Notes from Feb 19 HSS Faculty Meeting

📅 February 19, 2013    👤
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committee-name Meeting History

HSS Faculty Meeting February 19, 2013 12:15-1:50 Room ll101

Group photo of HSS faculty taken for yearbook at beginning of meeting


  1. Election for secretary (Peter Buckley elected for 3 year term, David Weir for this term.)
  2. Review of minutes of October 16, 2012 (passed)
  3. Report from the Dean. pretty short, Peter Buckley and Dore Ashton are taking sabbaticals next semester and will return in Spring of 2014, HSS is anticipating that they will be working with flat budget for the next fiscal year. On Web Advisor: It is “a system we all agree is a work in progress.” Dean Germano explained that, regarding next year, there is a lot happening and considerable anxiety. and if there are any drastic changes in enrollment next year, that will affect us greatly. If we have fewer first-year studetns, we will need fewer first-year core courses. The Dean also commended the work that has been done on the new HTA101 and 102 courses.

  4. Reports from the schools
  5. Report on proposed revisions to HSS governance David Weir, a member of the subcommittee of the HSS Administrative Committee responsible for revising the governance of the HSS faculty reported that they are going to suggest that the governance be rewritten to reflect the two kinds of contracts. They also suggested that the HSS Faculty elect a parliamentarian. Weir reminded the committee that any revisions of the governance would involve a vote of the faculty. And then after that the President must approve the changes.

  6. Report on Fulbright Peter Buckley, the Fulbright advisor, reported that 5 Cooper Union students have successfully completed the application process and have been sent on for country evaluation.

  7. Other business March 1 is the date of the HSS faculty book give away.

  8. Remarks from President Bharucha (Approximately 1:00 pm) JB reminds us that he is a member of the HSS faculty. “I think the thing that we’re actually all here for to support the work of our students.” Student Eagleton asks JB if he can talk about the role of the HSS faculty in his “reinvention” plan and why they weren’t included in the August charge for reasons other than the obvious ‘it’s not a degree granting school.’

JB says that he sees the humanities at “the core of learning” and “at the core of what it means to educate a person” he would like to see more Humanities requirements for students in the three schools. But the future of the school is “certainly a tricky thing to think through” and will require “a lot more strategic planning.” JB would like to see more integration of HSS into the other schools and mentions that “there is a broad cry from students and faculty alike to have more cross-disciplinary” efforts. JB sees HSS Faculty being greatly involved in the “academic planning” of the institution.

Eagleton explained that she was asking about the role of the HSS Faculty, rather than in terms of “academic planning,” “financial planning.” i.e. why weren’t the HSS Faculty included in the charge made by JB in August.

JB: “I didn’t see a clear way that the HSS Faculty could be given a charge in this way” “HSS did vote to affirm awarding full-tuition scholarships to all admitted students.” (Note taker: THIS IS TRUE, THE VOTE HAPPENED LAST SPRING AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER IN AN HSS FULL FACULTY MEETING.) JB: “Given that, I didn’t see how I could charge the Humanities Faculty with generating revenue generating programs.”

Some faculty mentioned that they put together the Summer Writing Program and could develop a professional writing program, perhaps a certificate or degree? This has not really been discussed.

JB reinforced his earlier point that because the HSS Faculty voted to reaffirm the mission statement last year then how could they create new programs because “you can’t create new programs without charging.”

Some members of the committee questioned this, referring to the “mission”

JB explained that the “mission” is not the same as the “mission statement” and that the person speaking meant “mission statement” and that the “mission” is the thing written in the charter that we are legally bound to and the language of the “mission statement” is extremely ambiguous. JB went on to explain that the School of Art faculty seems to think the “mission” and the “mission statement.”

there was a conversation regarding the particular ambiguity of the mission statement, found in “The College admits undergraduates solely on merit and awards full scholarships to all enrolled students.”

JB asked P. Buckley if the School of Art faculty was reading the mission statement “differently.”

PB: “they are taking a stance, it’s (the SOA faculty’s interpretation of the Mission Statement) clear.

JB: “It’s (the meaning of the mission statement) not clear to the art faculty.” He then referred to the vote made in the SOA faculty committee in the fall and their “three step syllogism” that doesn’t make sense.

JB to PB: “would you argue, then, Peter, that the SOA’s interpretation is an incorrect one?

PB: No, I’m not!

JB (flustered) returns to explaining the difference between a mission and a mission statement, that a “mission statement” is the most recent iteration of a Board of Trustees’ statement of the mission of the school. JB brings the conversation back to the financial problems of the Cooper Union.

Student Eagleton refers back to her earlier question about why the HSS faculty was not included in the charge from JB in August 2012 to generate “net revenue.”

JB asks Eagleton if she thinks he should give them a revenue charge?

Eagleton balks at the question, explaining that she finds it highly innapropriate considering she is not a representative of the HSS faculty and that JB didn’t get the point of her question.

JB asks the comittee of HSS Faculty members: “would the HSS Faculty like a net revenue charge?”

PB: “No! No one wants a net revenue charge!”

JB: “Well then, what’s, the question?”

(the question was: What is the role of the HSS faculty in all of this and why weren’t they involved in the charge in the fall?)

David Weir Asks JB about selling a % of Chrysler Building holdings.

JB responds to the question and then asks the room to be sensitive to posting this conversation on the internet. “metlife–we’ve been a laughing stock.” “they’re reading this stuff.”

PB: “Why are we a laughing stock?”

S. Sayres: “Where are we a laughing stock?”

JB: “In these meetings with them.” (note taker: it is unclear who “them” is, unless “them” is metlife?)

JB: “The Way Forward is being represented as a solution and it’s making us look like a laughing stock”

PB: “You really think they read “The Way Forward?”

JB: “Everybody reads what’s online, our donors do and it’s very damaging.”

PB: Really, I doubt it.

JB” “Peter, how would you know?! You’re not in these meetings!!”

PB: So then…? What?

JB: “You can retract it! the fact that people think that we could get by by without charging in any programs is what makes us look like a laughing stock.”

PB: “What? What you’re saying is the origin of this document is the idea that tuition could not be charged.”

JB: “Don’t put words into my mouth, Peter!” The problem is that “The Way Forward has lead hundreds of people to believe that it solves the problem.”


“Ok, The SOA faculty did a thing and you did this in response and the thing you did in response is…not positive, how is that not punitive?!”

and he said: “the, the, the trustees are not, and, y’know, at this point, y’know, they, uhhhh, the board is taking ownership of this, I can tell you very categorically, the SOA can not see itself admitting another class without a funding model. It’s just not gonna happen.”