Committee Reports

Part 2: Governance and Funding: “By the Popular Will, Not by the Privileged Few”

Report of the Commission on the Future of CUNY
  Association of the Bar of the City of New York:
 Part II
 Governance and Funding:
 “By the Popular Will, Not by the Privileged Few”

Executive Summary


When the Commission on the Future of CUNY was formed in June 1999, [1] the City University of New York was in the middle of a boisterous debate over remediation and access at its senior colleges. Hoping to add a more objective voice to this debate, we explored these issues extensively and discussed our findings at length and in considerable detail in Part I of our report – “Remediation and Access: To Educate the ‘Children of the Whole People.'”

Although our report was narrowly focused on remediation at CUNY, it led us to consider two more general issues facing the system and entwined with the remediation question: CUNY’s governance and its funding. Reform in these areas is key to CUNY’s continuing to provide “access to excellence in education” for the citizens of New York. Indeed, we believe that the system’s compromised governance system and its decayed financial standing are the two most critical challenges facing CUNY. In this, the second part of the Commission’s report, we discuss these broad and complex issues, and present a few suggestions for reform.

Unlike Part I, this report summarizes the background research of others and identifies a few particularly important points for emphasis. Both governance and finance were covered extensively in the Report of the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force on The City University of New York, The City University of New York: An Institution Adrift. June 7, 1999, (the “Schmidt Report”) as well as its supporting reports and documents. We rely on that work, particularly The Governance of the City University of New York: A System at Odds with Itself, by Brian Gill (RAND, May 1999) (hereinafter the “Gill Report”) and the reports of PricewaterhouseCoopers (the “PwC Reports”). We agree with a good deal of what is contained in the Gill Report, and outline both the areas of agreement as well as disagreement with its recommendations. We have also reviewed the final report, “The City University of New York: Diagnostic Review of the Organizational Structure and Functions of the Office of the Chancellor,” January 10, 2000, (“the Pappas Report”) by the management consulting organization, the Pappas Consulting Group, Inc., retained by the central administration.


We agree with the conclusion of the Gill Report that CUNY’s system of governance has been “dysfunctional.” [2] Indeed, the Gill Report allocates “significant responsibility for CUNY’s problems”[3] to failings in governance. Good faith collaboration and cooperation between the system’s distinct actors — faculty and administrators, colleges and the central administration at 80th Street, and even the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees – have been rare. Rather, interaction within much of the University is marked by mutual mistrust and ill-will.

A good deal of this mistrust is grounded in the common perception that many of CUNY’s most important leaders are subject to untoward political influence. Brian Gill notes that “Some observers believe that elected officials (especially the Mayor) have used their influence to undermine the traditional independence of the Board.” [4] State Comptroller H. Carl McCall has questioned “whether trustees can be expected to independently serve as guardians of their institutions if they are either directly or indirectly in the employ of the appointing authority.” [5]

Nine of CUNY’s 15 appointed Trustees have, or recently have had, close professional connections with the government of the City or the State of New York which are sometimes alleged to have created an atmosphere of undue pressure to follow the dictates of the Mayor and the Governor (see, infra, pp. 16-19). Additionally, as the Trustees have become increasingly activist in educational policy, Trustee discussions of pressing CUNY issues are characterized by what many observers would regard as undue haste, creating the impression that they are rubber stamping the agenda of the political powers that be. [6]

Even if the perception of political impropriety is exaggerated or mistaken, it must be addressed so that CUNY’s factions can find common ground and begin to work together in good faith. Indeed, whatever the merits of the proposal to eliminate remediation at the senior colleges, the absence of a Board of Trustees at CUNY that is perceived to be independent led to the issue being debated more in political than in educational terms.

Accordingly, the Commission proposes that the adoption of legislation: (1) requiring all appointments to the Board to be pre-screened and approved by an independent and diverse blue ribbon panel; and (2) prohibiting Board service by any person who holds regular employment by or contracts at the pleasure of, one of the appointing authorities. This would be consistent with the recommendations of a national commission sponsored by the Association of Governing Boards. We submit that these relatively simple reforms would improve CUNY’s governance processes significantly.

The tension at CUNY between the central administration and the individual colleges, however, is considerably more difficult to address. We agree with the Schmidt Report’s diagnosis of this tension: “CUNY, as a university system, has never surmounted its history as a group of separate institutions.” Further, we agree that CUNY must establish procedures to make the system more “unified, coherent, [and] integrated.” To this end, we are pleased to note that, since the appointment of Chancellor Goldstein, the Board of Trustees has taken several steps to cede certain managerial responsibilities to the Chancellor’s office and to give the Chancellor clear authority over the college presidents. We advise caution, however, with respect to other moves toward centralization at CUNY. The system is large and remarkably diverse, and it is important that the interests of its many stakeholders be actively included in decision-making processes. Without this type of inclusion, the good will necessary for the creation of a unified CUNY system will be impossible.


While our investigation of CUNY’s governance structure found an extremely complicated web of problems that must be carefully and patiently untangled, we submit that CUNY’s financial challenges are relatively simple: CUNY is dramatically underfunded.

Enrollment in the CUNY colleges has generally grown over the past decade, and the costs of providing higher education have increased significantly. Nevertheless, since 1990, State and local appropriations to CUNY have dropped dramatically. In constant dollar terms, [7] New York State’s appropriations to CUNY have dropped by 40% since 1980, and New York City’s appropriations have fallen by 90%.[8]

To make up for these declining appropriations, CUNY has been forced to cut costs, watch its proportion of full-time, tenured and tenure-track professors dwindle as it relies increasingly on relatively inexpensive adjunct instructors, and charge its students increasing rates of tuition. As a result, nearly 60% of CUNY’s faculty are adjuncts, up from 40% in 1980, and CUNY’s tuition levels, especially at the community colleges, are considerably higher than the national average for public colleges and universities.

New York State’s generous financial aid program, the Tuition Assistance Program (“TAP”), is invaluable to CUNY students who may not otherwise be able to afford the system’s increasing tuition. But several of TAP’s eligibility requirements make it inaccessible to many of the system’s most needy students. We argue that TAP must be made available to CUNY’s growing non-traditional student body; limits on TAP eligibility must be eliminated; and TAP must be made available to remedial students.

Our treatment of CUNY’s funding considers the Schmidt Report’s many recommendations for improving CUNY’s budgeting and financing mechanisms, and endorses several of them. We believe, however, that these recommendations, which are focused on diversifying CUNY’s financial base and streamlining the distribution of funds within the CUNY system, fail to emphasize the central point: the City and State have effectively cut CUNY funding dramatically and left CUNY seriously underfunded. New York State is one of three states that have cut funding for higher education in the past decade, and the state currently ranks 46th in the nation in funding for higher education per $1000 income. [9] CUNY already raises a larger percentage of its revenues from non-governmental or non-state sources and spends a higher proportion of its total funds on direct instruction than do many of its peers.

The Schmidt Report failed to fully factor into its conclusions some of the important findings of both the Gill and the PwC Reports on CUNY finances, in particular, the effect of the long-term under-funding of the system. While the Schmidt Report noted that CUNY’s “State and City appropriations processes need improvement,” it avoided meeting the issue head on by calling on CUNY to “do much more to increase alternative revenues,” rather than calling on the State and City to restore CUNY funding. [10]

CUNY continues to provide a significant public good. It creates tax revenues that far outpace its governmental appropriations. Further, we maintain that CUNY graduates are more likely to be employed and to vote than their peers who have not attended college and are far less likely to live in poverty or commit crimes. Their children are more likely to succeed in the educational system, providing a significant inter-generational benefit. If New York City and State are to continue to enjoy this public good, they must reaffirm their investment in it.

In our report’s conclusion, we note the continuing need for diligent monitoring, open communications, and inclusive debate in the CUNY system. At the dawn of the 21st Century, CUNY must reinvigorate its commitment to serving the “children of the whole people” and maintaining an institution “of the highest grade … controlled by the popular will, not by the privileged few.” It must retrain its focus on the contributions it can make to the lives of its students and the public weal; it must take care to inform the public about its achievements; and it must undertake reforms to secure both access and excellence for every student in the system.

Case Study: Articulation

Our Report concludes with a consideration of “articulation” among the community and senior colleges within CUNY as a case study in governance. [11] CUNY colleges have failed over the years to resolve this increasingly complex and consequential issue. Its satisfactory resolution will require difficult and detailed work by the faculty to negotiate program to program articulation agreements. The Trustees’ actions late last year have reflected the haste and superficiality that our early Report criticized. The Board of Trustees and the central administration should not force an overly simplistic approach which is not workable. This case study indicates the importance of reforming CUNY’s governance mechanisms to create a system that is marked by cooperation and integrated planning. We have also made a number of specific substantive recommendations with respect to this issue.


Part II of our Report has a somewhat different target audience than Part I. In Part I we addressed ourselves primarily to the New York State Board of Regents, whose responsibility it was to decide whether or not to approve CUNY’s proposed Amendment to its Master Plan by eliminating remedial courses at the senior colleges. Part II is addressed more broadly to educational policy makers and elected officials responsible for the direction of public higher education in New York City. Many of our recommendations, such as changes in the trustee selection process and the lifting of restrictions on TAP availability, would require action by the State legislature and governor; others will require further and more in-depth study, such as general questions concerning finance and various specific aspects of the future of CUNY.

The System of Governance at CUNY

For the purposes of this Report, we will define the governance system of CUNY as: that constellation of policies, procedures (written and unwritten), and decisionmaking units that control the educational policy and resource allocation within and among CUNY institutions and units at all levels. [12] Governance also refers to the relationships among the various decisionmaking units, the process for making decisions both within the colleges and at the University level. Governance is the control and direction, the making and administration of policy for an institution or other entity. Simply put, governance is how entities are run.

The Gill Report provides the following flow chart as “an overview of CUNY governance” but notes that the structure is “even more complex” than the flow chart would suggest. [13] This chart apparently suggests that the Chancellor has no real authority, an interpretation with which we would disagree. It also creates the impression that faculty governance bodies share authority with college presidents. In fact the faculty role is to recommend policy to the presidents, who, as a practical matter, normally follow such recommendations. The chart does, however, introduce most of the players.

The governor and the mayor each have appointing authority over the Board of Trustees. As will be discussed in greater detail below, the governor appoints 10 members of the Board of Trustees and the mayor appoints five, both with the advice and consent of the State Senate. [14] The State legislature and the governor have statutory and budgetary authority over CUNY. They have determined the mission, the structure, and the governance system of the University and are, through the budget process, primarily responsible for determining most of the system’s funding, [15] including levels of tuition and student aid, in addition to direct appropriations. The State Board of Regents, which is appointed jointly by the two houses of the legislature, has broad policymaking oversight of all higher education in New York State. The State Constitution[16] establishes the Board of Regents as the governing body of the University of the State of New York, which consists of all secondary and higher education institutions, public and private, incorporated by the State of New York, including CUNY. [17] The Regents have the power to grant [18] and, for sufficient cause, to revoke the charters of colleges and universities. [19] As discussed in Part I, this authority includes, among other things, the approval of the Master Plan and admissions criteria, but the Regents have no budgetary authority whatever.

The ultimate responsibility for the governance of CUNY is vested in its Board of Trustees. As noted, the Governor appoints ten Trustees and the Mayor appoints five, both with the advice and consent of the State Senate. When the former Board of Higher Education of the City of New York was converted into the City University of New York in 1975, the Legislature provided that:
The board of trustees shall govern and administer the city university. The control of the educational work of the city university shall rest solely in the board of trustees which shall govern and administer all educational units of the city university. [208]

The powers and duties of the Board of Trustees are specified in detail in �6206 of the State Education Law. These include submitting a Master Plan to the Board of Regents including plans for new curricula, new facilities, policies with respect to admissions, potential enrollments, etc. The Trustees have the power to pass on all plans for buildings, to “approve and administer” courses, prepare budgets, and in general, “to control and administer all public education in the colleges and institutions of which the city university is composed.” [21] They also have the authority to appoint a chancellor as the chief educational and administrative officer of the university and who serves at their pleasure. [22] The Board of Trustees has the authority to establish positions, departments, divisions and faculties, to appoint instructional and non-instructional staff, “establish and conduct” courses, determine conditions of admissions, attendance and discharge, and set rates of tuition and other fees. [23]

CUNY bylaws, the Board of Trustees Manual of General Policy, and long years of custom and practice have created highly complex interrelationships among units that report to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees. These include the college presidents and the various faculty governance units such as the Faculty Senate, college councils, discipline councils, and department chairs. The college presidents are the chief executive officers of their respective colleges, which do not have separate boards of trustees. Each college has its own faculty governance unit, and each has representatives at the University level Faculty Senate. [24] As is usual in the academic setting, the faculty has been delegated the responsibility to set academic polices, such as admissions standards, curriculum, and graduation requirements. (See, infra, pp. 78-79 for more detailed discussion of faculty governance responsibility.)

The decisionmaking process at CUNY varies greatly, depending upon the subject matter. For example, although all major (and some minor) decisions go through the Board of Trustees, they arrive there by different routes, some coming from the colleges usually via the Chancellor, some from the central administration, some self-initiated. As with any governing body, the Board of Trustees has a number of committees through which proposals pass.

For the purposes of governance aspects of this part of our Report, we will divide our discussion into two basic areas: 1) approaches we would recommend for the decisionmaking process of the CUNY system, and 2) the major issues facing CUNY in the immediate and near future. We shall not, in most instances, propose specific answers to the issues faced, but rather a framework for addressing them.

Before discussing these issues, however, we shall focus on the critical issue concerning the process of selection of Trustees to CUNY’s Board. Reform of this process should help in effecting meaningful change in CUNY’s governance system and educational policies.

Board of Trustees -Selection Process

As discussed above, the Governor and the Mayor appoint the Board, both with the advice and consent of the State Senate. These Trustees serve a seven- year term and may be re-appointed for one additional term. [25] There are no limitations on, or qualifications for, eligibility for appointment to the Board, except that both the mayoral and gubernatorial appointees must include at least one resident of each of the five boroughs of the city and the Mayor must appoint one CUNY graduate and the Governor must appoint two. There are no rules prohibiting any categories of persons from serving and/or voting on any given issue. The elected head of the student government also serves ex-officio as a voting Trustee and the president of the Faculty Senate serves as an ex-officio but non-voting Trustee.

By statute, the Trustees are to “independently” fulfill their charge. [26] Presumably, this means that they are to be free from political intrusion. Unfortunately, there are no rules or regulations assuring that this statutory mandate be satisfied. Both Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani have appointed to the Board current or former staff members, as well as people who currently do business with the State or City government. Of the five current mayoral appointees to the Board of Trustees, three, Satish Babbar, Ronald Marino, and George Rios, are employed as high level political appointees of the City government and the other two, Alfred Curtis and Randy Mastro, [27] have until recently been employed in such political positions. Of the current gubernatorial appointees, one, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, is the Governor’s Executive Assistant, one is a current city employee (Nilda Soto Ruiz) and another (Kenneth Cook) is a former City employee. Herman Badillo, a lawyer whom the Governor appointed as Chairman of CUNY’s Board of Trustees, is also the Mayor’s unpaid education advisor and has been the Mayor’s Special Counsel for the Fiscal Oversight of Education, as well as co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on CUNY. [28] Benno Schmidt, Chair of the Mayor’s Task Force, and now Vice-Chair of the CUNY Board of Trustees, has been careful to note that the Edison Project, his for-profit school management company, would not bid for any future outsourcing of remedial education by CUNY.

Although Trustees can be removed from that office only for cause (misconduct, neglect of duties, or mental or physical incapacity), they have no protection whatever from removal, for political or any other reasons, from their primary employment or from not receiving material contracts by an appointing authority.

State Comptroller Carl H. McCall has questioned “whether trustees can be expected to independently serve as guardians of their institutions if they are either directly or indirectly in the employ of the appointing authority (i.e., as a governmental or public authority employee).” [29] As noted in the Gill report:
CUNY is a public institution, funded by public money; the public interest should be represented by their elected officials…[T]he influence of elected officials is appropriately expressed through their statutory authority to define CUNY’s structure and mission, their control over CUNY’s budget, and their appointment of trustees. Beyond that, however, at most public universities it is considered appropriate for the trustees to have a degree of independence from the officials who appointed them when dealing with the day-to-day governance of the university…. The board’s relationship with the administration and faculty is likely to benefit from a degree of independence. The perception of political interference, by contrast, creates instability and lowers morale. [30]

The Gill Report notes that “[s]ome observers believe that elected officials (especially the Mayor) have used their influence to undermine the traditional independence of the Board.” [31]

This Commission agrees with these observations. In addition, a perception that the Trustees are not independent tends to create a feeling of distrust about substantive decisions. Certainly some of the reaction to the proposals to change remediation and admissions policies, and especially the timing and manner in which these proposals were advanced, was colored by a mood of distrust. There is a perception by some current and former Trustees, former administrators and current and former faculty, that decisions made by the current Board of Trustees are not always made with the best interests of the institution as the guiding principle. As discussed infra, pp.16-19, the appearance of political interference in the governance of CUNY has been heightened in recent months, for example, by the swift implementation of many of the Schmidt Report’s recommendations without appropriate consideration and discussion by the Board itself. The proposed Amendment to the Master Plan submitted to the Board of Regents last July simply stated in a footnote that the Schmidt Report would be a “blueprint” for the future of CUNY. We have seen no indication that the Schmidt Report, much less its massive supporting documents, were ever formally discussed by the Board of Trustees. [32] This is an abdication of the Trustees’ statutory responsibility to govern CUNY themselves as the duly constituted body rather than cede that authority to a group created and appointed solely by the Mayor.

The apparent politicization of the Board may also have affected the quality of its deliberations. At the Board of Regents meeting on November 22, 1999, at which the plan to remove remedial instruction from the senior colleges at CUNY was debated, Regent Edward Meyers discussed the fact that some of Regents had hailed a “new dynamic partnership” with the CUNY Board of Trustees; he disagreed saying there was “no dynamic partnership, no partnership.” As the senior Regent (22 years on the Board) he pointed out that at one time such a relationship did exist, that the two groups met once a year and exchanged views, until recently when that was cut off. Normally, they would have sat down and talked out the issues. This time, he said, that except for a “perfunctory” letter from Herman Badillo, he had not gotten a single call or letter from a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees. He then reported that he had examined the minutes of the Trustees meetings on May 26, 1998, and January 25, 1999, the dates on which they passed the resolutions ending remedial instruction at the senior colleges. He said, “I looked at the quality of the discussion and debate and it was shallow.”

In discussing Board meetings, James Murphy, a former CUNY Trustee (for 20 years) and Chair (for 17 years) said, “The intrusiveness of the mayor’s office was appalling… The governor’s people made it clear this is what they wanted but they didn’t do the arm twisting the mayor did. The independence of governance in this country has worked very well, but this intrusion was terrible.” [33]

In commenting on the problem of having current City and State employees and contractors as mayoral and gubernatorial appointees to the CUNY Board of Trustees, former Trustee Edith Everett (for 23 years) and Vice Chair (for 13 years) went so far as to charge:
It is shocking and frightening to observe the methods employed by Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki to influence their CUNY Board appointees. The threats and intimidation of Board members to assure that they vote as these politicians direct them, resemble tactics used in third world dictatorships masquerading as democracies. [34]

On the one hand, CUNY must in some manner be accountable to elected officials. On the other hand, as a public institution, the politicization of the Board of Trustees, or even the perception of politicization, does much to undermine confidence in the governance processes of the University. CUNY Trustees have a fiduciary duty to serve the best interests of the University. They cannot be expected to serve two masters.

In order to balance these competing needs, the Commission proposes that legislation should be enacted:
* prohibiting service on the Board by individuals who, because of their employment by, or continuing financial relationships with, the appointing authority, either have or appear to have a conflict of interest or a lack of independence;[35] and
* requiring the establishment of a blue ribbon panel reflective of the City’s population, including educators, business leaders, representatives of various professional groups, and civic and community leaders, to screen all nominees for the Board of Trustees of CUNY. [36]

Screening/Nominating Panel – Other States’ Experience

In 1980, in an attempt to ensure that university trustees would be qualified to fulfill their public trust, a national commission sponsored by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), and chaired by former Governor Robert Scott of North Carolina, recommended that the appointment of trustees be made from a list of candidates submitted and carefully screened by a special nominating committee that should be diverse and reflective of the state’s population. [37]

Three states, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Minnesota, have promulgated legislation establishing screening or nominating committees for the selection of trustees. Neither Governor Pataki nor Mayor Giuliani has voluntarily established a panel to screen candidates for the Board of Trustees and there has not been a public outcry for such a panel. Although such panels are often created in response to a scandal, involving political misuse of the appointment process, [38] the Commission believes that the principle for creating such a panel is sound and there should be no need for a precipitating crisis to establish one.

In Kentucky, the legislature created the Governor’s Higher Education Nominating Committee in 1992. It consists of seven members appointed by the governor, with confirmation required by both houses of the legislature. Each member of the screening/nominating committee represents a State Supreme Court District; there can be no more than two persons with undergraduate degrees from the same institution; and the committee must be representative of the racial composition of the state. The legislation also requires that the characteristics of the current members of the university board also be taken into account by the screening/nominating committee. The university governing boards must also be reflective of the racial composition, political party affiliation, and geographic distribution within the state. [39]

In Massachusetts, the Public Education Nominating Council (PENC) was originally created through executive orders and then granted statutory authority in 1991. It consists of 12 to 15 members who serve at the pleasure of the governor. The statute requires that the PENC reflect the cultural, racial, social, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the state. The PENC is required to submit at least three times as many names as there are vacancies on the boards of trustees of all public universities and colleges. The council must evaluate its nominees on a non-discriminatory basis. [40]

Minnesota also has had a legislatively created screening panel since 1988. Currently known as the Higher Education Board Candidate Advisory Council (HEBCAC), this council, consisting of 24 members, half of whom are selected by each house of the State Legislature, must be geographically representative, and no more than two-thirds may be from any one political party. The governor, who is the appointing authority of the 15 member Higher Education Board, is, however, not required to appoint trustees only from the list submitted by the council. [41]

A nominating/screening panel for selecting CUNY trustees would raise public and stakeholder confidence in the governance of the university and should attract more experienced and able persons to serve on the Board of Trustees. Hopefully, such a board would include people with experience in educational institutions, and prominent leaders in business, civic, and philanthropic organizations. It has been suggested that former Mayor Dinkins and former Governor Cuomo may have failed to appoint a number of trustees to fill vacancies arising during their terms of office allegedly due to concern that the Republican-controlled State Senate would subject their nominees to difficult confirmation processes.[42] A screening panel might help alleviate similar concerns since appointing authorities would not be subject to the accusation that their appointments are made for purely political purposes.

The Commission believes that politicization, or even the widely held perception of politicization of CUNY governance, must come to an end if true educational reform is to be accomplished. We recommend in the strongest terms the adoption of legislation eliminating conflicts of interests and establishing a nominating/screening panel.

Board of Trustees/ Chancellor Functions

The traditional role of a governing board of a public institution of higher education is to set its broad educational policies and to chart the general allocation of its resources, while the role of its chief executive officer (president or chancellor) is to execute and enlarge on those policies and to administer the educational programs and operations of the institution. The CEO of CUNY, the Chancellor, must also be in a position to propose and advise the Board on educational policy and to anticipate a high degree of deference by the Board to his or her opinion. The Board should neither micromanage the institution nor serve as a rubber stamp for the Chancellor or any elected official. Unfortunately, at one time or another, each of these basic principles has been observed in the breach at CUNY.

The Gill Report notes that, on more than one occasion, the Board has argued over individual course descriptions, held up approval of programs, challenged faculty control over course content, disputed relatively minor personnel actions and contracts for computers and photocopying, and mandated the use of a particular set of standardized tests “despite unresolved concerns about the validity of the tests.” [43] To some degree, the tendency of the CUNY Board of Trustees to micromanage the University is built into CUNY’s governing statutes. For example, in contrast to most universities and university systems, [44] CUNY’s enabling statute states that the board “shall govern and administer all educational units of the city university”[45] and requires Board approval of all expenditures in excess of $20,000. [46]

Chancellor Goldstein commands a great deal of well deserved respect. Since his appointment, the Trustees have taken some actions to augment the authority of the Chancellor. They amended �11.2 of the CUNY bylaws, which defines the position of the Chancellor, to add the function “chief executive officer” to the existing language of “chief educational and administrative officer.” Further, the Chancellor has for the first time been granted the authority to “initiate, plan, develop and implement institutional strategy and policy” rather than simply “to report to the board his/her recommendations for consideration or action.” Under a new subsection, 11.2(c), the Chancellor is given the authority to, among other things, “oversee and hold accountable campus leadership, including by setting goals and academic and financial performance standards for each campus.” The position description now speaks in terms of the Chancellor representing “the university” in various capacities and venues, rather than representing “the board” or “the colleges”, thus sending at least a symbolic message that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Reorganization of the Central Office

Early in his tenure, Chancellor Goldstein retained the services of the Pappas Consulting Group, Inc. to evaluate the structure and organization of the central administration. The Pappas Report was issued on January 10, 2000. Some of the changes it proposes are primarily symbolic, e.g., renaming the central office as “the Office of the Chancellor”,[47] or requiring uniformity of graphics, typeface on letterheads, business cards, and Web pages, etc. [48] But others, such as re-structuring the academic affairs function, re-organizing the Chancellor’s cabinet and the system of reporting to the Chancellor, have very substantive implications.

The Pappas Report essentially recommends a streamlined structure that is more of a pyramid, with fewer direct reports to the Chancellor than under the current one, which it aptly describes as a sort of “silo.” [49] It recommends elimination of the position of Deputy Chancellor and proposes three major vice chancellorships: elevation of the position of Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer (for academic affairs), a senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer (for internal finance and budget), and a Vice Chancellor and Chief External Affairs Officer (for external affairs.)

The Executive Vice Chancellor, under this re-structuring, clearly will be the number two person in the central office. S/he will have overall supervision of the following functions:[50]

* University Academic Plans
* College-based Academic Program Evaluation Processes and Performance Measures
* Instructional Technology
* University Admissions and Financial Aid Standards, Policies and Processes
* Sponsored Research and Economic Development
* Distance Learning
* College Articulation Agreements
* Student Assessment Programs
* Remediation Program
* Collaborative Programs with the NYCPS
* Faculty Research Incentive Program

The Senior Vice Chancellor and COO will have responsibility for:[51]

* University Long-Range Financial Plan
* University Capital and Operating Budgets
* Annual Financial Report
* University Personnel Policies
* Campus Master Site Plans
* University Capital Plan
* University Information Technology Plan (in coordination with Instructional Technology Plan)

The Vice Chancellor and Chief External Affairs Officer will manage:[52]

* Legislative Lobbying
* University Media Relations
* University Newspaper and Publications
* CUNY-TV Programming
* CUNY Web-Site

A number of other positions are redefined, and reporting relations changed, including University Deans for various functions under the rubric of academic affairs. The position of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, which reports directly to the Chancellor, and the University Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, are both eliminated and replaced with a Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Enrollment Services reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer.[53] The Pappas Report is quite detailed and useful. Its recommendations appear sensible. Of course, these newly structured positions will only help to produce more effective governance if they are filled after a careful and open search process.

Distribution of Authority – The University/ The Colleges

This Commission has taken a particular interest in the question of the centralization of CUNY governance. Is CUNY a centralized system or a loose confederation of relatively independent colleges? And, regardless of what it is, what should it be? According to the Schmidt Report,
CUNY, as a university system, has never surmounted its history as a group of separate institutions, founded at different times for different purposes. When it became a system in 1961, there was no planning addressed to its system architecture or its system governance. Since then, CUNY’s haphazard evolution – characterized by rapid expansion and contraction, sudden change of academic direction, and frequent administrative turnover – has resulted not in a coherent university, but in an amorphous confederation of individual colleges.[54]

The solution suggested by the Schmidt Report and by the Gill Report is to “re-think” CUNY as a truly centralized system that is “unified, coherent, [and] integrated.” We agree that for a number of purposes, there are clear advantages to a more unified and integrated — and even a more centralized — system of governance than CUNY has had in the past. History and the experiences of other similar systems suggest , however, that this could be difficult to accomplish — especially in a way that allows the various stakeholders in the system to feel invested in needed changes.

Tension between centralized authority and dispersed authority exists in every large university. Indeed, it is rare to find a university system (or major company, organization or government agency for that matter) where the central authority is not resented as having too much power and for not understanding the local scene. This universal tendency is built into organizations, including colleges and universities.[55]

[T]here always seems to be a “we” and “they” perception. “We,” the campus faculty and administrators, may wage battle against “them,” the system administrators. “We” don’t like “them” telling us what to do. “We,” the system administrators, know how to run our business better than “they” the state officials do….As the saying goes, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” It is not a case of being right or wrong, but of seeing the world from a different perspective.[56]

Thus, it is not surprising that according to many faculty members and college administrators with whom we spoke, there is already too much control coming from CUNY’s central administration. Some are frustrated, angry and confused by conflicting signals and what they see as unrealistic demands to “turn on a dime.” In various interviews, college officials told us that “80th Street” is a hindrance rather than a help in running a campus: denying flexibility, demanding reports and statistics and then ignoring the results, generally micromanaging the colleges. One college president commented that CUNY is a “historically bounded” system, in which layers of regulation have been added without the elimination of old or outmoded regulations. The Gill Report described CUNY governance as suffering from “the worst of both elements of centralization and decentralization: red tape without coherent leadership.”[57]

The Pappas Report also makes some comments about centralization versus decentralization issues but comes to no definite conclusion.[58] However, it apparently proceeds from the assumption that an objective of the Chancellor is to transfer increased authority to the campus Presidents as well as to provide more accountable and supportive administrative services to the campuses.[59] It observes that “…the current organizational structure for the central office promotes a command and control culture. A corporate-like culture that focuses on leadership rather than control, and on service rather than command, needs to be instilled into the central office organization.”[60]

There are, of course, excellent arguments in favor of decentralized decisionmaking. This is the thrust of the movement on the federal level toward “devolution” of governmental power back to state and local government and of much modern management theory. In Part I of our Report, we urged that the individual colleges be given greater flexibility in carrying out the policy of reducing or eliminating remediation. It is often preferable to make important decisions at the scene where local conditions may be better understood and appreciated.

The Board of Trustees has referred to the Schmidt Report as the “blueprint” for future changes at CUNY and has already made a number of moves toward implementing the report’s governance recommendations. In addition to the changes in the Chancellor’s job description, outlined above, the Trustees have taken steps toward increasing central authority with respect to the powers formerly enjoyed by the individual college presidents. Most prominently, the Board has amended �4.2 and �11.4 of its bylaws (the definition of the position of college president) to provide that the college presidents no longer report directly to the Board of Trustees but rather to the Chancellor and through him or her to the Board, although the Board and any president “may consult directly with each other on any issue of institutional importance.” This is the normal process. The Council of Presidents, which recommends procedures and policies that affect more than one of the colleges, now also reports to the Chancellor rather than directly to the Board. Bylaw �6.6 has been amended to provide that the hiring of the instructional staff “shall be made by the board upon the recommendation of the chancellor” rather than upon the recommendation of the Presidents. The Chancellor has also been given the power, in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair and with notice to the Board, to suspend a President and appoint an interim President in extraordinary situations.[61] Chancellor Goldstein has also initiated a number of other changes in the structure of the central administration in a stated intention to make it run in a more business-like fashion.

This Commission supports these particular changes. But whatever can be said in their favor, we believe that the Board has erred in making changes of this significance without extensive deliberation and consultation. Whether or not one agrees with the conclusions and recommendations of the Schmidt Report, the Task Force making them was constituted and charged solely by the Mayor and should not be substituted for a proper governance process by the Board of Trustees that is charged under law with that responsibility. The recent enactment by the Board of Trustees of the Schmidt Report recommendation to adopt a differential pay scale for college presidents, based upon their degree of responsibility and complexity of their institutions, was done only after public hearings.[62] This process should be adhered to for other major initiatives in the future. CUNY’s Board should move cautiously toward any major restructuring that may impact on the ability of the system to deliver a quality education, encouraging system-wide discussion at each step, and resisting the temptation to brand opponents to proposed changes as defenders of the status quo.

Some History of Attempted Centralization at CUNY

Part of our ambivalence about the advisability of a more centralized command and control governance system for CUNY arises out of our concern as to whether the central administration of CUNY will be able to create and sustain such a system. First of all, the “culture” of CUNY militates against it. In other states, university systems that have been cobbled together from pre-existing independent colleges with separate identities and different missions have not been as successful in creating and maintaining an effective educational program and identity here as systems initially established as systems.[63]

Secondly, the centrifugal forces at CUNY have usually been successful in the past. The most commonly cited example of this is the ill-fated and much maligned (Leon) Goldstein Report.[64] Established by former CUNY Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds in 1992, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Academic Program Planning, was chaired by then President of Kingsborough Community College Leon Goldstein. Consisting of senior faculty members and college presidents in the CUNY system, the Committee issued its report at the end of that year.[65] Although composed of representatives of various campuses, the Committee was perceived by some faculty members as being an instrument of the central administration. Noting that shrinking resources made more coherent academic planning a necessity, the Committee expressed the view that “if CUNY could conceive of itself and act as a unified institution”,[66] it would be able to concentrate and differentiate program offerings among the separate campuses, strengthen and develop programs in specific areas, and improve its ability to share scarce resources, including full-time faculty. It recommended a two-level review of courses and programs to determine whether and where there was program overlap, duplication, underutilization, etc. Based upon its “level one” review, consisting of an examination of numerical data such as enrollment figures, degrees granted, and available faculty resources, the committee recommended further in-depth study or “second level” review of several specific programs for possible reduction or consolidation.

Due to what the Gill Report characterizes as “a firestorm of resistance,”[67] the proposals were more or less dead on arrival. They clearly threatened a good deal of “turf” and would have resulted in a significant shift of the control of academic resources from the colleges to the central administration. The RAND Redesign Report predicts that “when central administrators do propose sweeping cuts of entire departments… [s]uch attempts virtually always fail to be carried out.”[68] They go on to observe that

Indeed, there are significant numbers of higher education institutions that have been damaged by top-down efforts that were eventually aborted but nonetheless have left individual academic units weakened because of negative publicity, the sense of collegiality … destroyed, and the reputation of the institution as a whole weakened. Attempts at setting priorities, a mission, and implementation of choices that fail to be implemented can create more problems for the institution than it faced before it began the process of setting priorities.[69]

It seems to us to be both necessary and appropriate for the University to make hard choices, particularly in times of financial cut-backs, based upon centralized planning and coordination and on an agreed upon set of goals and priorities rather than leaving these matters to the vagaries of happenstance such as attrition, or making formulaic or across-the- board cuts. The question is how to accomplish this result without trampling either on the individuality of the colleges or on the traditional prerogatives of the faculty with respect to setting curriculum and course content, and without the unfortunate consequences visited upon the (Leon) Goldstein Report.

The RAND Redesign Report provides guidelines for a governance process that is most likely to allow for successful priority setting. The first requirement it suggests is that the system should be neither top-down nor bottom-up but interactive if it is to succeed. Second, while the central administration should have final authority to make decisions, the planning and priority setting process should be university-wide, involving all academic and non-academic units; all participants must have a role in formulating the rules of the process. Third, the process should be conducted in the most open manner possible, including the free flow of information.[70] As part of that process, they note that “initial recommendations of faculty task forces and central administrators should be public and preliminary so as to allow affected units to rebut and reply.”[71] Arguably, all three of these steps were taken in the case of the (Leon) Goldstein Committee’s report and they do not appear to have had the desired effect. We are not, of course, in a position to explore or analyze exactly what happened and what went wrong in that situation. It may simply show that any reduction in resources or change in priorities will be resisted by those negatively affected. Nevertheless, it does serve to illustrate the tremendous difficulty inherent in establishing centrally planned priorities for CUNY.

Should CUNY Be More Centralized?

As noted above, the Gill Report and the Schmidt Report envision a significantly more centralized administration for CUNY. Regardless of the theoretical or practical problems of such a structure, we can see no legal objection to it. On the contrary, as in the case of our earlier discussion of access and excellence, our position on the issue of centralization is guided primarily by CUNY’s governing statute. The mission statement in �6201 suggests that when the State took over the funding of CUNY, the Legislature intended that it be operated as an integrated system and that “[w]here possible, governance and operation of senior and community colleges should be jointly conducted or conducted by similar procedures to maintain the university as an integrated system….”[72] Certainly in times of scarcity and retrenchment it makes sense to have central and rational planning of priorities, to designate areas of specialization and eliminate redundant and under-enrolled programs or to replace programs that may no longer meet the needs of students with new ones that do meet their needs in a changing economy. We are also sympathetic to the notion that a strong hand is often needed to overcome institutional inertia when making difficult and even painful changes in long standing policies and practices to which stakeholders have become accustomed and in which they may have considerable personal interest. CUNY clearly needs some sort of rational priority-setting mechanism to replace what often appears to be, at least to the outside observer, a rather ad hoc and sometimes chaotic process.

CUNY, however, also suffers from a lack of clear mission delineation at its colleges, little program/need analysis, and poor market data. In short, CUNY lacks the basic prerequisites for a rational planning process, centralized or otherwise. It is likely, however, that there is no one answer to the question of how authority should be dispersed within CUNY.

Thus, we do not believe that centralization is an either/or question. CUNY’s governance system is composed of a plurality of actors at the central and at the local level. These governing interests deal with dozens of distinct issues. The degree of centralization should vary depending upon the function. For example, the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Special Report, Four Multicampus Systems: Some Policies and Practices That Work, proposes fourteen “ideas to consider adapting or adopting.” Although they are all worthy of consideration by CUNY, there are a number that are particularly relevant to the question of which functions should be centralized and which de-centralized in a multi-campus system.[73] They include:

* “Protect education and research from undue outside pressures. These activities should take place [primarily] on campuses, not systems.
* “Leave the coordination and control of academic affairs in faculty hands. The system chief executive’s role is to use his or her influence and budgetary powers to initiate and encourage systemwide academic initiatives.
* “Encourage intercampus cooperation in program development and operation.
* “Ensure open communication – formal and informal- based on mutual respect and trust at all levels of a system. The board must be an integral part of the communications network.
* “Centralize relations with the state and federal governments, with the exception of individual grants to researchers.
* “After budgets are allocated to campuses, maximize local control.
* “Consider fund-raising from individuals and private organizations as principally a campus, not a system, activity.”

The question is where to draw the lines and how to make the allocation of responsibility and authority, to figure out what works and what does not work. It is a difficult process that requires a large reservoir of good will, perhaps more than is currently available at CUNY. It should also be appreciated that the CUNY “system” — though geographically compact compared to statewide systems – is so large and diverse that unilateral attempts at “command and control” style management are largely ineffective and often deeply resented. The Schmidt Report’s call for a more “unified, coherent, [and] integrated” system is an insufficient template for the governance reform the report recommends. Most importantly, there must be a concerted effort at communication and clarity about what is sought to be achieved and why.


The Commission believes that CUNY simply cannot satisfy its historic mission without increased funding. Repeatedly, during the course of our investigation of the system, we have been dismayed by the fiscal austerity under which the system operates. We have heard complaints from students about college libraries limiting hours in order to operate within their budgets. Faculty members have impressed upon us the importance of introducing new faculty lines to departments across the university, and of replacing a portion of the system’s corps of adjunct faculty with full-time faculty. College presidents and administrators have spoken to us about tight budgetary restraints under which they operate – restraints that make campus maintenance look like a luxury and essential investments in technology nearly impossible.

While CUNY’s revenues, inflation adjusted, have remained relatively constant over the past 20 years,[74] total enrollment has increased, the share of the revenues CUNY has received from state and local government appropriations has dwindled, and the system has been forced to cut costs and rely increasingly on student tuition. CUNY’s senior colleges now spend, on average, less per student than their peers,[75] and far less than the national average for four-year colleges and universities.[76]

Meanwhile, CUNY students spend more on tuition than their peers at public colleges and universities in the region.[77]While New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (“TAP”) provides a great deal of assistance to many CUNY students, several of the program’s requirements limit its effectiveness for other CUNY students. (See, infra, pp. 50-56.)

If CUNY is to continue to provide access to educational excellence for New York City’s students, TAP must be reformed, and both the City and the State must reaffirm their commitment to CUNY and must act to restore the system’s funding base.

Summary of Revenues and Expenditures

After substantial gains in the 1980s, CUNY’s funding leveled off between 1988 and 1997. During the course of this 10-year period, CUNY’s enrollment increased by 9.2%.[78] Total University revenues failed to keep pace with this growth in enrollment. Between 1988 and 1997, CUNY’s total revenues grew by only 7% in constant dollars.[79]

Furthermore, not all of these funds are available for student instruction. Much of CUNY’s revenue growth over the past decade has been in restricted funds – gifts, grants, and contracts earmarked for specific projects. These funds are earmarked for specific research initiatives or special instructional programs and cannot be used to cover general university costs. Between 1988 and 1997, CUNY’s unrestricted revenues – City and State appropriations and tuition revenues – actually decreased by 11% in constant dollar terms.[80]

As a result, CUNY’s spending for “Student/Instruction-Related Expenditures” (S/I Cost) declined by 8% between 1988 and 1997, even as total expenditures increased by 5%.[81] Coupled with rising enrollments, this decline in S/I Cost is even more striking: between 1988 and 1997, the system-wide S/I cost per full time equivalent student (“FTE”) declined 16%, from $11,218 to $9,377 in constant dollars.82 Furthermore, within the category of S/I cost, significant budgeting changes occurred between 1988 and 1997: CUNY spending on direct instruction per FTE has fallen 26%, while spending on academic support and student services increased by 13% and 14%, respectively.[83]

A brief analysis of the changes in CUNY’s faculty composition over the past two decades illustrates the impact of the system’s recent cuts in instructional expenditures. In 1980, 58.1% of CUNY’s faculty was full-time and adjuncts made up a significant minority at 41.9%. In the last two decades, the positions have reversed: in 1997, 42.3% of CUNY’s faculty was full-time and the majority of the system’s instructors, 57.7%, were adjuncts.[84] Furthermore, CUNY’s budget crunch manifests itself in the system’s libraries where the costs of books and journals outpaced inflation and funds have been extremely tight. According to a survey by the Association of Research Libraries, libraries purchased 7% fewer journals in 1996 than they did in 1986, but spent 100% more.[85] At CUNY these rising costs combined with restricted budgets, and college libraries have had to let journal subscriptions lapse and restrict purchases of new books. Indeed, in recent years, some CUNY libraries have had to suspend inter-library loans dues to insufficient staffing. One faculty member noticed this lack of resources particularly intensely when her son was attending Brandeis University and she was confronted with the stark comparison of library resources and computers: “Students wait for hours to get access to a computer for an hour, and the libraries are practically disappearing.”[86]

In the face of tight budgetary constraints, CUNY has been forced to choose among necessities. In this context, the system has chosen to cut its expenditures on direct classroom instruction particularly deeply. We have neither the resources nor the inclination to criticize this budgetary decision. We do, however, believe that CUNY’s current S/I costs are unacceptably low; its faculty is weighted too heavily toward part-time adjunct professors; and its expenditures on direct instruction must increase, if the system is to improve the quality of its academic offerings.

State and City Appropriations

Even as CUNY has managed to maintain its revenues, it has suffered dramatic cutbacks in direct support from New York State and New York City. Since 1980, New York State’s appropriations to CUNY have declined 40% in constant dollar terms.[87] In the same period, New York City’s CUNY appropriations have fallen by an astonishing 90%.[88] (See Tables 2 and 3).

CUNY is not alone among public colleges and universities in feeling the pressure of declining State appropriations. State appropriations for higher education have been unpredictable and variable in nearly every state of the union throughout the 1990s. However, New York State’s record for funding higher education has been particularly deficient in recent decades. Twelve states have cut higher education appropriations over the past five years, but only two have cut more deeply than New York: Alaska and Hawaii.[89]

In 1998, New York rated 42nd in the nation in higher education appropriations per capita, and 46th in the nation in higher education appropriations per $1000 in per capita income.[90] In 1980, State appropriations made up 43% of CUNY’s total revenues; in 1988 they accounted for 56%; by 1997,they had fallen to 32%.

The decline in City appropriations for CUNY has been even more pronounced. In 1980, CUNY received 19% of its revenues from the City of New York; in 1997, City funds made up just 6% of the CUNY budget. City funds directly benefit CUNY’s community colleges and, according to State Education Law �6304, the City of New York, as a local sponsor, is responsible for at least one-third of the community colleges’ operating costs.[91] Due to recent legislative action and a 1994 court decision, however, New York City is now exempt from that requirement, and is instead required to refrain from cutting its funding for CUNY’s community colleges, in absolute terms.[92] Far froma constant level of support, City funding for CUNY community colleges fell from $122 million to $78.5 million between 1988 and 1994, in unadjusted dollars. During the same period, CUNY community college FTE enrollment grew by 28%.When City and State funding are considered together, CUNY’s community colleges have been particularly hard hit by the decline in governmental appropriations.

As a result of these declines in governmental appropriations, CUNY’s colleges are now underfunded relative to their peers. With the exception of City College, which receives special state funding for its resource intensive engineering and science programs, each of CUNY’s senior and community colleges receives a smaller portion of its total revenues from governmental sources than its peers. Indeed, CUNY’s community colleges receive an average of 10% less in state and local appropriations as a proportion of total revenues and CUNY’s senior colleges receive as much as 20% less than their peers from state and local appropriations.[93]


To make up for losses in governmental funding, CUNY has been forced to increase its reliance on tuition as a revenue source. As a result of rising enrollments and rising tuition charges, CUNY’s tuition revenues rose by 93% between 1988 and 1997.[94] Tuition charges to students increased by 81% for senior college students and 44% for community college students.[95] Tuition now accounts for 31% of CUNY’s total revenues, up from 17% in 1990 and 25% in 1980.[96]CUNY’s tuition levels are set by the Board of Trustees but, because they must be formulated in response to levels of governmental appropriations and annual revenue targets which are also set by the State, tuition at CUNY often has grown dramatically, rather than incrementally.[97] Tuition at CUNY’s senior colleges – $3,200 per semester for in-state, full-time undergraduates – is now 12% higher than the national average for public four-year universities.[98] At the community colleges, the $2,500 tuition for in-state, full-time students is 83% higher than the national average.[99]

Assessment of CUNY’s Funding Structure

Each of these revenue trends – declining State and City appropriations, rising tuition rates, and increased student reliance on financial aid – are thoroughly explained in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Report III: Review of CUNY’s Revenues and Expenses (“PwC III”), prepared for the Schmidt Task Force. Their implications, however, have yet to be thoroughly addressed. We do not have the resources to perform a complete analysis on CUNY’s financing and funding structure. However, with the data compiled in PwC III, we can make a few preliminary comments regarding CUNY’s financial condition and funding structure.

Over the past twenty years, CUNY has been forced to discard a funding model that relied on direct City and State appropriations rather than tuition and student aid, and replace it with a model in which appropriations are far less important, and tuition and student aid dollars are crucial to the system’s survival. Built into CUNY’s new funding model is a strong economic incentive to maintain and improve enrollments: tuition revenue comes to the system on a per student basis. If CUNY loses students, it loses the tuition revenue they provide. CUNY’s rising enrollments over the past two decades suggest that it has effectively responded to these governmental and economic pressures. It is important to note, however, that in the past five years, CUNY enrollments have begun to decline. We can only speculate as to the cause of these declines, but it seems possible that they bear some relation to recent debates surrounding CUNY’s admissions standards. These debates have reflected poorly on CUNY’s image, and they may also have discouraged students who were afraid that they may not meet stricter standards from applying. (See Table 4)[100]

Given CUNY’s statutory mission “to maintain and expand its commitment to academic excellence and to the provision of equal access and opportunity,” and the “commitment to the special needs of an urban constituency” that justified the creation of an independent CUNY system,[101] the Commission is inclined to support a funding structure that encourages the system to expand enrollment and tailor offerings to consumer demand. We are wary, however, of the unintended consequences that this funding structure may have.

In light of CUNY’s rising tuition, it seems likely that many students who would otherwise enroll in a CUNY college may instead enroll in a private or proprietary college or forego college altogether. CUNY could be losing some top flight candidates as a result. Although we cannot provide a complete data analysis of this proposition, national studies suggest that rising rates of tuition can have a profound effect on student choices in higher education. As a rule of thumb, researchers have found that enrollments decrease by 0.5%-1% with every $100 increase in tuition.[102] It is possible, then, that CUNY’s recent enrollment declines (see Table 4) may be partially due to sticker shock.

Student Financial Aid (TAP)

As CUNY has begun to rely more and more heavily on tuition as a revenue source, need-based student financial aid has become increasingly important to its students. In 1997 approximately 110,000 CUNY students received a total of $479 million in financial aid.[103] Much of this aid ($157 million, or 35% in 1997) comes from New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (“TAP”).[104] As direct State appropriations to CUNY have dropped, the State’s financial aid funding has risen, and New York State now provides more financial aid per capita than any other State.[105] While increased TAP funding has failed to make up for the decline in direct State appropriations to CUNY, leaving the system with an absolute decline in State funding, it helps considerably to offset the negative implications that rising tuition rates could have on the budgets of CUNY colleges and CUNY students.

Thirty-five percent of the financial aid that CUNY students receive comes from the TAP program.[106] Because TAP is a grant, rather than a loan, program, it allows students from low-income and middle-income families who enroll in CUNY or other institutions of higher education to graduate with a minimum of debt. Several restrictions, however, govern student use of TAP funds and new ones are constantly being proposed. For example, since 1995, when the legislature scaled back the Supplementary Tuition Assistance Program, students with remedial needs who benefit from TAP are required to take credit-bearing courses and remedial courses simultaneously. TAP is only available for three years for students enrolled in associate degree programs, and for most students in baccalaureate programs, it is only available for four years.[107] These limits serve as de facto requirements that TAP recipients be full-time students. For many CUNY students, however, this requirement is simply untenable.

Part-time and non-traditional students compose a sizeable proportion of CUNY’s undergraduate population. As Figure 6 indicates, CUNY students are increasingly likely to enroll part-time as their educational careers progress.[108] As a result of CUNY students’ likelihood to enroll part-time, and to take semesters off on their way to graduation, barely 10% of the students who enrolled in baccalaureate programs in 1988 graduated from CUNY or another college or university within four years of enrolling. Within eight years, however, more than 60% of these students had earned a baccalaureate degree.[109] Those students who take more than four years to earn their baccalaureate degree – whether delayed by economic need, the unavailability of necessary courses, or personal reasons – suffer under the current TAP restrictions. After four years of TAP funding, these senior college students face a choice: continue on without State financial assistance, or leave school to reestablish TAP eligibility. Regardless of their decision, these students are penalized, and we believe that the penalties they face are inequitable and counter-productive.

< It is possible that the restrictions on TAP funds, coupled with CUNY’s tuition-heavy and enrollment-sensitive funding model, create significant economic incentives for both students and colleges to prioritize lower-level schooling at the expense of higher-level schooling. TAP’s time limits often mean that students’ State assistance runs out before they reach junior- and senior-level courses. Faced with a choice between accruing substantial debt before graduating and entering the workforce without a degree, many students decide to drop out of college once their TAP funds expire. For a system that relies heavily on per-student funding, this can provide a certain economic advantage since upper-level courses – particularly in fields that require laboratory work, like engineering and the hard sciences – tend to be more expensive for the colleges than lower-level courses. Ultimately, of course, this tendency lowers graduation rates and thus harms the reputation of CUNY colleges.

It is beyond the scope of this Report to provide a detailed analysis of the impact that the TAP restrictions have had on CUNY’s enrollment patterns. Evidence of their impact, however, is plentiful. CUNY students are increasingly tending to enroll in community colleges, rather than senior colleges, as is apparent in Table 6.[110] Furthermore, the Schmidt Report points out that:
enrollment at the senior colleges has gradually decreased between 1980 and 1997, while the community and comprehensive colleges have experienced significant increases. These enrollment trends have led to an overall level of instruction at CUNY that is heavily weighted toward lower-level education. Moreover, because community college funding is driven by enrollment, CUNY’s community colleges have seen their revenues more than double over this period, while the senior colleges’ historically-based revenues have increased more slowly.[111]

The State of New York’s generous TAP helps a great deal to ameliorate the negative consequences of CUNY’s high tuition charges. Its efficacy on this front is limited, however, by flaws in its construction. TAP funding provides limited assistance to part-time students, cannot be used to cover non-credit bearing remedial courses taken during the academic year, and is only available for four years for students in baccalaureate programs and three years for students in associate’s degree programs. TAP awards are also calculated to decline progressively as students receive assistance for their second, third, and fourth years of college enrollment.[112] These statutory[113] provisions create unnecessary financial hurdles for CUNY students, and they should be eliminated. * New York State should make TAP funds fully available to part-time students. At CUNY, 40% of the student body enrolls part-time.[114] Many of these students must work to pay tuition and meet their family responsibilities. The State’s refusal to help fund their education punishes these students.[115]
* Supplemental TAP funds (STAP) should be available to students who are enrolled in, and paying tuition for, remedial courses during the regular school year. To meet this recommendation, the State must reinstate the full STAP program, and repeal the 1995 legislative amendment that limited eligibility to STAP funds to students enrolled in summer-term remedial programs.[117]
* The State’s time limits on TAP funding should be eliminated. Instead of time limits, TAP should institute a policy that prohibits students from receiving TAP funds for courses that they must retake due to failure.
* The provision in the TAP legislation that decreases a student’s TAP funding progressively as their educational career progresses is particularly counter-productive, and should be eliminated. This provision serves to make the actual price of attending college increase for students as they near graduation, creating an incentive to drop out without a degree.

In a report dated December,1999, the Commission on New York State Student Financial Aid, appointed by the State Senate and headed by Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., former Chancellor of SUNY, recommended that the state pay 100 percent of the tuition for the neediest students at both SUNY and CUNY, rather than the 90 percent it currently pays. The Commission stated that cutbacks in higher education and TAP grants threaten New York State’s ability to provide sufficient and outstanding higher education opportunities to its citizens.117 This recent report reinforces the recommendations of this Commission; and we endorse its emphasis on the importance of financial aid for low income students and their families.
CUNY’s Budgeting and Allocations Process

Both the Schmidt Report and its supplementary materials prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers argue that CUNY’s budgeting processes hamstring the system’s efforts to expand and diversify its revenues and lead to an inefficient distribution of current funds.[118] To address these budgeting problems, the Schmidt Report recommended that CUNY articulate a long-range strategic plan that coordinates campus-level initiatives with the system’s common goals. Based on this University-wide plan, the Schmidt Report argued CUNY should adopt a centralized, performance-based budgeting system. To implement these far-reaching reforms, it rightly notes, CUNY will have to improve its lines of internal communication, enhance its institutional research capabilities, and repair faulty governance mechanisms. This Commission endorses the foregoing analysis and supports the following recommendations of the Schmidt Report:

* “CUNY must make student instruction and assessment the center of its financial priorities.”[119]
* “CUNY must adopt an ‘all funds’ approach to budgeting and fiscal management,”[120] in which grant and contract funds, along with other monies from alternative funding sources, are considered integral, rather than supplemental, to the University.
* “CUNY must establish university-wide fiscal management policies, and must give individual campuses the responsibility to spend funds according to those policies; before CUNY can require budget accountability, however, it must ensure that campus business managers have access to the information they need to be responsible and accountable for funds received.”[121]

We agree that CUNY’s current budgeting process is torturous and is in need of reform. Under the current mechanism, it is the Chancellor’s responsibility to formulate an annual budget request to be submitted to the Mayor and the State Legislature, in consultation with college presidents and subject to the Board of Trustees’ approval.[122] This request traditionally consists of two parts: the operating budget and special funds. State and city appropriations for CUNY’s operating budget are historically determined and are largely assumed in the budgeting process. (While community college operating budgets are pegged to enrollment, operating budgets at CUNY’s senior colleges do not respond to changes in their enrollments.)[123] Requests for special funds, however, are line-items in the budget process. This year’s budget asks for special funds in five catagories: “creating a flagship environment,” “supporting academic achievement,” improving the undergraduate experience,” “establishing a CUNY economic development initiative,”and “upgrading technology and managing data.”[124]

With the exception of gifts, donations, and bequests, all incoming revenues are processed through the central administration and, as a result, college operating budgets are often unresponsive to enrollment changes and new funding needs. Indeed, CUNY allocates State operating funds to each senior college according to past allocations. As a result, schools with growing enrollments tend to receive less money per student than schools with shrinking enrollments. Furthermore, since 80th Street does not handle grant, gift, and contract funds raised at the college level, these items are not considered in funds allocation. Generally, these allocation processes are neither well-articulated at the system level nor well understood at the college level. This situation gives rise to considerable mistrust and misunderstanding, making effective strategic planning at CUNY difficult.

Like so many of CUNY’s governance procedures, the system’s budgeting mechanism does not facilitate the sort of discussion, cooperation, and strategizing that is necessary for the University to articulate a coherent vision of the future, prioritize financial needs, and raise and distribute funds. We agree with the Schmidt Report, therefore, that this system must be reformed. We tentatively endorse the general direction it outlines for reform. We must point out, however, that there is a fundamental tension between these budgeting recommendations and the Schmidt Report’s plans to centralize CUNY system governance. If CUNY adopts a budgeting system that is more directly tied to performance and outcomes, it must give colleges the leeway to experiment and differentiate themselves from one another.

Assuming that CUNY can strike a proper balance between an integrated governance system and a distributed budgeting process, these recommendations only begin to address the serious financial issues facing CUNY. The basic point is the need for more money. We agree that CUNY must improve its budgeting and allocations processes; that it must find a way to articulate a set of institutional goals and priorities; and that it must be able to monitor outcomes to assess its progress. All of this planning is for naught, however, if the system does not have enough funds to distribute, colleges are forced to choose between necessities, and students are trapped by high tuition and restrictive financial aid policies. The end result of budgetary reforms must be both improved distribution and more efficient use of the system’s limited funds and the expansion of available funds.

The Schmidt Report does not adequately address CUNY’s severe budgetary constraints. While it does note that “[o]ver the past two decades, real government financial support to CUNY has declined (even if we take into account increases in State-funded tuition assistance for students),” the Schmidt Report takes these declines for granted. Rather than calling for improved governmental appropriations, the Schmidt Report argues that these declines “increase the importance to CUNY both of improving its management of its existing resources and of increasing revenues from alternative sources, including fund-raising and extramural funding for grants and contracts.”[125] It then recommends that “The University must do much more to increase alternative revenues.”[126] We must point out, however, that CUNY is already far more reliant on alternative revenue sources – gifts, grants, and contracts – than it has been in the past, and that these funds have done little to alleviate the system’s revenue shortage. Grants, gifts, and contracts grew from 11% to 26% of the system’s total revenues between 1980 and 1997.[127] These funds, however, are often restricted and are earmarked for specific purposes. While these restricted funds allow the CUNY system to carry out several special research, instructional, cultural, and public service initiatives, they cannot be used to supplement the system’s general funds. As such, they do little to alleviate the system’s shortage of unrestricted funds – by and large, the funds that support direct instruction. Such additional sources of funding must be seen as a supplement to traditional public support, not a replacement for it.

The Schmidt report also recommends:

* “The Mayor and the Governor must work together and with the City and State legislatures to define education priorities, promote systematic assessment of performance, and use multi-year, performance-based funding policies to reinforce accountability.”[128]
* “CUNY must reorganize itself around a system of outcome-based accountability for all programs and institutions.”[129]

This Commission endorses these recommendations, but only up to a point. Our support for the notion of performance funding and budgeting is very cautious and with some important caveats. We endorse funding ideas that give schools strong incentives to succeed and reward schools that achieve excellence – but the devil is in the details. A performance funding mechanism that measures all CUNY colleges against a single standardized set of criteria would inevitably and unfairly punish schools whose missions do not match the performance measures.[130] A performance funding mechanism that pulls necessary funding out from failing departments or colleges would be counter-productive in the CUNY context, since it would force already underfunded units to operate in an even more austere funding environment.

Similarly, a zero-sum performance funding system, in which one college’s financial gain would inevitably cause another’s loss, would be particularly dangerous at CUNY since it would undermine attempts to integrate the system’s units into a coherent whole and would likely serve to broaden what PwC II describes as the already “wide variations in per student resources among the CUNY colleges.”[131] Furthermore, it strikes us as perverse to require CUNY colleges to compete tooth and nail for an ever-shrinking pool of State and City funds.

Some of the most “objective” measurements of excellence may cut in entirely opposite directions depending on which stakeholders’ interests are taken into account. For example, CUNY students benefit educationally from a low student/faculty ratio. However, if the goal is reducing costs, a low student/faculty ratio is impossible to maintain. If a perfomance funding mechanism is rewarding academic excellence, it must reward schools with low student/faculty ratios. If it is rewarding cost-effectiveness, it will punish schools with low student/faculty ratios. The same may be true of measures of faculty performance that reward teaching or publishing as compared to obtaining grants, contracts or other outside sources of funding.

We suggest, therefore, establishing a carefully constructed performance funding mechanism that commits the City and State of New York to improved funding for CUNY, allows the colleges to participate in formulating several different measures of excellence that apply differently to colleges according to their articulated missions, gives due consideration to the unique needs of CUNY students in defining performance, makes funds available to elevate the performance of schools that fail to meet agreed standards, and carefully protects each school’s base operating budget. Failure to perform is not always or solely a function of inadequate funding, but it must be acknowledged that it too plays an important role. It is vital to understand that not all performance funding mechanisms are alike.

Under-Funding: CUNY’s Real Financial Challenge

These managerial suggestions, whatever their merits, fail to address CUNY’s single most pressing fiscal issue – the precipitous decline in public funds and unrestricted revenues appropriated to the university. While we support the implementation of many of the budgetary reforms the Schmidt Report advocates, we cannot endorse the Schmidt Report’s unwillingness to advocate for increased appropriations for CUNY.

CUNY’s contribution to New York’s economic and social well-being is immeasurable. But its benefits cannot be sustained unless the City and the State are willing to make significant investments in the system. Current State and local appropriations for CUNY are dangerously low, forcing the system to cut expenditures to the bone and raise student tuition charges. While other states are renewing their commitment to higher education, New York State has cut funding for its colleges and universities. New York State ranks near the bottom of the nation – 46th – in funding for higher education per $1000 in per capita income. We believe that the City and State of New York must renew their commitment to CUNY, and overhaul their funding formulas to guarantee State and local appropriations that at least cover the system’s base operating expenditures.

Higher education’s positive impact on individual income and its other private benefits are well-known – CUNY, for example, argues that its average bachelor’s degree recipient earns $700,000 more over the course of a 40-year career than a high school graduate.[132] These benefits, it is argued, justify the imposition of tuition, and make higher education a rational investment for many prospective students.

The private benefits, however, pale in comparison to the significant public good associated with higher education. CUNY estimates that the University’s direct impact on the New York State economy and tax base is $7.2 billion. Using a standard U.S. Department of Commerce’s multiplier to determine the system’s total economic impact, CUNY argues that its total economic impact amounts to $13.7 billion annually – “more than ten times the size of the CUNY budget” – and maintains that “326,000 citizens are working and paying taxes as a result of the University’s presence.”[133]

Furthermore, as a recent RAND report demonstrates, “education leads to reduced crime, improved social cohesion, technological innovations, and inter-generational benefits (the benefits parents derive from their own education and transmit to their0children.)”[134] RAND argues that a significant education gap exists between white and Asian Americans and the rest of the population, and finds that “[a]n investment in closing the educational attainment gap between non-Hispanic whites, on one hand, and blacks and Hispanics, on the other, would clearly pay for itself in the form of long-term saving in income transfers and social programs, increased tax revenues, and increased disposable income for the individuals involved.”[135] Additional research has found a strong positive correlation between a citizen’s educational attainment and likeliness to vote,[136] give to charity, and engage in community service.[137]

CUNY is at the front lines of the effort to close America’s educational gap. Of the students CUNY enrolled in the fall of 1997, 32.5% were black; 26.1% were Hispanic.[138] By providing educational opportunity to these traditionally marginalized populations, CUNY performs a social role that far exceeds the income and tax roll benefits the system uses to calculate its economic impact. Chronic underfunding and an increasing reliance on tuition revenues impede the system’s ability to perform this critical social role. The City and State, as beneficiaries of CUNY’s social contribution, each have a responsibility to help remove these hurdles. Both the City and the State of New York, therefore, must reinvest in CUNY.

We recommend the following:
* Rather than basing future governmental appropriations on past appropriations, the City and State should review their CUNY appropriations and establish an appropriations mechanism that at least covers each institution’s base operating expenses.
* If the State and City are to establish a performance funding mechanism for CUNY, it should be devised in cooperation with the CUNY system administration. Such a mechanism should allow for college-level input on standards of excellence and measurement devices, establish variable measurements for colleges with differing institutional missions, not punish institutions for the economic or educational disadvantages of their incoming students, and allow schools with performance shortcomings to receive performance improvement funding, and include public goods measures (i.e. institutional impact on crime rate, tax revenues, and civic engagement) as additional indicators of institutional strength.[139] This mechanism should be an enrichment mechanism; it should not allow State and City appropriations for CUNY to fall further.
* To assess the system’s base operating expenses, establish performance expectations, and measure outcomes, the State should establish a standing commission on higher education funding, composed of educators, business leaders, and community leaders.
Governmental reinvestment is far from inconsistent with the accountability and incentive-based funding and budgeting structures recommended by the Schmidt Report. Indeed, we believe that performance-based funding can only succeed if participating schools have sufficient resources to meet expectations and are competing for a significant basket of funds. It is clear to us that restored governmental appropriations are a necessary precondition of the establishment of an effective performance funding system. Furthermore, there is no reason that the restoration of governmental funds should compromise the market accountability implicit in CUNY’s high-tuition funding model. We recommend that New York City and State establish a funding model in which baseline appropriations insure that college’s fixed cost baselines are covered, and additional funds for improvements are available on a competitive basis. Under this model, student tuition would cover marginal costs. State-funded systems and schools would have an economic incentive to maximize enrollment, and thereby enjoy the additional resources made available by economies of scale.
To assess CUNY’s financial needs and to distribute funds on a performance basis, CUNY will have to radically upgrade its institutional research and data management infrastructure. This infrastructure upgrade must be distributed carefully throughout the system and before the creation of a performance-based funding system, particularly since the need for technology improvements is system-wide. We agree, therefore, with the following recommendation from the Schmidt report:
* “CUNY must invest in a university-wide technology infrastructure and create integrated management information systems that can support rational planning and budgeting, track student progress and outcomes, assess faculty productivity, and provide better and more accessible management information.”[140]

An effective performance funding mechanism could improve CUNY’s educational offerings, since it could raise the system’s governmental appropriations, thereby improving its flagging supply of unrestricted revenues, even as it eliminates budgetary inefficiencies and rewards excellence. These improvements will do little good, however, if excessive tuition and unresponsive financial aid policies discourage potential students from enrolling in CUNY.

We believe that CUNY should lower its tuition and New York State should reform its financial aid policies. CUNY’s tuition is now considerably higher than its peers, and the burden that it imposes on CUNY students and their families is unacceptable. It makes a CUNY education considerably less accessible for middle- and working-class students, and it hinders CUNY’s competition in the marketplace for college students. Therefore, we recommend that:
* CUNY should attempt to lower its tuition levels or at least slow its rate of growth in future years. Tuition growth should not outpace the rate of growth in per capita personal income in New York City, and CUNY’s tuition levels should not be higher than those of its peers.

Of course, because the system must retain funding levels, tuition cuts are impossible without improvements in State appropriations or funding from other sources.

Case Study in Governance: Articulation (Or the Wrong Way to Do the Right Thing)

In the course of exploring the issues of governance and in some follow-up on the issues of remediation and access discussed in Part I, we have been impressed with the critical importance of the question of articulation between the community and senior colleges of CUNY, both as a case study in governance issues and as a vitally important substantive aspect of the future of CUNY. “Articulation” in the academic setting refers to the interrelation and transferability of credits, courses, and programs from one college to another, particularly in this instance from a community college to a senior college. In the wake of the controversy over remediation, articulation has emerged as an important issue within CUNY.

The need for articulation is accorded almost as much prominence in CUNY’s statutory mission statement as access, excellence, and urban focus:

The legislature intends that the city university of New York should be maintained as an independent system of higher education governed by its own board of trustees responsible for the governance, maintenance, and development of both the senior and community college units of the city university. The university must remain responsive to the needs of its urban setting and maintain its close articulation between senior and community college units. Where possible, governance and operation of senior and community colleges should be jointly conducted or conducted by similar procedures to maintain the university as an integrated system and to facilitate articulation between units. (emphasis added)[141]

We have found the issue of articulation at CUNY to be particularly complex. In Part I we expressed concern over the prospects of transfer to a senior college for the students diverted to community colleges by the new policy on remediation. We also pointed out that the problem of inadequate articulation between community and senior colleges is national in scope and not unique to CUNY.[142] The proposed Amendment to the Master Plan promised to improve articulation, primarily through a new online computer program known as Transfer Information and Program Planning System (“TIPPS”).[143] However, articulation quickly emerged as a major point of contention between the Trustees and the Chancellor on one side and significant numbers of faculty on the other. It is a classic illustration of how not to initiate and accomplish much needed change.

Articulation issues also represent an important lens through which to view the larger question of centralization because a truly effective and smooth system of articulation could easily lead to the increased concentration of power in the central administration and a concomitant loss of individuality by the separate campuses. We have often heard it suggested that the only way to deal with the question of distribution or of general education requirements might be to impose a university-wide 30 credit core. Such a core would, in turn, force the elimination of some of the unique requirements imposed by the different colleges[144] and, unless negotiated among the campuses, a lengthy, extremely difficult and probably frustrating process, would ultimately result in a centralization of the curriculum planning function. Studies of effective methods to achieve improved articulation often recommend a single course numbering system.[145] Thus, the current articulation position of the central administration could be interpreted as an opening wedge to achievement of the goal set in the Schmidt Report of greater central authority. We must keep in mind, however, that clear and well thought out articulation and transfer policies are plainly in the long range interests of the community college students and thus would be a positive development regardless of their effect on governance structures.

Some Background on Articulation at CUNY

In Part I of our Report, we cited some statistics and reports suggesting that CUNY senior colleges have somewhat worse records than other four-year schools of accepting and granting full credit to students transferring from CUNY community colleges.[146] We have often heard over the course of our investigation that it is “common knowledge” that at least some CUNY senior colleges are considered even more elitist than private colleges, including some selective private colleges, such as Vassar and New York University, when it comes to giving transferring students credit for courses taken at community colleges.[147] Anecdotal accounts of community college students being snubbed by CUNY senior colleges but accepted for transfer to private colleges abound. We have rarely heard this piece of conventional wisdom disputed, but neither have we seen it conclusively proved or disproved with reliable data. Accusations fly back and forth between senior college faculty, community college faculty and the central administration as to who was responsible for the current state of affairs and even whether there is even that much of a problem to begin with.[148]

A 1996 audit suggests that about six out of seven transferring students in the 1990 cohort were awarded the full required 64 transfer credits when admitted to a senior college, but that of those, four out of ten were required to take more than the additional 64 credits toward the then required 128 credits to complete a bachelor’s degree in their major. Liberal arts majors transferring to Brooklyn College, City College, and Hunter, as well as business and management majors, particularly those transferring to Baruch, were especially likely to be required to take more than the additional 64 credits.[149] This study, however, was based upon a small sample and involved only those students who had successfully transferred to a CUNY senior college. Most of the anecdotal “horror stories” involve students who ended up in senior colleges outside the CUNY system because the CUNY colleges would have required many more courses and much more time to complete a bachelor’s degree. The question is further clouded by the fact that CUNY now requires only 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree and only 60 for an associate degree.[150] Although this change might seem to make things easier for transferring students, it has actually complicated matters for the community colleges because they have fewer credits to work with in order to provide students the necessary basic liberal arts program in addition to the distribution requirements for their majors.[151]

There is probably enough ‘fault’ to go around: some department chairs have arguably been too protective of their prerogatives and too inflexible in denying credit to transfers. Because of financial constraints, counseling for transfer has suffered at some community colleges where it may not be viewed as a top priority. The frustration and hurt feelings of community college faculties related to the perceived elitism of the senior college faculties is understandable, as is the central administration’s limited patience with delay and foot dragging over articulation agreements. Despite a 1972 Board of Trustees policy which has repeatedly been re-affirmed since then, most recently in 1985, articulation agreements must be negotiated individually with each department of each college. Not infrequently, individual students’ transfers are negotiated on a course-by-course basis. As noted by the Schmidt Report, “the faculty fiercely protect their right to withhold credit for courses taken at other colleges.”[152] Undoubtedly, something had to be done to correct this situation. The solution recently proffered by the central administration (discussed below), however, especially in light of its previous insistence on the need to raise standards at CUNY, is puzzling and inconsistent.

In addition to the 120 credits , like most institutions of higher education, each CUNY senior college imposes general education or distribution requirements for graduation, such as a foreign language, lab sciences, mathematics, etc. Furthermore, Brooklyn College has, after years of development, established a required core curriculum for all students. In accordance with their various missions and long history of independence, each of the colleges and often each degree program within the college, has different requirements. By the same token, the community colleges have also established criteria, including certain general education or distribution requirements, for their associate degree candidates. These are also highly variable from college to college and, within each college, from one degree program to another. Across CUNY, there is little uniformity of course content, course names or descriptions, prerequisites or numbering systems. Two courses with the same or similar sounding names may be quite different in content and/or level, and some courses with different names may have similar content. This variability is compounded by the differences between liberal arts courses and the more career-oriented courses, both in associate and baccalaureate degree programs.[153]

The TIPPS system, mentioned above, is essentially a computer-based course equivalency guide. It should provide some improvement to students’ understanding of which community college courses will be considered equivalent to which senior college courses and how much credit they will carry. TIPPS, however, is not the panacea its proponents envision. Often, it serves to highlight some of the basic problems transferring students face. For example, many courses, especially those beyond the introductory level, carry the notation that they will be transferred as “free electives.” This means that although the students will receive credit for the course, it will not provide any credits toward fulfilling requirements for their major or toward general distribution requirements. In other words, they are counted as extra electives. The result is that transferring students often need more additional semesters to fulfill their degree requirements.[154]

Push Comes to Shove

On November 1, 1999, the Chancellor recommended, and the Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Program and Planning passed, a resolution providing, in pertinent part:

…effective Fall 2000, students who have earned a City University Associate in Arts (A.A.) or an Associate in Science (A.S.) Degree will be deemed to have automatically fulfilled all lower division liberal arts and science distribution requirements for a baccalaureate degree….(emphasis added)[155]

The problem according to senior college faculty is that the community colleges tend not to require as many social sciences, humanities, or lab sciences courses , as the senior colleges require of lower division students at their campuses. If students coming from community colleges with an A.A. or A.S. degree are deemed to have fulfilled all the distribution or general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree, needing only 60 upper division credits, they will be eligible for the bachelor’s degree without having met the possibly stiffer requirements imposed by the senior colleges on students who begin their college educations on their campuses.

In order to deal with this criticism, the policy passed by the full Board of Trustees on November 22, 1999 (shortly after the Board of Regents approved the amended plan to end remedial instruction in the senior colleges), added the following provision:[156]

However, students may be asked to complete a course in a discipline required by a college’s baccalaureate distribution requirements that was not a part of the student’s associate degree program.

The net effect of this change is unclear. Does “a course” mean just one course? One course per discipline seems a more likely interpretation, but it is difficult to construe this adjustment as requiring the full distribution load. Conversations with faculty members at both the senior and community colleges suggest that they are not at all clear about how to interpret the language of the November 22nd resolution, except that the former hope – and the latter fear – that it means that the status quo is preserved. The resolution in its final form does not clearly addresses the concerns raised by senior college faculty members that it would lower standards. Nor does it fully ease the anxiety of community college faculty members that it leaves a huge loophole or their fear that the current chaotic approach will continue.

This amended resolution adopted by the central administration and accepted by the Trustees represents an ironic turning of tables on the rhetoric of “standards.” Supporters of the new policy (often but not always the same people who supported ending remedial courses at the senior colleges) cite 1) fairness to students newly excluded from senior college, 2) the hard work and efforts of the community college faculties, and 3) the need to centralize or integrate the University. Chancellor Goldstein characterized it as a “wake-up call” to the senior colleges.[157] But, senior college faculty, left, right and center appear united in opposition to this change both on the grounds of the intrusion in what traditionally has been and, more importantly, under CUNY’s bylaws, is an area of faculty autonomy, i.e., the setting of degree requirements, and (perhaps ultimately more important to the students) on the grounds that the forced acceptance of general education and distribution requirements established by the community colleges for a 60 credit degree will eventually water down the value of the baccalaureate degree at the senior colleges.

Faculty Academic Autonomy and Articulation

In addition to providing valuable insights into the issue of centralization of authority at CUNY, articulation and transfer issues serve to highlight the important matters of faculty control over curriculum, course content, and graduation requirements. Board of Trustees bylaw �8.6 vests in the faculty of the various colleges the responsibility, subject to the guidelines, if any, established by the board, for the formulation of policy relating to the admission and retention of students…, curriculum, awarding of college credit, granting of degrees……and conduct the educational affairs customarily cared for by a college faculty. (Emphasis added.)

As we observed with respect to the issue of articulation at CUNY in Part I of our Report, “attempts to resolve it by fiat would undermine the autonomy of the faculty to set graduation requirements.” This was precisely what was attempted. Whatever else may be said about governance of CUNY, in general, or the question of the proper degree of centralization, in particular, we are troubled by the increasing usurpation of the “customary” faculty autonomy to set the various academic requirements. The reduction in the number of credits required for a degree, the removal of remedial coursework from the senior colleges and the concomitant change in the admissions requirements, and now the imposition of articulation standards have, all been accomplished over the objections of, or absent proper consultation with, the duly constituted faculty governance bodies. Any proffered solution with respect to course content or graduation requirements must fall within the traditional scope of faculty autonomy over curricular matters.


We must take account of the needs of community college students, especially given the recent remediation change, and of their palpable frustration with a system that has apparently made it too difficult to transfer, vis a vis what may be a real diminution of the value of the bachelor’s degree. Even leaving aside the extremely touchy question of the quality and intellectual level of community college courses, the question of general education, distribution, and core requirements is a legitimate one and is directly linked to the meaning and value of a degree in a much more fundamental way than the mere existence of remedial classes. Students diverted to community colleges as a result of the change in remediation policy deserve full opportunities to transfer to a senior college. It is only fair. On the other hand, due to the exclusion of students with remedial needs from the senior colleges, there is likely to be an increasing gap between the preparation levels of students beginning their college careers at a senior college and those sent, or choosing to go, to a community college, a gap that may or may not be fully closed by those earning an associate degree. Any new policies or approaches to articulation and transfer must take that reality into account in order to insure that transferring students have a genuine opportunity to succeed and to earn a baccalaureate degree.

Although we are not in a position to make any detailed substantive recommendations with respect to articulation at CUNY, we can make some general observations:

* Articulation agreements are often very detailed, particularized and carefully negotiated on a program to program basis, in contrast to the recent Trustees resolution requiring blanket transfer of all credits and courses for all purposes.[158] Such individualized agreements should, in any event, be the province of the faculties of the senior and community colleges, with intervention by the central administration only if and when irreconcilable differences emerge.
* The CUNY Board of Trustees should consider requiring each senior college to complete an agreement with each feeder institution for a transfer curriculum for general education or distribution purposes and for its primary majors by a time definite. * * CUNY Trustees have initiated a policy requiring that, in order to receive approval, all new baccalaureate programs must be fully articulated with at least one community college associate degree program.[159] CUNY might consider requiring all existing baccalaureate programs to have fully negotiated articulation agreements with at least one (for the larger programs possibly more) associate degree programs.
* CUNY should make counseling for transfer a priority. It is surprising that the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Articulation and transfer found it necessary to “recommend” this along with orientation seminars and enough catalogues, program descriptions, to go around.[160] * CUNY should carefully and seriously consider making successful transfer from community to senior colleges a performance measure for both community and senior colleges.
* CUNY should consider dual admissions and advising for students seeking a bachelor’s degree but not deemed ready for a senior college. In other words, students could be conditionally admitted to both the senior and community colleges and have advisors at both to ease the transition between them.

For purposes of this Report, however, we are particularly focused on the governance aspects of articulation and transfer. The way to achieve a more cohesive and integrated University is to include all the stakeholders in a discussion of the need for such an approach and how best to reach the goals. The Board of Trustees should respect its own governance bylaws, and not treat established procedures as annoyances to be ignored in the name of greater efficiency and “reform.” Change is necessary but it must be accomplished through an interactive and truly consultative process. For the Board of Trustees to rubber-stamp many of the Schmidt Report recommendations without formal discussion is an unfortunate way to initiate university-wide planning, and certainly does not fit in with RAND’s, the AGB’s or the Gill Report’s visions of governance. Each of those reports supports the goals of integration and some degree of centralization. None of these sources, in our view, would support the methods and process being used to accomplish those goals.

CUNY: The Unfinished Agenda

As this Report indicates, there remains a large unfinished agenda of issues and needs that must be addressed in order to sustain and strengthen the City University of New York in the 21st Century. A major part of that agenda must be to invigorate and re-build CUNY’s commitment to offering a meaningful opportunity for higher education for the “children of the whole people.” Part I of this Report focused on the vexing and politically volatile issue of the removal of remedial instruction from the senior colleges and its impact on full and open access for disadvantaged students. In Part II, we have dealt with two problems that impede opportunity for such students even as some of them manage to participate in the University: flawed governance and inadequate funding. We have sought to conduct our inquiries through the lens of these students. Although we have carefully considered and attempted to factor in the needs of other stakeholders, such as faculty, staff, administrators, governance bodies, and political, business and community leaders, we have tried to keep uppermost in our minds the reason for the existence of CUNY, i.e., the needs of its diverse “urban constituency”[161] of students.

We have, however, only scratched the surface. This Commission was created as a temporary entity to address an immediate need: a disinterested analysis of a major proposed change in access to CUNY, i.e., the removal of remedial instruction at the senior colleges, and an impartial examination of some of the major issues discussed by the Schmidt Report, such as governance and finance. But the needs of the traditional students of the City University – be they poor, working class, minority, immigrants, or all of these – are ongoing. The Regents approved the change in remedial education, but only until 2002. The effect on the educational opportunities of the students who will depend upon CUNY for a foothold in the economy should be closely monitored by members of the larger community with the interests of these students as their uppermost concern. This Commission believes that the impact of the changes in remedial education at CUNY should be monitored and evaluated by an independent entity. Such an entity should carefully follow, as well, prospective changes in admission and graduation requirements, and governance changes such as greater centralization and performance-based funding, which may impact directly or indirectly on the ability of students to get access to and to successfully complete college education.

We believe that an independent entity should also carefully monitor State appropriations for higher education, paying careful attention not just to net appropriations, but also to the distribution of State funds for higher education. We are concerned to note, for example, that although the State Executive Budget Recommendations for 2000-2001 contain a small increase in total funds for CUNY, they also contain substantial decreases in TAP and SEEK appropriations.[162]These two programs, as well as other programs designed to expand access to higher education, should be generously supported by the State.

In the future, New York and New Yorkers should pay greater attention to CUNY’s community colleges. These institutions represent a major avenue of access to higher education for the graduates of the New York City school system and for others arriving here later in life with a thirst for further learning. Community colleges have received far too little notice from higher education policy makers and observers. There is a general tendency to apply to them measures of success that are not appropriate to their missions and student bodies.[163] These colleges, however, should be nurtured and strengthened as second chance rather than second class opportunities for higher education or as a first choice institution for excellent career or vocational education. They need to be perceived as different, but equally important and significant post-secondary institutions, not simply as “junior” colleges.

In addition to further monitoring of equality of access to CUNY under the changes in remedial education, we have identified some issues for further examination and development:

* What reforms would be helpful to the traditional students of CUNY – low-income, working class, minority, and immigrant? What can be done to improve both the access to and the excellence of CUNY?
* We need to know what governance and funding reforms will enhance, from a student-based perspective, the goals of access and opportunity. The issue of performance based funding, for example, lies at the intersection of finance and governance. We need to know a great deal more about which kinds of college performance standards will benefit the traditional working class, minority and immigrant CUNY students and which might disadvantage them further. The Commission is not satisfied with leaving these questions largely unanswered, but we are gratified to have been able, along with other reports and studies, to advance the inquiry and, more important, to have placed the focus where we believe it should be: on the needs of the students, rather than on the Trustees, the administration, the faculty and staff, or on the politicians.

Appendix A


Appendix B


On page 49 of our first report, Remediation and Access: To Educate the “Children of the Whole People”, we incorrectly stated that almost half of Queens College’s undergraduate student body comes from Nassau and Suffolk Counties, rather than from the City of New York. In fact, approximately 10% of the Queens College’s undergraduate student body comes from outside of the City of New York, while nearly half of its graduate students come from Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Also present at our meeting with Queens College President Allen Lee Sessoms were the following: Lori Cohen, Queens College Associate Director of Admissions, Patricia O’Connor, Associate Provost, David Speidel, Provost, and Jane Denkensohn, Special Assistant to the President – Legal Affairs.

Table of Contents


Adelman, Clifford., “The Kiss of Death? An Alternative View of College Remediation.” National Crosstalk, Summer 1998.

_____, “The Truth About Remedial Work.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. October 4, 1996, p. A56.

_____, Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., 1999.

American Association of University Women, “Gaining a Foothold: Women’s Transitions Through Work and College,” 1999.

American Council on Education, Straight Talk About College Costs and Prices: Report of the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education, January 21, 1998.

“Approved Queens College Freshman Admissions Criteria” Queens College Office of Undergraduate Admissions, December 15, 1998.

Arenson, Karen W., “Adelphi President Likely To Be New CUNY Chief,” New York Times, July 21, 1999

_____, “Advocates of Remedial Work Barrage the Trustees at CUNY,” New York Times, April 21, 1998.

_____, “As CUNY Chief Leaves, Trustees Talk of Raising Standards,” New York Times, July 20, 1997.

_____, “Badillo Says Community Colleges Need to Improve Graduation Rates,” New York Times, December 1, 1999.

_____, “College Board Scores Vary Little From Previous Year’s,” New York Times, September 1, 1999.

_____, “Critics Fear Role of Politics in CUNY Plan,” New York Times, May 8, 1998.

_____, “CUNY Board Fails to Approve Bid to Allow Remedial Cuts,” New York Times, March 24, 1998.

_____, “CUNY May Let Politicians Plan Remediation,” New York Times, April 23, 1998.

_____, “CUNY Proposes Stricter Rules On Students in Remedial Classes,” New York Times, March 1, 1998.

_____, “CUNY Study Could Be Tool or Weapon, Officials Say,” New York Times, June 7, 1999.

_____, “CUNY To Tighten Admissions Policy at 4-Year Schools,” New York Times, May 27, 1998.

_____, “How Open a Door?; Ending Remedial Classes at CUNY Could Drastically Change Its Mission,” New York Times, March 25, 1998.

_____, “The Guliani Budget: The University; Some CUNY Officials Are Cautious About Mayor’s Proposal, but Others See Disaster,” New York Times, January 30, 1998.

_____, “New CUNY Chief Traces Woes to the Public Schools,” New York Times, June 2, 1999.

_____, “Regents Assert Right to Approve CUNY’s Plan for Remedial Work,” New York Times, August 13, 1998.

_____, “Remedial Students Play an Integral Part at CUNY,” New York Times, February 8, 1998.

_____, “Remedial Limits for CUNY Are Attacked,” New York Times, March 17, 1998.

_____, “Trustees Anoint CUNY Chief With a Pledge Not to Meddle,” New York Times, July 23, 1999.

_____, “With CUNY Study, Ex-Yale Chief Seeks New View of Public Colleges,” New York Times, August 30, 1998.

_____, “With New Admissions Policy, CUNY Steps Into the Unknown,” New York Times, May 28, 1998.

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Bridging the Gap Between State Government and Public Higher Education, Washington, D.C., 1998.

Astin, Alexander W., What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited, Jossey-Bass, Inc., San Francisco, 1993.

Badillo, Herman, “Why CUNY Needs Standardized Tests,” New York Post, September 19, 1999.

Barkley, Sue Murphy, “A Synthesis of Recent Literature on Articulation and Transfer,” Community College Review, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 38-50.

Benjamin, Roger et al., The Redesign of Governance in Higher Education, RAND, Institute on Education and Training, 1993

Baruch College, “Baruch College/CUNY,” information sheet for CUNY students planning to transfer into Baruch.

Berger, Joseph, “CUNY Phasing in Higher Standards,” New York Times, May 3, 1992.

_____, “Not the Same CUNY,” New York Times, June 27, 1995.

Blum, Edward and Marc Levin, “Washington’s War on Standardized Tests,” Wall Street Journal, May 26, 1999.

Breneman, David W., “Remediation in Higher Education: Its Extent and Cost,” in, Brookings Papers on Education Policy, 1998, Diane Ravitch, ed., Brookings Institution Press, 1998.

Breneman, David W. and William N. Haarlow, “Establishing the Real Value of Remedial Education,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 9, 1999.

_____, “Remedial Education: Costs and Consequences,” in Remediation in Higher Education: A Symposium, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

California Higher Education Policy Center, State Structures for the Governance of Higher Education: A Comparative Study, Spring 1997.

Caputo, David A., “Challenges and Opportunities as the Millennium Approaches” The Fourth State of the College Address, February 10, 1999.

Carmody, Deirdre, “Pre-Freshman Remedial Programs Raise Chances for Academic Success,” New York Times, August 31, 1988.

Center for the Study of Community Colleges, “1997 Transfer Assembly Results,” October 1997.

Chait, Richard P., Thomas P. Holland, and Barbara E. Taylor, Improving Performance of Governing Boards, American Council on Education, Series on Higher Education, Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ, 1996.

Chandler, Alice, Public Higher Education and the Public Good: Public Policy at the Crossroads. American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 1998.

Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education, Joint Committee on Testing Practices, 1988.

Cohen, Arthur M., and Florence B. Brawer, The American Community College, (3rd Edition), Jossey-Bass, Inc, San Francisco, 1996.

_____, Policies and Programs that Affect Transfer, American Council on Education.

_____, The Collegiate Function of Community Colleges, Jossey-Bass, Inc, San Francisco, 1987.

Cohen, Arthur M., “Projecting the Future of Community Colleges,” ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges. (

Cole, Nancy S., “Merit and Opportunity: Testing and Higher Education at the Vortex,” presented at the conference, New Directions in Assessment for Higher Education: Fairness, Access, Multiculturalism, and Equity, March 6-7, 1997.

The College Board, “Common Sense About SAT Score Differences and Test Validity,” Research Notes, June 1997.

Commission on New York State Student Financial Aid, Report of the Commission on New York State Financial Aid, December 1999.

Council for Aid to Education, Commission on National Investment in Higher Education, Breaking the Social Contract: The Fiscal Crisis in Higher Education, 1999.

Cronholm, Lois S., Au Courant. No. 6, May-June 1999.

_____, “Baruch College State of the College” October 1998.

_____, “Remediation and Reality,” Remarks to the City Club of New York, April 9, 1999.

_____, “Why One College Jettisoned All Its Remedial Courses,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 24, 1999.

Daley, Suzanne, “Colleges All Over the Country Turning to Remedial English,” New York Times, January 8, 1984.

Day, Philip R. and Robert H. McCabe, Remedial Education: A Social and Economic Imperative, American Association of Community Colleges, October 1997.

Diamond, Jack, “Associate Degree Program Requirements,” Memorandum to the CUNY Board of Trustees, November 18, 1999.

Eaton, Judith S. (ed.), Colleges of Choice: The Enabling Impact of the Community College. American Council on Education/Macmillan Publishing Company, 1988.

Empire Foundation for Policy Research and American Council of Trustees and Alumni, A Failure to Set High Standards: CUNY’s General-Education Requirements. March 1998.

Everett, Edith, Testimony, Hearing before the New York State Assembly Committee on Higher Education, June 5, 1999.

Florida Department of Education, Readiness for Postsecondary Education, 1997-98. April, 1999.

“Frequently Asked Questions About ETS,” (

Friedman, Anne, “The Battleground for CUNY: The Future of Community Colleges,” speech delivered at City Project seminar, October 20, 1999.

Friends of CUNY, Toward a Greater City University, August 1999.

Fuentes, Annette and Anad Nisha, “Trustees of the Right’s Agenda, Influence of Political Conservatives on Higher Education,” The Nation, October 5, 1998.

Fullinwider, Robert K. “Open Admissions and Remedial Education at CUNY” Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy.

Gade, Marian L., Four Multicampus Systems: Some Policies and Practices That Work, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, D.C., 1993.

Goldstein, Matthew, “How I plan to reform CUNY,” New York Daily News, August 13, 1999.

Goodnough, Abby, “Waiver Granted for Interim Schools Chief,” New York Times, Jan. 15, 2000.

Gorelick, Sherry, City College and the Jewish Poor, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1981.

Gose, Ben, “Tutoring Companies Take Over Remedial Teaching at Some Colleges,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 19, 1997.

Grier Partnership, “Enrollment Projections for High Schools By Borough – New York Public Schools,” Prepared for the New York City Board of Education.

Gross, Barry R., “How to Bail Out CUNY,” New York Times, April 22, 1995.

Healy, Patrick, “With Backing of Governor and Mayor, Adelphi President Tapped to Lead CUNY,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 1999.

Heller, Donald E., “Student Price Response in Higher Education: An Update to Leslie and Brinkman.” The Journal of Higher Education. Nov./Dec. 1997.

Hevesi, Dennis, “CUNY Seeks to Bar Remedial Courses Beyond First Year,” New York Times, June 14, 1995.

Hines, Edward, “Appropriations of State Tax Funds for Operating Expenses of Higher Education in the 50 States for Fiscal Years 1988-89, 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99, with Percentages of Change over the Most Recent One, Two, and Ten Years,” Grapevine: A National Database of Tax Support for Higher Education.

“How the States Rank in Appropriations for Higher Education,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 27, 1998.

Hunter College, “One Hundred Twenty-Seven Years of Teaching, Research and Service” Decennial Report to the Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, July 1997.

_____, “1997-1998 Annual Report.”

Ignash, Jan M., ed., “Implementing Effective Policies for Remedial and Developmental Education,” New Directions for Community Colleges, Number 100, Winter 1997.

Independent Sector, Biennial Gallup Survey on Giving and Volunteering. Washington, DC: Independent Sector, 1992.

Institute for Higher Education Policy, Contributing to the Civic Good: Assessing and Accounting for the Civic Contributions of Higher Education, July 1999.

_____, Reaping the Benefits: Defining the Public and Private Value of Going to College, March 1998.

_____, The Tuition Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together, February 1999.

Jackson, Edison O., The City University of New York: Blueprint for the 21st Century, December 15, 1997.

Jencks, Christopher, and Meredith Phillips, eds., The Black-White Test Score Gap, Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1998.

Jones, Charisse, “CUNY Adopts Stricter Policy on Admissions,” New York Times, June 27, 1995.

Kadamus, James A., “Guidaince on the 1998-99 New State Assessment System,” New York State Department of Education April 1999.

Kaganoff, Tessa, Collaboration, Technology, and Outsourcing Initiatives in Higher Education: A Literature Review, March 1998.

Karl, Jonathan, “The Great Campus Celebrity Contest,” The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 1999.

Kleinfield, N. R. and Samuel Weiss, “CUNY’s Crossroads – A special report; Leader Presses Changes at CUNY, But Some See Threat to Its Mission,” New York Times, July 7, 1992.

LaGuardia Community College, The Year 2000 Catalog.

_____, Transfer Agreement with NYU’s School of Education, 1995-1998.

_____, “Transfering to a Four-Year College from LaGuardia.”

LaGuardia Community College Office of Institutional Research, 1999 Institutional Profile.

Lavin, David E., “Comments on: Amendment to the Master Plan for the City University of New York,” Submitted to the New York State Board of Regents, July 20, 1999.

Lavin, David E. and David Hyllegard, Changing the Odds: Open Admissions and the Life Changes of the Disadvantaged, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1996.

Lavin, David E. and Elliot Weininger, New Admissions Policy & Changing Access to CUNY’s Senior and Community Colleges: What are the Stakes?, Prepared for Higher Education Committee New York City Council, May 1999.

_____, The 1999 Trustee Resolution on Access to the City University of New York: Its Impact on Enrollment to Senior Colleges, April 1999.

_____, Proposed New Admissions Criteria at the City University of New York: Ethnic and Enrollment Consequences, March 1998.

Lieberman, Janet and Julie Yearsley Hungar, Transforming Students’ Lives: How ‘Exploring Transfer Works, and Why, American Association for Higher Education.

Lesnick, Henry. “Why the CUNY Immersion Program Fails: An Assessment Based on the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP), 1996-1997,” Final Report February 2, 1998.

London, Howard B. The Culture of a Community College, Praeger Publishers, New York, 1978.

Lueck, Thomas J., “Giuliani Suggests Privatizing Failing Schools,” New York Times, Jan. 12, 2000.

MacDonald, Heather, “Downward Mobility: The Failure of Open Admissions at City University,” City Journal, Summer 1994.

MacTaggart, Terrence and Associates, with Cynthia L. Crist, eds. Restructuring Higher Education: What Works in Reorganizing Governing Systems, Jossey-Bass, Inc., San Francisco, 1996.

Maeroff, Gene I., “City U. Theme: ‘Access and Quality,'” New York Times, November 12, 1983.

_____, “CUNY Leads in Remedial Programs,” New York Times, March 31, 1981.

McCall, H. Carl, New York State’s Community Colleges: Cost-Effective Engines of Educational Access and Economic Development, Office of the State Comptroller, March 1999.

_____, New York State’s Higher Education Policy Vacuum, Office of the State Comptroller, September 1998.

McCormack, Tim, et al. “”Writing Assessment at the City University of New York: A Position Statement,” The Writing Assessment Action Committee of the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, April 17, 1999.

McDonald, Jean Graves , Changing State Policies to Strengthen Public University and Trustee Selection and Education (AGB Public Policy Paper Series No. 95-2) Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, D.C., 1995.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Framework for Outcomes Assessment, 1996.

_____, Outcomes Assessment in the Middle States Region: A Report on the 1995 Outcomes Assessment Survey, July 1996.

_____, Policy Statement: Functions of Boards of Trustees in Higher Education.

_____, Policy Statement: Transfer and Articulation.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Evaluation Team Reports on:
-Baruch College (1990),
-Borough of Manhattan Community College (1997),
-Brooklyn College (1999),
-Bronx Community College (1999),
-City College (1998),
-College of Staten Island (1990),
-Graduate School and University Center (1987, 1994),
-Hostos Community College (1990),
-Hunter College (1997),
-John Jay College (1993),
-LaGuardia Community College (1992),
-Lehman College (1999),
-Medgar Evers College (1997),
-New York City Technical College (1997),
-Queensborough Community College (1999),
-Queens College (1995), and
-York College (1998).

National Postsecondary Education Cooperative, Student Outcomes Information for Policy-Making, September 1997.

Newman, Maria, “CUNY Plan is Questioned by Faculty,” New York Times, December 9, 1992.

_____, “CUNY Reorganization United Students and Faculty in Anger,” New York Times, February 28, 1993.

New York City Department of City Planning, “NYC Public School Enrollments by Grade Citywide, Actual 1997 (Adjusted) and Projected 1998 to 2007.”

New York State Assembly, Bill A02560, 1999-2000 Regular Session, January 25, 1999.

_____, Bill A06817, 1999-2000 Regular Session, March 8, 1999.

New York State Board of Regents, “Commissioner’s Recommended Action on the CUNY Master Plan Amendment,” November 4, 1999.

_____, Public Testimony Presented to the Board, September 8-9, 1999.

_____, Public Meeting (video), November 22, 1999.

New York State Board of Regents Consultant Team, New York State Education Department Review of CUNY’s Proposed Master Plan Amendment, September 1999.

New York State Education Department, “Proposal for Revising Graduation Requirements,” adopted by the New York State Board of Regents, November 14, 1997. (

_____, “Guidance on the 1998-99 New State Assessment System,” Memorandum to All Teachers and Administrators in Public and Nonpublic Schools, April 1999.

_____, Overview of the City University of New York, May 14, 1999.

New York State Education Law.

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, Programs, Policies and Procedures: Guide to Grant and Scholarship Programs, April 1999.

“NRC Criticizes High-Stakes Testing,” Fair Test Examiner, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, Fall 1998

Otheguy, Ricardo, The Condition of Latinos in the City University of New York, A report to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and to the Puerto Rican Council on Higher Education, June 1990.

Pappas Consulting Group, “The City University of New York: Diagnostic Review of the Organizational Structure and Functions of the Office of the Chancellor,” January 10, 2000.

Parnell, Dale, The Neglected Minority, Community College Press, Washington D.C., 1985.

Perez-Pena, Richard, “Aides Say Pataki Is Unhappy With CUNY Leader He Chose,” New York Times, March 30, 1998.

Reitano, Joanne, Testimony to the City Council’s Committee on Higher Education, April 21, 1999.

Rohter, Larry, “City U. Acts to Correct Quickly ‘Learning Deficits’ of Freshmen,” New York Times, August 19, 1986.

Rooney, Charles, Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit: Enhancing Equity and Excellence in College Admissions by Deemphasizing SAT and ACT Results, September 1998.

Rushing, Lawrence, “Recommendations of the Improvement of Transfer Services,” LaGuardia Community College, Spring, 1997.

Russell, Alene Bycer, Statewide College Admissions, Student Preparation, and Remediation Policies and Programs, State Higher Education Executive Officers, January 1998.

St. Clair, Karen L., “Community College Transfer Effectiveness: Rethinking Enhancement Efforts,” Community College Review, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 14-21.

Sharav, Itzhak, “The Elusive CUNY Diploma,” New York Times, June 13, 1999.

Sourth Carolina Commission on Higher Education, Performance Fuding Workbook, 2nd Edition, 1999-2000.

Specht, John C., Testimony Before the New York State Board of Regents, September 9, 1999.

“Standardized tests under fire,” CNN Interactive, June 15, 1999. (

“Statement of Principles of Good Practice for Members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling,” revised October 1998. (

SUNY System Administration, Academic Planning, Policy and Evaluation, “Mean Composite SAT Scores of First-Time Full-Time Students State-Operated Institutions, Fall 1998” October 1999.

Sweeney, Jane P., Access to Education: Admission and Remediation at the City University of New York, July 9, 1999.

Time and the Princeton Review, The Best College for You: College Guide 2000, 1999.

Tinto, Vincent and Stacy Riemer, Remedial Education in Higher Education. (

Tobolowsky, Barbara, “Improving Transfer and Articulation Policies,” ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges. (

Traub, James, City on A Hill: Testing the American Dream at City College, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass, 1994.

U.S. Attorney General’s Office, Memorandum from the Attorney General for the Heads of Departments and Agencies that Provide Federal Financial Assistance, “Use of Disparate Impact Standard in Administrative Regulations Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,” July 14, 1994.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Nondescrimination in High-Stakes Testing: A Resource Guide, April 1999.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, NCES 98-013, 1998.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics,1996.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Remedial Education at Higher Education Institutions in Fall 1995, NCES 97-584, 1996.

U.S. News and World Report, America’s Best Colleges: The Year 2000 Edition, 1999.

Vernez, Georges, et al. Closing the Education Gap. RAND, 1999.

Wechsler, Harold S., The Qualified Student: A History of Selective Admission in America, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1977.

Weidenthal, Maurice D., Who Cares About the Inner City? The Community College Response to Urban America, Association of Community and Junior Colleges, National Center for Higher Education, Washington, D.C. 1989.

Weintraub, Jeffrey, director, Research, Evaluations and Systems, Division of Cooperative Education, LaGuardia Community College, 1998 Graduate Report: An Analysis of the 1998 Graduates of LaGuardia Community College.

_____, “A Longitudinal Analysis of: The 1988-1991 Graduates of LaGuardia Community College,” November, 1997.

Weiss, Samuel, “Measuring the Success of SEEK 20 Years Later,” New York Times, December 28, 1986.

Yamasaki, Erika, “Effective Policies for Remedial Education,” ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges. (

Documents prepared by the CUNY System Administration:

CUNY, Budget Requests, annually, 1988-89 – 2000-01.

_____, “Differences between General Education Requirements in AA/AS Programs and Hunter College – By Catagory Type.”

_____, Immigration/Migration and the CUNY Student of the Future, Winter 1995.

_____, Investing in New York’s Future: The CUNY Portfolio, 1998.

_____, The City University of New York: 1992 Master Plan, September 30, 1992.

_____, 1994 Update of the City University of New York: 1992 Master Plan, October 1994.

_____, “Proposed Admissions Process: CUNY’s Baccalaureate Programs.”

_____, Progress Report on Academic Program and Other Planning Activities. December 1, 1995.

_____, “University-Wide Guidelines for Formal, Periodic Academic Program Review,” April 22, 1994.

CUNY Albany Office, “Highlights of the Higher Education Budget.” (

CUNY Board of Trustees, Amendment to the Master Plan and Appendices, June 28, 1999.

_____, Appendix to the Calendar, June 28, 1999.

_____, Bylaws (Revised September 30, 1998.)

_____, College Governance Plans, Adopted by the Board, 1972-1998.

_____, Individual College Plans for Implementation of January 25, 1999 Resolution.

_____, Manual of General Policy.

_____, Minutes of Proceedings, January 25, 1999.

CUNY Board of Trustees, Committee on Policy, Program, and Research, Amended Resolution on Articulation and Transfer, November, 1999.

CUNY Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Academic Program Planning, A Report to the Chancellor (“The Goldstein Report”), December 2, 1992.

CUNY Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Articulation and Transfer, A Report to the Chancellor, June 30, 1993.

CUNY Chancellor’s Office, “The City University of New York Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP),” February 27, 1998.

CUNY Colleges, Governance Plans.

CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, “The College Preparatory Initiative: Competitive Awards Program, Spring 1996,” August 1, 1996.

_____, The College Preparatory Initiative: Mid-Point Review, Fall 1997.

_____, The CUNY Writing Assessment Test Audit Results 1988-1997, March 1998.

_____, The CUNY Writing Skills Assessment Test: Student Essays Evaluated and Annotated By the CUNY Task Force on Writing, Second Edition.

_____, Revision of the Guidelines for the Structure and Operation of the SEEK Program of the City University of New York, June 1994.

CUNY Office of Admission Services. Review of Admissions for Fall 1999 Semester – Phase 11, July 14, 1999.

CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, “Actual and Projected Enrollment of Degree Undergraduate Students in Summer Remediation at the Senior Colleges: Summer 1998 to Summer 2003,” June 25, 1999.

_____, An Audit of University Policies on the Transfer of Credit from CUNY’s Associate Programs to its Baccalaureate Programs: Phase I, July 1996.

_____, Basic Skills and ESL at the City University of New York: An Overview, February 1998.

_____, CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1998 (Draft).

_____, “CUNY WAT, RAT, and MAT by SAT Scores (Supplied by ETS) Fall 1997 Current High School Graduates”

_____, “Fall 1997 ESL and Basic Skills Courses by College,” July 7, 1998.

_____, “Mean Total SAT Scores of Regularly Admitted Students and Regular First-time Freshman Enrollees: Fall 1997, Fall 1998.”

_____, “Mean Total SAT Scores of Students Admitted via Special Programs and Special Programs First-time Freshman Enrollees: Fall 1997, Fall 1998.”

_____, “Percentage of CUNY Applicants, Admitted Students, and First-time Freshman Enrollees With Valid SAT Scores: Fall 1997, Fall 1998.”

_____, “Performance of First-time Freshmen on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: First-time Freshmen Regularly Admitted to Baccalaureate Programs, Fall 1999.” October 6, 1999.

_____, “Performance on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: Percent Passing Reading, Writing & Math Skills Tests,” January 14, 1999.

_____,, “Phase-In Schedule, Proposed Resolution: Percentage Decline from 1997-98 Base Enrollment of New Bachelor’s Students: Regular and SEEK,” May 19, 1998.

_____, “Projected Outcomes of First-time Freshmen Admitted to CUNY Senior Colleges in Fall of First Year Under the January 25 Policy on Remediation,” July 4, 1999.

_____, “Trends in Skills Assessment Test Pass Rates, Regular First-time Freshmen Entering Baccalaureate Programs: Fall 1995 to Fall 1998,” October 6, 1999.

_____, “Projected Outcomes of First-time Freshmen Admitted to CUNY Senior Colleges in Fall of First Year Under the January 25 Policy on Remediation (Revised Estimate),” September 1, 1999.

_____, “Retention and Graduation After Eight Years, by Number of Basic Skills Areas in Which Enrolled During the First Semester and Performance: Fall 1998 First-time Full-time Freshmen.”

_____, “Summer 1998 Skills Immersion Participants by Fall 1998 Enrollment Status of Bachelor’s Degree Students,” June 16, 1999.

_____, “Trends in Headcount in Basic Skills and ESL Course Work Summer 1996 Through Summer 1998,” June 25, 1999.

CUNY Office of University Relations, “CUNY Senior Colleges Raise Admissions Requirements for Fall 1998.” (

_____, “College Now,” June 30, 1999.

_____, “Record-Breaking Number of Students Sign Up This Year For CUNY’s Summer Skills Immersion Program.”

CUNY University Budget Office, Report on the 1996-97 Cost of Basic Skills Instruction and the 1996-97 Cost of ESL Instruction, April 26, 1999

CUNY University Faculty Senate, CUNY: An Institution Affirmed, Response to the Report of the Mayor’s Task Force, ‘CUNY: An Institution Adrift’, July 1999.

_____, “Recommendations of the Mayor’s Task Force on CUNY – The Promised Objectivity: Is It There?,” Spring 1999 Conference, June 8, 1999. (

CUNY Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, “Developmental, Compensatory, and Remedial Courses,” (Memo from Vice Chancellor Louise Mirrer to Chief Academic Officers) March 23, 1999.

_____, “University Summer Immersion Program: Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Remediation, Graduation Rates and Performance,” March 25, 1998

Documents prepared by the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force on the City University of New York:

Clio, Miriam, Analysis of Remedial Education Outsourcing Alternatives, June 1999.

Clio, Miriam and Bruce S. Cooper, Bridging the Gap Between School and College: A Report on Remediation in New York City Education, June 1999.

Gill, Brian P., The Governance of the City University of New York: A System at Odds with Itself, RAND, May 1999.

Hauptman, Arthur M., Financing Remediation at CUNY on a Performance Basis: A Proposal, May 1999.

Kim, Mary, CUNY Statistical Profile, 1980-1998 Vol. I, RAND, April 1999.

Klein, Stephen P. and Maria Orlando, CUNY’s Testing Program: Characteristics, Results, and Implications for Policy Research, RAND, May 1999.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Report I: Financial Analysis of Remedial Education at The City University of New York, February 1999.

_____, Report II: Planning and Budgeting at the City University of New York, February, 1999.

_____, Report III: Review of the City University of New York’s Revenues and Expenditures, February, 1999.

Renfro, Sally and Allison Armour-Garb, Beyond Graduation Rates: Assessing the Outcomes of CUNY’s Open Admissions and Remedial Education Policies, June 1999.

_____, Open Admissions and Remedial Education at the City University of New York, June 1999.

Schmidt, Benno C. et al., The City University of New York: An Institution Adrift. June 7, 1999.

Case Law:

AlexandeRr v. Choate, 469 U.S. 287 (1985).

Camilo v. Giuliani, 163 Misc.2d 1020, 622 N.Y.S.2d 885 (Sup. Ct. New York County, 1995).

Crain v. Reynolds, 687 N.Y.S. 2d. 75 (N.Y.App.Div. 1st Dep’t. 1999).

Elston v. Talladega County Bd. of Educ., 997 F.2d 1394 (11th Cir. 1993).

Gomes v. Board of Trustees of CUNY, Index No. 121848/98 IAS, New York State Supreme Court, County of New York, (Wilk, J.).

Guardians Association v. Civil Service Commission, 463 U.S. 582 (1983)

In the Matter of Perez, Index No. 118434/99, New York State Supreme Court, September 22, 1999, (Justice Michael D. Stallman).

Polishook et al. v. CUNY, Index No. 95/119332, New York State Supreme Court, County of New York.

Sharif v. New York State Education Department, 709 F.Supp 345 (SDNY, 1989).


ACT Online,

American Association of Community Colleges,

College Board Online,

League for Innovation in the Community College,

State Higher Education Executive Officers,

Interviews and meetings:

Mirella Affron, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, College of Staten Island

Octavia Allen, SEEK program graduate, Brooklyn College

Anonymous, Adjunct Writing Instructor, various campuses, City University of New York

Paul Arcario, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College

Eija Ayravainen, Assistant Provost of Undergraduate Studies, Hunter College

Herman Badillo, Chair, Board of Trustees, City University of New York

Lenore Beaky, Professor of English, LaGuardia Community College

Martha Bell, Chair, Department of Education Services, Brooklyn College

Michael Benjamin, Legislative Director, City Councilman Adolfo Carrion, Jr.

Noah Berg, Student, City College of New York

Alecia Blackwood, Student, City College of New York

Brown, Roscoe, President emeritus, Bronx Community College, Co-chair, Friends of CUNY

David Caputo, President, Hunter College

Hakyz Chacon, SEEK program graduate, Brooklyn College

Lori Cohen, Associate Director of Admissions, Queens College

Jonathan R. Cole, Provost and Dean of Faculties, Columbia University

Jason Compton, Student, City College of New York

Sandi E. Cooper, Professor of History, College of Staten Island and CUNY Graduate School and University Center, former President, University Faculty Senate

William Crain, Professor of Psychology, City College of New York

Lois Cronholm, former Interim President, Baruch College

David Crook, Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, City University of New York

Jane Denkensohn, Special Assistant to the President – Legal Affairs, Queens College

Rafael Dominguez, Student, City College of New York

Margarata Eguizbal, SEEK program graduate, Brooklyn College

Patricia Hassett, Deputy Vice Chancellor, City University of New York

Jay Hershenson, Vice Chancellor for University Affairs, City University of New York

Briana Irizarry, Student, City College of New York

Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor, City University of New York

Meisha Holmes, SEEK program graduate, Brooklyn College

Edison O. Jackson, President, Medgar Evers College

Sharlene Jackson, Ph.D. Candidate, City College of New York

Zoya Khalfin, SEEK program graduate, Brooklyn College

David Lavin, Professor of Sociology, Lehman College and the Graduate School and University Center

Richard Lawrence, Student, City College of New York

Mike Luciano, Student, City College of New York

Cecelia McCall, Professor of English, Baruch College, Vice-President University Faculty Senate

Kate McReynolds, Ph.D. Candidate, City College of New York

Louise Mirrer, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, City University of New York

Roy Moskowitz, Acting Vice Chancellor for Legal Relations, City University of New York

Sussana Nayshuler, SEEK program graduate, Brooklyn College

Patricia O’Connor, Associate Provost, Queens College

Pauline Pavon, Student, City College of New York

Joanne Reitano, Chair of the Community College Caucus of the University Faculty Senate, and Professor, LaGuardia Community College

Ebony Robinson, Student, City College of New York

Ydanis Rodriguez, Coordinator, Dominicanos 2000, City College of New York

Lawrence Rushing, Professor and former Director of Articulation and Transfer, LaGuardia Community College

Hannah Seifu-Teferra, Student, City College of New York

Allen Lee Sessoms, President, Queens College

Joshua Smith, Director, Center for Urban Community College Leadership, New York University

David Speidel, Provost, Queens College

Marlene Springer, President, College of Staten Island

Pete Stafford, Student, City College of New York

Philippa Strum, Emerita Broeklundian Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College

Roger Sugarman, Associate Director for Research and Accountability, Kentucky Council on Higher Education

Sharell Young, SEEK program graduate, Brooklyn College

Members of the Commission on the Future of CUNY*

Stanley M. Grossman, Chair of the Commission and senior partner of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross, LLP; graduate of Baruch College, CUNY.

Alice Chandler, Ph.D., President Emerita of SUNY at New Paltz; former acting President of City College.

Claire M. Fagin, Ph.D., former Interim President and Dean Emerita of the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania; former faculty member, Lehman College, CUNY, and New York University.

Robert Hughes, Chair of the Association�s Committee on Education and Law.

Arthur Levine, Ph.D., President, Teachers� College, Columbia University.

Lance Liebman, Director, American Law Institute; former Dean, Columbia University School of Law.

Stanley Mark, Program Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Alton Marshall, former President of Rockefeller Center, Inc; former CEO/Chairman of Lincoln Savings Bank; former fellow of Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Jay Mazur, President, UNITE.

Margie McHugh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition.

Robert Mundheim, Of Counsel, Shearman & Sterling; former Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Law; former General Counsel, United States Department of Treasury.

David Z. Robinson, Ph.D., former Vice President and currently Senior Advisor at the Carnegie Corporation; former Trustee of CUNY.

Margarita Rosa, Esq., Executive Director, Grand Street Settlement House; former Commissioner, New York State Division of Human Rights.

Jack Rudin, Rudin Management.

O. Peter Sherwood, former New York City Corporation Counsel; former Solicitor General of the State of New York; former Visiting Professor, CUNY Law School; graduate of Brooklyn College, CUNY.

The Staff of the Commission:

Special Counsel: Isabelle Katz Pinzler, former Acting (and Deputy) Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, former Director, ACLU Women�s Rights Project.

Research Associate: Thurston A. Domina, formerly researcher at University Business.

The work of the Commission on the Future of CUNY was made possible by a grant from the New York Community Trust.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………….1
Case Study: Articulation…………………………………………………………………………………………7

The System of Governance at CUNY…………………………………………………………………………9
Board of Trustees -Selection Process…………………………………………………………………….14
Screening/Nominating Panel – Other States� Experience……………………………………………….21
Board of Trustees/ Chancellor Functions………………………………………………………………24
Reorganization of the Central Office………………………………………………………………………25
Distribution of Authority – The University/ The Colleges………………………………………..28
Some History of Attempted Centralization at CUNY……………………………………………………..33
Should CUNY Be More Centralized?…………………………………………………………………………36

Summary of Revenues and Expenditures……………………………………………………………..41
State and City Appropriations………………………………………………………………………………..43
Assessment of CUNY�s Funding Structure…………………………………………………………………48
Student Financial Aid (TAP)………………………………………………………………………………….50
CUNY�s Budgeting and Allocations Process…………………………………………………………56
Under-Funding: CUNY�s Real Financial Challenge…………………………………………………63

Case Study in Governance: Articulation (Or the Wrong Way to Do the Right Thing?)…………………………………………………69
Some Background on Articulation at CUNY…………………………………………………………71
Push Comes to Shove………………………………………………………………………………………….76
Faculty Academic Autonomy and Articulation…………………………………………………………….78

CUNY: The Unfinished Agenda…………………………………………………………………………..83

Appendix A: Exhibits………………………………………………………………………………………………..87

Appendix B: Correction……………………………………………………………………………………………..104

Cumulative Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………..105

*Affiliations appear for purposes of identification only.


[1] CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. 36.Return to Text
[2] Education Law, � 6201.3 and 6201.5.Return to Text
[3] Donald E. Heller, “Student Price Response in Higher Education: An Update to Leslie and Brinkman.” The Journal of Higher Education. Nov./Dec. 1997.Return to Text
[4] PwC III, pp. 71-72.Return to Text
[5] New York State Education Law, �604.1 establishes the TAP program and makes TAP funds available to “all students who are enrolled in approved programs and who demonstrate the ability to complete such courses.”Return to Text
[6] PwC III, p. 69.Return to Text
[7] PwC III, p. 71.Return to Text
[8] New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, Programs, Policies and Procedures: Guide to Grant and Scholarship Programs, April 1999.Return to Text
[9] CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. Return to Text
[10] CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, Part II, p. xii.Return to Text
[11] National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 1996, “TABLE 201: Residence and Migration of First time Freshmen Enrolled in Higher Education Institutions: Fall 1994.” Return to Text
[12] Schmidt Report, p. 70 (NOTE: The Schmidt Report’s revenue figures are not adjusted for inflation.)Return to Text
[13] New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, Programs, Policies, and Procedures: Guide to Grand and Scholarship Programs, April 1999, pp. 1-1-1-2.Return to Text
[14] Education Law, �667.Return to Text
[15] CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. 6.Return to Text
[16]This year’s Executive Budget for CUNY contains a provision designed to make TAP funds available to part-time CUNY students who have successfully completed 24 credits. This Part-Time TAP program (“PTAP”) is much needed.Return toText
[17] For original STAP legislation, see New York State Education Law, Title I, Art. 14, �667-a; for amended legislation, see pocket part.Return to Text
[18] Report of the Commission on New York State Student Financial Aid, December, 1999. They also called for elimination of the policy that reduces TAP awards to students in the last two years of college. See also, Karen W. Arenson, “Panel Urges More College Assistance for Poor,” New York Times, p. B-10, March 9, 2000.Return to Text
[19] Ibid., pp. 68, 70-71; PwC II.Return to Text
[20] Ibid.Return to Text
[21] Ibid., p. 102.Return to Text
[22]Ibid. The Governor and Mayor both played very prominent, if not decisive, roles in the selection of the current Chancellor, Matthew Goldstein. On July 20, the Governor and the Mayor announced that they supported Goldstein for CUNY Chancellor and Goldstein issued a statement saying “this is a wonderful honor for me to return to the university.” These announcements gave many the impression that the selection had been made, even though the Trustees had not yet considered Goldstein’s nomination. Indeed, the New York Times reported that “several Trustees said . . . they were surprised at the announcement by the Mayor and the Governor, since it is up to the board to choose the Chancellor.” Karen W. Arenson, “Adelphi President Likely To Be New CUNY Chief,” New York Times, July 21, 1999). Nonetheless, the Trustees quickly approved Dr. Goldstein’s nomination on July 22, 1999. Chancellor Goldstein is, of course, highly respected and entirely qualified for the position he holds. But the integrity of the process is at issue, not the selection of a particular candidate.Return to Text
[23]Education Law �6206.7.Return to Text
[24]The Faculty Senate should not be confused with the union, the Professional Staff Congress (“PSC”) which represents the faculty for collective bargaining purposes.Return to Text
[25]New York State Education Law � 6204.Return to Text
[26]ew York State Education Law, �6201.2. “The legislature intends that the City University of New York should be maintained as an independent system of higher education governed by its own board of trustees ….”Return to Text
[27]Trustee Mastro is currently primarily employed as a partner in a private law firm, but has also, at the same time, served as Chairman of the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission. He also served under Mayor Giuliani when he was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Return to Text
[28]Service on that Task Force itself need not be disabling for service on the Board of Trustees. However, the Board of Trustees is currently moving quite swiftly to put the Schmidt recommendations into effect without having first thoroughly considered them as a Board, (see, infra, pp. 31-32). The fact that the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of the Trustees were also the leaders of the Mayor’s Task Force does not obviate the necessity of the Board of Trustees itself to perform its statutorily mandated functions.Return to Text
[29]H. Carl McCall, New York State’s Higher Education Policy Vacuum, Office of the State Comptroller, September, 1998Return to Text
[30]p. 30 (citations omitted).Return to Text
[31]p. 12.Return to Text
[32]At the June 28,1999 meeting of the Board of Trustees at which the Amendment to the Master Plan was approved, Trustees complained that they had not yet been furnished with supporting documentation.Return to Text
[33]Quoted in Annette Fuentes and Anad Nisha, “Trustees of the Right’s Agenda, Influence of Political Conservatives on Higher Education,” The Nation, October 5, 1998. Return to Text
[34]Testimony, Hearing before the New York State Assembly Committee on Higher Education, June 5, 1999.Return to Text
[35]In January, 1999, A.02560 was introduced by Assembly member Ed Sullivan and co-sponsored by Assembly member Deborah Glick. It prohibits appointment of persons in the employ or under the supervision of an appointing authority. It passed the Assembly but died in the Senate early this year. (See Appendix A Exhibit 1.)Return to Text
[36]In March, 1999, Assembly member Luster introduced A.06817 which establishes a committee for the purpose of identifying properly qualified candidates for trustees of SUNY and CUNY, establishes conflict of interest provisions, and creates mandatory training and continuing education programs for trustees. It was referred to the Committee on Higher Education, but has not been brought to a vote. (See Appendix A Exhibit 2.)Return to Text
[37]Jean Graves McDonald, Changing State Policies to Strengthen Public University and Trustee Selection and Education (AGB Public Policy Paper Series No. 95-2) Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, D.C., 1995. Return to Text
[38]Ibid. p. 4.Return to Text
[39]Kentucky Revised Statutes 164.005.Return to Text
[40]6 M.G.L.A. �18BReturn to Text
[41]Minn. Stat. 15A.081Return to Text
[42]When their terms expire, sitting Trustees are permitted to continue in office until their successors are confirmed, so the Board remains at full strength even when there are vacancies.Return to Text
[43]p. 11-12.Return to Text
[44]See e.g., Gill Report, p. 9.Return to Text
[45]N.Y. Education Law �6204 (emphasis added).Return to Text
[46]N.Y. Education Law �6218.Return to Text
[47]Pappas Report, p.16Return to Text
[48]p.19Return to Text
[49]p.22. Return to Text
[50]p. 17Return to Text
[51]p.18Return to Text
[52]Ibid.Return to Text
[53]p.21. Other than the apparent consolidation of two similar sounding positions reporting to two different officials, the stated rationale for the change from the words “services” and “affairs” to the word “development” is unclear. It is said to be “utilized to underscore the academic support nature of this position.” Ibid.Return to Text
[54]Schmidt Report, p. 9.Return to Text
[55]Marian L. Gade, Four Multicampus Systems: Some Policies and Practices that Work, AGB Special Report, Association of Governing Boards, Washington, D.C.,1993, p. 6.Return to Text
[56]Ibid.Return to Text
[57]p. 26.Return to Text
[58]See Pappas Report p. 31.Return to Text
[59]Cover letter to Pappas Report.Return to Text
[60]p. 8. Some faculty members take umbrage at anything deemed to be in the corporate image and it is not entirely clear to us that this statement represents a realistic characterization of corporate culture in general. Nevertheless, we wholeheartedly support any reforms in this general direction.Return to Text
[61]Unfortunately, on June 28, and again on August 27, 1999, the Board permanently appointed two new college presidents without following the standard search procedures, such as setting up a representative search committee, as required by its own guidelines for Presidential Searches as amended, November 24, 1987 and without following affirmative action requirements. As in the case of the appointment of Chancellor Goldstein, we do not question the qualifications of these individuals, only the manner of their appointments.Return to Text
[62]Board of Trustees meeting, February 22. 2000.Return to Text
[63]See generally, Marian L. Gade, Four Multicampus Systems: Some Policies and Practices that Work, ABG Special Report, Association of Governing Boards, Washington, D.C., 1993.Return to Text
[64]The Report of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Academic Program Planning, December, 1992.Return to Text
[65]Usually called the “Goldstein Report” we have referred to it as the “(Leon) Goldstein Report” to avoid any confusion with the current Chancellor, Matthew Goldstein.Return to Text
[66]p. 3, (emphasis in original.)Return to Text
[67]. 17. See, Maria Newman, “CUNY Plan is Questioned by Faculty,” New York Times, December 9, 1992 and “CUNY Reorganization United Students and Faculty in Anger,” New York Times, February 28, 1993.Return to Text
[68]p. 29.Return to Text
[69]Ibid. p. 30.Return to Text
[70]Ibid. pp. 42-44. Return to Text
[71]Ibid.Return to Text
[72]Education Law � 6201.2Return to Text
[73]Marian L. Gade, Four Multicampus Systems: Some Policies and Practices that Work, AGB Special Report, Association of Governing Boards, Washington, D.C.,1993, pp. ix-x.Return to Text
[74]Unless otherwise noted, all figures are adjusted for inflation using the Higher Education Price Index (“HEPI”).Return toText
[75]PricewaterhouseCoopers, along with RAND and the Mayor’s Task Force staff, created a peer group of eleven senior colleges and ten community colleges to compare against CUNY. The system’s senior college peers are: California State University at Los Angeles, Florida International University, Georgia State University, Chicago State University, Northeastern Illinois University, San Francisco State University, Jersey City State College, SUNY College at Purchase, SUNY College at Buffalo, SUNY College at Old Westbury, and the University of Texas at El Paso. The system’s community college peers are: City Colleges of Chicago – Malcolm X College, Community College of Denver, Community College of Philadelphia, Delgado Community College, Essex County College, Los Angeles City College, Miami-Dade Community College, San Antonio College, Seattle Community College – Central Campus, and Wayne County Community College. (PwC III, pp. 18-19)Return to Text
[76]PwC III, p. 78.Return to Text
[77]PwC III, p. 46.Return to Text
[78]CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. 36.Return to Text
[79]Kim, Mary, “CUNY Statistical Profile, 1980-1998,” RAND, prepared for the Mayor’s Task Force on the City University of New York, April 1999, p. 4.Return to Text
[80]Ibid., p. 5.Return to Text
[81]Ibid., p. 7. RAND defines S/I Cost “to include the following categories: (1) Instruction; (2) Academic Support; (3) Student Services; (4) Institutional Support; and, (5) Plant O&M (Operation and Management). Not included in S/I Cost are the following areas with do not directly relate to instruction: Research, Public Services, Scholarships & Fellowships, Auxiliary Enterprises, and Internal Transfers.”Return to Text
[82]Ibid., p. 9.Return to Text
[83]Ibid., p. 11.Return to Text
[84]Ibid., Appendix D.Return to Text
[85]Alice Chandler, Public Higher Education and the Public Good: Public Policy at the Crossroads. American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 1998, p. 26.Return to Text
[86]Interview with Philippa Strum, Emerita Broeklundian Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College and GSUC, December 15, 1999.Return to Text
[87]PwC III, p. 49.Return to Text
[88]PwC III, p. 51.Return to Text
[89]Grapevine: Center for Higher Education & Educational Finance, Illinois State University.Return to Text
[90]Ibid.Return to Text
[91]Recent decisions in the court have exempted New York City from this requirement, however, and the City is now required only to maintain current support levels for the community colleges.Return to Text
[92]Session Laws of New York, September 1994, Chapter 169, Section 56; Camilo et al v. Giuliani, 163 Misc.2d 1020 N.Y.S.2d 885 (Sup. Ct. New York County, 1995).Return to Text
[93]PwC III, p. 52.Return to Text
[94]Kim, p. 5. (Figures are in constant dollars, adjusted according to the HEPI.)Return to Text
[95]Ibid., p. 6. (Figures are in constant dollars, adjusted according to the HEPI.)Return to Text
[96]PwC III, p. 41.Return to Text
[97]PwC III, p. 46.Return to Text
[98]Kim, p. 5.Return to Text
[99]Ibid.Return to Text
[100]CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. 36.Return to Text
[101]Education Law, � 6201.3 and 6201.5.Return to Text
[102]Donald E. Heller, “Student Price Response in Higher Education: An Update to Leslie and Brinkman.” The Journal of Higher Education. Nov./Dec. 1997.Return to Text
[103]PwC III, pp. 71-72.Return to Text
[104]New York State Education Law, �604.1 establishes the TAP program and makes TAP funds available to “all students who are enrolled in approved programs and who demonstrate the ability to complete such courses.”Return to Text
[105]PwC III, p. 69.Return to Text
[106]PwC III, p. 71.Return to Text
[107]New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, Programs, Policies and Procedures: Guide to Grant and Scholarship Programs, April 1999.Return to Text
[108]CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. Return to Text
[109]CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, Part II, p. xii.Return to Text
[110]National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 1996, “TABLE 201: Residence and Migration of First time Freshmen Enrolled in Higher Education Institutions: Fall 1994.” Return to Text
[111]Schmidt Report, p. 70 (NOTE: The Schmidt Report’s revenue figures are not adjusted for inflation.)Return to Text
[112]New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, Programs, Policies, and Procedures: Guide to Grand and Scholarship Programs, April 1999, pp. 1-1-1-2.Return to Text
[113]Education Law, �667.Return to Text
[114]CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. 6.Return to Text
[115]his year’s Executive Budget for CUNY contains a provision designed to make TAP funds available to part-time CUNY students who have successfully completed 24 credits. This Part-Time TAP program (“PTAP”) is much needed.Return toText
[116]For original STAP legislation, see New York State Education Law, Title I, Art. 14, �667-a; for amended legislation, see pocket part.Return to Text
[117]Report of the Commission on New York State Student Financial Aid, December, 1999. They also called for elimination of the policy that reduces TAP awards to students in the last two years of college. See also, Karen W. Arenson, “Panel Urges More College Assistance for Poor,” New York Times, p. B-10, March 9, 2000.Return to Text
[118]Ibid., pp. 68, 70-71; PwC II.Return to Text
[119]Ibid.Return to Text
[120]Ibid., p. 102.Return to Text
[121]Ibid.Return to Text
[122]CUNY Board of Regents Bylaws, �11.1Return to Text
[123]PwC II, p. 12. Return to Text
[124]CUNY, 2000-2001 Budget Request: A Commitment to Quality. October 5, 1999.Return to Text
[125]Ibid., p. 69.Return to Text
[126]Ibid.Return to Text
[127]PwC III, p. 54.Return to Text
[128]Ibid.Return to Text
[129]Ibid. The Pappas Report, p.32, also recommends the implementation of a performance-based budgeting system, but provides no details as to what the performance measures should be. Return to Text
[130]For example, the use of graduation rates as an indicator of a school’s performance creates a bias in which schools with a larger proportion of traditional, full-time students are likely to perform well. Such an indicator fails to account for the distinct needs and interests of CUNY’s growing non-traditional student body.Return to Text
[131]PwC II, p. 77.Return to Text
[132]CUNY, Investing in New York’s Future: The CUNY Portfolio, 1998.Return to Text
[133]Ibid.Return to Text
[134]Georges Vernez, et al. Closing the Education Gap. RAND, 1999. Return to Text
[135]Ibid., p. 78.Return to Text
[136]National Center for Education Statistics, “Adult Civic Involvement,” Indicator 35, The Condition of Education 1998. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, NCES, 1998.Return to Text
[137]Independent Sector, Biennial Gallup Survey on Giving and Volunteering. Washington, DC: Independent Sector, 1992.Return to Text
[138]CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1997, p. 95.Return to Text
[139]See Appendix A ,Exhibit 3 for information on the South Carolina Community College performance funding mechanism, which could be used as a model for New York State.Return to Text
[140]Schmidt Report, pp. 8-9.Return to Text
[141]Education Law �6201.2.Return to Text
[142]See pp. 40-42, 63.Return to Text
[143]See, infra, pp. 75, for a description of TIPPS.Return to Text
[144]For example, LaGuardia Community College has a cooperative education (internship) and urban studies requirement for its degrees.Return to Text
[145]Arthur M. Cohen and Florence B. Brawer, “Policies and Programs That Affect Transfer,”American Council on Education, 1996, p.36; Report of “The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Articulation and Transfer,”June 30, 1993, Recommendation 7.1, p. 36. Arizona has such a system in place and California and Florida are working on establishing common course numbering systems. In June, 1995, the CUNY board of Trustees passed Resolution 25 which established a program known as Inter-Campus Academic Mobility (“ICAM”). It resulted in a single academic calendar for all CUNY institutions, but its attempt to require a uniform course numbering system was successfully stalled at the campuses until it apparently fell through the cracks during the changes in personnel at the central administration.Return to Text
[146]See, e.g., Part I, pp20-41, Schmidt Report, p. 82, Gill Report, pp. 14-15.Return to Text
[147]E.g., Report of “The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Articulation and Transfer,” June 30, 1993. Return to Text
[148]Considering that the CUNY central administration prides itself on its data collection (e.g., Interview with Vice Chancellor Louise Mirrer, August 13, 1999) there is little hard data to support or to refute the view that articulation at CUNY is worse than average, or indeed, the exact scope of the problem. Return to Text
[149]David B. Crook, Nava Lerer, YoungMi Lim, “An Audit of University Policies on the Transfer of Credit from CUNY’s Associate Programs to its Baccalaureate Programs, Phase I” CUNY Office of Institutional Research, July 1996, (hereinafter “1996 Audit”).Return to Text
[150]Formerly, CUNY required 128 credits for a bachelor’s degree and 64 for an associate degree. In June, 1995, the Board of Trustees reduced the requirements to their present level. According to Professor Sandi Cooper, then the Chair of the University Faculty Senate, this was done without consultation with the duly constituted faculty governance structures. Although this put CUNY in line with other institutions nationally, it constituted a serious violation of the faculty prerogative to set degree requirements, and faculty representatives initiated a law suit to challenge what they considered a usurpation of their authority under CUNY by-law � 8.6 to establish policy relating to, inter alia, awarding credit and granting degrees. Under a settlement of that litigation, the new reduced graduation requirements were retained but, the Board acknowledged the authority of the faculty senate over a range of curricular matters. Polishook et al. v. CUNY, (Sup. Ct., N. Y. County Index No. 95/119332).Return to Text
[151]Interview with Professor Lawrence Rushing, former Director of Articulation and Transfer, and Professor Joanne Reitano, Chair of the Community College Caucus of the University Faculty Senate, LaGuardia Community College, November 29, 1999.Return to Text
[152]p. 82.Return to Text
[153]It is a mistake to assume that only the community colleges have career-oriented programs. The question of what constitutes a career major is complex. Much of the difference between the community colleges and senior colleges is in the level of career preparation rather than the fact of career preparation. There are baccalaureate programs at CUNY in business administration, education, accounting, engineering, architecture, journalism, and various health sciences programs, including nursing. Return to Text
[154]This problem is not unique to students transferring from community colleges; it is also experienced by students transferring from other senior colleges and to anyone who changes majors. The problem (and expense) of accumulating too many of the wrong credits may also result from the fact that required courses are often unavailable or already filled. Since students must carry a minimum course load to maintain full-time status and keep receiving financial aid, they may be forced to take “unnecessary” courses. Return to Text
[155]This did not apply to the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree which, according to the report of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Articulation and Transfer, p. 2, (June 30, 1993) is the degree earned by approximately half of the transferring community college graduates. See also, the 1996 Audit, which supports this figure and suggests, contrary to common belief at CUNY, that holders of A.A.S. degrees do not have significantly more difficulty transferring than A.A. and A.S. holders.Return to Text
[156]This change was made by the central administration after the original proposal had passed the Committee on Academic Program and Planning without any changes and was sent directly to the Board without going back to the committee.Return to Text
[157]Statement at the Board of Trustees meeting, November 22, 1999.Return to Text
[158]See, Appendix A, Exhibit 4, for a sample articulation agreement between LaGuardia Community College and NYU’s School of Education. It is quite generous with respect to accepting credits and distribution requirements, but it is for transfer from one specific academic program to another, not a general transferability of all credits and courses for any purpose. Return to Text
[159]Interview with Paul Arcario, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College, November 29, 1999.Return to Text
[160]Report of “The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Articulation and Transfer,”June 30, 1993, e.g., Recommendations 2.2, 2.3, 2.4,2.8, 2.9, pp.14-15.Return to Text
[161]New York State Education Law �6501.5.Return to Text
[162]UNY Budget Office, “2000-2001 State Executive Budget Recommendations, Preliminary Analysis,” January 19, 2000.Return to Text
[163]For example, Board of Trustees Chairman Herman Badillo has, on more than one occasion, attacked the CUNY community colleges for their low graduation rates, see e.g., Karen W. Arenson, “Badillo Says Community Colleges Need to Improve Graduation Rates,” New York Times, December 1, 1999, p. B-4. Graduation rates are a particularly inappropriate yardstick for community colleges since many of their students attend for reasons other than to acquire a degree. Also, even more than at CUNY senior colleges, community college students tend to be older, and have greater family responsibilities and fewer economic resources. Return to Text