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Letters to the editor

Pathways: 80th Street Control of Your Dept.

One relatively neglected aspect of Pathways is the administrative takeover of the initial courses for each transfer major. The fifth “resolved” statement of the CUNY trustees’ Pathways resolution says that the chancellor will appoint committees to “recommend for approval to the University Office of Academic Affairs no fewer than three and no more than six courses that will be accepted as entry-level courses for beginning the major, or as prerequisites for such courses, by all colleges offering those majors.”

The words “will be” and “all colleges” attempt to eliminate any role for college departments and college senates in course approval.

The CUNY Common Course submission form to the Pathways Course Review Committee includes the following sentence: “Submission of this form to the Course Review Committee is unrelated to college governance procedures for course approvals.”

Disciplinary transfer major committees have already been formed for Biology, Business, Criminal Justice, English, Nursing, Psychology, and Teacher Education. They are to report their recommendations to the Office of Academic Affairs by May 1, 2012. If approved by Vice Chancellor Alexandra Logue, the recommendations are to become mandatory on relevant departments and colleges. It is perhaps unnecessary to note that this totally removes any elected faculty voice from the determination of required introductory courses in these majors.

Manfred Philipp, Lehman College


May Day and You

We can make May Day 2012 something huge! For the first time, it looks as if labor, community, immigrant, Occupy Wall Street and established political groups will coalesce around a single event, a late afternoon march from Union Square to Foley Square, past the African Burial Ground and on down to Wall Street. All participating groups have endorsed the slogan, “Legalize! Organize! Unionize!”

A single march solves nothing and proves little in and of itself, but it’s an opportunity for the members of New York’s working class in all their diversity to see, to greet, to become aware of one another, and to begin to feel their enormous power.

The PSC has had a significant role in encouraging organized labor to re-embrace May Day. We’ve been a visible and a vocal presence at the May Day rallies and marches of 2010 and 2011. Yet, we have never turned out even 1% of our membership.

That should be our minimum turnout goal for 2012. This isn’t a staff job; it’s a job for us as campus activists, as union members. Please volunteer to work out a mobilization plan for your campus, to talk up May Day, its history and importance, and to get commitments from colleagues and students to show up at Union Square at 4:00 pm on the first day of May.

Jim Perlstein, Chair, Retiree Chapter; Co-Chair, PSC Solidarity Committee

Editor’s note: Those interested can contact Jim Perlstein at jperlstein@pscmail.org.