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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Song: "Hit the Road Matt: Good riddance to a reprehensible Chancellor!"

This version of the Ray Charles classic was written by members of the Graduate Center General Assembly and Adjunct Project on the occasion of CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein's June 2013 retirement. The song references ongoing scandals over which [...]

Oral History Interview with Khadija DeLoache

Khadija DeLoache entered City College in the fall of 1966 with support from the CUNY Seek program. In this oral history, DeLoache discusses growing up in Harlem, her experience as a student activist, and the development of the Black Studies [...]

Oral History Interview with Anselma Rodriguez

In this oral history, Anselma Rodriguez discusses her experiences as a student at Brooklyn College from 1969-1973. She was a founding a member of Movimiento Estudiantil Dominicanos and active in Brooklyn College's Puerto Rican Studies Department. [...]

"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 [...]

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 [...]

Medgar Evers College - The Pursuit of a Community's Dream

In this short book, Medgar Evers College: The Pursuit of a Community's Dream, CUNY retired professors Florence Tager and Zala Highsmith-Taylor tell the story of the founding of the college. As an institution born largely out of 1960s [...]

"Birth of a Movement"

This Village Voice article covers the coalition effort that pulled off four simultaneous civil disobedience actions on April 25, 1995, stopping traffic at major bridges and tunnels to fight city budget cuts. Puerto Rican, black and Asian groups [...]

Oral History Interview with Provost Basil Wilson for a History of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

This 1999 videotaped interview with Basil Wilson, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was conducted by Professor Jerry Markowitz for Educating for Justice, a history of John Jay [...]

Graduate student support for CUNY-wide student actions

Graduate student Steven Duncombe speaks about the CUNY student occupation protesting the budget cuts and the tuition increases of 1991. This video was originally recorded for the monthly cable TV labor program, Labor at the Crossroads (or Labor X), [...]

Voice of the Voiceless, April 20, 1998

In this issue of the BMCC student newspaper, Voice of the Voiceless, the topic of Open Admissions is given full focus with more than twenty articles contributed on the subject from students across the CUNY system. The topic was given special [...]

Open Admissions Protest Flier, October 1997

This Halloween themed flier, from October 1997, calls for participation in an October 26th protest at CUNY’s administrative offices at 535 E. 80th Street. Depicted are Rudolph Giuliani, New York’s mayor, and Herman Badillo, the Vice-Chair of [...]

"A Community College Examines Its Community"

This article penned by Fern Khan examines LaGuardia Community College's efforts "to become more responsive to the varied needs of its community." This project consisted of an in-depth examination of social and economic characteristics of the [...]

LaGuardia Works: LaGuardia Community College, the First 25 Years

This booklet, published in 1997, tells the story of the first 25 years of LaGuardia Community College, from its conception as "Community College Number Nine" in 1968 through its 1971 opening and beyond. The author describes the social and economic [...]

Project Enable: Training Program for Homeless Heads of Household Residing in Hotels/Shelters

This November 1986 report details the activities of a training program for homeless mothers in New York City conducted by LaGuardia Community College's Division of Continuing Education. The program, which covered personal counselling, job training [...]

Rally Demanding Progress in Contract Negotiations

This photograph captures a rally held by the Professional Staff Congress during their deadlock with CUNY administration over the terms of a new contract in 1973. As negotiations stalled, the PSC held a number of rallies demanding that CUNY [...]

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