Yesterday I reported on an attempt by CUNY administrators to dismantle the English department at the system’s Queensborough Community College in retaliation for the department’s refusal to approve a restructuring of its composition program.
That reporting was based on a public excerpt from a letter sent by QCC Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Steele to Linda Reesman, chair of the QCC English department, on Thursday evening. I have since received a full copy of that letter, and I am reproducing it in its entirety below. (For reference, Diane Call is the president of Queensborough CC.)
From: Steele, Karen B.
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 18:17:39 -0400
To: Linda Reesman
Cc: Call, Diane B.
Subject: EN-101, 102 and 103
First let me thank you and the department for your gracious reception and serious discussion at yesterday’s department meeting. I am glad we had a chance to address some of the issues that the College and the department have been grappling with since the beginning of the calendar year. However, I may not have conveyed sufficiently the urgency of the issues for the department.
I understand the Department voted against the new English composition courses. While I appreciate the difficult choices before the department, that decision has serious repercussions for the College and the department. As I mentioned at the meeting, we will no longer be able to offer EN-101, 102, or 103 in their current configuration ( i.e., four contact hours) as of Fall 2013. Since we don’t have in place courses that will meet the Pathways requirements for the Common Core, we can’t put forward a Fall 2013 schedule of classes that includes English Composition courses. Given that fact, and the resultant dramatic drop in enrollment, we will have to take the following actions:
- All searches for full time faculty in the English Department will be cancelled immediately
- The existing EN 101, 102, and 103 will not be included in the common core, and therefore will not be offered in Fall 13
- Beginning March 2013 (our Fall 13 advisement cycle), continuing and new students will be advised to take the common core requirement for I A at another CUNY institution, since the courses will not be available at Queensborough
- Neither EN 101 or 103, nor EN 102 will be submitted to the University in the QCC list of ‘gateway’ courses for the English Major (we must submit the list of gateway major courses by October 1, 2012)
- Of necessity, all adjunct faculty in the English department will be sent letters of non-reappointment for Fall 2013
- The reappointment of full time faculty in the English Department will be subject to ability to pay and Fall 13 enrollment in department courses