The following resolution on Pathways and academic freedom was passed unanimously by the PSC Delegate Assembly on September 27, 2012.
The PSC reaffirms the call we issued in April 2012, for the repeal of Pathways, a revision of the general education curriculum of the entire University that will degrade the quality of education at CUNY.
As a union, we stand for academic quality and for the principle that CUNY students, who are overwhelmingly working class and people of color, are entitled to the opportunity to receive an education that will take them as far as their abilities and aspirations allow.
Now that implementation has begun, the irrationality and academic hollowness of Pathways has become even clearer. Unable to demonstrate that Pathways has academic integrity, CUNY college administrations have resorted to threats and coercion in an attempt to gain faculty approval for its courses.
We express our solidarity with our colleagues across the University who have taken a stand against the dilution of our students’ education and who have insisted on sufficient instructional time with their students. Threatening faculty with punishment for voting to spend more time in instruction is absurd, but this is exactly what was threatened at Queensborough Community College last month, and what continues to be threatened less overtly at other CUNY colleges.
Legitimate academic decisions cannot be made in an atmosphere of threats, coercion and reprisals. Such an atmosphere is antithetical to the nature of a university.
As members of an academic community, as members of a union, as instructional staff whose contract includes the protection of academic freedom – we will not stand for the use of threats and coercion.
The PSC reiterates our resolution demanding the repeal of the Pathways policy itself and calls for an immediate moratorium on all further implementation of Pathways until the CUNY Central Administration explicitly withdraws all forms of coercion and pressure – including explicit or implicit threats of reprisals and dismissals – directed at faculty, staff, departments and other governance bodies.