Faculty Senate Meeting: New research opportunities for faculty and online bookstore

Jason Galak

The second faculty senate plenary session of the 2022-2023 academic year occurred on Oct. 6.

Professor Terrance Martell, chair of faculty senate, opened the session with the discussion of a new goal for the college: promoting and supporting high quality faculty research.

“This goal is forward-looking,” Martell said. “It seeks to set the environment in which Baruch can compete intellectually with [private] institutions…This isn’t something just for the faculty in support of research, but this is for the Baruch ecosystem.”

Martell said he believes Baruch’s success in attracting students and national representation is directly related to the quality of the faculty and the curriculum that is provided to the students.

Anthropology professor Carla Bellamy, chair of the College-Wide Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, took the suggestions made in the prior faculty senate meeting into account when making the final draft of the document outlining college-wide minimum standards for the syllabi.

Contact Information for the dean of students has been added to the document. The language of disability services has been changed to a more appropriate phrase. The Senate approved the document.

Bellamy advised the standards are a recommendation, not a mandate.

Baruch contracted McAllister & Quinn, a premier federal grant consulting and government relations firm based in Washington D.C. to coach and support grant writing of faculty at Baruch.

Jessica Gerrity, Senior Vice President at McAllister & Quinn, presented a slide show to explain the services they will be offering.

Mary Rivers, Assistant Vice President of Budget and Planning, gave an overview of the budget, depicting a multi-year financial plan from 2021 to 2025.

Baruch’s revenue is expected to grow over the next few years because of the new online MBA program that will be offered.

Martell advised that Baruch is a tuition-driven institution. Since tuition is controlled by the state, the only real driver other than new initiatives is more students. Nevertheless, Baruch collects tuition at a higher rate than other CUNY schools.

This year, Baruch received a significant increase in state aid, some of which went towards the operating budget, which has not happened in several years.

“We can actually plan for new initiatives with the expectation or at least the higher conditional probability that we can actually keep some of that revenue,” Martell said.

Chelsea Megie, Director of Business Development at Akadémos, Inc., gave a presentation regarding the new online bookstore, Akadémos, which will replace Barnes & Nobles at the end of December.

It will be open for Baruch students starting mid-November to place orders for their upcoming semesters.

The Akadémos system is integrated with individual Blackboard accounts, enabling the system to be personally tailored to students.

There will also be a marketplace where students can buy and sell textbooks themselves. Additionally, college apparel will be available for purchase on the website.

Martell concluded the session by reprimanding the actions of NYU in its recent firing of a chemistry teacher.

“Whoever thought that was a good idea, it wasn’t,” Martell said. “It’s time to double down on what is expected of our students even if it means more work for us.”