Queensborough Community College: Shared Governance Carries the Day

The following email was sent to members of the Queensborough Community College English Department late this morning:

Colleagues—

It is my decision to accept the recommendation forwarded by the English Department for Dr. David Humphries to serve as its Chairperson, effective November 14, 2012.

In a lengthy meeting with Dr. Humphries yesterday, he expressed his willingness and ability to advance the important work of the English Department in curricular and personnel matters. I have confidence in and appreciate his sincerity to unite the department as a community, in the best interests of the College and our students.

Thank you.

Dr. Diane B. Call
Interim President
Queensborough Community College

If you want to see how CUNY faculty are feeling about this… click here.

The members of the QCC English Department were never simply fighting for themselves, but for respect for process and for the concept of shared governance. In the larger picture, this victory may seem small. To me, it is an important signal that a tide that seemed to be overwhelming faculty has begun to turn.

To me, this is an important turn of events, and I wish to applaud all of those members of the QCC community who refused to back down, yet who kept from anger. And I want to applaud Dr. Call, who has shown real dignity and responsibility in handling the situation from an extremely difficult administrative end.

3 thoughts on “Queensborough Community College: Shared Governance Carries the Day

  1. There is no dignity, and the president doesn’t need to be congratulated for doing what she should have done in the first place. The current state of affairs at QCC, and CUNY in general, is horrible. There is no trust in the administration. They are corporate bean counters and could care less about education or morale. The faculty are struggling to keep the students from getting cheated out of a real education.

    • As one of those faculty members (I teach at City Tech, one of CUNY’s Brooklyn campuses), I know that part of the struggle lies in finding ways to work with administrators, even when those same administrators do sometimes seem to be working at cross-purposes to faculty and to real education. There is no advantage to the students, certainly, in simply calling the situation horrible and pointing out the lack of trust–or in characterizing what an administrator could “care less” about. From what I hear from QCC faculty, President Call really does care about the school, the faculty, and the students. My comment reflects what I have been told about her by those who work with her and from an action that, though late in coming, is quite the appropriate one for the situation.

      • I appreciate your comments. It is possible that the administrators do care about education, even if some of their actions speak otherwise, so I retract my comment about “caring less” (which is of course a nonsensical expression). But we faculty at QCC are not “simply calling it horrible”. We are working with the administration and doing the best we can do. Unfortunately, our academic freedom is being eroded away, and this ultimately comes from the central administration. I do think it is important to mention the lack of trust many of us feel on campus. It affects morale. It is good that this particular situation eventually worked out the way it should have, and that there was an apology issued for the previous attack on the English Department (although not a retraction). But other departments have been bullied into changing decisions they have made on academic matters. Our academic freedom is under attack by the administration if they don’t get their way. This all relates to the central administration’s Pathways initiative, which lowers standards so students will not get as thorough an education. It is our responsibility as educators to exercise our academic judgement.

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