A look at what’s in store over the next 8 years
The grand plan to move City College to the next level has moved one step closer to completion. Last month, Provost Maurizio Trevisan held an update meeting to discuss the final phase of the college’s strategic plan which will span the next eight years leading up to the college’s 175th milestone year in 2022.
On our website, the plan is described as “a unified vision of where CCNY is heading” created by an advisory committee comprised of campus senior leaders, including students.
It features seven major goals:
- Ensure student success
- Expand research, scholarship, and creativity
- Support academic initiatives
- Enhance diversity
- Create a financial model for the 21st century
- Develop people
- Preserve, restore, and develop the campus
Although Trevisan stresses that the advisory committee sought input through town hall events, faculty presentations and submissions to the strategic planning website, many students feel out of the loop. Political science major Alyssia Osorio notes that the two science research buildings–which are part of the strategy to move the college forward–are expensive and problematic. “To me the strategic plan represented a divestment from remedial programs and student support services,” Osorio says, “and an investment in things that would make the college look good with these top notch scholars without acknowledging the history of the college as working class.”
Despite Trevisan’s emphasis on transparency in the decision-making process, some students don’t believe him. “It became very clear that he meant transparency only among the highest-level administrators,” says psychology major Sheila Bora.
Osorio and others still feel stung by the events last semester when the college removed the Morales-Shakur Center. “For [Trevisan] to brush students off is terrible especially since the New York Times and The Village Voice have lambasted the administration for not being transparent in the take-away of the Morales-Shakur Center,” Osario explains.
Two encouraging changes: Improving faculty diversity and adding more full-time professors. According to the Office of Institutional Research, though CCNY receives high marks for diversity among its student body, about two-thirds of our faculty is white. (The infighting and accusations of racial insensitivity among the faculty senate are a symptom of this problem.) What’s more, CCNY has twice the number of part-time adjuncts as full time professors. “The deans are trying to change the balance in the ratio of adjuncts to full-time faculty over to more full-time faculty,” says Trevisan.
Some believe that “trying” seems hardly enough, especially for hard-working adjuncts who make less than living wages. “Full time faculty not only has a higher pay, they have benefits and paid vacations,” says MCA adjunct Esther Duran. “They also have their own office space where they can meet with students.”
Professor Duran points to other difficulties adjuncts face. “I had to figure out most of the stuff by myself, with little or no help from faculty or administrators,” she says. “You don’t get to mingle with faculty and students. There were many times when I felt so isolated.”
Despite complaints and shortcomings, the strategic plan is moving ahead and should be in place by spring. Said the upbeat Trevisan in an email to the CCNY community: ”The strategic plan will reflect the thoughtful and collaborative work that has gone into creating our road map for the future.”