On behalf of the Executive Committees of the Faculty Senate and the College Council, we write to welcome you to the fall 2009 semester and to provide a sketch of our activities and responsibilities.

CSI has a Charter, approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees, that provides for shared governance. The Council is composed of all the members of the Faculty Senate plus representatives of the Higher Education Officer series, the Student Government, and the College Administration. It functions through monthly meetings and committees reporting to it, and is engaged with fundamental issues of the campus such as budget planning, facilities planning, planning for institutional futures, the quality of life at the College, and similar concerns.

The Faculty Senate is composed of delegates from departmental chairs and delegates with authority over curricula, degree requirements, graduation requirements, new programs, new degrees, and decisions over honorary degrees. Each department elects a representative and either your departmental delegate or chair can clarify any issue concerning faculty governance.

Both bodies meet monthly with the Council usually preceding the Senate. Meetings are on Thursdays from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Room 119.

Several years ago, the highest court in New York State, the Appeals Court, ruled that faculty bodies not only must operate under the Sunshine Law but are policymaking bodies. This ruling followed a case brought by students at Hostos Community College, Perez et al. We refer to the Perez decision as shorthand for democratic decision making.

As part of CUNY, we are also represented at the CUNY-wide University Faculty Senate. This body meets once a month at the Graduate School (Fifth Ave. and 34 St.) on Tuesday evenings. The CSI delegation is composed of Sandi Cooper, Roberta Klibaner, Alfred Levine, Kathryn Talarico, Vasilios Petratos, and Mohammed Youssef, and the adjunct representative is Steven Beyer. Once a month following its meetings, notes are posted to the faculty. This meeting is where the faculty has an opportunity to ask questions of the Central Administration, the Chancellor (Matthew Goldstein), and of members of the Board of Trustees, and where general university policy is challenged, debated, and presented. The UFS spends considerable energy in the winter months lobbying for CUNY in Albany.

The first meeting of the CSI Council/Senate will be Thursday, Sept. 17 and we invite you to attend. Voting is reserved to elected and designated members but others are invited to speak and ask questions at all times.