Corporate work was a contentious issue for CUNY’s previous chancellor, Ann Reynolds, in the mid-1990s. Matthew Goldstein, president of Baruch at the time, circulated a letter supporting Reynolds after she was criticized for her extensive commitments to corporate boards.
Reynolds responded to the criticism by saying that “if she leaves at 3 pm for a corporate board meeting but she has already worked seven hours, then she does not consider that a day away from CUNY,” The New York Times reported in 1994. “The executive pay plan is 35 hours,” Special Counsel to the Chancellor David Fields told the paper. “If you’ve worked the hours, you’ve worked the hours.”
But CUNY’s two-days-a-month limit, adopted at the insistence of the State Legislature in 1987, is not framed as a minimum time commitment to CUNY: that was already covered by the Executive Compensation Plan’s 35-hour week. Instead, the two-day limit defines a maximum of outside involvement.
For her corporate service, Reynolds was paid a total of $140,000 a year, or 87% of the $158,000 salary that CUNY’s chancellor was paid at the time. One CUNY trustee responded with a proposal to ban the chancellor from earning outside income.