baruch College Faculty Senate Mission Statement. It reads thus:
Formulate and recommend policies to the Administration and other bodies of the College with regard to relevant aspects of college-wide planning and operation.
Review and comment on policies contemplated or initiated by the Administration and other bodies of the College.
Provide a channel of communication among the faculty, student organizations and the administrative officers of the College.
Professor Peterson goes on to note that it is the faculty who are responsible for formulating college policies and that we shouldn’t just be responding to policies offered by the administration. He goes on to cite the Bearcat Commitment on the Dean of Students webpage. The closing section of the pledge reads thus:
I will promote ENGAGEMENT and
involvement in our community and beyond
through participation, leadership, and service;
I promise to honor these values and lead by example.
Professor Peterson encourages faculty to also honor this pledge and to promote engagement across its ranks. He notes in particular the lack of conversation about hazing deaths at our college and the fact that we stuck our head in the sand over the death of one of our students. Professor Peterson goes on to note how in the past the faculty had a book club. He asks us to reinvigorate the club and consider the following two readings:
Lauren A. Rivera, Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs
Duff McDonald, The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of
Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite
Professor Peterson hopes that the readings will not only stimulate discussion about the role of the liberal arts and public affairs on an education that focuses primarily on business, but also the validity of creating an institution that is driven primarily by the ranking business and high achievement in SAT testing and GPA scores.
Report from President Wallerstein
President Wallerstein welcomes all to the new semester. In a brief rebuttal of Professor Peterson’s remarks, the president notes that the college moved aggressively after the hazing tragedy, a moratorium has been established for all new pledging for all of the social paternities and remains in force to this present day. The president also reaffirms the need for continued dialogue amongst the faculty on this issue.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
President Wallerstein first reaffirms the statement he put out to the college community on September 6th regarding President Trump’s order to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program has shielded from deportation more than 800,000 people, including the “Dreamers”—young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. President Trump has called on Congress to act within six months on legislation to replace the policy before it fully expires on March 5, 2018.
President Wallerstein understands full well that this unwarranted, unnecessary, and heartless decision may cause many DACA beneficiaries, and their families, to suffer great anxiety, uncertainty, and emotional upset. President Wallerstein attended a press conference held by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (MPA ’95), Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and dozens of other leaders from the higher education, religious, not-for-profit, and business communities also attended the press conference on the steps of City Hall. We gathered to demonstrate our firm and full commitment to, and support for, Dreamers and all immigrants who collectively represent the heart and soul of the great melting pot that is New York City.
As indicated in Chancellor Milliken’s statement yesterday, The City University of New York (CUNY) is committed to doing everything possible within our legal authority to protect DACA students, faculty, and staff. In this regard, CUNY will not cooperate with or agree to a request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to come on the Baruch campus, unless such a request is made in conjunction with a bona fide search warrant issued by the courts.
Freshman first year students are up considerably as well as the transfer numbers. The total number of students will be the same as last year, some 18,400 students. CUNY is up some 6% which maybe due to the Excelsior Scholarship Program effect. Vice President for Enrollment Management Mary Gorman will be making a presentation on these numbers later in the semester.
The President reports that we are about to enter the final year of our 5-year strategic plan, which was for the period from 2013- 2018. This fall the college will launch efforts to develop the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. A Strategic Plan Steering Committee has been established over the summer, and will have its initial meeting very soon. The president will chair the committee, and he has asked that Provost Christy serve as Vice Chair. The Committee will consist of the members of the President’s Cabinet, along with the following members of the faculty, who were nominated by each of the three schools or by the Faculty Senate: Hector Cordero-Guzman, Professor in the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs; Al Croker, Professor of Statistics in the CIS department of the Zicklin School of Business; Kevin Frank, Professor of English in the Weissman School of Arts & Sciences; Alison Griffith, Professor of Communication Studies in the Weissman School; Sam Johnson, Chair of the Faculty Senate and a faculty member in the Psychology department of the Weissman School; and Thomas Teufel, Chair and Professor in the Philosophy department of the Weissman School. The Committee also will include a distinguished member of the Baruch College Fund board, Mr. David Krell, along with the presidents of the Undergraduate Student Government, Isabell Arias, and the Graduate Student Association, Ryan Betters.
To support the work of the Steering Committee, the college has retained the services of a highly regarded consulting firm by the name of Kelling & Associates, which has substantial experience in the development of strategic plans. They recently assisted John Jay College in a similar capacity. To ensure maximum participation by all elements of the Baruch College community, the consultants will be organizing a series of focus group meetings during the next few months that will bring together groups of senior faculty, junior faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, students and alumni to provide input and contribute ideas and suggestions. We also intend to convene town hall meetings to discuss the drafts of the report, as they emerge, and collect feedback. In the upcoming weeks, a webpage will be created that will include information about the strategic planning process, including a form that all members of the College community can utilize to provide feedback.
The President notes that the timing of this new strategic planning effort is particularly fortuitous as it will contribute to the preparation in 2019 of the College's new self-study report, which must be developed in preparation for our next reaccreditation by the Middle States Association in 2020.
Work has finally begun on Baruch's original building at 17 Lexington Avenue, after more than a decade of waiting and planning, and already the construction has fallen behind schedule during the summer, though mainly due to "surprises" that were discovered once they began to open up the walls and ceilings. But the loss of space in 17 Lex has made it necessary to find new teaching spaces for 10 classes. We have appreciated the cooperation of the Real Estate Department and the Marxe School in helping to identify spaces that might be used for of these classes. Now that it's finally underway, the 17 Lex renovation project is likely to continue for many years to come, and we will need to be prepared to be patient and to put up with a certain amount of inconvenience, noise and disruption. We also may well have to make additional adjustments in order to accommodate some of our class sections.
With respect to the Plaza, the HVAC cooling machines have been removed and we look forward to new construction beginning on the Plaza. A contractor is to be chosen on a public-private partnership to create a beautiful new urban and public space.
Progress has been made on the Student Center. After two years of effort we have a lease for the space in the Madison Square US Post Office just across the street. We will be moving now to a construction bid on that space.
As Dean King could not be present at today's meeting, the President offers an update on the search for a Veterans Coordinator. He is pleased to report that, over the summer, the position was posted and the search is now underway. The posting closes on September 28th, and Dean King hopes to have someone on board by early November. In the meantime, the Dean of Student Affairs' office is continuing to provide support until such time as a full time person is in place. We have new student leadership for the Student Veterans Association (SVA), and the current SVA President and Vice President are both serving on the search committee to select the Veterans Coordinator.
New Computer Lab
Over the summer, the Baruch College Technology Center recently opened the doors to a new, state-of-the-art, computer lab on the Sixth Floor of the Library building, which was made possible by project funding in the total of $2.575 million. This renovation, which was planned and overseen by VP for Information Services Arthur Downing, has taken the better part of a year to complete; and having visited the new facility, the President can attest to the fact that it is nothing short of spectacular. The project involved a complete renovation of the Martin E. ('59) and Laurie Kaplan Computing and Technology Center, which serves as the primary student computing lab at the College. The total area of the lab was expanded by removing an internal wall on the north side, which extended seating to the windows and provides users with natural light and a view of Manhattan. The new lab has over 400 seats. All new furniture, carpeting and equipment was installed. The seating on the north side of the atrium was designed to support individual work and includes some lounge chairs, while the south side of the atrium is designed for collaborative work. There are tables that can accommodate small groups around computers with large displays, and there are 6 new group collaboration rooms with 65" monitors linked to audiovisual equipment and videoconferencing capability. Between the two sides of the lab is a room for printing and a bring-your-own-device area that includes a self-service kiosk for borrowing laptops, iPads and chargers. A 30-seat classroom supports training sessions for students. There are alcoves around the perimeter of the north side that hold a permanent exhibition of photographs by Joel Meyerowitz, and a display case of objects created by students using the 3-D printers in the Pop-Up Makerspace that adjoins the lab. Finally, a new help desk, modelled on the Apple Genius Bar, was constructed off the main hallway of the floor to be easily accessible to students, including at times when the lab is not open. This new facility will be used heavily by our students, and it will be the envy of CUNY. The President encourages everyone to stop by and see it.
Finally, the President welcomes Leanna Yip, our new executive director of Marketing & Communications, who joined Baruch from Queens College in May. Leanna has a strong global background and worked with Zicklin to launch its EMS in Finance in Mumbai, India. She is already working with all three Schools on their graduate recruitment efforts for the coming season.
Questions and Answers
Professor Peterson asks if the president can talk a little bit about the decision making ability that the college has on the Dreamers issue. The president responds that as a public institution it is quite difficult as we are all employees of the state and the governor has quite a lot of decision making power over our existence. We do live in a “blue state” however, and it appear s that we want to do everything in our power to help the Dreamers. We can’t be a “sanctuary campus” as a private university can. Professor Frank has three questions. The first concerns the rodent problems on campus. Lisa Edwards of Campus Facilities and Operations responds that faculty contact her office and that a pest management company will come in to exterminate should they find evidence of rodents. As a second issue Professor Frank asks why the college continues to hire of a consulting firm to draft the strategic plan when there are perfectly able faculty who are perhaps willing to do the job. As a second related issue the Midcareer Faculty Fellowship Program focuses on article scholarship as opposed to book writing. Many faculty are engaged in book writing and indeed is expected in order to progress through the ranks. Professor Frank suggests that more time be spent talking to the faculty on what their needs are in addition to the skill sets that they can offer the college. As a third issue Professor Franks references an ongoing investigation being conducted in his capacity as Chair of the Senate Educational Policy Committee. He had requested numbers and these numbers had been held up. Professor Frank reiterates that it is numbers he is looking for and not information about people. According to the senate bylaws the committee should have met last semester and already made its conclusions. The President responds that the work of the consulting firm is indeed far greater than perhaps any one or groups of faculty member are willing to do. The previous strategic plan consisted of some sixteen different drafts and that consultants are perhaps best positioned to do this work. Professor Frank voices his objection to the president's assertion that he does not, and by extension other faculty do not, know how much work is involved in creating a strategic plan. As to the investigation President Wallerstein will investigate further to understand better the case in question.
Report from the Provost
Provost Christy first welcomes some new members to the Provost’s Office. Dr. Patricia Price is Associate Provost for Academic Administration and Faculty Development and Dr. Rachel Fester is Assistant Provost for Assessment, Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness.
A number of new opportunities have arisen from CUNY for faculty development. These opportunities are the latest in response to the COACHE survey data and our climate survey. The Mid-Career Faculty Fellowship Program applications are due October 30, 2017 by 5:00pm for the Spring 2018 cohort. The goal is that fellows will submit at least one research-based scholarly article or creative writing project to a peer reviewed journal by June 15, 2018. The program includes mentored writing groups, professional development, individual mentors, a course release during 2018-19 to support a revise and resubmit or the next manuscript. Eligibility is limited to CUNY full time tenured Assistant or Associate Professors. A maximum of 20 awards will be given. There is a detailed application process that includes letters of support from a mentor and your department chair. It should also be noted that individuals with book length manuscripts are welcome to apply if the project can feasibly be brought to the point of submission to a press by June 15, 2018.
Applications for the program Diversifying CUNY Leadership: A CUNY-Harvard Consortium are due December 22, 2017 by 5:00pm. Participants must have at least two years of academic leadership experience, with various faculty leadership and staff leadership roles being eligible. Faculty must be tenured, the program is open to full HEOs. Components include shadowing a senior leader, attendance at an appropriate Harvard Institutes of Higher Education 2 week workshop, and the completion of a project. The program will begin in Summer 2018 and requires a letter of support from Department Chairs (for faculty) or Supervisors (for HEOs or administrators).
With respect to student success at the college the CUNY Wide Priority is Academic Momentum. This includes the goal of achieving 30 credits per year, with degree mapping to support degree completion, including curriculum simplification at the undergraduate level, and reform of developmental education.
The Provost reports that at Baruch we have engaged in deliberate approaches to improving success in non-credit math courses offered by SACC. We are proposing an experiment in mathematics that permits ‘Repeat for Mastery’, limited to selected courses in Pre-calculus Mathematics and Calculus. Associate Provost Slavin will consult with the school curriculum committees and University Registrar before we test this new policy.
Faculty reporting tasks continue to be important and the Provost’s office seeks to improve our collective response to this. We will focus on these five areas:
Roster Certification: Baruch is financially responsible for any award given incorrectly to a student on TAP, Pell or Excelsior if that students is not actively enrolled in your class.
Early Alert for first year students
Grades submitted on time: CUNY Policy is now 3 business days after the last scheduled exam day. At Baruch, the last exam day is Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Grades must be submitted by midnight on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.
Workload reports (all full-time faculty)
Multiple Position Policy Reports (most full-time faculty)
The Provost next reports on the Green Card Pipeline and Immigration Issues for Sponsored Tenure Track Faculty. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service has increased the scrutiny of applications for permanent residence in the United States (aka ‘green card’.) Baruch sponsors tenure track faculty in the H-1B visa application and the ‘Green Card’ process. This process involves 1. PERM determination by the US Department of Labor that insures that foreign nations are paid the prevailing wage as members of the faculty, 2. I-140 ‘immigration petition’, and I-485 Adjustment of Status steps. The I-485 now requires ‘extreme vetting’ that may include a personal interview. This vetting could result in substantial delays in processing, and trigger additional costs because the H-1B may need to be renewed. It is important that we understand this process, but it is even more important that search committees do not discriminate against foreign nationals for positions even if this process could result in delays. We will see how this process pays out later this year.
OER courses and e-permits
Many students are motivated to avoid the cost of textbooks in some courses. We should anticipate that some students may choose to take courses at other campuses via e-permit if those courses are listed as having no textbook costs.
Approved Leaves of Absence
Faculty should refrain from stating the reason for an approved leave of absence on their P&B binders, and faculty P&B committees should refrain from discussing the reasons for those leaves of absence. P&B binders should note when leaves of absence have been authorized, and in cases where a ‘bridge’ is an available option, they should indicate whether this option was invoked.
Academic Affairs Diversity Advisory Committee
The Academic Affairs Diversity Advisory Committee will meet later this month. We have asked department chairs to initiate a review of the inclusion of diversity in the learning goals of undergraduate courses. Dr. Rachel Fester will work with department chairs with some additional information.
Questions & Answers
In referencing the COACH survey Professor Peterson notes the dissatisfaction that faculty has with senior administration. What steps has the Provost made to remedy this situations? The Provost responds by noting that efforts have been made to include the voice of the faculty in our everyday interaction and that various fellowship programs have been implemented to help with faculty leadership and development. Professor Bill Fearns notes that three sources of information through CUNY First that are available to verify that an instructor is teaching a class and yet we are still required to manually process the verification process. The Provost responds that errors remain and that it is important that we verify that instructors of record are indeed the ones teaching. Professor Mindy Engels Friedman asks how many women are on the strategic planning committee. Professor Alison Griffiths is the only woman serving on the committee. Professor Ester Allen went to commencement and noted that there was not a single female speaker nor any Asian representative speaker considering that upwards of 40% of our student body is Asian. It is crucial that future commencement ceremonies reflect our student body and its diversity.
Report from Vice President Mary Gorman on Enrollment
VP Gorman reports that the college admitted 1606 freshman students which is 200 more than last year. This has allowed us to reduce the number of transfer students. We have 1754 transfers registered –down 64 from last year and a couple of hundred down from where we projected we would be, Of those 1600 freshman we have the largest SEEK freshman class totaling 208 (713 SEEK students altogether). Graduate student enrollment has declined somewhat we are at 3035 and down 63 from last fall. The college presently has 18470 students. We will report our final numbers in a couple of weeks. What is worthy of note is the number of credit hours undergraduate students are taking as this has risen by 3300 hours. Students are taking more classes. The Excelsior Scholarship program is probably the main cause for this with part time students shifting to full time.
Question & Answers
Professor Gordon asks why the increase in freshman numbers? VP Gorman is not entirely sure. There have been changes in the SAT scoring and there is the Excelsior scholarship program. Some 2000 applied for the Excelsior Scholarship program from the college, but the college has not been informed of who applied, who received it, and who did not. This is proving a little frustrating as we are unable to track the effects of the scholarship program on enrollment.
Remarks to the Faculty Senate under Old Business:
Professor Johnson announces those newly (re)elected category 2 senators representing the eight largest departments on campus serving on one-year elected appointments. They are:
Bi-Juan Zhong (MKT), Shula Gross (CIS), Christopher Hessel (Econ-Fin), Mehmet Ozbilgin (Acct),
Jared Peifer (MGT), Elizabeth Stepp (Math), and William McClellan (Eng). The Faculty Senate is still yet to elect a representative from SPIA. These senators will serve for the 2017-18 academic year.
Remarks to the Faculty Senate under New Business:
Allison Lehr Samuels, Director of the Baruch Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL’s) presents on the ongoing program at the center for developing Open Educational Resources (OER’s) and online coursework. The center has been active in helping faculty to integrate issues of technology, policy, pedagogy, and research into their teaching. Over the coming academic year the center will be offering seminar and workshops that will address the following: Active Learning (EAM grant for MTH 1030), Baruch Online Learning Week (October 9-15), “Civic Engagement” CTL Conversations – November, CTL Workshops / Tech Café / Consultations, Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), Hybridization Seminar (SP 18), Open Education Resource Grant / Zero Textbook Cost, Policy Research (Academic Integrity & Peer Observations, Data Privacy, FERPA), Technology Pilots (Top Hat, Poll Everywhere), Technology (Vocat & Blogs@Baruch), and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The slide show of this presentation is available on the faculty senate website.
Professor Johnson thanks all those serving the senate as well as the President and the Provost and looks forward to a productive 2017-2018 academic year.
The meeting adjourned at 1. 30 pm
Baruch Faculty Senate Secretary