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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CUNY SEEK and Open Admissions Oral Histories

This is a website of oral histories by CUNY students and teachers telling stories about the founding and early years of SEEK at City College. It also contains stories about teaching writing in the first decade of Open Admissions across CUNY.

SEEK Matters, Spring 1969

SEEK Matters, a bilingual literary magazine produced by the SEEK University Center in 1969 published student essays, poems and illustrations that reflected their experiences. Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge," SEEK was [...]

A Proposal for the Establishment of Community College Number Seven

This proposal for the founding of Community College Number Seven (later named Medgar Evers College) was put forward by the Board of Higher Education in November 1967. In this excerpt (pages 11-15), the Board establishes their desire to place a new [...]

Press Release – A New Experimental College

In this press release, The City University of New York's Office of University Relations announces the creation of a new, experimental, two-year college to be "established on a community-oriented basis in central Brooklyn." The press release [...]

Proposal to Plan and Implement Departmental Programs for Community College No. 7

This document describes previous authorizations regarding the creation of Community College No. 7 (Medgar Evers College) and three additional community colleges. It goes on to detail one of the more unique features of the college: a community [...]

"Taught" by Marie Jean Lederman, 1973

In this piece of narrative nonfiction, Baruch College Professor Marie Jean Lederman reflects on her experience teaching remedial Freshman English at the University Center SEEK in the late 1960s.

UFCT Legislative Memo: Petition Against State Budget Cuts

This memo was issued to the members of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT) on behalf of union president Israel Kugler. It announces a petition drive against proposed budget cuts at CUNY. The document illustrates that even in times of [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

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