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
Campus access for the purposes of research is restricted to personnel deemed essential to the conduct of approved and authorized SSPs. Furthermore, only those research activities that require use of campus facilities will be approved. All research activities that can be done remotely, will be done remotely, including meetings and conferences.
Access of all research personnel to the CSI campus must be scheduled. Each Primary Investigator or Facility Manager must provide a weekly schedule of research staff to Campus Planning and Facilities Management. This information will be logged by Public Safety. Access to campus is permitted only through the main gate on Victory Boulevard and researchers, visitors, delivery personnel, and, if relevant, human research subjects, will only be admitted for scheduled activities.
8/7 Reopening plan due back to CUNY.
Unofficially the plan seems to be:
By 8/26: repopen for select researchers; classes ready for select courses in NRS and PT; only 3 buildings will be part of this initial reopening. The college has recently authorized the purchase and installation (43k) of touchless fixtures for 3 buildings worth of bathrooms; the college has signage ordered; the college has a cleaning plan; the college has access control plans in place.
By 10/15 (or so): at most 120 sections could have some in-class experiences; perhaps up to 8 buildings opened. This data is very tentative. All in-person course offerings are subject to social distancing mandates that limit significantly the number of persons in any given space.
The injunction to postpone non-reappointment of 2800 adjuncts is not approved.
Authorize the Purchase of WiFi Hotspot or MiFi Devices for Emergency Distribution to Students Needing Broadband Internet Access in Response to the Continuing COVID-19 Pandemic Health Emergency
Authorize amendment of The City University of New York Policy on Sexual Misconduct - Policy 7.142 to incorporate required changes resulting from the United States Department of Education adoption of new regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. Chapter 38
THESE ARE DUE 8/16
8/8 CUNY Adjunct Incubator Grants (Thanks Professor Kimora)
The Center for the Humanities' CUNY Adjunct Incubator supports and highlights the significant, critical and community-engaged scholarship and pedagogy work of adjuncts teaching across CUNY.
The CUNY Adjunct Incubator will award $5,000 to 10 CUNY adjuncts.
Agencies were given a detailed manual titled “Layoff Procedures,” which delineates the process for letting employees go: The formation of a task force to handle logistical issues that will inevitably arise, followed by a 30-day notice from the city’s Office of Labor Relations to the impacted municipal unions. The notice would include a list of names and titles and the number of positions being eliminated, according to a copy shared with POLITICO.
A great picture of bikers during the "car" parade
In the City University of New York (Cuny) system, about 2,800 adjunct faculty members and part-time staff were notified in July that they were to be laid off in anticipation of funding cuts from the state of New York and New York City.
The Professional Staff Congress, which represents faculty in the Cuny system, responded to the layoffs by filing a lawsuit demanding Cuny rehire all laid off employees with back pay and benefits, and refrain from further layoffs.
“We are refusing to normalize layoffs,” said Barbara Bowen, president of the PSC and professor of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center of CUNY. “The response should be to invest more in Cuny, not to threaten with cuts.”
She cited that during the Great Depression of the 1930s, New York City opened two new public colleges, Brooklyn College in 1930 and Queens College in 1937.
“In a crisis where our university will be needed as never before, it’s bad policy to respond with mass layoffs,” added Bowen.
CUNY declined to comment due to pending litigation.
CEOs from 27 of the largest employers in the New York area are launching the New York Jobs CEO Council. The new CEO-led, results-oriented coalition will collaborate with educational institutions, community organizations and nonprofits to hire skilled workers, meet employer needs and connect New Yorkers — with a focus on low-income and Black, Latinx and Asian communities — with the skills that they need for today’s and tomorrow’s workplace. The member organizations aim to hire 100,000 traditionally underserved New Yorkers by 2030, a goal which includes job opportunities and apprenticeships for 25,000 CUNY students.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff appeared disinclined Friday to force the City University of New York to reinstate thousands of faculty members it recently laid off, despite a union's claim that the school violated the CARES Act by handing out pink slips after taking relief funds.
The bill mandates that the school pay employees "to the greatest extent practicable," which an attorney for the union argued means that if CUNY has the $30 million needed to do so, it must.
Though during Friday morning's hearing on the topic, Judge Rakoff didn't appear sold on that argument, repeatedly pointing out that the congressional directive regarding payroll is "vague" and "amorphous."
Brummel and thousands of other students have opted to take a break this upcoming fall semester — for personal, financial or health reasons — following pandemic disruptions that have swept across the public university system, upending the lives of students, faculty and staff.
For this episode, Valbrun spoke with Yarbrough [JJ Professor] and Paula-Camila Caceres, a student in the class who helped lead the project, about that experience and how it affected their views about CUNY and higher education.