Professional Staff Congress | 61 Broadway, 15th Floor, NYC 10006 | 212-354-1252 |212-PSC-CUNY | firstname.lastname@example.org | AFT Local #2334
Timeline: Resistance to Pathways
||MARCH 8, 2012. Campaign launched with a Town Hall Meeting.
Nearly 350 faculty, staff and students attended a March 8th PSC Town Hall Meeting on Pathways, launching the campaign against CUNY’s top-down overhaul of general education and transfer. About 30 people spoke during an hour-long open mic, criticizing Pathways and demanding an alternative.
|MARCH 26, 2012. First Joint PSC/UFS Lawsuit Based on the Bylaws Filed.
University Faculty Senate (UFS) Chair Dr. Sandi Cooper and UFS Vice-Chair Dr. Terrence Martell joined President Bowen in bringing the lawsuit, which argued that the CUNY administration exceeded its authority in matters of curriculum and failed to follow university bylaws and faculty governance procedures in the development of Pathways. Read the court papers.
|APRIL 30, 2012. Petition to Repeal Pathways with 5,676 Signatures Submitted to the Board of Trustees.
“Nearly 6,000 have spoken, Pathways is broken!” That was the message PSC members brought to the CUNY Board of Trustees after delivering petitions signed by 5,676 faculty, staff and retirees. The thousands of signers urged the trustees to repeal and replace the “Pathways initiative,” CUNY’s controversial overhaul of general education and transfer.
|JUNE 18, 2012. Thirty PSC Members Testify against Pathways at Board of Trustees Hearing.
Thirty CUNY faculty and staff presented testimony about problems with Pathways at the June 18 CUNY Board of Trustees borough hearing. Their testimony offered a varied and detailed analysis of how Pathways would hurt students and undermine the value of the CUNY degree.
|AUGUST 1, 2012. Second Joint PSC/UFS Lawsuit Based on the Open Meetings Law Filed.
On August 1, the PSC and the University Faculty Senate filed a new lawsuit against Pathways, arguing that the administration’s efforts to implement it are in violation of New York’s Open Meetings Law.
|SEPTEMBER 12, 2012. Campus Community Protests Retaliation Against QCC English Department.
On Wednesday, September 12th, the English Department at Queensborough Community College voted overwhelmingly to reject proposed curriculum changes for Pathways, namely a reduction of hours for English composition courses from four to three. The faculty’s decision was guided by a deep commitment to sustaining a quality education for students. The QCC administration responded with reprisals, but met stiff resistance campus-wide, CUNY-wide and nationally.
|SEPTEMBER 27, 2012. PSC Delegate Assembly Passes Resolution Demanding a Moratorium on Pathways.
At its September meeting, the PSC Delegate Assembly passed a resolution reiterating the PSC's demand for the repeal of Pathways and calling for an immediate moratorium on all further implementation until the CUNY Central Administration explicitly withdraws all forms of coercion and pressure directed at faculty, staff, departments and other governance bodies. The PSC encourages faculty senates, disciplinary councils, departments and other governance bodies to adopt or adapt this resolution as they see fit. Faculty Senates at College of Staten Island and Borough of Manhattan Community College passed their own resolutions declaring moratoriums on Pathways.
|OCTOBER 12, 2012. PSC/UFS Joint Conference on Pathways.
The UFS/PSC conference put the Pathways struggle in the context of a national push to corporatize universities. Transfer systems at other large public university systems were examined, the PSC/UFS Alternative to Pathways Working Group gave an update, and researchers presented their findings. One panel shared research debunking a major rationale for Pathways: that transfer problems are the primary reason some CUNY students accumulate excess credits. Click here to read the report.
|NOVEMBER 9, 2012. Rally at Step 2 Grievance Hearing on Pathways.
On Friday, November 9 PSC presented arguments in a Step 2 Grievance hearing on Pathways. Dozens of PSC members attended the hearing overflowing from the hearing room to a rally outside the building. The PSC in its grievance maintained that CUNY had violated the right of faculty control over curriculum as stipulated in its bylaws and in college governance plans.
|NOVEMBER 13, 2012. Victory for Shared Governance in QCC English Department.
In early November, QCC President Diane Call informed the English department on that campus that she planned to reject their near three-fourths majority vote to elect a new chair. The struggles of the QCC English department made headlines recently when faculty members were threatened with mass firings after the department voted against reducing classroom hours for Pathways-compliant composition courses.
Over the following days, more than 900 CUNY faculty signed a petition from the QCC English department faculty urging President Call to reconsider her decision to deny their vote for chair. On Tuesday, November 13, President Call did just that, upholding the election.
|NOVEMBER 19, 2012. National Petition for a Moratorium on Pathways
In its first four weeks, 5,000 people signed a national petition in support of a moratorium on implementing CUNY’s Pathways initiative. Fully one-third of the signers also left a comment – a truly surprising rate for an online petition.
Clearly the issue touched a chord far beyond the City University of New York: thousands of those comments were left by faculty at other colleges and universities. A selection of those comments appears here.
|JANUARY 5, 2013. Modern Language Association Vote Opposing Pathways
The Delegate Assembly of the Modern Language Association passed a resolution opposing Pathways at their January meeting in Boston. The organization serves a membership of 30,000 English and foreign language faculty in 100 countries. According to Inside Higher Ed, the resolution “criticiz[es] the CUNY administration at the City University of New York, arguing that administrators infringed on faculty rights in creating and requiring a curricular system to ease transfer from the system's community colleges to its four-year institutions.” It goes on to support a moratorium on implementation of the new curriculum.
|MARCH 18, 2013. Pathways Print Ad Campaign Launched
Dr. Blanche Wiesen Cook, distinguished professor of history, Dr. Manfred Philipp, professor of chemistry, Frank Deale, JD., professor of law, and Dr. Aranzazu Borrachero, associate professor of Spanish, are featured in a new PSC ad campaign opposing Pathways. The ads appear in the New York Times and the Daily News. They call on CUNY to “listen to the faculty” and “protect the quality of a CUNY education,” and they criticize the new core curriculum for requiring “reduced foreign language study and less rigorous basic science classes without lab work.”
|MAY 6, 2013. Pathways Online Ad Campaign Launched
PSC launched an online ad campaign to support the No Confidence in Pathways campaign. Ads featuring the same faculty spokespeople as the print campaign appeared on the home pages of Inside Higher Ed, the Chronicle of Higher Education and other websites. Ads also appeared on Facebook and with Google search results.
|MAY 9-31, 2013. No Confidence in Pathways Vote
With University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein stepping down and Board of Trustees Chair Benno Schmidt’s term ending, PSC launched a CUNY-wide No Confidence in Pathways referendum to send a message to the next administration. A strong vote of No Confidence will show that the faculty have no confidence in the quality and rigor of the Pathways curriculum.