March 26, 2012
Around Town – By Neal Tepel
Professors at the City University of New York have demonstrated unprecedented opposition to CUNY’s controversial new general education plan, Pathways. More than 3,300 faculty and staff have signed an online petition calling for the repeal of Pathways; numerous elected faculty bodies have passed resolutions against it; and the union filed a lawsuit today to stop the initiative.
“More than 500 people signed the petition in the first hour,” said Dr. Barbara Bowen, President of the Professional Staff Congress, the union representing faculty and professional staff at CUNY. “That is an unprecedented response. It’s a measure of what CUNY means to us and of our opposition to a curriculum that would diminish the quality of a CUNY education.”
The petition recognizes that there is a “genuine and important” need to facilitate student transfer within CUNY—the issue Pathways claims to address. The petition asserts, however, that transfer can be improved without destroying years of faculty work on curriculum and endangering CUNY students’ education.
“Pathways is austerity education. It is all about speeding up graduation rates, even if the quality of a CUNY degree is sacrificed in the process,” Bowen added.