by Kristofer Petersen-Overton and Sarah Kostecki

I.   Approval of the Minutes: October 16, 2013


II.  Opening Comments – Interim President Robinson  

Robinson discussed the upcoming submission of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation report, due by June 1, 2015. He mentioned that standards have risen as Middle States attempts to bolster its reputation, but he’s confident the GC will be fine.

Stressing a new emphasis on training PhDs for extra-academic careers, Robinson bragged about a tweet from @versatilePhD: “@CUNYGradCenter is truly a model for 21st century doctoral ed! Dean Olan was inspiring! #CGS53

Apparently we’re blazing the way in this area.

Finally, Robinson heaped praise on an article in the Huffington Post (“Why State Universities Are Best”), penned by GC alum, Gina Barreca:


III. Committee on Curriculum and Degree Requirements (all passed without serious debate)

A. Major Items

1. Ph.D. Program in Psychology – Clinical Forensic Psychology – changes in curriculum

2. Ph.D. Program in Psychology – New Courses

a.  Evidence-Based Treatment of Adults with Severe Mental Illness

b.  Empirically Supported Treatments for Substance Abuse

c.  Structural Equation Modeling

d.  Hierarchical Linear Modeling

3. Ph.D. Program in Economics – New Course

a.  Panel Econometrics

4. Proposal for Certificate in Critical Theory


IV. Committee on Structure

The committee is currently reviewing various governance documents and has developed a template for programs revising their constitutions, policies, etc.

A. Revised Computer Science Program Governance

B. Revised English Program Governance    


V. University Faculty Senate – Report

The UFS Committee on Academic Freedom is concerned over CUNY’s draft policy on “expressive conduct” (see here: It’s widely viewed as overreach, fallout from CUNY’s shuttering of the Morales/Shakur Center at CCNY (See here and here) and the charges CUNY is proceeding with against students. For now, the UFS is waiting to see what will happen. They have two potential problems with such a policy:


1) It might be taken to suggest a more constrained view of expression. There is a wide diversity of opinion about this among provosts and presidents, not to mention faculty at all the satellite schools. 2) The document might tie our hands at the campuses in favor of a centralized CUNY-wide policy. Policies that accommodate the balance between freedom of expression and teaching, learning and working should be left to the individual colleges to decide. Interim President Robinson suggested the balance is just right at the Grad Center and would not necessarily want to see the balance upset by overbearing rulings from CUNY central. He intends to resist any infringement of Grad Center autonomy on these issues.

At this point, Colin Ashley (Co-Chair for Business at the Doctoral Students Council, attempted to raise the issue of the Grad Council condemning any effort to regulate “expressive conduct.” The motion was tabled after interim President Robinson pointed out that a final draft is not yet ready and that it would be premature to oppose it until then. The DSC countered that any resolution would oppose “any attempt” to regulate expressive conduct as the faculty has done at places like Hunter and Brooklyn College. Still, the body voted to table the motion.


VI. New Business

No new business introduced.

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