Executive Officers Essentials

Contact Us

Rachel Sponzo

Associate Director of Student Research Fellowships
Graduate Center
Room 8113.14

Phone 212-817-7282

Executive Officer Essentials

Program Administration Overview
Student Admissions and Fellowships
Student Recruitment and Retention
Student Well Being
Student Success
Program Governance
Program Operations
Faculty Evaluation, Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Guidelines
Faculty Recruitment

Data Integrity
Program Administration Overview
The Graduate Center’s doctoral programs and the Liberal Studies master’s program are administered by an Executive Officer (EO) appointed by the President after consultation with faculty and students in the program. Master's programs are administered by Directors.  The EO/Director is the chief academic and administrative officer of a program with delegated authority to initiate and enforce policies and actions concerning the operations of the program, under guidelines established by the Graduate School Governance, the program governance, and the CUNY Board of Trustees (BOT Bylaws Article IX Section 9.4).
The EO is responsible for ensuring that the academic and administrative policies of the Graduate Center and the program are applied fairly and supportively to each applicant and to each student enrolled in the program, and to the program’s faculty and staff, in accordance with the governance and bylaws documents cited above, and published principles established by the program’s executive committee. With the Provost’s approval, the EO may appoint one (or more) Deputy Executive Officer. (One course each semester for the Deputy EO counts against the program’s annual course limit.)
As required by the Graduate School governance, each program has an executive committee and a minimum of four standing committees:  faculty membership, curriculum and examinations, admission and awards, and elections.  All committees have elected faculty and student members and the EO is an ex officio member of all program committees.  Other committees may be established under the program’s governance. 

The President appoints the Executive Officer for a term not exceeding three years.  In accordance with the Graduate School governance (Section 3.4B), the President solicits nominations and counsel from the individual members of the program’s faculty and students matriculated in the program.  The Executive Officer may be reappointed.
College-based faculty members who accept assignment as an Executive Officer are released by the college full-time for the term of this service, and the college receives funds for one line in the Allocation System


Student Admissions and Fellowships

  • The EO is responsible for matters related to the admission and enrollment of new students into the program.  The EO works with the Office of Admissions to promote the program and assists in the development and implementation of recruitment and outreach planning. For further information, contact the Office of Admissions at 212-817-7470 in Room 7201. 
  • The EO, in consultation with the program’s Admission and Awards Committee, is responsible for distributing the program’s financial-aid resources, including fellowships and grants. Most programs are assigned a maximum number of admissions per year and each program has a set number of student fellowships. See the Prospective Students section on the GC web for further information regarding admission requirements (FAQs), application deadlines, transfer of credits, financial assistance FAQs, fellowship packages, GC housing and other pertinent matters.
  • The Graduate Center is bound by the Council of Graduate School resolution that applicants to graduate programs cannot be required to accept or decline a financial aid offer before April 15. The link to the resolution can be found here. This resolution applies to offers of financial support not admission; however, you should also make sure there are not additional conditions for your discipline required by accrediting organizations. You cannot require applicants to accept or decline a financial offer before April 15 but this should not discourage you from being in touch with applicants to whom you are making offers or might make offers to sound them out about their interest. 
Student Recruitment and Retention Student Well Being
  • The EO is responsible for ensuring that mentoring and socialization into the program and the discipline occur for all students. Fostering positive faculty-student relations and student life under CUNY consortial arrangements within the complex New York City environment is a challenge overseen at the program level by the EO and Deputy EO.  It includes ensuring proper academic advisement, monitoring student progress, interpreting policies and procedures, and identifying solutions to problem situations.  The EO is the principal link between students and faculty and the academic and administrative offices of the GC. See Student Life for a variety of resources including information on health services and health insurance. See Ombuds Office, Counseling Services, and GC Student Intervention Team (GCSIT) for assistance in problem situations.
Student Success
  • The EO mentors students in the program and monitors their academic progress (see GC Student Handbook);
  • EOs should review the Academic Calendar each semester, particularly with regard to important cut off dates for students such as the last day to register for classes, last day to change levels or add/drop courses, and dissertation deposit deadlines.
  • The EO is responsible for ensuring program adherence to the Graduate Center’s Academic Policies and Procedures (see this section in the Student Handbook); a series of mandatory protocols that address student issues ranging from email usage, withdrawal, grade disputes, advancement to candidacy, academic termination, faculty conduct and auditing courses, to academic honesty (cheating, plagiarism, falsification of records, etc.), data requests, disability accommodations, leaves of absence and so forth.
  • Student Appeals Policies and Procedures, Student Complaint Procedures, and Other Institutional Policies are described at length in those sections of the GC Student Handbook, which has both a table of contents and an index to aid in locating specific information.   If questions of procedure or policy application arise, the EO should contact StudentAffairs@gc.cuny.edu or call 212-817-7400.
  • The EO is responsible for managing student fellowships, including new and ongoing Graduate Assistantships. Graduate Assistant appointments are managed by Anne Ellis in the Provost’s Office (aellis@gc.cuny.edu or 212-817-7284.) Fellowship stipends, tuition awards, and tuition remission, as well as loans, works study, and federal aid, are managed by the Office of Financial Aid (financialaid@gc.cuny.edu (212) 817-7460.) See Financial Assistance.
  • Please note that students have a cap of $50,000 per year in Graduate Center institutional funds. This includes combinations of awards/multiple fellowships and graduate assistantships paying through the Graduate Center.
  • Awards cannot officially be made to students until the EO submits the request on the appropriate Fellowship or Graduate Assistant Nomination forms provided by the Provost’s Office and Financial Aid. The various forms are available from the Office of Financial Aid, or from Anne Ellis, in the Provost’s Office (aellis@gc.cuny.edu).
  • The EO is responsible for making students aware of deadlines and fellowship rules. EOs should remind students to check their Graduate Center email addresses regularly. EOs are responsible for forwarding announcements to students and faculty.
  • The EO is responsible for making sure that students meet Satisfactory Progress benchmarks and reviewing Satisfactory Progress holds issued by the Registrar’s office each semester.
  • The EO works closely with the registrar on matters including registration, advisement pins; attendance; class schedule; satisfactory progress reviews; grades; transfer credits; doctoral levels/advancement to candidacy; En-route MA degrees; Leaves of Absence; withdrawal from Program; and course withdrawals. Vin DeLuca, vdeluca@gc.cuny.edu, x 7500 additional information
  • The Office of Career Planning and Professional Development supports the Graduate Center’s doctoral and master’s degree students as they work to achieve their career goals.  Students and recent alumni can schedule one-on-one advising sessions for help preparing CV’s, resumes, cover letters, and other job search documents, for practice interviewing, and for assistance in determining a general career strategy.  In addition, the office offers a range of programing throughout the academic year, both in person and in webinar format.  Students can join the office’s email lists to receive timely notices about job opportunities, fellowships, and events of interest.  Jennifer Furlong, the director, is happy to work with individual EO’s to develop department-specific programming.  She can be reached at JFurlong@gc.cuny.edu or 212-817-7416. For more information, see: https://careerplan.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

  • The CUNY Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center (GCTLC) works to prepare new college teachers for their entry into the classroom, guides devel­oping teachers as they refine their practices, and helps experienced teachers think through how to best apply what they’ve learned through their teaching in the next stages of their ca­reers, whether those careers be inside or outside of the classroom. The GCTLC offers workshops and other programming for new and experienced Graduate Center students and CUNY faculty, and collaborates with partners and programs across More information can be found here: cuny.is/teaching.

  • The GC Writing Center assists current and past graduate students in the cultivation of writerly skills and habits through individual consultations, workshops, and other programming.   More information can be found here: https://gcwritingcenter.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

  • GC Digital Initiatives (GCDI) provides opportunities for students to integrate emerging technologies into their research and teaching. GC Digital Fellows (GCDFs) offer workshops, consultations, support groups, resources—such as tutorials and guides—and events on topics ranging from ethical data practices to web development to programming to digital mapping, digital archives, sound studies and podcasting, data visualization, machine learning, and more. Any student enrolled at the Graduate Center can participate in GCDI’s workshops and events. The January Digital Research Institute, led by GCDFs, provides a one-week intensive on research technology use for beginners. GCDI also offers the Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants to support students’ digital research projects. Program Social Media Fellows lead workshops on crafting and maintaining a digital, scholarly identity. Lisa Rhody (lrhody@gc.cuny.edu) and GCDI’s fellows are available to meet with individual program EOs to discuss department-specific needs. For more information, our calendar of events, and list of resources see http://cuny.is/gcdi
  • The EO determines the courses to be offered each semester, after consultation with representative groups of faculty and students, and assigns faculty to teach these courses. The EO is responsible for maintaining the program’s assigned course limit for the academic year. Doctoral and master’s courses offered at the GC location, campus-based GC doctoral courses, and CUNY campus master’s courses in which a minimum of 5 or more (12 or more for team-taught) GC matriculated doctoral or master’s students are registered for credit, will count against the program’s limit. Independent Study courses and Deputy EO units are also included in each program’s limit. See Course Limits for additional information.
  • Units correspond to workload units for participating GC-based and campus faculty.  The Graduate Center has agreed to translate 1.0 unit as 3.0 hours for the purpose of workload in CUNYfirst. Dissertation Supervision (90000) and Executive Officer administrative units are always excluded from each program’s limit. Workload is not determined by the number of credits a course may have. See Courses for additional information.  Contact provost@gc.cuny.edu for questions regarding course units and workload.
  • The EO must confirm arrangements for participation of college-based faculty by sending a letter/email each semester to the academic dean and the department chair of the appropriate CUNY college. See Campus-Based Faculty for further information.
  • The EO is responsible for ensuring that GC-based faculty members meet their minimum workload requirements each year.See Faculty Workload for further information.
  • The EO is responsible for the annual evaluation and of staff (the Assistant Program Officer, as well as reviewing the evaluations of college assistants and adjuncts). The Office of Human Resources will notify Executive Officers when such evaluations are due.
  • The EO is responsible for submitting multiple position reports completed by GC-based faculty. A faculty member’s primary employment responsibility is to The City University of New York, and s/he is bound by its policies, including those related to consulting and other outside work.  Such outside activities must be reported on a form provided by Human Resources each year.

Program Governance
  • The EO is responsible for seeing that program elections are conducted as prescribed by the program by-laws. Guidelines for election of faculty and student program representatives to Graduate Council are described in Sections 2.1.A-E of the Graduate Council Bylaws.  All matriculated students are eligible to be elected to the Council. Faculty members or students on leave of absence are not eligible to serve.  Faculty members vote for faculty representatives only; students vote for student members only.
  • The EO is responsible for ensuring that faculty and students follow program governance guidelines. This document should be reviewed annually. Any updates/changes are sent to the Committee on Structure for consideration by Graduate Council.
  • The EO, as chair of the Executive Committee, calls meetings of the program faculty at least once a year, and student meetings at least once per semester. The EO presides at meetings of the program’s faculty, Executive Committee, and Faculty Membership Committee. See section 3.6 of the Graduate Center Governance Document for information about.
  • The Faculty Membership Committee reviews the program’s faculty each year. If the committee recommends removal of any member, that person must be given one year’s advance written notice of such removal, with a copy of the communication sent to the GC Provost. If a faculty member resigns or retires, the Office of the Provost should also be notified. See Sections 6.1 & 6.2 of the Graduate School governance for guidelines regarding faculty membership in doctoral, master’s, and certificate programs. For information regarding Emeritus status in doctoral programs see Professor Emeritus.
  • The EO provides guidance to the program’s faculty members regarding their responsibilities for course syllabi, office hours, submission of grades, and good supervisory practices. See Doctoral Faculty for further information.
  • The EO attends meetings of the Graduate Council, the Council of Executive Officers and the EO Discipline Cluster Groups. The Council of EOs functions as an advisory body to the President and includes other members of the administration in meetings with the President. The discipline cluster group meetings provide a forum for EOs to discuss problems, comment on current policies and practices, and to make suggestions.
  • EOs are encouraged to meet regularly with chairs of CUNY college departments in the program’s discipline to discuss a variety of issues, including procedures for making new faculty appointments useful both to the college departments and to the Graduate Center. In accordance with CUNY Board of Trustees policy, the EO should try to ensure that CUNY college department chairs give preference, when recruiting part-time faculty, to qualified students enrolled in CUNY doctoral programs.
  • The EO may recommend Visiting Research Scholar candidates to the Provost for the Exchange Visitor Program which provides research opportunities for qualified students, professors, research scholars, and specialists.
Program Operations
  • The EO is responsible for appointing a person to maintain and update the program’s website. Program events should be entered on the GC’s digital signage. Guidelines and information for this, as well as for appropriate style, use of the GC logo, graphic standards, social media, and website identity, are available on the Communications & Marketing website: Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Students.
  • The EO, in conjunction with the Program’s Curriculum Committee, is responsible for submitting any curriculum changes or additions to the GC’s Curriculum and Degree Committee, this includes new courses, requirement changes, credit changes, and bulletin changes. See Curricular Changes for more details and FAQs.
  • The EO maintains a program handbook/information listing for the use of students and faculty, accessible on the program’s website.
  • The EO ensures that information on all faculty and student awards, honors, special fellowships, and grants, is forwarded to the Provost provost@gc.cuny.edu and to Communications & Marketing comms@gc.cuny.edu. Give advance notice to Communications & Marketing of any special program events, such as colloquia or conferences.

  • The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) provides information and assistance to EOs in the areas of institutional effectiveness, student learning assessment, program evaluation, and regional accreditation. OIRE also provides internal Data Dashboards for programs with program and cluster specific information on admissions, enrollment, time to degree and graduation, alumni outcomes, and other administrative resources.  See here for Dashboards.

Faculty Evaluation, Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Guidelines  
Faculty Recruitment Procedures
  • The EO should consult the following document for faculty recruitment guidelines. See Faculty Recruitment

International Travel
  • The EO ensures that all students in the program abide by the requirements for mandatory notification and mandatory travel insurance for international academic travel for independent research, internships, language study, practicums, conference attendance/presentation, or job interviews, regardless of the source of funding. For information and guidelines, see International Travel Requirements for Current Students.

  • Due to COVID19 faculty and students must adhere to additional CUNY Travel Guidelines and submit a Petitions to Travel form in advance.  See updated travel procedures.
Human Subjects/IRB
  • The EO ensures that all students and faculty in the program abide by CUNY’s Protection of Human Subjects/IRB (Institutional Review Board) regulations. Any student research at any point in the student’s enrollment, as well as dissertation research, must be certified either as IRB-approved for human subjects or not involving human subjects or data from human participants. For further information contact the GC’s Human Research Protections Program Coordinator at 212-817-7525 in Room 8309.
CUNY Policies on Equal Employment and Non-Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct
  • The Executive Officer is responsible for promoting CUNY and the Graduate Center’s creation and maintenance of a safe environment in which students, faculty and staff can learn and work free from discrimination, gender-based harassment, fear of sexual assault or violence.

  • In that regard, the EO is responsible for ensuring adherence to the policies administered by the Office of Compliance and Diversity.  These include CUNY Policy on Equal Employment and Non-Discrimination and CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

  • Under the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct, the EO is also responsible for ensuring that program faculty and other staff members do not engage in intimate relationships with students for whom they have a professional responsibility, including undergraduates, graduate and professional students, and postdoctoral fellows.

  • “Professional responsibility” for a student means “responsibility over academic matters, including teaching, counseling, grading, advising for a formal project such as a thesis or research, evaluating, hiring, supervising, coaching, making decisions or recommendations that confer benefits such as admissions, registration, financial aid, other awards, remuneration, or fellowships, or performing any other function that might affect teaching, research, or other academic opportunities.”

  • The Executive Officers are considered as “managers” under the CUNY Policy on Equal Employment and Non-Discrimination and “responsible employees” under the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct and must take all complaints seriously, should not conduct investigations of any complaints related to discrimination or sexual misconduct and MUST REPORT complaints of discrimination and sexual misconduct to the Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator Pinar Ozgu at pozgu@gc.cuny.edu.

  • The Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator provides training on search procedures, human rights policies, Title IX awareness and compliance. The Chief Diversity Officer develops and administers the GC's Affirmative Action Plan, and investigates human rights complaints (i.e., sexual harassment, discrimination, etc.), and administers the procedures for addressing internal discrimination.

E-SPARC AND Workplace Violence Prevention Policies
In compliance with New York State law and CUNY Policy, CUNY employees are required to complete the following trainings at least once each academic year:

  • Employee Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Course (E-SPARC) which covers sexual harassment, gender-based harassment and sexual violence training in workplace violence awareness and prevention and;

  • Workplace Violence Prevention (WVP) trainings.

Both trainings are available to employees via CUNY Blackboard. Please contact hrtraining@gc.cuny.edu for training related questions.

All state employees, including employees of The City University of New York, are bound by the New York State Public Officers Law and New York State ethics regulations. These laws and regulations address topics such as conflicts of interest, political activity, improper use of state resources, honoraria, compensation for outside activities, financial disclosure requirements and gifts.
The agency that enforces the laws and regulations is the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”).

  • Graduate Center faculty and staff are public employees subject to regulations by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).

    Executive Officers are considered “policy-makers” and are required to file an annual Financial Disclosure Statement every year by November 15th. In addition, new staff members are required to receive an initial Comprehensive Ethics Training Course (CETC) and then an Ethics Refresher training every three years. For more information, please visit Ethics in Government Relations.

Questions relating to JCOPE can be directed to the Graduate Center’s Ethics Officer, Pinar Ozgu at pozgu@gc.cuny.edu or Geraldine Powell at gpowell@gc.cuny.edu.
Travel and Honoraria
An Honorarium is a speaking fee or compensation received from outside entity in consideration for writing an article or reimbursement for travel expenses not related to official duties. Keep in mind that honoraria cannot be received from an interested source (generally defined as an entity or individual seeking to do or actually doing business with CUNY, such as vendors, would-be vendors, unions, etc.).
In accordance with the regulations of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), all CUNY employees must report on the receipt of honoraria and travel reimbursement from non-CUNY sources received between April 1st and March 31st of each year. Please visit Honoraria Reporting for additional details.
Questions relating to Travel and Honoraria can be directed to the Graduate Center’s Ethics Officer, Pinar Ozgu at pozgu@gc.cuny.edu or Geraldine Powell at gpowell@gc.cuny.edu.
The Offices of Human Resources and Compliance and Diversity are responsible for administering The GC recruitment process and providing guidance to hiring managers, senior administrators, and department heads.
A Recruitment Request Form for full time positions must be completed and approved by the Vice President/Dean/Provost/President and submitted for approval via e-mail at HRB@gc.cuny.edu along with the supporting documents. The Recruitment guidelines are outlined here Personnel Action Review Committee (PARC).
Questions relating to Recruitment can be directed to Regina Pakh at rpakh@gc.cuny.edu or compliancediversity@gc.cuny.edu

Academic Personnel Actions
  • The EO is responsible for overseeing Academic Personnel Actions at the Program level in compliance with CUNY’s policies and Graduate Center procedures.  Committees charged with considering academic personnel decisions must operate in confidence when considering appointments, reappointments, promotions and leaves. The EO is charged with communicating decisions on such actions and ensuring adherence to Program and GC Governance plans. The EO is also responsible for ensuring that new tenure track faculty are provided with opportunities to take contractually mandated Reassigned time.  See the  Academic Personnel Policy.

Data Integrity
  • The EO must know about and ensure adherence to the CUNY IT Policies (link) including Acceptable Use of Computer Resources and Acceptable Use of University Data in the Cloud. Note that CUNY may copy hard drive contents without notice to preserve evidence or protect the integrity of its systems at any time, and may access emails on individual CUNY computers to comply with public Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests.
  • The EO is responsible for abiding by the Freedom of Information Law requirements. The GC Provost’s Office is responsible for ensuring compliance with these regulations. Lynette Phillips, Esq., has been designated as the GC’s Records Access Officer. Requests for access to records, defined as any information kept, held, filed or produced by, with or for the GC, must be made in writing. Contact lphillips2@gc.cuny.edu when FOIL requests are received and for further information.
  • The EO is responsible for protecting student rights with respect to their education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under FERPA, students may: 1) inspect their education records within 45 days of a request to do so; 2) request the amendment of their education records which they believe are inaccurate or misleading 3) consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education records; 4) appeal any alleged denial of FERPA rights; 5) file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. Contact Lynette Phillips, Esq. lphillips2@gc.cuny.edu when requests under FERPA are received.
  • The GC has designated the following directory information as publicly available: student name, enrollment status and major field of study. By filing a form with the Registrar’s office, any student or former student may request that no information be released without his or her prior written consent. See Students’ Rights Concerning Education Records in the Student Handbook for further information.
In addition to the information in the Student Handbook, EOs should also refer to the Graduate Center Bulletin for policies and information.
See the Registrar’s Office for current Academic Calendars and Tuition and Fees.