Minutes of March 2, 2017 MINUTES Senators Attending: E. Axelrod (Law), D. Caplan (FPA), C. Christoforatou (ENG), S. Dishart (Comm), M. Edwards (Law), W. Finke (ModLang), B. Fontana (Pol.Sci.), K. Frank (Eng), W. Gordon (Math), A. Grein (Mkt/Int’lBus), S. Gross (IS/S), K. Guest (Soc/Anth), C. Hessel (Eco/Fin), S. Johnson (Psy), G. Jurkevich (ModLang), T. Martell (Eco/Fin), R. McManus (Pol.Sci.), R. Merkin (Comm), E. Minei (Comm), M. Ozbilgin (Acct), J. Peifer (Mgt.), L. Rath (Lib), M. Seltzer (SPIA), C. Tuthill (Lib), A.Vora (Eco/Fin), R.Wilkins (Comm), S. Wine (IS/S).
Senators Absent: K. Bahar (FPA), E. Chou (Eng), S. Chugani (Mkt/Int’lBus), R. Freedman (ZSB), L. Friedman (IS/S), S. Korenman (SPIA), D. Luna (Mkt/Int’lBus), W. McClellan (Eng), A. Pearlman (Psy), G. Petersen (Soc./Anth), L. Placido (Econ/Fin), R. Sawant (Mkt.), P. Sethi (Mgt), R. Radoicic (Math), M. Stark (SPIA), S. Thomas (Acct), J. Weiser (Law), R. Zachary (Mgt),
Forty-Six additional members of the faculty, staff and students noted their presence, making a total attendance of seventy-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 February 2, 2017 were approved by assent.
Report from the Chair:
Professor Johnson reports that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will be meeting President Wallerstein on April 4th, 2017. An agenda for that meeting is currently being prepared. In referring to the diversity training offered in preparation for participating on hiring committees, Professor Johnson continues to be concerned about the way that we operationalize diversity as value added in the search process. The executive committee is currently working on strategies to operationalize diversity in the context of a search. The general goal is that faculty should not be confounded nor conflicted when implementing the stated policies of the schools that we all work in.
Professor Terry Martell is introduced in the capacity of our University Faculty Senate representative. Professor Martell raises two issues: (1) Faculty diversity at the university level and (2) how to enhance and advance student graduation rates. With respect for the first, Professor Martell reports that there is a very clear push from the University Board of Trustees to ensure we are cognizant of and have an interest in ensuring a diverse pool of candidates when hiring. An outside consultant has been hired to facilitate the challenges moving from looking at pools of candidates and actually operationalizing outcomes with the need for diverse candidates to take up positions at the university. Regarding the second issue of enhancing graduation rates, the Enrollment Committee is looking carefully at how best to facilitate student progress. It has been noted that the proposed Excelsior Scholarships will mandate a 15-credit course load. In a question from the floor from Professor Gordon it is asked how it is possible that we schedule 25% more classes? The committee acknowledges these new requirements. Recommendations on how to best manage the scheduling will be forthcoming. Also an assessment is needed regarding the impact that the new demands will have on our course offerings.
The Provost reports that The Board of Trustees and CUNY Leadership are becoming increasingly concerned about the degree to which the diversity of our faculty does not represent the diversity of students who attend CUNY today, and into the future. The Board looks at the CUNY faculty as a ‘population’, but individual faculty search committees are comparing selected attributes for a small number of finalist candidates, and this process does not place sufficient emphasis on the composition of our faculty as a community.
It is increasingly clear that to get different outcomes, we will need to modify the emphasis that we place on the multiple factors that inform these decisions. The Provost is committed to eliciting ideas from our Baruch faculty on ways that we might agree will not only increase inclusion of women, black and Hispanic candidates in our faculty search pools, but also select these individuals to join our faculty.
The Provost is convinced that Baruch faculty can develop a process that is consistent with our campus culture. Finding local solutions is far preferable to having mandates imposed by CUNY. The Provost welcomes discussions with the faculty regarding this issue now, as he may need to issue a guidance memorandum to faculty later this spring.
Qustions and Answers
Mona Jha, the new Interim Chief Diversity Officer, announces that the annual diversity luncheon will be held on April 5th. Dean Romero will be speaking and the talk is titled Diversity as a Toolbox for Success: The Evidence. An event announcement will be forthcoming.
Remarks to the Faculty Senate under Old Business:
Professor Michael Seltzer is asked to present a revised resolution to the Faculty Senate regarding year round operations and faculty workload. The following is introduced and the floor opened for discussion:
The Faculty Senate respectfully submits this resolution that an exception be made in our contract that while on annual leave, those faculty who so choose should be able to receive workload credit for teaching in summer sessions. This recommendation includes teaching in both longstanding degree programs that extend in to the summer months, such as the National Urban Fellows, and individual courses that full-time faculty choose at their sole discretion to teach in the summer. Provost Christy notes that there have been a number of programs that require summer delivery of courses. These include the National Urban Fellows, the Executive MPA, the Executive MBA, Executive MS in Finance, our programs with Southwest University of Economics and Finance from China, and some newly initiated programs in Zicklin—a dual-degree program with the College of Management Studies in Israel and another with Peking University Shenzhen Campus. In response to seeking a waiver the provost has requested five years of data on who has taught these classes and what has been offered. Our first step through our labor representative Olga Dias is to make a presentation to CUNY as they would need to negotiate a waiver with PSC. CUNY however, has not indicated just yet that this is what they want to do. The Provost welcomes that the Senate is making this resolution as the waiver in the contract will take several different players.
PSC Baruch Chapter Chair Vincent DiGirolamo presents the following response:
“I welcome this opportunity to respond to the proposal that the PSC investigate modifying the contract to allow workload credit for summer teaching for full-time faculty. Since our appointment in November, the PSC Chapter officers—Vice Chair Carly Smith, Secretary Stan Wine, and Delegates Glenn Peterson, Bill Ferns, and Elizabeth Wollman, and I— have been in discussion with the administration on the issue. The proposal gives me an opportunity to fill you in on those discussions and the events that precipitated them. The issue came to the fore last spring when the PSC learned that many faculty members at Baruch had been receiving workload credit for summer teaching. The PSC filed a grievance asserting that such practice is in violation of Articles 14 and 15 and Appendix A. The Workload Settlement Agreement, of the PSC/CUNY contract, which states that undergraduate teaching contact hours apply solely to the fall and spring semesters. The practice throughout CUNY is for faculty to be paid at the appropriate adjunct rates for all summer work. However, upon requesting information from the college the PSC learned that Baruch had been in violation at least since 2013 when the Library and sixteen departments granted faculty workload credit for summer teaching. In Weissman: those departments were English, Modern Languages, Psychology, Natural Sciences, Communications, Fine and Performing Arts, Black and Latino Studies, Mathematics, Communications, History, and Sociology/Anthropology. In Zicklin: the scofflaws were Management, Economics and Finance, Statistics and CIS, Marketing, and Accounting. In addition to receiving course credit, some faculty received fractional credit for overseeing summer internships and independent studies.
This was a serious and seemingly systematic breach of the collective bargaining agreement, although Baruch's Labor Designee Olga Dais assured us at our last Article 2. Labor-Management Meeting on December 20th that the administration was not aware of the practice. We raised the issue there because the PSC, after discussions with Baruch faculty, indicated to the administration that it would consider a proposal from the college for summer workload credit in limited circumstances. As reported in the minutes emailed to all members in January, President Wallerstein noted that universities around the world are moving to year-round operation, which he said was critical for revenue flow. Provost Christy stated that summer teaching credit is particularly important at Baruch given the existence of programs that incorporate summer study by design, such as the National Urban Fellows program at MSPA and undergraduate offerings with international partnerships—and the fact that full-time faculty will not teach in summer at the adjunct rate. He suggested that as part of an agreement, new faculty might be employed on a 12-month schedule. We on the union side made clear that the PSC would not agree to mandate such work. The summer credit issue also came up at a meeting with Zicklin School departmental chairs and PSC President Barbara Bowen and myself on January 15. President Bowen reiterated that while the union has no objection to considering a proposal for certain programs taught exclusively in summer, it would be opposed to extending workload credit for summer work across the college for all faculty.
Why is this the union's position? The main reason is to ensure that we have the time necessary for our scholarship. The PSC has fought hard to maintain the summer annual leave, which thousands of us rely on to conduct research and write the books and articles and produce the other creative work necessary to advance our careers and enrich our teaching and our lives. While the PSC understands that some departments at Baruch have academic and programmatic needs to cover summer instruction, none of us wants the summer annual leave to be eroded or college administrations to pressure vulnerable untenured faculty into teaching year-round. This is especially important since the union has negotiated a commitment to reduce what is in some cases a punishing workload of seven or more classes per year.
So far no proposal has been received from the administration. We expect to receive one this month. When we do, it will be reviewed by the PSC’s Contract Enforcement Committee and our chapter Executive Committee. Until such time that an agreement is reached and approved by both CUNY’s Office of Labor Relations, the college, and the PSC, faculty will have to be paid rather than have the time counted towards the workload. That is the current practice University-wide.
I will keep the membership informed as things progress. Meantime, I welcome all faculty to attend our next chapter meeting, Thursday, March 16, 12:30 to 2:30, in the Library Building, Room H-750. The summer workload credit issue is on the agenda and we look forward to full discussion among all interested parties. Thank you.”
Olga Dias reports that we are an outlier at the university when it comes to the number of courses being offered over the summer months. Presently data on those programs offered during the summer is being prepared in a way that can be used to present an argument to central office. The argument is not for all programs to be included in a waiver but just a select group of programs where the very nature of the programs is that they are offered over 12-months.
Professor Chris Hessel questions the article being cited from the contract when most of the classes being taught in the summer are graduate classes and not undergraduate classes. Research is also a year-long exercise and for those who taught on the summer their winters could be utilized for research purposes. Clarification is needed.
Professor Warren Gordon notes the use of the term “sole discretion” in the proposed resolution. There are many good reasons why faculty might want to teach on the summer. “Justified for some good reason” may strengthen the argument here. Professor Kevin Frank notes that the term “sole discretion” is in there to avoid the idea that faculty be forced to teach over the summer. Unfortunately some chairs have forced faculty to work over the summer and we wanted to avoid that particular abuse of any such policy being proposed here.
Professor Karl Kronebusch notes that when teaching in SPIA that in some circumstances classes have been cancelled at the last minute due to under-enrollment. This waiver would allow teaching in the summer for workload credit so that an overload would not have to be taught the following semester. The policy of having to bump an adjunct out of a class at the last minute to accommodate the workload requirements seems also unjustified. The discussion here should be more about faculty flexibility rather than just about summer teaching. From the standpoint of management—given the increasing demands of having to enhance student graduation rates—the option for summer teaching may facilitate a better use of our resources. Another argument involves the recognition that in the global south the winter months are June, July, and August and should we wish to develop global partnerships we need then to think about ways of accommodating these varying work schedules.
Professor David Hoffman from SPIA notes that being a past beneficiary of using the summers for workload credit he found he was able to maintain a consistent research effort throughout the year and that there were also teaching benefits. He felt more individualized attention could be given to students given the smaller numbers.
Professor Terry Martell adds that he would prefer this not to have to be a faculty union issue. This has peculated up from the faculty and their desire for faculty control over the way they research and teach. Having served as a university trustee he understand the union’s position. We set rules here often for the least common denominator and that often traps us. Professor Martell supports the resolution because faculty want more flexibility.
Professor Samuel Johnson also notes that over recent years we have promoted high impact practices in our teaching. These include independent study, internships and supervised research. Summers are a great time to promote these practices and having to calculate a salary for such things seems counter-productive. Professor Johnson supports the resolution.
Professor Linda Rath asks how the wording reflects the work of the library faculty. Professor Seltzer reaffirms that the resolution does not apply to the library faculty.
Professor Seltzer also notes that this proposed amendment to the contract may also strengthen our hand when it comes to attracting faculty from diverse backgrounds and their needs for greater flexibility in their teaching schedules.
Professor Martha Stark from SPIA supports the resolution. She notes her own use of the summer to offset a very heavy seven-course workload and sees great benefits to doing so. She also questions the timing and whether or not the resolution will have its desired effect or whether it is preempted by process it is going through. In response the PSC Baruch Chapter Chair Vincent DiGirolamo states that a motion like this is important to send a message showing where the faculty stand on this issue and whether or not there are reservations. For example how do you avoid favoritism and how do we establish parity in an issue like this?
Provost Christy reaffirms that proposal being put together is limited to those programs that have a summer requirement in the delivery of classes. Most are at the master’s level. We would be seeking an accommodation agreement for these programs only. For future negotiations with the PSC, this may be something that faculty will want to raise through their union representatives for future contract negotiations. At a meeting with chief academic officers we discussed increasing our online operations which has an entirely different rhythm to their delivery and also how best to service adult learners which also has a different rhythm and structure. The traditional structure of Fall and Spring teaching may not position us as competitive and so we need to address these concerns.
Professor Mathew Edwards in Law asks if there is anything that would prevent a faculty member negotiating a higher payment for working in the summer. Is it permitted to negotiate a higher pay rate? In response the Provost notes that while negotiations do not occur across individual faculty the board of trustees does allow the use of different compensation rates for preapproved executive programs.
The discussion is closed. The motion is seconded and moved to a vote.
Motion is passed unanimous by acclamation.
Remarks to the Faculty Senate under New Business:
Three of the four current University Faculty Senate members whose term expires this year wish to continue in their positions: These are Terry Martell, Jana OKeefe Bazzoni, and Jay Weiser. The new member delegated to the UFS will be Judith Kafka from SPIA.
Professor Mathew Edwards in Law notes that we no longer have a faculty lounge. He thinks that a thriving institution should have a faculty lounge where faculty can gather and asks why is there not a designated space. Another faculty member also reports of her experience of teaching at Hunter College where faculty facilities were in far greater numbers than they are here and the benefits that this yielded. Professor Johnson agreed to place this matter on the next plenary agenda.
The meeting adjourned at 2. 15 pm
Respectfully Submitted Richard Wilkins Baruch Faculty Senate Secretary