The Bylaws of the CUNY Board of Trustees requires each college to have a plan of governance and a governing body. According to the university’s guidelines, each college’s faculty is responsible for dealing with such issues as “the formulation of policy relating to the admission and retention of students including health and scholarship standards, student attendance including leaves of absence, curriculum, awarding of college credit, [and] granting of degrees…”
At City Tech, the College Council implements the concept of shared governance for the college. Made up of faculty, staff, administrators, and students, the Council is responsible not only for overseeing the curriculum of the college, but also formulating student-related policies. In addition, it makes recommendations with regard to budget, the buildings and grounds infrastructure, personnel matters, and governance-related rules and regulations.
The College Council has existed since the early 1960’s. Until 1998, the college’s President chaired the Council, and the Provost served as the Council’s vice-chair. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, there were several calls to reformulate the Council, but each time a questionnaire was distributed to the college community, there was no consensus for changing the structure. In the mid-1990s, however, there was another call to revisit the issue of the Council’s format. This time, when the Legislative Committee polled the college community there was enormous support for a revision. Consequently, both the Governance Plan and the City Tech’s Bylaws were revised to reflect an elected Chair and Vice-Chair of Council.
According to the Governance Plan, the Executive Committee of the College Council consists of the Council Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and the chairs of each of the standing committees. They meet regularly to discuss council business and to set the agenda for each Council meeting. Since the President and Provost are no longer members of the Executive Committee, it was decided that the Chair and Vice-Chair (representing the Executive Committee) meet with the President and Provost prior to each Council meeting. Such meetings were deemed necessary in order to keep the lines of communication open between the Council and the college’s administration. At these meetings, not only are agenda items discussed, but also all other issues that affect the college.