Infighting among CCNY professors continues; Faculty Senate Executive Committee fires back at new report
A new report circulated last week offers further insight into the faculty back-stabbing, discord and disrespect at CCNY that we reported on earlier this semester. (If you missed it, click here.)
The document, released on November 3 by Denise C. Dyce, director of labor relations at CCNY, follows allegations of electoral misconduct, improper involvement of deans and disrespect of professors of color by the Faculty Senate–the “authentic voice of the faculty.” In an investigation that spanned several months, Dyce, a lawyer, noted inconsistencies in the process of nominating professors for the Senate and interference by one unnamed dean in the election process. Most disturbing, she pointed to a lack of cultural sensitivity toward professors of color, including making fun of accented speech.
The findings of this internal investigation follow faculty comments collected by an outside attorney, Stacey Gray, who specializes in employment law. President Lisa Coico brought her in over the summer to investigate problematic interpersonal dynamics among faculty members. Gray reported her findings in September, first detailed in the October issue of The Campus and reprinted online. She found that some faculty were reportedly hazed by senior co-workers and physically assaulted, while others complained of receiving demeaning emails that attacked their character.
The new report confirms many of Gray’s previous observations. Dyce urges Faculty Senate to acknowledge the concerns of minority faculty who were offended and apologize. She also recommends cultural sensitivity and inclusion training for Faculty Senate members, particularly those who served on the Executive Committee at the time of the investigation. They are: David Jeruzalmi, Marta Gutman, Ellen Handy, Renata Miller, Fred Moshary.
Finally, Dyce suggests that the Senate establish a new committee charged with monitoring diversity and inclusiveness in order to increase the ratio of female and faculty of color.
In response to the latest report, Jeruzalmi, a chemistry professor, fired back with allegations of his own in an email. He claims that Dyce’s internal investigation “ignored established CUNY and CCNY complaint procedures” and “lacked the most basic elements of fairness and due process” because neither the intended target of the investigation nor the charges were revealed. “The Executive Committee rejects this flawed investigation and its inaccurate findings,” writes Jerzalmi, “and remains concerned about the rights to due process for the faculty.”
This story has been updated. Professors Karen Hubbard and Marta Bengoa were not part of the Faculty Senate executive committee at the time of the investigation.