CUNY Faculty Sues to Block New Core Curriculum

In an unusual move, faculty leaders at the City University of New York filed suit on Wednesday in state court to block CUNY from putting in place its new core curriculum. The plaintiffs, who are the heads of the Professional Staff Congress and the University Faculty Senate, argue that CUNY exceeded its authority in determining curriculum when it failed to follow bylaws and faculty-governance procedures. Administrators have described the new core curriculum as intended to simplify the transfer process for students. Faculty members, however, argue that it would water down CUNY’s academic rigor by reducing the number of credits required in science and foreign language, among other areas. The new core curriculum sparked resistance among faculty members when it began to take shape and when it was formally proposed last year. CUNY posted a statement on its Web site, with supporting documents, saying it will seek to dismiss the lawsuit because the university’s Board of Trustees has the authority to set academic policy.

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