Academic Senate Meeting Minutes
September 13, 2022
Steering Committee Chairperson Dr. Steven Dahlke called the first regularly scheduled meeting of the Academic Senate to order at 3:13 PM. The meeting was held in a hybrid format, with attendees both in M136 and on Zoom. Chairperson Dahlke chaired the meeting from M136.
49 votes were recorded at the time attendance was taken; 62 members of the Academic Senate were present during the meeting.
Absent: Aalai, Azadeh; Gurtas, Yusuf; Hall, Jr., Clarence Jefferson; Kolos, Anthony; Li, Jeremy (SG); Mayeli, Azita; Mballo, Mohammad; McDonald, Alfred; Rome, Barbara; Vasquez, Chenyl (SG); Vasquez, Odette (SG), Yao, Haishen
II. Approval of the Agenda
Chairperson Dahlke used unanimous consent to approve the agenda. There were no objections.
III. Consideration of the Minutes from the May 10 Meeting
Chairperson Dahlke used unanimous consent to approve the Minutes.
IV. Communications from:
A. CUNY Board of Trustees
There was no communication from the CUNY Board of Trustees during the meeting.
B. President Christine Mangino
The Senate received President Mangino’s report.
President Mangino welcomed all colleagues back to QCC for the 2022-2023 academic year, adding that the opportunity to see colleagues on campus makes difficult commutes to QCC well worth the effort.
President Mangino highlighted preliminary results for data on currently registered students, though the information has not yet been finalized. There is an increase in black male retention by 5%, which meets the target for the first year of the strategic plan. Retention of Latin American males is at 1.5%, which comes close to the college’s goal. Overall retention for the entire student body increased by .2%. While this increase does not meet the college’s target, it is a positive contrast to the previous trend of steady decline in retention, and it is very encouraging that we are retaining our male students.
There are currently 9,800 students enrolled in classes, with roughly 5,600 students coming to campus on Mondays (the busiest weekday for on-campus instruction). CLIP and CUNY START programs are doing well. In an effort to accommodate student presence on campus, the student parking lot will be opened and fencing will be installed to have a public safety booth for verifying vaccination/testing status. This task should be completed within the next couple of weeks.
Construction on the QPAC is progressing, and it is hoped that the project will be completed in March. There are ongoing issues with elevators and A/C in the Humanities building, and those issues are being addressed. Because these elements hadn’t been operated for approx. two years, the college was unaware of some of those issues. President Mangino advised that she and Bill Faulkner should be notified if any other issues arise and they will follow up.
President Mangino expressed that during the student orientation, may students expressed worry about whether/how they can make friends on campus in a post-Covid environment. She advised faculty to foster group work in class as a way to encourage students to become better acquainted with each other. Referring to a recent email sent to all college personnel, President Mangino reminded the Academic Senate about an upcoming professional development series, which will cover topics including college leadership, communication across the college, and student identity.
President Mangino recognized an upcoming celebration of 120 faculty who participated in ACUE, and acknowledged that this participation helped to expand it across the university. She mentioned that participating faculty had very positive feedback about the experience. Lastly, President Mangino mentioned that a reception for donors will be held in the Oakland Dining Room.
C. University Faculty Senate Liaison to the College
Dr. Emily Sohmer Tai expressed that her report to the Academic Senate included both updates from matters related to the May 10, 2022 meeting as well as new developments. The new UFS Chair is Dr. John Verzani. Following controversy at the College of Staten Island, Dr. Verzani also became a governance leader there and is regarded as having much experience. Dr. Sohmer Tai looks forward to his leadership. The Community College Committee will be chaired by Dr. Philip Pecorino. Additionally, two other community college faculty joined the UFS Executive Committee: Dr. Hugo Hernandez (LaGCC); and Dr. Maureen Matarese (BMCC).
Dr. Sohmer Tai also highlighted budgetary developments, including implementation of Part-Time TAP assistance and Federal funds that made possible the establishment of new lines for lecturers and senior faculty.
D. Steering Committee Monthly Report
Dr. Steven Dahlke began by expressed that it was good to know our campus community is coming back.
A newly-vacant seat on the Academic Senate has been filled by Dr. Carlene Byfield upon Dr. Marvin Gale’s election to Chair of the Engineering Technology Department. Of the three remaining alternates for Academic Senate, Dr. Byfield had received the most votes in the Spring 2022 election. Dr. Dahlke also expressed a warm welcome to all incoming student members to the Academic Senate and thanked them for their service. He added that although filling student seats in Academic Senate Standing Committees has proved difficult in the past, the Academic Senate is doing well in shared governance with help from Gisela Rivera in fielding student interest through a Google application form.
Dr. Dahlke shifted attention to progress made toward the college’s strategic plan, specifically applauding Dr. Kerri-Ann Smith for efforts that lead the college to greater mutual understanding. He added that recent events show the culture is shifting in a positive direction with new perspectives, and he expressed thanks on behalf of the Steering Committee for those efforts. He also thanked President Mangino for maintaining current levels of support for Senate activities with 24 hours of reassigned time.
Dr. Dahlke mentioned that Chancellor Matos Rodríguez issued a response to the CUNY Faculty Governance Leaders Retraction Request, indicating that the Chancellor is cognizant of our concerns. Links to the letter and the Chancellor’s response are provided in the Steering Committee Monthly Report.
Dr. Dahlke informed the Senate that after reviewing surveys conducted in 2021-2022 ascertaining levels of understanding of various functions and roles within the Senate, the Steering Committee will be providing additional support to Senators through weekly open Zoom forums on Mondays from 10 - 11am. He added that the Steering Committee will be diligent in ensuring that Senators feel supported and that all viewpoints will be heard.
V. Annual Reports
Annual Reports of Academic Senate subcommittees were not discussed during the meeting.
VI. Old Business
A. Dr. Philip Pecorino reminded Senators about a proposal to amend the Fresh
Start policy. No discussion of said proposal took place during this meeting beyond Dr.
VII. New Business
A. Dr. Sohmer Tai asked through what modality the Academic Senate would meet and
conduct votes on actionable items going forward in light of the resumption of the Open Meeting Law.
Specifically, she asked whether clickers would be used. Dr. Dahlke responded that the Steering
Committee will communicate with the Academic Senate on the matter once the best method has been
B. Dr. Franca Ferrari-Bridgers introduced herself as the Chair of the Committee on
cultural and Archival Resources, mentioning that there are many ways in which faculty
can collaborate with the committee and encouraged faculty to contact the committee
if interested in doing so.
The meeting adjourned at 3:39pm
Scott Litroff, Secretary
Academic Senate Steering Committee