Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

CUNY

CUNY

  • CUNY graduates ceremony caps gowns

    CUNY grads (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    There’s an unwarranted assumption that workers with college degrees are at the top of the heap in terms of not only earnings but also rights and dignity. Despite the obvious benefits of desk work, especially work that can be done remotely during a pandemic, the fact is that many highly-educated workers in New York City are plagued by the same low wages and lack of job security that fast-food workers have been fighting for years. Such is the plight of 15,000 Adjunct Faculty who teach hundreds of

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    Gotham Health (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On Friday, the New York City Council’s Committee on Higher Education heard from administrators and students of CUNY’s nursing schools to understand how they have maintained student progression despite transitioning to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    CUNY has 14 nursing schools that offer a variety of certificates and associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate degree programs. An average of 1,800 students graduate every year from CUNY nursing programs, many of whom go off to

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  • cuny vet aca

    The CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs (photo: CUNY)


    Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Thomas Donaldson pondered whether to take out a loan or pay his master’s degree tuition bill with a credit card. As a military veteran whose government benefits had run out, a husband, and a father paying his way through his education seemed impossible, even with his NYPD salary.

    In an effort to meet this need for higher education tuition help that many veterans face, the newly-created Beshar Scholars Military Service Award offers student veterans at CUNY’s John Jay College both financial and

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    Students in CUNY class pre-pandemic (photo: CUNY)


    The New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor and Committee on Higher Education held a joint hearing Thursday about the City University of New York’s layoffs earlier this year. 

    The hearing, which was co-chaired by Council Members I. Daneek Miller and Inez Barron, who chair the two committees, respectively, focused on questions about why nearly 3,000 adjunct professors

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  • cuny laguardia com

    CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez and students, pre-pandemic (photo: City University of New York)


    College seniors who graduated this June faced a very different economic landscape from the one they saw at the beginning of the school year. A global pandemic shattered the job market, and many industries — including the performing arts, entertainment, restaurants, and hospitality and tourism — were in complete freefall after government-mandated closures. 

    The widespread financial strain that saw unemployment in New York City skyrocket from 4% to well over 20%

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  • cuny add mental

    CUNY counseling services (photo: City University of New York (CUNY))


    When Anna Compton transferred to CUNY Hunter College, she often felt extremely anxious during her first semester. As a student with a disability who receives personalized accommodations, known as an Individualized Education Program, and with a history of depression and anxiety, Compton decided to reach out to the college’s Counseling and Wellness Services office, but like many other CUNY students, she was placed on a four-to-six-week waitlist to meet with a mental health professional.

    Compton’s story

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    CUNY grads (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer proposed a plan Wednesday to revamp the city's workforce development strategy, including by making CUNY community colleges tuition-free and expanding job training opportunities for people at career crossroads.

    The pandemic has decimated jobs in New York City -- with unemployment at roughly 16%, though some estimates say the “real” figure is much higher -- and shifted forecasts about the future of industries across the board. Advocates and policymakers are looking for ways to

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  • 4 cuny handling

    (photo: @CUNYedu)


    A month into the City University of New York’s fall semester, the COVID-19 pandemic, budget cuts, a drop in student enrollment, and anxiety remain the hallmarks of an uncertain new period in the history of the nation’s largest public urban university system. CUNY has chosen to remain almost entirely virtual this semester, with fewer than 2 percent of the fall semester’s 50,000 classes occurring in person.  

    Preliminary figures show CUNY’s enrollment dropping by roughly 4.4% since last fall, according to a CUNY spokesperson who

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  • 3 cuny delayed

    (photo: City University of New York)


    Attaining a bachelor’s degree takes longer than four years for some full-time CUNY students who are unable to register for required and elective courses due to insufficient seats, a problem whose scope was revealed in a new audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Delaying graduation is time consuming, expensive, and can mean no

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  • cuny mashup

    CUNY students during their Natural Areas Conservancy internship


    Even studying the great outdoors remained mostly indoors this year for CUNY students. Twelve young adults interested in ecology from the public university system participated in a virtual internship with The Natural Areas Conservancy this summer to create an ecological profile of parks across the city. Despite the pandemic, these students gained paid work experience during a widespread job drought and were able to develop their ecological skills and knowledge. Plus, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

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    cuny ethic

    Bronx Community College students (photo: @CUNY)


    In the aftermath of the covid outbreak and in a moment of Black Lives Matter national organizing in response to police brutality the issue of racial justice has lit up cities and towns across the country. Racist policing practices have had a huge impact on public opinion, with polling data showing that even more white suburban voters favor policy reforms. The shift has been public, sudden, and potentially electorally-decisive during this political season.

    What remains less visible are racialized and

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  • CUNY students

    CUNY students (photo: CUNY)


    UPDATE: Not long after the publication of this article, the Trump administration rescinded the directive at hand regarding international students, visas, and remote learning. “This is welcome news for more than 100,000 international students in New York, more than one million students across the country, and millions of additional families across the world,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James, who had filed suit. See more background below:

    CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez released a statement on Friday, July 10 that

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  • cuny must cut

    City College graduation of the past (photo: CUNY)


    We cannot have a meaningful conversation about educational equity in New York City without calling attention to the deep funding cuts that the City University of New York (CUNY) is facing. For countless New Yorkers like myself, CUNY means access to an excellent public education and a path to career. Cutting CUNY resources flies in the face of the discussions we are having right now around racism, classism, and social justice.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature are weighing steep cuts to CUNY’s budget, and we

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  • 1 bxcc widespread

    A CUNY campus in the Bronx (photo: Bronx Community College)


    CUNY, New York City's public university system, is facing a crisis within a crisis, as it looks at expected budget cuts while supporting students, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, through a pandemic and its fallout, including vanishing economic opportunity.

    Intended as a pathway to upward mobility for city residents, many of its students are from the same populations most severely hit by the pandemic and face some of the most immediate difficulties posed by COVID-19 -- food,

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  • CUNY students

    CUNY Graduates (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As CUNY braces for tens of millions of dollars of potential city and state cuts to its budget, hundreds of its most vulnerable employees are bracing for pink slips. 

    Colleges across the sprawling, citywide public university system have announced contingency plans to drastically reduce course offerings, adjunct professors and other part-time employees ahead of expected budget shortfalls, leaving many unsure of their positions for the upcoming semester.

    Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice,

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  • brooklyn college dsc

    CUNY is closed (photo: Brooklyn College)


    What does an educational crisis look like in a plague year? How can I convey, from inside a health emergency, that the City University of New York has been in a slow-burn, decades-long state of crisis? COVID-19 is a matter of life and death, while higher education is not. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic reveals with new urgency, rather than diminishes by comparison, CUNY’s longstanding, systemic failures.

    We need to grasp the relationship between this novel coronavirus and CUNY if we want to make a better

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  • 3 chancellor receiving

    Saving for college (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Across every borough, neighborhood, and community in New York City, families are united behind one wish: that their children will have the access and opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Making this wish a reality, however, is more complicated.

    Increasingly, current household income determines a child’s future. Nationally,...

  • free tuition.cuomo

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    In January 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the Excelsior Scholarship, New York State’s “free college” initiative. About 20,000 students were awarded Excelsior in the inaugural 2017-18 year. In 2018-19, the number of scholarship recipients rose to 24,000, and for 2019-20, the Legislature projects an increase to 30,000, which will equal no more than 5% of the state’s public college enrollment.    

    The 5% figure is small compared to the massive hype that surrounded the

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  • kids Jumaane school

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    I’m a CUNY graduate twice over – my bachelor’s and master’s degrees are both from Brooklyn College. Between the seven years I took for my four-year degree, and the four years for my two-year degree, I’ve spent about as much time on a CUNY campus as anyone. My professors, my fellow students, my overall CUNY experience shaped who I am and what my driving principles are -- what I’ve been fighting for as an activist and an elected official.

    Now, as tuition rises and investment stagnates, I fear that students across our city

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  • cuny com 12

    (photo: The City College of New York)


    CUNY has long been the pride of New York City and its cradle of opportunity. But at a recent legislative hearing on higher education in Brooklyn, we heard from teachers, administrators, and students about a harsh reality: After years of state underinvestment in public college, our CUNY system is teetering on the edge of crisis. 

    Both of us have been blessed with a CUNY education. Yet both of us see firsthand the heartbreak and struggle that many students face when they seek to advance themselves through higher education. In the end,

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  • peteharrison cuny

    PSC CUNY rally, with the author center back (photo: @PeteHarrisonNYC)


    After over two years of negotiations, the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York (PSC-CUNY) and the university have reached a tentative deal on a new contract for the 30,000 faculty, adjuncts, librarians, and professional staff in our union.

    The leadership of PSC-CUNY has hailed the contract as a historic deal and part of a larger stand against austerity. In particular, they sight the pay

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    (photo: Dave Sanders)


    At 2 a.m. on Friday October 18, I walked out of the Manhattan headquarters of the City University of New York (CUNY) having helped to line-edit a labor contract memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the sixth time that day.

    I sit on the bargaining team of the Professional Staff Congress, an American Federation of Teachers local that represents some 30,000 employees at CUNY. The bargaining unit includes adjunct and full-time faculty, professional staff, graduate employees, college laboratory technicians, and many others. More than half a

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    Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Thursday announced a plan to address hunger and the lack of equitable access to fresh food in New York City, laying out a package of legislative proposals that the Council will consider over the next year.

    Food insecurity — the absence of or insufficient access to affordable, nutritious food  — affected nearly 1 million New Yorkers as of 2017, according to a new City Council report that Johnson released at Cypress Elementary School in East New York. The school

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  • first lady chirlane mcray deputy mayors comm

    Chirlane McCray (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Following repeated criticism about spending hundreds of millions of dollars with unclear outcomes, ThriveNYC, First Lady Chirlane McCray’s signature mental health initiative, is now publishing nearly 100 metrics to track the performance of dozens of programs that have been launched in the last three years.

    The metrics, provided to

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  • gov cuomo excelsior

    (photo: governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship is increasing credit accumulation and college retention rates, but the program still needs to meet more students where they are at.

    In 2017, Governor Cuomo embraced the “free college” movement championed by Senator Bernie Sanders and created New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship. Under Excelsior, students from families with annual incomes below $110,000—and increasing to $125,000 in fall 2019—can go to State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York

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