On May 8, the Graduate Council of the Graduate Center CUNY voted in favoring of adopting a resolution regarding the codification of a  Graduate Council committee on the college budget, consisting of students, faculty, and staff. The full text of the resolution appears below:

Resolution for the Formation of a Democratic Budget Committee at the Graduate Center, CUNY

WHEREAS, the Graduate Council of the Graduate School of the Graduate School and University Center (hereafter, the “Graduate Center”), comprised of elected faculty and student representatives, aims to uphold the diverse interests of the faculty and students of the Graduate Center; and

WHEREAS, austerity budget policies have been increasing over the last decade, resulting in tuition hikes, restricted department course units, increased per-class enrollment, and ultimately shifting costs onto a growing population of tuition-paying Master’s students for whom resources are limited; and

WHEREAS, transparent and democratic budgeting can better address many ongoing issues students face that affect their ability to pursue scholarship, such as the demands for tuition remission for all doctoral students, full and fair funding for all Graduate Center students, and the standardization of Science Fellows’ work experiences;

WHEREAS, budget decisions at the Graduate Center, with the sole exception of the College Association and the Auxiliary Enterprise Board, are made by a relatively small number of administrators, with little to no participation by the wider Graduate Center community; and

WHEREAS, article VIII sec. 8.7 of the CUNY Bylaws[1] mandates each campus to have a committee on budget charged to review the annual tentative budget before the president submits it to the Chancellor; and

WHEREAS, the advisory Budget Committee[2], convened for the first time in Spring 2018 by former president Chase Robinson, is comprised of appointed members in an advisory capacity, and with no real decision-making power, does not meet the standard of a truly democratic budget committee; and

WHEREAS, the Graduate Center can only serve the needs of its community through transparent and democratic budget decision-making; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Graduate Council calls on the Office of the President of the Graduate Center, and other involved administrators and leaders, to democratize the role of the existing advisory budget committee, in order to give it an active and legitimate role in college budget decision-making, with appropriate time for faculty, staff and students to review and vote on the planned budget; and, be it

FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Graduate Council calls on the Structure Committee of Graduate Council to present a plan in the fall of 2019 to form a democratically elected budget committee composed of faculty, students, and staff.

[1] http://policy.cuny.edu/policyimport/bylaws/article_viii/section_8.7./text/index.html#Navigation_Location

[2] https://www.gc.cuny.edu/About-the-GC/Administrative-Services/Business-Finance/Budget/Budget-Committee