Meeting Minutes 7/23/2020
Task Force for the Future of Baruch
Thursday, July 23, 2020
ZOOM Video Conference
Meeting Convened: 1:02 PM
1. The Task Force was joined by President Wu, most of the Cabinet Level Champions for each subcommittee (Kathy Cobb, Olga Dais, Kenya Lee, Arthur Downing, Christina Latouf), and two consultants: Matthew Hillman & Gregory Finkelstein.
- Moving into phase two, our next task is to think about the long-term future of Baruch.
- The consultants will work with the Task Force to develop a conceptual framework and a roadmap for implementation that includes costs, steps, and a multitude of different service providers that can assist us.
- The data that’s starting to come in from conversations that the consultants are having with other schools and other companies indicates that this Fall may include one of the most localized online enrollment populations that schools have seen in quite some time.
- As the consultants get more information from the Task Force, they can offer more insight into which providers we should consider looking at to help implement our recommendations.
- The ultimate solution that we’re looking for is the ability to move along a sliding-scale/spectrum – from fully online and back to face-to-face courses.
- While doing this, we need to consider what tools we currently have access to, how we can become better trained using them, what new tools we may need to help faculty, staff, and students become more successful.
- When the consultants looked at the CUNY Technology Needs Survey Baruch Results (with over 3,000 students’ responses) from June 2020, they saw that there is room for improvement, but it is worth noting that 92% of students have somewhat reliable to very reliable internet connection. Additionally, 77% of students are somewhat to very comfortable with online coursework. This puts Baruch at a strong starting point. It was identified that specialized software requirements are a concern for students.
- The consultants took the Task Force recommendations from the Preliminary Report and started putting them into a sample project plan.
- One of the common themes that the consultants gathered from conversations across Baruch is that students come first. Many Baruch employees agreed that we moved quickly in the Spring, but almost everyone had a concern for the mental health and well-being of students. It’s agreed that there should be a discussion of mental health and well-being of faculty and staff, as well.
- Next Steps between the Task Force and the Consultants:
- Finalize financial analysis and recommendations.
- Provide a sample project plan on how to stage the work over a multi-year timeframe and take actionable steps forward.
- Provide insights necessary to build Baruch’s capabilities to design and deliver asynchronous courses.
- It was discussed that our plan should be irrespective of constraints and the constraints can be laid on after the plan is developed. This method will allow us to make informed decisions going forward and can allow us to begin thinking about how we can change/tailor our plan based on the constraints.
- We need to think about what the most important things to do are – not how much they cost. It’s better to think about what the most important interventions may be and then find a way to afford them rather than put affordability over quality.
- Right now, we have the opportunity to be creative with our solutions and to rethink our scheduling process, and we should utilize that opportunity.
- During this time, we must remember that we are adding additional tools to our “tool chest.” We need to think about how we can build on the tools that we have and what we can add to the tool chest to provide our students with the best education possible.
- Going forward we also need to think about what we can do to support faculty development using our current tools and new tools that we may implement.
2. Next Steps:
- In the next week, we will convene meetings of each of the subcommittees with the consultants to further discuss and develop their ideas.
- The subcommittees will also be joined by their Cabinet Champions. The cabinet Champions are responsible for making sure that the subcommittees’ recommendations move forward and are implemented.
Meeting Ended: 2:02 PM