Students, Faculty and Staff,
Fourth-year Graduate Center Fellows have recently received messages from the PSC-GC leadership condemning the change made to the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) fellowship for 2019-20 and beyond. I write to clarify the reason for the change.
The WAC is the fifth-year service requirement for students admitted with the Graduate Center Fellowship. Before 2011, the WAC was a stand-alone fellowship requiring 15 hours of service per week, which students generally held for two years on a Graduate Assistantship A appointment. The Grad A appointment is the PSC-CUNY title that permits students to provide 450 hours of service during the work year and forbids students from supplemental adjunct employment at CUNY.
In 2011, the first cohort of Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellows started their fifth-year WAC assignments. With the express aim of allowing WAC Fellows to accept adjunct teaching in CUNY, in response to students’ experience of economic distress, the Provost’s Office converted the underlying Grad A assistantship into a Grad B assistantship, which is restricted to 7.5 hours per week, and a fellowship payment for an additional 7.5 hours per week. The total compensation students received would not change. This reconfiguration was made in consultation with the Central Office, which provided the funding, and was clearly laid out in documentation on our financial aid website.
Those arrangements held until the Fall of 2017, when the PSC-CUNY filed a grievance against the Graduate Center for “improper assignment of hours beyond those contractually mandated for Graduate Assistant Bs.” The PSC charged that WAC service hours should be limited to the 7.5 hours required by the Graduate Assistantship B, and that the fellowship payment was not an appropriate manner in which to compensate WACs for additional service. We in the Provost’s Office regretted this and so advised PSC leadership, because we knew that the practice being grieved was established to accommodate students’ wishes to earn additional money, over and above their tuition and fellowship awards.
The changes recently announced, which return the underlying fellowships from Grad Bs to Grad As, were made because we are obliged to obey the ruling of the grievance. We cannot unilaterally change the PSC contract to allow Grad As to teach as adjuncts: that is a matter for contractual bargaining. Nor can we unilaterally reduce the total WAC campus assignment from 15 to 7.5 hours; that undermines the very terms and conditions of Central’s funding of the WAC fellowship.
I don’t quarrel with the grievance itself or the ruling, but I regret it was filed in the first place, as the path taken in 2011 was intended for the good of students. It is for that reason—student welfare—that the amount awarded to students remains unchanged.
I hope that this message shines a light on my reasoning and the belief shared by me, David Olan, Anne Ellis, Phyllis Schulz, and everyone else in the Provost’s Office that sustaining students’ well-being and academic progress is our paramount concern.
From the Provost - Archive
Joy Connolly is the Provost and Senior Vice President at the Graduate Center. As the institution’s chief academic officer, she ensures the quality and performance of all degree-granting programs. Her current priorities include opening up the Graduate Center to larger numbers of the public, including masters students, who seek access to the GC’s intellectual strengths; developing creative non-degree programs; strengthening global partnerships; lifting the GC’s distinctive public-facing profile; and fostering innovation and experimentation in graduate education.
Before joining the Graduate Center in August 2016, Connolly was the Dean for the Humanities and Professor of Classics at New York University, where she was responsible for about 400 faculty in close to 30 departments, programs, centers, and institutes. Previously, as the Director of NYU’s College Core Curriculum, she put in place a post-doctoral program that featured workshops for graduate students on pedagogy and practical preparation for the job market. Earlier in her career, she taught at the University of Washington and at Stanford.
Connolly’s research focuses on Roman ideas about aesthetics, communication, ethics and political action, particularly as they relate to the 18th century and the contemporary world. Her first book, The State of Speech (Princeton, 2007), examined the role of communication in Roman ideals of citizenship. The Life of Roman Republicanism (Princeton, 2014) analyzed key themes in Roman thought: freedom, recognition, antagonism, self-knowledge, irony, and imagination. Connolly is also the author of Going on the Market, a handbook available on line that helps students navigate graduate school as well as the job-application and post-doctoral fellowship processes. Along with scholarly articles and book chapters, she has written reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, The Nation and The New York Times Book Review.
Connolly earned her AB from Princeton University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She first studied classical literature and culture at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and is a member of the School’s board of trustees.
Phone: (212) 817-7229
Reporting to the Provost and serving as deputy, the Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs assists in supervising a variety of administrative and fiscal areas, including all doctoral and master’s programs, interdisciplinary studies, the certificate programs, students’ professional development, the Graduate Assistant Programs, annual dissertation awards competition, oversight of the CUNY Performance Management Process (PMP) annual reports for GC goals and outcomes, and the Language Reading Program. The Associate Provost and Dean for Academic affairs also plays a key leadership role in the Humanities, Social Science and Science Discipline clusters, and is a significant partner in the implementation of the Graduate Center’s Strategic Plan.
Phone: (212) 817-7205
Reporting to the Provost, the Dean for the Sciences oversees all of the science doctoral programs (including the health science programs). The Dean for the Sciences also monitors admissions and the 5-year student fellowship packages offered by the joint doctoral degree programs in the bench sciences, and plays a leadership role in the Science Discipline cluster.
Phone: (212) 817-7215
Julie Suk is dean for master’s programs and professor of Sociology. Prior to joining The Graduate Center, she was a tenured law professor at the Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University, and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and UCLA. She has held research fellowships at Princeton University, the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, and LUISS-Guido Carli in Rome. She is a leading scholar of comparative law and society, having published dozens of law review articles and book chapters, primarily on discrimination and inequality in employment and constitutional law in the United States and Europe. She has chaired the Association of American Law Schools sections on Employment Discrimination Law and Comparative Law, and founded its section on European Law. Dr. Suk received her A.B. summa cum laude in English and French Literature from Harvard University, her M.Sc. and D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. She is passionately committed to interdisciplinary research and CUNY’s public mission as an engine of opportunity. She is excited to bring her experience of interdisciplinary teaching and research in the professional school setting to strengthen master’s education at The Graduate Center.
Phone: (212) 817-7251
Yun Xiang, the associate dean for institutional effectiveness at The Graduate Center, aims to design and implement a holistic data strategy so that information can transcend data silos to inform strategic planning and decision-making.
She is responsible for assessing student learning, organizational effectiveness, and the implementation of The Graduate Center’s 2017–2022 strategic plan. Her office coordinates assessment, accreditation, and evaluation efforts. All the data centered on these efforts will be collected, organized, analyzed, and disseminated to support good decision-making at various levels at The Graduate Center.
Xiang joined The Graduate Center in 2018 after serving as director of institutional research and assessment at the University of New Hampshire. In that position, she elevated the role of data in critical institutional areas, including academic affairs, enrollment management, and student affairs.
A published scholar, Xiang focuses her research and writing in the field of educational research and data analytics. Her recent presentations include “Strategic Enrollment Management and In-House Predictive Analytics” and “Building Storyboards for Enrollment Management” for the Association of Institutional Research (2016 and 2017).
She received her Ph.D. in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation from Boston College and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Boston University.
Phone: (212) 817-7209
Associate Director for Academic Operations
Dean for the Sciences
Provost and Senior Vice President
CUNY Administrative Assistant
Director of Graduate Assistant Programs/
Special Assistant to the
Associate Provost and Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences
CUNY Administrative Assistant
Fish, Barbara L.
Director of Faculty Administration and Academic Information Systems
Gayle, Tamra L.
Administrative Executive Coordinator
CUNY Office Assistant
Maldonado, Rosa A.
Academic Operations Specialist
Assistant to the Provost
Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs
Dean for Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation
Associate Director of Student Research Fellowships
Dean for Master's Programs
Executive Director of Academic Affairs
Assistant Director of Faculty Administration and Academic Information Systems