Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Struggle at CUNY

Readers of this blog ought to be interested in changes at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York affecting the pay and resources of their graduate students.

In a nutshell, the same market-based approaches to education inflicted on k-12 schooling and more recently undergraduate education are now being brought to bear on graduate education.  Characteristics of that sector that some find undesirable-- for example longer times to degree--are being attributed to student laziness and treated with new rejiggered incentives.  The President of the CUNY Grad Center recently equated his students with roaches, who check into a model and never check out.

The pushback on the part of many CUNY grad students is merited and admirable-- while some of the so-called reforms are good on their face (who doesn't like fellowships?) their roll out and implementation suggest deeper problems.  It seems that too-little consideration has been given to the effects on access likely to occur with such a completion agenda, and this is especially problematic at an institution with such a long history of opening doors (and admittedly, then often slamming them).

I'm eager to learn more about these events, and encourage those of you in New York to share what you know with us.