CUNY Digital History Archive

CUNY Digital History Archive

A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York — A work in progress
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"A three-pronged experimental approach to the problem of undiscovered college potential among the young men and women of New York City"

This memorandum from Chancellor Bowker’s office called for three new forms of CUNY desegregation programs (pp. 1-2). This “three-pronged experiment” would be excused from CUNY’s general obligation to admit only students with the highest [...]

Minutes from 4/8/1965 CCNY Faculty Council Meeting

In these notes from a liberal arts and sciences faculty council meeting at City College, CCNY President Gallagher describes a tentative plan to admit 100 “disadvantaged” students into an experimental program in fall 1965. After discussion, the [...]

Letter from Samuel B. Gould to John H. Hughes

In this letter to New York State Senator Hughes, SUNY Chancellor Gould describes the new SUNY SEEK Program. Gould had shown copies to CUNY’s Chancellor Bowker and Julius Edelstein, CUNY’s “Coordinator of Urban Studies,” who had forwarded the [...]

1967 - 1968 Annual Report of the SEEK Program

This is a CUNY-wide report for the SEEK program during the 1967-68 academic year. Included in the document is a cover letter from SEEK director Leslie Berger to CUNY Chancellor Albert Bowker, a table of contents, a list of SEEK administrators, and [...]

A New Role for Psychology: Working with Disadvantaged Persons in a College Setting

In this 10-page "position paper," Berger describes and offers a theoretical rationale for the central role of psychological counselors within SEEK. A handwritten note adds an additional source on page 10. Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, [...]

To Help Them Achieve: The Academic Talent Search Project 1966-68, Part II

In the Fall of 1964, (armed with a Rockefeller Foundation grant) Brooklyn College’s School of General Studies launched a 42 student pilot program using Bowker’s model, which it called the “Academic Talent Search Project” or “ATSP.” The [...]

The Pre Baccalaureate Program at the College

In this December 1966 City College Alumnus article, Leslie Berger publicly describes and advocates for the City College SEEK model and challenges all traditional college admissions criteria as incompetent measures of student potential. Short [...]

Anthony Penale as a Young Man

Anthony Penale was a City College lecturer and writing teacher in 1965 when he was appointed by English Chair Edmund Volpe as the first SEEK English coordinator/director. Penale became ill in the summer of 1967 and Volpe then appointed Mina [...]

"Pre-Baccalaureate Program Student Statistics -- Fall Term 1965"

This early summary of the first semester of SEEK (then known as the Pre-Baccalaureate Program) details the courses, schedules and teachers for the 113 SEEK students in Fall 1965 at CCNY. These first SEEK students took a mix of mainstream and special [...]

"Will Everyman Destroy the University?"

In this article, CUNY’s new Vice Chancellor Timothy Healy writes of SEEK as both a practical and theoretical model for open admissions. He cites the success of the program--intended to improve higher education access for the underserved--as proof [...]

"The Faculty Council Interim Report of the Committee on Enrollment Policy"

This April 1964 report shows the deep conflicts within the CCNY faculty with regards to expanding access to new students. Complaining about limited facilities and student unreadiness, the faculty committee resisted both loosening admissions [...]

The Time for Action

This 8-minute film includes footage from the second General Assembly at Hunter College, and the first "Occupy CUNY" teach-in at Washington Square Park on October 21st, 2011. The filmmakers who were CUNY graduate students at the time stated, “We [...]

Occupying our Education

Drawing on experiences with Occupy CUNY, the Adjunct Project, and teaching an ‘Occupy Class’ at Brooklyn College, Steve M. shares insights into the conditions for organizing around universities today. In the face of the challenges of divisions [...]

United Federation of College Teachers: BMCC Chapter Newsletter, October 1966

This is the inaugural issue of the the newsletter of the BMCC chapter of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT), which would later be named The Gadfly. During the 1960s, the UFCT and the Legislative Conference were the two main [...]

MCC Strike Committee Bulletin #1

The 1976 contract negotiations between the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) and the university occurred in the midst of the city's mid-1970s fiscal crisis. Radicals at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) formed a strike committee in order [...]

Faculty Action, Fall 1977

This issue of Faculty Action focuses on the Bakke case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the policy of affirmative action in college admissions but ruled out the use of racial quotas. Writing before the decision was issued, the editors [...]

Faculty Action, May 1976

Published in May 1976, in this inaugural issue of Faculty Action, the lead story urges members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) to reject a recent contract negotiated by union leadership with the city and state. The issue also presents the [...]

"Letter to Class of 1970"

Sample Pittman was an Associate Dean of Students at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) during the early 1970s. He became known to politicized students and faculty as a hostile opponent of the Third World Coalition, the radical group that [...]

Professional Staff Congress: BMCC Chapter Newsletter, March 8, 1974

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union which represents CUNY faculty and staff, was formed in 1973 from the merger of the Legislative Conference and the United Federation of College Teachers. This is an early newsletter from the PSC [...]

Professional Staff Congress: BMCC Chapter Newsletter, February 22, 1974

This is an early newsletter from the Professional Staff Congress chapter at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). Dated February 24, 1974, the newsletter features an article attacking BMCC president Edgar Draper for using the school's [...]

People's Handbook: Manhattan Community College, 1970-71

This handbook, a precursor to today's "disorientation" guides, offered incoming students a view of life at BMCC from the perspective of radicals in organizations that included the New University Conference, Third World Coalition, Night Students [...]

Celebration for the first group of LaGuardia Community College paraprofessional students , May 1971

Fern Khan (at center of photo) and her students who were the first group of students to enroll at LaGuardia. These students were paraprofessionals employed by the Board of Education. The program was funded following an agreement between the [...]

Joe Shenker, founding president of LaGuardia with the first group of students who were paraprofessionals

In 1970, Joseph Shenker was appointed president of what was then still called "Community College Number Nine," which would soon become LaGuardia Community College. Still in his twenties, Shenker brought a youthful optimism and a spirit of [...]

LaGuardia Community College - An Assessment of the Needs of the Western Queens Community, 1980

LaGuardia Community College opened in 1971 but in order to expand outreach and continuing education with the communities it served, this needs assessment of various communities in western Queens was undertaken in 1980. This study was initiated by [...]

"Accountability: A Reply to the Deans' Letter"

This leaflet, published by an ad hoc committee of Professional Staff Congress members at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), defends the committee's actions from critics in the CUNY administration and challenges those critics to an open [...]

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