Yesterday the College Senate at LaGuardia Community College in Queens — a joint student-faculty governance body — voted 23 to 7 to declare a moratorium on Pathways implementation, making LaGuardia the latest in a string of colleges to either decline to approve Pathways courses or actively declare their refusal to do so.
Last fall an administrator at Queensborough Community College was forced to back down from and apologize for a threat to dismantle the QCC English Department — canceling job searches, firing adjuncts, and eliminating full-time positions — in response to the department’s refusal to accept a Pathways plan to cut contact hours (and, as a result, faculty pay) for composition courses.
Faculty opposition to Pathways gained national attention in January when the delegate assembly of the Modern Language Association voted by an overwhelming margin to declare that CUNY’s attempts to implement Pathways had violated faculty rights and established principles of university governance.
Though the CUNY general counsel asserts that the Board of Trustees “has clear and final authority to adopt academic policy … and to direct the Chancellor to implement it,” a January letter to the CUNY administration from the American Association of University Professors notes that “no campus-level faculty governance body has supported the process or endorsed” the Pathways plan, and that in fact “faculty bodies at virtually all of the [CUNY] senior colleges” have “adopted resolutions opposed to the project.”
While not taking a position on the legal ramifications of a decision to move forward with Pathways in the face of such opposition, the AAUP expressed the opinion that it would “run counter to generally accepted standards of governance.”