Date: May 16th 2012


Sandi E Cooper, chair, University Faculty Senate
Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress

May 16, 2012

The faculty is taking back control of the education of our students. The University Faculty Senate, in conjunction with the Professional Staff Congress, has begun a major effort to develop an alternative to Pathways. By the end of the fall 2012 semester, we will produce a proposal for facilitating student transfer while upholding the quality of a CUNY degree.

There are genuine problems in CUNY’s current transfer policies and practices, and we are committed to solving them. Students should not lose time, money and momentum simply because they decide to transfer within CUNY. We view the rapid transformation in the rate of student transfer, however, not as an opening for standardization, but rather as an opportunity for an important and intellectually exciting conversation about how CUNY can respond to the needs and aspirations of its changing student body.

As the CUNY-wide faculty governance body, the University Faculty Senate will lead an inclusive process of discussion and development throughout the summer and fall. At the center of the process will be the faculty actually engaged in undergraduate teaching who have been elected by their peers to shape curriculum. With organizing support from the Professional Staff Congress, the UFS will bring together college faculty governance bodies, department chairs, discipline councils and other elected representatives to develop an innovative and academically rigorous proposal. We will also invite contributions from the many other CUNY faculty who have developed special knowledge of the issue during the past year of discussions.

We plan to begin with an examination of the scale of the current problems in student transfer, a survey of existing best practices, and a study of the success and failure of the articulation agreements currently in place. Our discussion will also include the question of additional resources for CUNY; we believe that a meaningful solution to the student transfer problem will require more funding, not less. And we may consider how new technology, including some currently being implemented at CUNY, could be reshaped to address the needs of transfer students. We also expect to invite elected faculty leaders from other comparable university systems, such as SUNY and California State, that may offer models for addressing student transfer.

As faculty who have committed our intellectual lives to the education of CUNY students, we will not allow our students to be underestimated or underserved. We are confident that the elected faculty representatives can produce an approach to student transfer that strengthens, rather than weakens, this great university.


Sandi E. Cooper, Chair
University Faculty Senate -- CUNY
535 E 80 Street
New York, N Y 10075
212 794 5538

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