by Jessica Mahlbacher
I. Approval of the Minutes: March 5, 2014 – Interim President Robinson p.13
A. Minutes approved! Chase was very thankful.
II. Opening Comments – Interim President Robinson
A. State Budget Announcement:
1. Good News:
a. Major colleges received an additional 45 million in funds to primarily to cover fringe benefits.
b. They will also receive 65 million to cover the increased tuition revenue, much of that is to cover the difference between tap assistance and the rising tuition level.
TAP has been raised from 5154
c. Community colleges did well, and will now receive 75 dollars more per student from the state.
d. Good for capital funding
2. Okay news:
a. The state is not funding the costs of moving the faculty through contractual steps, this is now on the university.
b. There is some variance in terms of state bureaucratic commitment to assisting CUNY in closing the gap between TAP assistance and rising tuition levels.
c. There were also a number of smaller programs funded by the state.
d. Moderate decrease in what the state is going to allocate for maintenance, but an increase in strategic projects. Chase did not want to proclaim doom and gloom too soon, but the building is 40-50 years old. While the building has been well looked after, we are incurring costs all of the time, including a new set of chillers (which should in the long run save us money).
3. Chase Robinson: “The future is… obscure”: next year will be the end of the five year contract and the governor’s race is coming up. The current occupant of the gubernatorial seat likes to style himself as a “cost-conscious democrat.”
a. The biggest variable is the modified priority of an incoming chancellor. This will not cause problems in the upcoming fiscal year, but it will affect the long run.
B. Commencement!:
1. Dance card for the event
a. There will be the awarding of a Distinguished Alumni Medal: Carol J. Oja http://www.music.fas.harvard.edu/faculty/coja.html
b. Chase wants this to be continued and perhaps expanded, at the very least institutionalized.
c. Professor Uday Mehta will be giving the faculty address, Suzanne Tamang of Computer Science will be giving the student address.
d. The Chancellor will come!
C. Chase wanted to give a shout out to this event with Thomas Piketty. Even has had millions of youtube views.
D. Student Awards:
1. 2 graduate NSF research fellowships
2. The Society of Behavioral Medicine awarded a Distinguished Award for Student Research in 2014
3. One Guggenheim Fellowship to a recent alumni in Philosophy
E. Faculty Honors:
1. Two of the faculty were chosen to be on the National Academy of Science’s panel on the integration of immigrants into American society
2. Matt Gold and the Digital Humanities crew won an NEH start up grant
3. Michelle Fine 2014 Recipient of the Education Award from the Center for Fair and Open Testing
4. The EO of Physics won the Jefferson Science Fellowship Award from the State department
F. Recent Faculty Appointments (Props to the Provost and the English Department:
1. Eric Lott will join the English Department, from the UVA. Also American Studies
2. Feisal Mohamed will join the Department of English in 2015 from the University of Illinois.
3. Chase is delighted for them.
G. Offers are out Urban Education, Anthropology, Jewish Studies, Psychology. It may be awhile before closure.
H. Admission Season (Final numbers will not be ready until the fall).
1. Total number of applications is slightly higher than last year (by 9!), in spite of concerns that it would be down. Chase is heartened by this considering anecdotal evidence points to the national numbers being down.
2. The number of offers is the same as last year.
3. Chase thanked everyone for their hard work, particular props go to the Provost.
4. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it was an extremely strong season, filled with quality students.
I. The Doctoral Student Parental Policy is out, Chase thinks the product is sweet. Props to the members of the Provost and members of the DSC (including our own Sarah Kostecki)
1. Accommodations up through the age of six
2. This is a two year pilot program, this can be tweaked as needed.
3. Chase advises that under this policy, one can have a plethora of children, but they have to be sequential. No doubling up due to twins, triplets, sextuplets etc. “Live long and multiply, but not at the same time!”
III. Granting of Degrees and Certificates to May 2014 – Interim Provost Lennihan
A. Doctor of Philosophy Degree is given to 120 candidates, the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree is given to 1 candidate, Masters of Arts Degree is given to 48 candidates, Master of Philosophy Degree is given to 121 candidates, the Doctor of Cardiology is given to 9 candidates, Doctor of Physical Therapy is given to 47 candidates, and the Doctor of Public Health be given to 1 candidate.
B. Motioned, seconded. Nobody disapproved.
IV. Results of Election to College Association – Professor Thistlethwaite
A. Klara Marton from Speech, Language and Hearing Science
B. Herb Saltzstein from Psychology
C. Thom Thurston from Economics
V. Nominations for two faculty to serve on the Student Complaint Appeals Committee for 2014-2015 -Professor Thistlethwaite (only faculty can make nominations)
A. The biggest single issue that Polly wanted to highlight, and was highlighted repeatedly, was the issue of preferential voting. All candidates, no matter how many there are, have to be ranked under the system of preferential voting. Anyone who puts down their choices, without ranking all of the choices has their vote disqualified. Not for the whole ballot, for that particular slate.

VI. Nominations for Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary of Graduate Council for 2014-2016 – Professor Thistlethwaite
A. The chair and the vice chair have to be faculty members, the secretary can be faculty or a student.
B. Marty Burke as chair for 4 years. No one wanted to take this away from him.
C. Gerald Creed has been Vice-Chair. He was (quietly) begging for competition. Somebody nominated Jeremy Porter from Sociology. He decided to stand for the election. Polly said that all we were allowed to know was the department. No one started the revolution.
D. Polly announced that she, as the current Secretary, was the only one who had put her hat in the ring for this position. She hoped for competition. All she got was polite laughter.
VII. Committee on Committees Presentation of nominees for Standing Committees for 2014-2016 -Professor Thistlethwaite
A. There was confusion over whether students could only vote for students, and faculty could only vote for faculty. It was decided that nominations could be made by faculty for faculty, and students could only nominate students, but that everyone could vote for everyone.
B. It is not clear yet whether students’ votes actually count for the faculty, but they figured they could disaggregate the vote to ensure that policy is followed.
C. The Committee on Research is the most popular committee in town.
D. There was no excitement for the rest of the elections for the standing committees. No last minute nominations.
E. The nomination and elections process took a good 35 minutes. Chase warned that we had not heard the last of preferential voting. Clearly its minutes were numbered.
VIII. Committee on Curriculum and Degree Requirements – Ms. Anne Donlon p.17
A. Change to PhD in Computer Science, the new first exam is getting a 70% or higher on the algorithms test and a B+ average in the 4 core classes. New Classes added.
B. Change in Criminal Justice PhD, elimination of Forensic Science specialization. John Jay had provided the funding, and they elected to no longer spend the money. Current students shall be supported.
C. PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages Changes to Admission and Requirements. Two new core courses as well.
D. PhD program in Nursing- Changes First Examination: “State of the Science” paper.
E. New MALS track in Childhood and Youth Studies and two new courses, Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies, Childhood and Youth Studies. Potential link with the Brooklyn BA program, no MA exists like this yet in CUNY.
F. 0 credit course on prospectus and dissertation seminar for Philosophy department
G. The department of Public Health is trying to make the tracks more distinct in accordance with their accrediting body. They are changing the credits and also adding new courses.
IX. Minor Items
A. Change to 2 HLBLL courses
B. Computer Science is changing credit hours for 3-4, and then the Seminar “Research at CUNY” is now the “Research Survey”
X. Committee on Structure:
A. Changes to the Bylaws and the governance of the Graduate School from the governance. Get rid of preferential voting, instead going with plurality voting. That was not voted on in the session, the “Committee on Committees” gets the final say in how the voting would take place.
1. Chase points out that the arcane elements of preferential voting are not fully appreciated. Many people will not know “how to compare a candidate that we do not know well with a candidate that we do not know at all.”
2. The Committee on Structure is most concerned about disenfranchisement. Proper filling out of paperwork
3. Polly is also worried about the distribution of candidates, and the large number of candidates for committees such as Research
4. In the end, preferential voting was eliminated from the bylaws and the governance.
C. New governance for the Masters in Middle Eastern Studies.
D. Revised governance for the Women’s Studies Program.
XI. Presentation of the Standing Committees
XII. Professor Burke gave a report from the university faculty senate.
A. Still short on alternates for the Faculty Senate
B. Project for a larger institutional repository program is still in process, it is hoped this will be tied to the CUNY commons. It should be voluntary, not mandatory.

 

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