Review Committee Minutes - September 4, 2019

Plenary Session: 10:30 am-11:30 am, Room A-310
Personnel and Budget: 11:30 am -12:30 am, Room A-201

Present: G. Barabino, D. Cintrón, M. Driscoll, E. Friedman, G. Gebert, D. Jeruzalmi, E. Koch, F. Lam, T. Liss, J. Mercado, Dee Dee Mozeleski, V.P. Nair, A. Rich, S. Rings, T. Scala, R. Stark, C. Stewart, M. Strzeszewski
Guests: E. Medina
Excused: C. Lloyd, K. Witherspoon

  1. Approval of May 1 Minutes

    The meeting commenced at 10:35 am and the Minutes of the meeting of May 1, 2019 were approved as submitted.

  2. Assorted Items

    Update on impact of new FICA guidelines on graduate students

    CUNY’s research into the new FICA guidelines for doctoral students discovered that the RC did not have the ability grant a FICA exemption, as it is not an educational institution. Consequently, 80+ doctoral research assistants who are funded by grants administered by the RF will be moved to the College’s tax levy payroll; salaries will be reimbursed by the RC. Fringe will remain 2%. Eventually all PhD students will be moved to tax levy but this is a very heavy lift by HR and the volume of paperwork has led to payroll delays this semester. Investigation of a solution for summer appointments is ongoing.

    Year of Sustainability and Environmental Justice (SEJ)

    President Boudreau has designated 2019-2020 the Year of Sustainability and Environmental Justice, involving a year-long roster of lectures and activities. Provost Liss shared a partial list of planned activities. This programming incorporates a number of events already planned within existing lecture series such as those in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the School of Architecture’s lecture series on Sustainability. There is still some funding for additional events. Deans should send proposals with a budget for fall events to the Provost 6-8 weeks in advance to allow time to for Communications to publicize; proposals for Spring events should be submitted by January 3. 

    Prof. Jorge Gonzalez and Prof. Yana Kucheva are planning an SEJ course for the Spring focused on campus work being done in sustainability & environmental justice, that will fulfill a general education Scientific World requirement (where there is also a need for more course options for non-science majors). Faculty across the College involved in related research will give lectures on their work. The Provost asked Deans to encourage their faculty to volunteer to give a lecture. Development funds will support a grader for the class.

    Dean Rich announced that the Colin Powel School competition for new Climate Policy Fellowship Program drew more than 70 applications, evidence of a strong interest among students in the topic. The keynote speaker for the September 26 kickoff of both the CCNY's Year of Sustainability and Environmental Justice and the first year of the Climate Policy Fellowship Program will be Jonathan Pershing, Former Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State.

    Institute Reviews

    In principle, institutes should be reviewed by CUNY but CUNY requested that that College take the lead for CCNY institutes. Guidelines for 5-year reviews of institutes were developed by the College Research Council and external reviewers are mostly in place for the first three reviews this fall (selected based on readiness):

    • Dominican Studies Institute
    • Energy Institute
    • Levich Institute

    The rest of the reviews will take place in Spring 2020.

  3. Recent Hiring/Personnel Actions

    Hiring continues to be affected by a chill if not a freeze, with a target reduction of $1.5M. Based on a 5-year average of $3.6M in attrition savings, subject to fluctuations, the Office of Budget and Finance has allocated $1.8M – about the same amount as last year – for critical faculty and staff hiring.  This amount does not count attrition hiring by Public Safety or Facilities.

    At the executive level, Celia Lloyd has been promoted to Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Wendy Thornton is now Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs. The search for a new Dean of Science proceeds with campus visits by three finalists planned for the third week of September.

    A limited number of SABs and reclassifications (lecturer to assistant professor) have been approved as part of retention packages. Five SABs in the School of Engineering will be either fully funded or subsidized by small contributions from development funds for two years.  Dean Driscoll noted that almost all recent SABs have been for men and  inquired whether this differential was being or could be taken up by the Faculty Senate Committee that issued its initial findings on salary disparities across the College a year or so back. Prof. Jeruzalmi said the committee was still active, and awaiting some requested data from HR; the gender breakdown of SABs could be included in their work. Dean Rich noted that two actions in Colin Powell have been for women: an SAB for Prof. Diedre Anglin (Psychology) and the reclassification of Prof. Sarah Muir to Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Gender Studies and International Studies.

    An MOU with the Flatiron Institute is close to completion and will fund a shared faculty position in the Physics Department.

    Positions in English, History and Physics have funding from development or grant fusing, or third-party partnerships.

    A detailed list of recently approved personnel actions is included in the Provost’s PowerPoint presentation for the meeting.

  4. Additional Business

    Luisa Hassan has been invited to a future meeting to present on the RF budget.
    Provost Liss asked Deans for other suggestions for future meetings.

    Dean Rich announced that, in collaboration with Senior Associate Provost Cintrón, the Colin Powell School has obtained a grant for training in effective pedagogy from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Full-time faculty from across the College are eligible to apply for the on-line training program; participants will receive a stipend.  

    The meeting adjourned at 12:30.