Response to the Communications of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein on General Education Reforms to the American Association of University Professors 

Philip A. Pecorino, Ph.D.

Queensborough Community College, CUNY

AS a professional educator I hold the academic values of knowledge and truth and I believe that it is part of my professional responsibilities as a member of the faculty of the City University of New York that I must respond to claims made about CUNY faculty and CUNY that are not truthful and to correct any misimpressions that may have been created in the public mind by any such claims.  Thus it is that I respond to communications of the University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein concerning the series of actions of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellery reforming General Education that are commonly referred to under the title of the “Pathways Initiative”.  Those communications contain numerous misstatements and questionable claims and negative portrayals of faculty that need to have a response on the record.  There are errors of fact and of reasoning as well as misdirection and gratuitous insults to faculty in the communications that will herein receive a counter set of claims supported with evidence.

The most recent communication June 21, 2013 of the CUNY Chancellor to the AUUP  ( or here in response to an email by AAUP Senior Program Officer/Associate Secretary Robert Kreiser and to the “Resolution in Support of Faculty Control of Curriculum at the City University of New York” passed at the AAUP Annual Meeting on June 15, 2013, will serve as the starting point of this communication.  Responses will be offered to passages in the order in which they appear in that letter.

(1)    “Are you aware, for example that more than 2,000 courses, all conceived of and developed entirely by faculty, have been approved for inclusion in CUNY’s General Education Program?”

This is accurate for the most part but conceals the conditions under which these courses were proposed, the nature of the faculty who worked on them, the lack of support for the new Common Core and the alteration of courses for it by faculty governance bodies and academic discipline councils. Most of the undergraduate faculty who participated will report that they did so only because they thought they had no other choice or were threatened in some way.  Most would report that they are opposed to Pathways.  Some of those on the most influential of the committees have recanted their positions and many have signed various statements opposing Pathways.

(2)    Contrary to the assertion in the resolution, the AAUP’s Statement on Governance does not embody standards widely upheld in higher education, as I pointed out to you in my letter dated March 21, 2013. Rather the Statement on Governance only adopted by the AAUP, a professional association and labor union organized by and for the benefit of faculty.”

The fact that the statement is adopted by the AAUP does not count against or preclude that it represents standards widely upheld in higher education.  The facts will support the claim of the AAUP in that faculty and administrators pay heed to the statement and to any act of censure by the AAUP.  There is no evidence to support the claim that the statement does not embody the purported standards.

Further , AAUP exists for the benefit of society and not simply faculty.  Academic Freedom for faculty and institutions is widely recognized by the courts and legislatures as a social good.

(3)    “ For more than four decades, our students have been confronted with significant obstacles in transferring credits from one campus to another. This has resulted in their having had to spend additional time and money retaking courses because credits earned at one CUNY College were not accepted as satisfying the requirements for general education and majors at the CUNY college to which they had transferred.”

This statement is misleading as it presents the case of excess credits as have a singular source. While this is a true statement, it is quite misleading.  The problem with transfer was identified by CUNY with the accumulation of credits in excess of those needed for a baccalaureate degree.  In October of 2010, Associate University Provost, Julia Wrigley issued a report entitled Improving Student Transfer at CUNY.The data used by CUNY to support the narrative of a problem of great magnitude and one that was not being addressed by faculty was data that incorporated an entire host of problems and factors that led to accumulations of credits above the minimum required for the degree.  The excess credits result from a variety of sources and not all are amendable to remediation nor should some of them be removed as they result from the volitional acts of students with good reasons for taking additional classes.

Upon careful analysis the extent of the problem of excessive credits was seen as minimal when considering the average number of credits amassed by graduating students. In addition to the cause the CUNY narrative used to present a moving case for the need for action by the Board of Trustees without formal faculty involvement via CUNY governance structures, namely the refusal to accept credits upon transfer, credits above the minimum are accumulated in numerous ways including:

  • Change of major
  • Double major
  • Late selection of a major
  • Preparation for graduate education and the GRE’s
  • Personal Interests

In the report The Real Motivation For Pathways? It Can't Be Transfer  posted Dec 5, 2012, 12:37 PM  by UFS Chair Terrence F. Martell, Baruch College at

is this passage:

If you subtract the mean of excess credits not related to transfer from the six CUNY related transfer categories and weight each of the six by the number of graduates in each category in the chart, the number of excess credits attributable to transfer is 2.66 credits! All the controversy, all the threats, all the law suits, all the negative impact on faculty morale and governance, all “The Improving Student Transfer at CUNY” is about less than one course! CUNY is eviscerating the core curriculum of 17 community and senior colleges in the name of improving student transfer at CUNY when we are talking about less than one course. 

In must be noted and emphasized that the Pathways initiatives and its reform of General Education throughout CUNY does not address or remedy the accumulation of credits over the minimum that result from the most common causes for such.  The Chancellery has no plan at this time to assess the effectiveness of Pathways by using the sort of data (involving excess credits) used in the initial narrative to promote support for Pathways.

(4)    “Until recently, faculty governance bodies did not even acknowledge the problem, much less propose any solutions.”

This is not an accurate claim.  The faculty of CUNY had addressed the problem of transfer and had issued statements adopted by the University Faculty Senate on several occasions. There were suggestions for how to handle problems with transfer and the CUNY BOT took action in accordance with recommendations on several occasions setting our policies to govern transfer of credits.

There is then a legitimate problem with transfer in that there is still the refusal of a receiving college in CUNY to accept credits from the sending college despite CUNY BOT policies. These situations are well known and have been addressed by the CUNY BOT several times and several policies have been adopted to resolve the difficulties in 1967, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1985, 1993 and 1999. (The listing of these resolutions was formerly on the CUNY Pathways site at: ( ) but has now been taken down by the CUNY. Nonetheless the original document that accumulated all the policies is located  here and in the original minutes of meetings where the resolutions became CUNY policy are still on the CUNY site.)

In 1973:

All City University Community College Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree recipients shall be accepted as matriculated students at a senior college of City University, and that these students be given priority for transfer over non-University students seeking transfer and that upon such transfer they be granted a minimum of 64 credits toward a baccalaureate degree and be required to complete only the difference in credits between 64 and the total credits required in the baccalaureate program in which the student enrolls.

In 1985:

All liberal arts courses taken in one City University of New York college are to be considered transferable with full credit to each college of the University. Full credit is to be granted for these courses in all departments and programs, and they are to be recognized for the fulfillment of degree requirements. (BTM,1985,06-24,005,_D)

Based on a fair and reasonable evaluation of a student's transcript at least nine credits are to be granted in the student's major unless the senior college determines that it wishes to grant additional credit in the major. It is understood that the relationship of course sequence and credit within the major will vary from college to college and major to major and that the allocation of credits will vary slightly. (BTM,1985,06-24,005,_D)

All science courses taken in one University college are to be considered transferable, with full credit, to each college of the University; full credit is to be granted for these courses in all departments and programs, and they are to be recognized for the fulfillment of degree requirements. (BTM,1985,06-24,005,_D)

Based on a fair and reasonable evaluation of a student's transcript at least nine credits in laboratory science are to be granted in the student's major unless the senior college determines that it wishes to grant additional credit in the major. It is understood that the relationship of course sequence and credit within the major will vary from college to college and major to major and that the allocation of credits will vary slightly. (BTM,1985,06-24,005,_D)

In 1999 the CUNY BOT adopted resolutions including this:  

1.29 Transfers

The Chancellor, in consultation with the Council of Presidents and the faculty, including the Discipline Councils, shall establish a process that will entail a review of transfer program distribution requirements, ensure full implementation of all transfer policies including those related to student admission and testing, and ensure that the policies are properly interpreted and broadly disseminated to students, faculty and administrators. (BTM,1999,11-22,005,_C)

 Unfortunately, enforcement of these policies of the BOT by the University’s Chancellery has not been in evidence over several decades. This has led to far too many incidents of students being made to enroll in more courses than would have otherwise been needed to fulfill graduation requirements. In light of clear cases of injustice and violations of BOT policies and instead of enforcement of previous policies, the Chancellery offered to the BOT yet another approach to whatever problems may exist with transfer that mandated without academic justification the reformulation of General Education throughout the entire university.

 It is painfully ironic that now the Chancellery has indicated that it will establish an appeals process for any student who has difficulty in having credits accepted upon transfer.  This is what was in order following the 1999 Board of Trustees policy on transfer. Had the Chancellery done such following the Board of Trustees policy in 1999 there would most likely have been no pretext using transfer problems for action on the Pathways reform of general education. 

(5)    “Even now three years into the initiation of discussions on reforming CUNY’s transfer policies, and after the PSC and the UFS announced in the spring of 2012 that they would put forward a plan in September 2012, no faculty proposal has been offered.

There were alternative plans put forward. This was so before and after Fall 2012. There were both formal and informal proposals and all were rejected summarily by the Chancellery.  There were further suggestions in the Fall 2012 conference reports and in several messages to chancellery from the UFS and communications to the chancellery by faculty governance leaders and individual faculty.

(6)    Clearly, action was required by the Board of Trustees and the chancellery, which possess a university wide perspective and are not primarily answerable to a particular college or department, to break this logjam and put the legitimate interests of the students first.”

It  is not at all that clear that the actions of the Chancellery in proposing and imposing the Pathways actions upon the university were required.  This claim that Pathways reforms “were required” is offered by the Chancellery as the basis for invoking a provision of the AAUP Statement on Governance that states “ ’in exceptional circumstances and for reasons communicated to the faculty’, a board of trustees may exercise its power of review and decision making regarding academic matters.”

There was no logjam that resulted from either the action or inaction of the faculty as the CUNY narrative would have the public believe.  There was a failure of the Chancellery to carry out the CUNY BOT policy of 1999 to have enforced the previous policy resolutions aimed at diminishing problems with transfer.

The legitimate interest of students would have been better served by enforcement of existing policies and through a richer Liberal Arts and Science education than the Pathways reforms mandate.

(7)    The resolution goes on to describe Pathways as a ‘top-down overhaul of CUNY’s general-education framework that will replace all existing general-education-curricula and force colleges to reduce the number and quality of courses.’ That characterization is wrong in every respect.”

To the contrary and despite protestations of the Chancellery, each element in that claim is easily demonstrable.

(8)    “First, the Board of Trustees established certain general parameters concerning only the number of credits; all aspects of the actual Pathways curriculum were formulated by faculty-dominated committees, whose recommendations were adopted without change by me.”

In CUNY the BOT is at the top in legal authority and it was the BOT that adopted the resolutions as framed by the Chancellery.  No faculty were party to the formulations of the resolutions.  No faculty groups or governance bodies supported the proposals.

The recommendations of the chancellery committee were based on an approach to general-education reform given to it by the Chancellery.  There were also many actions of the Chancellery in the form of guidelines and directives for the implementation of the BOT resolutions that went beyond what was authorized either by the BOT or in the recommendations of the Chancellery appointed task force delivered on December 1, 2011.

(9)    “Second, within the structure established by the Board of Trustees and objectives established by the faculty-dominated committees, the colleges were free to retain as much of their general-education curricula as they chose.

This claim is extremely difficult to fathom.  It begins with the stipulation of “within the structure established” which is quite limiting of the content and size of general education programs and then the claim goes on to challenge credulity with the indication that colleges could retain as much as they chose. Colleges were not at all free to retain as much of their curricula as they chose.  At the community colleges where the general education cores of programs exceeded 30 credits they could not retain as much as they wanted as they were limited to 30 credits.  Even where there were cores totaling more than 30 credits there were now new structures that paid no heed to disciplines and colleges were strictly prohibited from retaining requirements for the study of specific disciplines and foreign languages or even the study of science with laboratory components.  There are narrow limits imposed so that colleges needed to eliminate elements of their previous general education programs.  This is true at the baccalaureate programs as well.

(10) In fact the vast majority of courses submitted and approved were existing courses that were previously part of each college’s general-education program.

This is true but misleading.  While the courses submitted were as described they for the most part were no longer to be required but became merely offerings amongst which there would be choices.  Colleges could offer foreign language courses but where they were previously fulfilling a language requirement now they could be bypassed by students who can choose any one of a number of non-language courses to fulfill the category of the new Common Core into which foreign language courses might be placed.  Likewise, is is a similar case with the Social Sciences.

(11)Third. Although the number of required general education credits was reduced to bring the University in line with the practice of nearly all other colleges and universities, the total number of credits that students must take to earn their degrees remains the same.”

It is not at all clear that the limiting of General Education to 30 credits is in line with the practice of nearly all other colleges and universities.  Further, even if it was there would b the problem of false comparisons as the size of the general education programs should be matched to the need on the part of the student body for it.  In New York City with so many students so poorly prepared for college level work and with little or no general education completed in high school there is a need for more and not less general education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Those who attend the finest high schools and receive a preparation for college tend to go on into private colleges and universities and their need of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Ivy League colleges is far less than New York City children entering its public university.

(12)Fourth, all of the Pathways courses have been approved by several levels of faculty committees at both the undergraduate colleges and at a university wide level.’

Not all Pathways courses have been approved by the standard governance process.  Approvals of courses by committees composed of faculty appointed to them by the Chancellery and under the general atmosphere of threat and intimidation and with financial reward for compliance are being claimed as being the equivalent of the traditional faculty development and review process for academic matters.  It is not and cannot be.  Independent and unrestricted exercise of academic freedom by faculty needs to be in place for the proper exercise of academic judgments.

(13)Neither the number nor the quality of these courses offered has been reduced.”

The number of courses in general education in the new common core has been reduced.  The contact instructional time with instructors in the classroom has been reduced for many of the courses.  This in turn reduces the quality of instruction for many students.  Given the under preparation for college most students in CUNY need more and not less time in the classroom with their instructors. The quality of science and mathematics course has been reduced with mathematical literacy or numeracy being substituted for college level mathematics including algebra and science courses being offered and satisfying the new common core requirement without a laboratory element to the course being required.

(14)The assertions of the PSC and the UFS to the contrary are not supported by any evidence and are suspect in view of their opposition to numerous CUNY initiatives over the past 14 years to improve academic standards.”

The claim that the PSC and UFS have opposed initiatives to improve academic standards is at best problematic without reference or evidence to support it.  The implicit claim that proposals by administrators to raise academic standards were or are guaranteed or certified as raising standards is not the sort of claim academics make without supporting evidence. The nature of the claim is foreign to the academy.

In terms of improving academic standards the faculty of the University have been producing such measures steadily and have entered into consultation with both college and university administrators concerning proposals to raise or assess standards that have not originated within the academic community itself.  Often faculty have exercised their research skills and academic judgments and found proposals that are characterized as intended to raise academic standards wanting in supporting evidence or not suited to the student bodies of the CUNY colleges. If the “numerous CUNY initiatives” would or could be identified then explanations, reasons and evidence might be supplied as to whatever is being characterized as “opposition”.

(15)The board is not required to await recommendations by the faculty to address a serious and longstanding problem, especially where, as here, the faculty has demonstrated that it is unwilling to formulate a transfer policy or proposal of its own.”

It is not true that the faculty of CUNY were unwilling to formulate a transfer policy or proposal of its own.  On several occasions the faculty have done so and even at the early stages of the Pathways project faculty attempted to offer alternatives only to be rejected and even mocked. 

The CUNY Board of trustees has indeed addressed the transfer problem several times over from 1967 to 1999 (see above) and it has been the Chancellery and not the faculty who have failed to act to implement and enforce the policies of the Board of Trustees.

(16)The elected governance bodies at CUNY had numerous opportunities to participate in both the formulation and the implementation of Pathways.

The truth or accuracy of this claim rests on the meaning of “participate”.  The Chancellery presented no opportunities for any meaningful consultations with elected governance bodies.  From the outset the Chancellery presented and defended that the role of elected bodies was confined to acceptance and compliance of Board policies and the guidelines and directives of the Chancellery.

(17)Several of them, including the UFS, chose to boycott the process (by repeatedly refusing to nominate persons to serve on committees when asked to do so) and/or to defy the policy established by the Board of Trustees (by refusing to submit courses approved by departments and curriculum committees,) thereby voluntarily removing themselves from the consultative process.

The chancellery presumes to characterize the actions of the UFS and faculty and faculty bodies of CUNY as constituting a self removal from the process.  In fact the actions taken by numerous faculty bodies in their refusal to comply or accept were demonstrations of their academic judgments for which they have Academic Freedom. 

The Chancellor proffers a false dilemma, namely faculty either accept and comply with the Board policies and directives of the Chancellery or they remove themselves from the process.  Numerous times the phrase “take themselves out of the game” was employed by the Chancellor and other administrators to characterize the second option.  The insistence that faculty approve of courses and that governance bodies approve of Pathways compliant courses and programs itself defies the principle of Academic Freedom to express academic judgments on academic matters

Being denied has been the professional status of faculty as professional educators who must fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to their students in making academic judgments in the best interests of their students.  Despite threats and other forms of coercion all manner of faculty groups did repeatedly act to fulfill their professional responsibilities to their students, colleagues, institution and discipline and exercised their best academic judgments.  In many cases that would take the form of not approving of courses or programs and in not accepting positions on committees that were charged with fulfilling terms of the Pathways project with which they had sharp academic judgments indicating that the  charges to the committees were against the best interests of the students of the University.

The characterization that there was a consultative process is not at all accurate as, in almost every instance of any import, faculty were not given opportunity to alter in any manner that with which the Chancellery had already decided faculty must accept.   The apparent purpose of nearly all meetings of the Chancellery with faculty was to inform and secure compliance with what the Chancellery wanted.

(18)Moreover, since you first wrote to me 18 months ago, the AAUP has not referred this matter to its Committee A”

The delay on the part of the AAUP may be due to the specific request made by CUNY Chancellor in a letter dated March 21, 2012 not to continue its inquiries while there was a legal matter before the courts in New York State.

Finally, if the AAUP decides to pursue this matter further, I request that it defer any investigation.  The UFS and Professional Staff Congress (the faculty union at CUNY) have filed a lawsuit challenging the Pathways initiative.  I do not think it is fair or appropriate for the university to have to respond to an AAUP investigation at the same time it is defending a lawsuit pertaining to the same matter.”-M.Goldstein, 3-21-12

 To cite the observance of the request as evidence of any lack of suspicion of violations of academic freedom is disingenuous at best.

(19)“The resolution then falsely claims that ‘Pathways reduces academic quality and rigor at CUNY by introducing basic science courses without lab sessions, decreasing requirements for foreign languages, and replacing academic disciplines with vaguely defined fields.”

The claim is made but the basis for the claim being declared as being false is not at all self evident as the Chancellor’s rhetoric would make it appear.  Indeed, more evident would be the need to demonstrate that the quality and rigor could be maintained in light of the changes being made which are acknowledged by the Chancellery.

(20) “I appreciate that this change makes some faculty in some departments anxious because students will not be required to take their courses. However, that is not the same thing as reducing academic quality and rigor.”

Nowhere do the faculty of CUNY claim nor does any of its groups claim that the reduction in academic quality and rigor would result from students no longer being required to take certain courses.  It is most misleading and insulting to faculty to portray otherwise.  The reduction of academic quality and rigor is related to the number and type of courses that will fulfill the general education requirements and the contact instructional time being reduced and the level of mathematics being reduced and science instruction without the laboratory component.

(21) The resolution goes on to state that "the CUNY administration has responded to legitimate faculty objections to Pathways with intimidations, threats, and coercion." I lake that to be a reference to a single, unfortunate communication from the interim provost of Queensborough Community College to the chairperson of the English Department, which was the subject of our exchange of letters in late September 2012. As I pointed out to you then, the interim provost later apologized for that communication, which was one of dozens concerning Pathways at only one of our 19 undergraduate colleges.”

  The reference to ‘intimidations, threats and coercion” in the AAUP action makes reference to more than a single instance wherein a provost placed the threats into written form.  There are many faculty and department chairpersons throughout the university who will testify to threats made should they not comply with the orders of the chancellery and even communications form the Chancellor indicating that faculty had no choice but to comply and vote yes on any and all proposals for implementing and complying with Pathways submitted for their academic judgment. Coercion has been used in direct and indirect manner.  The presidents and provosts have been repeatedly reminded that they are officers of the University and must carry out the policies of the board.  As they serve at the pleasure of their superiors the message is clear and it is even stated in written form that such officers of the university can be removed for failure to respect ad carry out Board policies and the efforts of the Chancellery.  It is then understandable when they display the consequent temperament of nervous anxiety when they repeatedly communicate the urgency and inevitability of the Pathways reforms to department chairpersons and faculty. In some notable cases, one at Queensborough Community College, the threat of loss of courses and lines and positions became quite direct and visible.  At the same time many such threats were without substance as laws and regulations and accreditation standards would prevent some of the most disturbing of the threats from being carried out. Nonetheless in the climate of fear that came over many areas of the university that emotion blocked reason and faculty lost sight of their professional responsibilities and placed their own security before the interests of students in their own enunciation of their best academic judgments.  This was as astonishing as deplorable and disappointing.

Presidents, provosts and other administrators were warned about obeying the BOT.  These admonitions fulfilled the directive of  CUNY BOT Chairman Benno Schmidt in  The Mayor's Advisory Task Force on the City University of New York issued its report, The City University of New York: An Institution Adrift, to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on June 7, 1999

Once constructive working relationships are in place, the campus presidents and the faculty must no longer be permitted to undermine — or even ignore — legitimate university-wide policies and initiatives. Presidents and faculty who fail to vigorously enforce university policies — such as those governing student transfers and program duplication — should be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.

The pressure placed upon administrators immediately moved to pressure upon academic department chairpersons and faculty.  The most dramatic instance at Queensborough Community College when its provost placed threats into written form.

On Wednesday, September 12th [2012, the English Department at Queensborough Community College voted overwhelmingly to reject proposed curriculum changes for Pathways, namely a reduction of hours for English composition courses from four to three. The faculty’s decision was guided by a deep commitment to sustaining a quality education for students.

 The administration's response, an email to the department the next day by Vice President Karen Steele, announced sweeping reprisals. The email threatened eliminating all composition courses, cancelling all English Department searches, calling all full-time faculty reappointments in fall 2013 into question, and announcing that all adjunct faculty will be sent non-reappointment letters in fall 2013.

 Pressure upon academic department chairpersons and faculty has also been a factor in the removal or rejection of chairpersons of academic departments at Brooklyn College and elsewhere where there was resistance or non-cooperation or refusal to comply with Pathways implementation. 

(22)” The resolution cites a recent poll conducted by the PSC regarding Pathways. As a mathematical
statistician, I know something about polling. That poll could not meet even the most minimal professional standards. The poll originally identified the responders' names, thereby creating a risk of retaliation. The ballot language contained extensive argument in favor of a no confidence vote white omitting anything from an opposing point of view. Moreover, the language was so broad as to encourage a vote of no confidence no matter what the basis for or how small the objection to Pathways. I am advised that at least one paid PSC organizer spent countless hours contacting faculty and urging them to vote against Pathways. Even so, a bare majority of the full-time faculty voted against Pathways, thereby demonstrating what we at CUNY already knew—that the faculty is divided on the issue. That fact, of course, may serve to explain why the problem of transfer credits has been neglected for so long. By contrast, the students have been consistently and overwhelmingly in favor of Pathways, as indicated by, among other things, the enclosed letter from the chairperson of the University Student Senate.”


 The claim that “ Even so, a bare majority of the full time faculty voted against Pathways, thereby demonstrating what we already knew-that the faculty is divided on the issue.”  is a gross distortion of what is the case. More than 60 percent of eligible voters (4,322) participated in the no confidence referendum conducted by the AAA, and 92 percent (3,996) of those voted no confidence.  These numbers indicate what is known on each campus, that the overwhelming majority of the faculty are opposed to Pathways.

The fact that the faculty are divided on this issue is indeed true and unanimity of thought in a faculty is not something to be regarded in a positive manner.  The Chancellery takes an attribute of nearly every faculty of every college as a pretext for claiming the support of faculty for Pathways.  To present the situation as one in which some faculty support Pathways and some do not support Pathways  is a gross distortion when there is clear evidence of faculty opposition in overwhelmingly large numbers and no evidence, in any significant number, of support for Pathways from actual, current CUNY full time faculty who teach undergraduates.

(23) CUNY should never go back to the arbitrary, dysfunctional system that previously existed.”

To the degree that CUNY had an “arbitrary, dysfunctional system” that exists with regard to transfer it should be corrected.  The path to such a correction had already been set out by the CUNY BOT and that BOT charged the Chancellery to see that its actions were enforced.  “The Chancellor, in consultation with the Council of Presidents and the faculty, including the Discipline Councils, shall establish a process that will entail a review of transfer program distribution requirements, ensure full implementation of all transfer policies” CUNY BOT 1999, emphasis added.

The Pathways actions of the Chancellery and BOT will not significantly reduce the number of excess credits nor will the reform of general education best serve the students of the University. They will not even remove all problems with transfer.  Instead, they have created a singular approach to Liberal Arts and Sciences that is arbitrary, dysfunctional system of preparation of students for lifelong learning and advancement throughout their careers.

Philip Pecorino teaches philosophy and ethics at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York.  If you have questions or comments about this article, please contact him at