Category Archives: From the Chairs

Messages from the chapter chairs to the chapter members


Free the Funds: Let’s push CUNY to release the $54.7 million in Federal funding

Dear Colleagues,

Act this week to ‘Free the Funds’: Let’s push CUNY to release the $54.7 million in Federal funding that has been earmarked for John Jay to support the college’s mission. This institutional aid – almost $900 million for CUNY colleges altogether – has disappeared into CUNY’s maw; the Chancellor has yet to provide the funds to the colleges, or any indication of how they will be used.  Some of us have already sent a letter to the Chancellor calling for the release of the funds; you can do so here: .

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Reopening issues – 10th May 2021

The abrupt and ill-advised decision of the Chancellor that all CUNY colleges adopt a 60/40% in-person section model for the Fall ’21 semester has, suddenly yet predictably, overthrown months’ worth of planning work by PSC-represented faculty and staff, as well as administrators, throughout the university.  At John Jay, the deliberation and work of many at all levels of the college has been disrupted by the Chancellor’s fiat and further entrenched a leadership style predicated on top-down diktat.  The chancellor makes high-handed decisions based on the governor’s whims, and the staff, faculty, and administrators at the colleges are left to pick up the pieces to assure safe reopening!

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From the Chairs, 8th March 2021.

Colleagues —   What happens in the budget process in Albany this week will determine much of the fate of our university, and of our John Jay College.  The time to advocate is NOW!  Any one who attended our Chapter meeting a week ago learned from Paul Narkunas and Susan Kang — from our JJay Chapter EC, and from Jen Gaboury — Chair of the Hunter College Chapter and member of the PSC Legislation committee — how crucial the budget deliberations this year are for the future of CUNY and the possibility of a New Deal for CUNY.  Slides.   Right now, you should know about the virtual meetings that you and your students could all join — many of them in the next 72 hours — to help this university get the support our students and we really need. Continue reading

From the Chairs – February 4th, 2021

Colleagues —  Despite the pandemic and the budget austerity imposed by Albany, CUNY’s Spring ’21 semester is underway. The fight continues for full funding, for pedagogically appropriate class sizes, for the teaching and learning conditions our students need and deserve.
Tomorrow, Friday morning (at 10 AM), the PSC holds a press conference announcing the filing of the New Deal for CUNY legislative package, aimed at instituting a budget framework to assure the funding and fiscal health of CUNY, while expanding the counseling staff and teaching faculty of the university and eliminating tuition. It’s an exciting vision whose time has come. If you’d like to be part of the zoom press conference, to show support for the New Deal legislation, you can do by registering here.

You can also easily personalize or just send a letter to the Chancellor and the CUNY Trustees, calling on them to “release the funds!” provided to the university by the CARES Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA).

And do please sign — if you haven’t already — the online petition for smaller class sizes at CUNY .

Mark your calendar:  we have scheduled two John Jay College PSC Chapter meetings — for Tuesday, March 2nd (register here ), and for Monday, April 19th.  Our March meeting will feature the fight for a New Deal for CUNY. 

One last thing:  organizing to assure our funding and to be ready if management makes poor choices is vital now, so we want you to converse with another chapter member on the issues facing all of us this month.  Your department representative – you can find their name in our chapter website — would love to hear that you are ready to help us call some of your colleagues.  Or just join us in our zoom-based calling sessions on Tuesday afternoons at 4. Organizing colleagues  is meaningful and worthwhile.

Please let us know if you have questions, or special concerns or issues you think we should address.  You can reach us at

best wishes for a successful semester,

John & Zabby

Open letter on spring semester to Provost Li and President Mason, 24 January 2021.

Colleagues —    Below find a copy of a letter we sent earlier this afternoon to President Karol Mason and Provost Yi Li concerning the pandemic, its effects on our community, and the urgency of assuring course availability for our students this Spring semester. In light of the serious harm that can result from maintaining the minimum enrollment requirements, especially for online classes, we call for easing these restrictions at this critical moment for our college and our students. Please take a minute to read through the letter. 
If you agree with the thrust of the letter and what we are asking of the John Jay administration, please take a minute to forward it —or cut & paste— with any comments you think appropriate to President Mason ( and Provost Li (  If you do so, please copy us at  Thank you for participating in this effort.
Open Letter on Spring Semester