1. The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) fosters a unique partnership among the City University of New York, organized labor, worker centers, and community-based organizations for the purpose of expanding higher education opportunities for workers and those interested in studying labor, poverty and inequality, and working-class communities; and further serves as a resource for students, scholars, organized labor, community leaders, and allied organizations seeking a deeper understanding of work, workers, and urban issues.
  2. SLU’s three core values are social justice, diversity, and access to higher education. Its goals are to expand opportunities for working adults; develop the next generation of labor and community leaders; and become the pre-eminent intellectual center for learning and research related to workers and poor and working-class SLU maintains a commitment to reduce barriers to admission, provide robust academic support, and facilitate timely graduation for students. SLU will build on its existing academic programs by creating new undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. To accomplish its goals, the School will offer a robust set of programs, services, and activities in Labor Studies, Urban Studies, research, workforce development, and service to the community.
  3. This Governance Plan reflects several foundational principles, including transparency in decision- making; collaboration and mutual consultation between faculty and administration, including over issues of personnel and budget; faculty responsibility over academic areas and administrative responsibility over administrative areas; democratically elected representation from faculty, staff, and students; elected departmental chairs; and, where appropriate student, administrative, community and labor voice in committees. SLU, like other CUNY colleges and schools, and pursuant to this Governance Plan, will have the authority to propose to the CUNY Board of Trustees its curriculum and admissions criteria, award degrees, conduct searches, recommend to the Board of Trustees personnel actions with respect to appointment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure, and engage in internal review and assessment protocols.

A.  Administrative Officers

  1. A Dean of the SLU shall be appointed by the Chancellor, subject to approval of the CUNY Board of Trustees. The Dean shall report to the Chancellor (or the Chancellor’s designee) and shall have responsibilities and authority comparable to that of College Presidents as described in CUNY Board of Trustees Bylaw 11.4.
  1. When a vacancy occurs or is expected in the office of the Dean, a Search Committee shall be established under CUNY’s Guidelines for Presidential Searches, except that there may be either two or three SLU faculty representatives selected to serve on the Search Committee. In addition, in light of the specialized nature of the School of Labor and Urban Studies, a member of the School’s Advisory Board will serve on the Presidential Search Committee.
  2. A Review Committee constituted under CUNY’s Policy on Presidential Review will be appointed every three to five years to review the Dean’s This Committee will make a report to the Chancellor.
  1. Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The Dean shall create a new Associate Dean position, conducting a search with appropriate elected representation from the faculty to participate in the selection process, and assign academic leadership duties and such other responsibilities as are necessary and appropriate.
  2. Search committees for senior staff positions: Search committees for senior administration, full HEO, director and manager titles shall be appointed by the Dean and shall include members with Higher Education Officer series titles and full-time faculty representatives.

B.  Administrative/Advisory Bodies

  1. Dean’s Cabinet. There shall be a Dean’s Cabinet consisting of the Dean, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Department Chairpersons, the Chairperson of the Academic Governing Council (AGC) (see section C below), and other such persons designated by the The Cabinet shall advise the Dean with respect to the policies and operations of the SLU.
  2. Advisory There shall be an Advisory Board consisting of members appointed by the Dean who shall be representative of external labor and community organizations. Department Chairs, and other faculty or staff invited by the Dean may serve as ex officio members without vote. The Labor and Community Advisory Board shall meet at least once a semester and as further requested by the Dean and shall advise the Dean with respect to the programs, curricula, research, and workforce development and training to ensure that they meet the needs of the School’s community and labor partners.

C.  Academic Governing Council

  1. The AGC shall be the governing body of the SLU pursuant to the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees.
  2. The AGC shall meet at least two times per semester and shall distribute its agenda at least one week prior to its meetings. A majority of the members of the AGC shall constitute a quorum. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Roberts Rules of Order, except that no action may be taken by the AGC or any of its Standing Committees unless there is an affirmative vote of a majority of all of its members.
  3. The AGC shall consist of all full-time, jointly-appointed, and consortial faculty. The Dean, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the two Higher Education Officers (HEOs) who have primary responsibility for administration of the School’s two academic programs shall serve as ex- officio members without vote. At least one student from each department shall be elected in accordance to rules established by the student governing body; the ratio of student to faculty representation on the council shall not exceed 1:3. Students shall serve for up to three years; student elections shall be staggered to produce overlap between new and experienced student representatives. One teaching adjunct from each department shall also serve for a term of one year elected by the adjuncts teaching in the program. Elected adjuncts who serve on the AGC shall be compensated for their attendance at AGC meetings. One member of the HEO staff at the school shall be elected by the HEOs to serve on the AGC for a two-year term. Other teaching adjuncts and staff may attend meetings and serve on committees with voice but without vote. The AGC shall elect a tenured member of the faculty as Chairperson to preside over its meetings for a term of three years. In order to conduct official business and to approve resolutions a majority (half plus one) of the voting members of the AGC must be present. The AGC will be assigned administrative assistance from among school administrative staff for keeping minutes, calling meetings, and other administrative functions.
  4. The AGC shall have the duties to:
  1. formulate educational policy and develop standards for admissions, academic performance and degree requirements for students, as well as standards for the appointment and reappointment of faculty consistent with and subject to the Bylaws and policies of the Board of Trustees and other University policies and procedures;
  2. review and recommend to the Dean and Board of Trustees all new academic programs, centers, and institutes;
  3. review and approve all proposed curricular changes in existing departments;
  4. recommend to the Dean and the Board of Trustees, based on a vote of the voting faculty members, the granting of graduate degrees, program certificates and honorary degrees to qualified candidates;
  5. establish a framework for student government in consultation with interested students;
  6. consider any other academic matters and make recommendations to the Dean and the Board of Trustees;
  7. establish a Faculty Student Disciplinary Until such time that such a committee is established, cases will be sent to the Graduate School’s Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee
  8. receive, consider, approve, and forward, as appropriate, reports and recommendations of ‘Council’s standing committees
  9. recommend revisions to this Governance Plan.


  1. Standing Committees. The AGC shall establish such standing and temporary committees as are needed to accomplish its goals, determine the number of members and assign them such duties as it deems Faculty members shall be a majority of the members of each committee. The voting faculty members of the AGC shall elect the faculty and students shall elect their representative members of each standing or ad hoc committee, providing all departments with equitable opportunities to participate in committees. Each standing or temporary committee shall elect its own chairperson. The Dean may also appoint to each such committee one or more administrative staff; such staff shall have voice but no vote. Initially, the AGC shall have the following standing committees:
  1. Steering and Elections The Steering and Elections Committee shall identify major issues for the Council’s consideration and oversee the activities of the other standing committees. It shall also oversee the election of faculty to the AGC and its committees. The Steering Committee may act for the AGC between Council meetings where there is an urgent need for immediate action and the Dean requests such action. The Dean or his/her representative shall be a member of the Steering and Elections Committee.
  2. Curriculum The Curriculum Committee shall review all programs and courses, and amendments and addition thereto within the SLU and report its recommendations to the AGC.
  3. Admissions and Awards The Admissions Committee shall recommend standards for admissions for each program within the SLU. The Committee shall also recommend procedures and standards for awards.
  4. Student Academic Appeals Committee. The Academic Appeals Committee shall oversee all student academic appeals, in accordance with rules and practices it develops for approval of the AGC.

D.  Faculty

  1. Except when otherwise specified, “faculty” refers to those of faculty rank or faculty status, in accordance with the CUNY Bylaws sections 8.1 and 8.2.
  2. Full-time faculty members are those whose contractual teaching and administrative loads are at the SLU.
  3. Jointly-appointed faculty members are those whose contractual teaching load is officially shared between two or more campuses. At the SLU, full-time faculty members with “joint” appointments have faculty rank and are part of the faculty of the school, with the same rights and privileges as those whose faculty lines lie solely at the School.
  4. “Consortial faculty” refers to faculty appointed to the school whose faculty line or primary teaching responsibilities reside within another school within CUNY, including emeriti faculty. Except where otherwise stated, consortial faculty have faculty rank and are part of the faculty of the school, with the same rights and privileges as those whose faculty lines are based solely at the school. Consortial faculty appointments have three-year terms, and are renewable.

E.  Academic Departments

  1. The SLU shall have academic There currently are two academic departments: the Department of Labor Studies and the Department of Urban Studies. Additional academic departments, centers, and institutes may be added with the approval of the AGC, the Dean, and the CUNY Board of Trustees.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph “3” below, the chairperson of each department shall be elected by all members of the department’s faculty, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York, Section 9.1(b), from among the full-time and jointly-appointed professors, associate professors, and assistant professors at SLU. The chairperson shall serve as the executive officer of the department, shall carry out the department’s policies, and shall perform the duties of the chairperson in accordance with Bylaw Section 9.3. Each department, subject to the approval of the AGC, shall have control of the educational policies of the department through the vote of all members of the faculty.
    • 2.1    Notwithstanding the provisions of this section (E.2) that limit eligibility for the chair position to full-time and jointly-appointed faculty, and in compliance with paragraph E.3 below, a consortial member of the SLU faculty who has the title of professor, associate professor or assistant professor, may be elected interim chair by each department for a term not to exceed two years. This provision is to be used when a vacancy exists which cannot be immediately filled.
  1. Until such time as the total number of faculty with full-time and jointly-appointed faculty rank (but not including consortial faculty) of each department exceeds five, all of the department practices and functions enumerated below in section 4 shall be conducted jointly, with the Labor Studies and Urban Studies departments meeting and acting as a single unit.
  2. Departmental meetings shall take place at least twice a semester. In all departmental elections, an affirmative vote shall be determined by satisfaction of the following:
  1. There must be an affirmative vote of a majority of those present and eligible to vote at a duly constituted election meeting of the Department, a quorum being present.
  2. A quorum shall be defined as a majority of the “adjusted membership” of the Department
  3. The “adjusted membership” of the Department shall be defined as the whole membership of the Department eligible to vote, less those on leaves of absence, those in full-time administrative positions outside the Department, and those without assignment within the Department for a continuous period of two years prior to the election.
  4. Eligible voting members are all members of the department with faculty rank or faculty Adjunct faculty members shall be invited to department meetings with voice but no vote.
  1. Each department shall have its own curriculum committee, with members serving for one-year terms. Each curriculum committee shall consist of at least two faculty members of faculty rank or status (full-time, jointly-appointed, or consortial) from the department and one (1) student pursuing a degree in the department. Committee members shall elect a chair of the committee, who may subsequently appoint adjuncts to the committee. Adjuncts serving on curriculum committees shall be compensated for their time spent at meetings. The curriculum committee shall consider and make recommendations concerning curricular proposals for department action; department action will be transmitted to the Curriculum Committee of the AGC. One or more members of the professional staff in each department shall serve on the department’s committee as ex officio members without Additional faculty or practitioners may be invited to committee meetings by the committee chair. The committees shall keep minutes of their proceedings in conformity with Robert’s Rules of Order, latest revised edition.

F.  School-wide Committee on Personnel and Budget

  1. The SLU shall have a School-wide Committee on Personnel and Budget. The School-wide Committee on Personnel and Budget shall consist of chairpersons of the departments and three other faculty members of faculty rank (who may be full-time, jointly-appointed, or consortial faculty members) elected by the voting faculty members of the AGC, who shall be voting members of the Committee. The Dean and Associate Dean shall serve on the Committee as non-voting members.
    The voting faculty members shall also elect at least one alternate faculty member of faculty rank to serve on the Committee if any of the other faculty members are unable to attend a meeting. The Chair of the School-wide Committee on Personnel and Budget shall be elected by the voting members of the Committee. The Committee shall meet twice a semester, or more as necessary.
  2. All appointments and reappointments without tenure shall be recommended to the School-wide Committee on Personnel and Budget by the chairperson of the applicable The Dean and Associate Dean shall participate in discussion of the candidates, and the Committee shall make its recommendations to the Dean. The Dean will make a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
  3. Members of this Committee shall not be eligible to vote on their own appointments, promotion or tenure and on those occasions of such conflicts, voting members of the committee shall exclude the candidate. Assistant professors may not vote on decisions of tenure or promotion to Associate Professor or Professor, and Associate Professors may not vote on promotions to Professor.
  4. The Dean shall present for review and consultation the all-funds budget to the School-wide Committee on Personnel and Budget at least once a term.

G.  Amendments
Amendments to this governance plan may be proposed by a petition or affirmative vote of 20 percent of the members of the AGC. Amendments may be adopted by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members of the AGC who are present if that number also constitutes a majority of the members of the Council, provided that the text of the proposed amendment has been sent in writing to every member of the AGC at least two weeks before the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be considered.
Amendments adopted by the AGC are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees before they become effective.