Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

CUNY

CUNY

  • 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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  • 031519actions45

    (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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  • 48433082297 f0af3fb88d z

    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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  • cuny office matos

    Former CUNY Chancellor James Milliken, left, & incoming Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez (photo: CUNY)


    Today -- Wednesday, May 1 -- Felix Matos-Rodriguez assumes the post of CUNY chancellor following a year-long search. After successfully leading two CUNY colleges, Chancellor Matos-Rodriguez takes over an institution that has made important strides in recent years, including opening an innovative new community college and launching nationally renowned programs like CUNY ASAP.

    To help grow New York City’s middle class and greatly expand economic

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  • first lady chi

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


    While the national admissions bribery scandal rocks the country, another, less sensational, legal -- but still incredibly important -- higher education crisis is unfolding before our eyes in New York. The City University of New York (CUNY), where the majority of the student body comes from underserved communities of color, is in the midst of a financial crisis, putting public higher education at risk for thousands of New Yorkers who want and deserve opportunity.

    In 2017 ...

  • cm i barron meeting

    Council Member Inez Barron (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    City Council members on Thursday questioned administrators for the City University of New York as part of a preliminary budget hearing regarding the public university system, which is funded through a variety of sources including city, state, and federal dollars, as well as tuition.

    The hearing was helmed by Higher Education Committee Chair Inez Barron, who represents parts of Brooklyn, is a Hunter College graduate and former public school teacher, and has ...

  • general lagcc 600

    (photo: LaGuardia Community College, CUNY)


    With Amazon’s pronouncement to put the brakes on its plan to bring part of its new headquarters to Long Island City, it’s time to make lemonade out of the many lemons left in the wake.

    Amazon’s decision to locate here centered on our city’s ability to get the company the talent it needs to grow. It’s what every company, large and small, needs to thrive.

    When Amazon first announced it was coming, one of the first questions raised was: who will benefit? Would the 25,000 jobs help our local community,

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  • 2017 medgar evers college

    (photo: CUNY Office of Communications)


    New Yorkers should be proud that the City University of New York leads the nation in offering low-income students the opportunity to enter the middle class. CUNY is a powerful engine of social mobility.  

    But that engine is at risk of breaking down unless our elected officials change course. Years of systemic underinvestment in educational opportunities for students of color – starting well before they reach university - means that students are increasingly unprepared for the global economy

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  • class2018 laguardia comm

    (photo via LaGuardia Community College)


    New York’s community college students face long odds of graduating. Only 25 percent of community college students statewide—and just 22 percent in New York City—earn an associate’s degree in three years, an enormous barrier to economic opportunity in a state where a college credential is

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  • cuomo excelsior

    Gov. Cuomo celebrates Excelsior (photo via the Governor's Office)


    The Excelsior Scholarship is a little over a year old, which makes it a good time to take stock. In October 2017 as the program launched, Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed, “Our first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship is designed so more New Yorkers go to college tuition-free and receive the education they deserve to reach their full potential." Now that the program is in its third semester, we can explore the program’s freshman year experience to assess its impact, successes, and struggles. Who has benefited

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  • CUNY commencement

    Macaulay Honors College commencement (photo via CUNY)


    She hid her growing belly under loose dresses and oversized sweaters when she taught her classes of 30 college students. She avoided the departmental office during normal work hours, retrieving her mail early in the morning. If someone realized she was pregnant, she worried, some excuse would be found to deny her work for the next semester. With a baby on the way, losing her job would have put her and her spouse over the financial edge on which they delicately teetered.

    Finally, after securing work, the

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  • Inez Barron City Council

    Council Member Inez Barron (photo: Ben Brachfeld)


    A long-awaited report was released on Thursday by the Task Force on Affordability, Admissions, and Graduation Rates at the City University of New York -- convened through City Council legislation -- that included recommendations for broad changes to the operations and funding of CUNY. Most notably, the task force, consisting of students, faculty, advocates, government officials, members of the business community, and one member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, recommended that tuition charges be eliminated at

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  • de Blasio Farina schools new chancellor

    Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Fariña & others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Lame duck chancellors now lead New York’s school and university systems. Governor Cuomo, who controls the CUNY board, and Mayor de Blasio, who appoints the schools chancellor, each show a shocking lack of urgency to fill these critical posts.

    This is intolerable. Education is the driver of our information age. Social progress and economic prosperity depend on a vibrant public sector commitment. The city Department of Education

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  • Cuomo Excelsior Clinton LaGuardia
    Cuomo with Hillary Clinton, Gail Mellow, far right, & others (photo: Governor's Office)

    Dr. Gail O. Mellow, the president of LaGuardia Community College, contacted fellow City University of New York (CUNY) presidents to gather statements in support of the proposed Excelsior Scholarship program on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo, before the proposal was passed and signed into law earlier this year.

    Gotham Gazette

    Cuomo Sanders Excelsior 
    (photo: Kevin Coughlin/Governor’s Office)


    Public university administrators and college presidents enthusiastically supporting a governor’s proposal to fund tuition for potential students is a situation that would normally invite little scrutiny.

    That picture becomes murkier when the university’s management has been a frequent target of that governor; is the focus of an expanding investigation conducted by the state’s inspector general, who reports to the secretary to the governor; and the governor publicly calls for greater oversight of

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  • cuomo clinton

    (photo above via The Governor's Office) (image below by Becca Glaser)


    With the regularity of a ritual, every year the advocates of high-quality public higher education make a pilgrimage to Albany. Every year, for over 40 years, the request has been the same: stop de-funding higher education. And nearly every year, for over 40 years, the Legislature and Governor do the same thing: cut funding and approve tuition hikes. As a result, annual per-student government expenditures in New York’s public higher education system languish at an

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  •  brooklyn120816

    James Davis, the author (photo: Dave Sanders)


    There has never been a better moment for the state Legislature to fight for investment in quality, affordable public higher education. Governor Cuomo’s proposed Excelsior Scholarship, though flawed, has reaffirmed the value of CUNY and SUNY and made “free tuition” for many a realistic policy goal.

    But, CUNY needs a substantial increase in state funding to ensure the quality of the education that it currently provides, and far more than that to provide free, quality education to its entire student body,

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  • Cuomo tuition-free college announcement

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo’s plan to make tuition free for many New York State residents who attend SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year schools would be an exciting step toward ensuring students across the state can access New York’s prized public university systems. The newly-announced Excelsior Scholarship proposal could help

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  • adult learners table brochures

    (photo: Kevin Caraballo for NYC Schools)


    As the job market has evolved over the past several decades, job requirements have become more and more specialized, requiring degrees and certifications that were not previously necessary. This has forced many who would not previously have considered higher education to pursue postsecondary programming.

    In 1973, 28 percent of jobs nationwide required some level of postsecondary education. By 2018, that number is expected to hit 63 percent. This shift has led to a shift in what the postsecondary

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  • CUNY military veterans banner 2009

    photo via CUNY


    The December 8 response from CUNY’s Interim Vice Chancellor Christopher Rosa to Joe Bello's Gotham Gazette op-ed of the day prior surprised many student-veterans on CUNY campuses -- including the ten signatories of this letter.

    To begin with, we were not aware

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  • cuny military friendly

    CUNY has earned praise as "military friendly" (photo via CUNY)


    Dear Editor:

    Regarding Joe Bello’s Dec. 7 op-ed, CUNY is deeply committed to making our University a first-choice destination for veterans. We proudly educate more than 3,000 student veterans, up more than 250 percent over the last eight years. We recruit veterans; deploy dedicated admissions counselors who smooth their way through admission; waive their application fees; assure that New Yorkers eligible for the Post

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