CUNY Pathways Implementation

Message From The Provost    

October 2, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

In light of the many developments on the Pathways Initiative across the University over the summer and, particularly in recent weeks, I want to share my view of where we stand and what we need to do at Brooklyn College in the coming months.

  • First and foremost, we are all passionately concerned that our students receive the finest education possible, and no one wishes to do anything to undermine that goal.
  • From the outset, we approached the Pathways Initiative as a community by recognizing that the signature Brooklyn College Core Curriculum is scheduled for a thorough faculty review in 2014.  It was and remains our common understanding that we would preserve our faculty-approved Core curriculum within Pathways and continue to pursue our assessment as scheduled.
  • At its May meeting, Faculty Council reiterated its opposition to the Pathways Initiative and approved a Pathways Contingency Plan.  This Contingency Plan, to be implemented only under specific conditions, ratified the existing Core with some modifications to allow approved courses not previously included in the Core to be added to the College's Pathways Program.
  • Over the summer, a cadre of BC faculty modified existing syllabi to incorporate Pathways outcomes and created new courses where appropriate. 

As a result, we identified 22 Brooklyn College courses and 4 Macaulay Honors College seminars that we hope to submit to CUNY by December as our faculty-approved Pathways Program.  To the extent possible, this proposed program balances our current Core Curriculum, the Faculty Council Contingency Plan, and CUNY's Pathways guidelines.

We are at a critical juncture.  We have done everything possible to protect the integrity of our Core Curriculum and to keep the College on the Pathways trajectory while discussions of process and implementation for fall 2013 continue throughout the University.  Time is growing short.  We must act or we will compromise our current and future students–and we all agree that this must not happen.

At upcoming department meetings, courses modified to fit into the proposed Brooklyn College Pathways framework will be presented for review.  If your department is involved in this activity, I urge you to evaluate these proposals on their academic merits and to move them forward to the Faculty Council floor for college-wide discussion.  For departments not directly involved in reviewing new or modified course proposals, I urge you to engage in a thorough discussion of how we can best respond to the challenges and opportunities presented.  This is the essential groundwork that must precede any final consideration of Pathways at Faculty Council.  At the next two Faculty Council meetings we must engage with our Pathways program. To give us ample time for discussion, I am going to request that Faculty Council consider individual courses at the October meeting and then review a proposed Pathways Program document in November.  We owe it to all constituencies to work together on fashioning a faculty-approved Pathways Program for Brooklyn College that represents our best collective efforts.

We need to find a way forward for the benefit of our students as much as for ourselves.  Please join me in seeking for that way.

Thank you,

William A. Tramontano
Provost and Senior Vice President

Brooklyn College Pathways Implementation Plan, Spring 2012 (pdf)

Brooklyn College Response to Pathways Steering Committee, Nov. 15, 2011 (pdf)