Meeting Minutes 6/4/2020
Task Force for the Future of Baruch
Thursday, June 4, 2020
ZOOM Video Conference
Meeting Convened: 1:02 PM
- Approval of the May 28, 2020 meeting minutes.
- The Task Force shared their reflections on President Wu’s charge. Task Force members particularly expressed their excitement regarding a service learning oriented vision for the college. Members of the Task Force expressed that we can begin to imagine service learning incorporated into different types of thesis programs or independent studies. Members explained that service learning can help prepare students for the real world. It was also discussed that there was no mention of how Baruch employees interact with unions and it may be helpful to acknowledge this in the future.
- Provost McCarthy gave Task Force members an update on the “Reopening Report” that was sent to CUNY Central. The “Reopening Report” describes the Task Force’s plans for the Summer.
- The Task Force gathered in a moment of silence to honor the life of George Floyd.
- The Task Force went through each subcommittee’s focus and described critical components of information that will help them develop their contributions to Baruch’s final reopening plan.
- Subcommittee #1: The preliminary estimate of spacing is that Baruch can accommodate ~20% of teaching seats under social distancing orders. This percentage doesn’t account for movement and transition between classes. It’s important to note that this percentage also doesn’t include faculty or staff presence in buildings, but it only includes students’ presence. Members of the Task Force expressed that there are also concerns of air quality in buildings, such as the Newman Vertical Campus, where classroom windows cannot be opened to circulate fresh air. It was discussed that when reopening, we may want to think of using a preferred building, such as the 17 Lexington building, to hold in-person courses where windows can be opened and circulate fresh air. It was discussed that we may need to consider Natural Sciences courses and Fine & Performing Arts courses when thinking of the first hybrid and in-person courses offered at Baruch. We may also want to consider first-year students who have not had a traditional college experience yet. “Block programming” can make offering in-person or hybrid introductory courses for first-year students a lot easier.
- Subcommittee #2: The Center for Teaching and Learning has provided and will continue to provide faculty development programs in the coming months. A document was also provided regarding the “Minimum Expectations for Teaching in a Distance Learning Environment.” Members of the Task Force explained how this can be beneficial, especially if included in a “course shell,” for teachers when working in a distance learning environment.
- Subcommittee #3: One of the biggest issues that CUNY schools, in general, face are the legal restrictions that come along with implementing new technology platforms and services. While battling legal restrictions, there are also CUNY restrictions that colleges, such as Baruch, have to manage when implementing new technology. When thinking about new technology that Baruch can implement to accommodate a broader range of distance learning possibilities, it is important to involve students and gather their recommendations as well since they will be using these services. Student recommendations can be helpful when selecting new technology tools and cloud based software, but they can also be helpful when thinking about academic integrity in a distance learning environment. When implementing new technology, it is important to remember that newly hired faculty members will need access to these platforms as soon as possible.
- Subcommittee #4: When thinking about both the near future and long-term of Baruch, we need to think about the different tools we intend to use and can use to maintain students’ success. This also means that we need to think about ways to use these tools and technology to maintain, encourage, and continue to promote student success.
- Next Steps:Designate a subcommittee spokesperson.Assemble resources that are relevant to the mission of the Task Force and/or to your particular subcommittee topic. Look for evidence and materials to support your recommendation(s) for Baruch’s reopening.
Look at universities that already offer largely online programs or hybrid courses. Examples of some of these institutions are:
- Penn State
- University of Maryland
- Arizona State
- University of Southern New Hampshire Examine the instructional design, student support, and marketing and communications efforts of these schools and think about how we can incorporate some of these ideas into a model that “fits” Baruch.
6. Next Steps (continued):
Consult with people you respect and trust at Baruch to get their input on some of the ideas you are thinking about incorporating into our reopening plan.
Think about programs and courses that might be candidates for hybrid or face-to-face instruction for the Fall. Think about what the benefits of offering these programs and courses first may be and also, think about what resources we would need to provide for these courses.
Meeting Ended: 2:34 PM