Baruch Faculty Senate considers the savings plan for fiscal year 2024 budget

Jason Galak

The second-to-last faculty senate plenary session of the 2022-2023 academic year was held on March 30.

Faculty Senate Chair Professor Terrence Martell kicked off the plenary meeting by discussing the university-wide savings plan for fiscal year 2024.

“This savings plan was designed by CUNY to deal with structural deficiencies,” Martell said. “But the hiring process will be impacted by these structural changes.”

Martell pointed out a discrepancy between the amount of funding allocated to CUNY in Gov. Hochul’s proposed state budget and the budgets put forth by the New York State Assembly and Senate.

The governor provided considerably less funding in the proposed budget.

The operating budget coming from the governor’s office is roughly $30.3 million more than Fiscal Year 2023, while the State Assembly proposed a $762.7 million increase and the State Senate proposed a $528.8 million increase.

“These kinds of budget disagreements are not unique, but when they happen, almost always the governor dominates the conversation,” Martell said. “This year it may be different.”

Martell further suggested that he does not believe this is a “bad budget,” but what he finds hard to understand is the degree of uncertainty of what is actually going to happen, which makes planning much harder.

President S. David Wu said it was delightful to chat with many of the faculty members during the general faculty meeting on March 23 and the faculty research symposium on March 24.

Wu acknowledged the gap between the proposed CUNY budgets. “I am very much aware of the priorities,” Wu said. “I have spent time talking to various politicians including the co-chairs of the higher education committee, Sen. Stavisky and Assemblywoman Fahy.”

Faculty Senate Secretary, professor Richard Wilkins reported on elections for the faculty senate.

Marketing professor Andreas Grein will be the next chair of the faculty senate.

Provost Linda Essig addressed the submission of the overall faculty hiring plan back in February. At that time, the college already had all but two of the 69 searches in the applicant-review stage of the hiring process.

Essig then spoke on the progress of the new Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Baruch started by Professor Grein.

The resolution to approve the department has gone forward to the CUNY Board of Trustees.

Essig discussed the progress being made with respect to Baruch’s strategic planning process.

“We are getting close to getting the framework and the bones of the plan,” Essig said. “There will be a community wide survey going out on April 17 even including some alums. It will be important feedback to finalizing the strategic plan.”

Finally, Martell presented a resolution advanced by law professor Rober Wagner to increase accessibility and participation through remote attendance options at meetings.

The accessibility resolution will be voted on in the May faculty senate meeting.

Biology professor Helene Barbour asked if the faculty senate meetings will be back in person as she “misses the community and relationship building.”

Martell said the issue would be addressed in the fall.