A summary of some new news related to CUNY's and CSI's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See https://csi-covid19.github.io for the archive.
To add/suggest news, please email John Verzani
The opening up committee is now full, with 39 members, and commences its work Tuesday May 26th.
We have, in the past, waited too long to make the kinds of cuts necessary to navigate our crises. We have also perhaps been insufficiently consultative. I would like to do things differently this year—embarking upon an early effort to develop a strategy for next year and mobilizing the energies and commitments of the campus to achieve our goals. I am therefore launching a budget process that is both timely, clear-eyed, and open to the participation of the whole campus.
It is my hope that by acting early and moving as a campus, we will be able to do the best and fairest job possible.
I am not able, at this moment, to present a fully realized budget plan for next year, and would not want to develop that plan without significant input from the campus.
College-wide values during this crisis will be prioritized, at least preliminarily, in the following ways:
Teach every student admitted to the college, and make sure that, insofar as possible, the quality of our teaching is maintained. Do not interrupt progress to graduation.
Preserve the employment of employees insofar as possible, and try to ensure the welfare of everyone in our community. Think about the relationship between salaries we can offer and public benefits so that nobody is left without some means of support.
Sustain research, writing, and the development of our intellectual life.
Remain engaged with students, with public service efforts
At the College of Staten Island, the plan calls for cutting the adjunct budget by 35%, according to Professor Michael Paris, chair of the political science department. He says it's the outcome of a process that has not been inclusive.
“Nothing we’ve said about protecting the integrity of our program and protecting our students has made one damn bit of difference,” Paris said.
Michael Paris, the chair of CSI’s Political Science and Global Affairs Department, said CUNY administrators told the college to find $10 million in savings. He said he was told to come up with a list of adjuncts to be cut, but he and nine other chairs refused.
“They worked their tails off all semester, and now this is such a slap in the face, to be targeted first and foremost for these deep cuts," he said, referring to CUNY’s shift to remote-learning this past March after campuses were closed because the number of coronavirus cases began to grow.
Mr. Paris added that adjuncts were an “easy” target because of their part-time status. "We will not be complicit in this immoral and unnecessary decision," he said.