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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"Free Speech Victory"

Published by the "Citizens Committee for Constitutional Liberties," this is a collection of news clippings featuring articles relating to free speech issues on CUNY college campuses in 1961. The committee had formed in opposition to the [...]

Amendment to New York State Education Law (1961)

The 1961 amendment to the Education Law establishes CUNY and at the same time repeals the 1926 legal mandate for free tuition. It states that the Board of Higher Education shall be a "separate and distinct body corporate", which will administer all [...]

Statement of Policy by the Board of Higher Education

This "statement of policy", attached to the minutes from a meeting of the Board of Higher Education on July 9, 1969, reflects the culmination of negotiations between college officials and protesting City College students. The students, most of whom [...]

Press Release from Black and Puerto Rican Student Community

This press release, written by protesting black and Puerto Rican students at City College on April 26, 1969, offers insight into the group's motivation behind their protests in the preceding months. Arguing for CCNY to better serve its surrounding [...]

Newton Hall Statement

“We as white students, can either be a part of the solution or a part of the problem. At Huey P. Newton Hall of Political Action we are attempting to become a part of the solution.” In solidarity with black and Puerto Rican students, a group of [...]

Five Demands

This handout, created by a group of protesting City College students, offers insight into the motivations behind a campus-wide strike in April/May 1969. Black and Puerto Rican students, as well as white supporters, demanded the college meet these [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

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 [...]

The Gadfly, December 1966

This edition of  The Gadfly covers such topics as faculty compensation, "woefully inadequate" campus facilities, and BMCC's upcoming accreditation process. It also contains poetry, film reviews, and humorous pieces by faculty.The [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Minutes of Proceedings: Establishing Community College Number Seven

In these minutes of proceedings from a January 22, 1968 meeting of the Board of Higher Education, the Board resolves to create the "Committee to Seek Presidents for Community Colleges Seven and Eight." The committee is first tasked with filling the [...]

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 [...]

Statement by Chancellor Albert H. Bowker Announcing the Establishment of a New Community College

In this statement by CUNY Chancellor Albert H. Bowker on February 1, 1968 in Brooklyn Borough Hall, Bowker announces the establishment of a new, experimental community college in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. His announcement presents CUNY's hopes [...]

Telegram from Walter Pinkston to Chancellor Bowker: Lack of Community Involvement

In this telegram sent to Chancellor Albert Bowker on February 6, 1968, Walter Pinkston, executive director of Bedford Stuyvesant Youth in Action, decries the recent announcement of Community College No. 7 because the message was delivered without [...]

"Julius Edelstein, 93, Dies; Devised CUNY's Open Admissions"

This New York Times obituary describes the career of former Vice-Chancellor Julius C. C. Edelstein, one of the primary architects of the open admissions policy at CUNY.

Letter from CUNY Chancellor Albert Bowker: Stating Commitment to Community Involvement

This is the first of three letters sent on February 12, 1968 from Chancellor Albert Bowker in regards to his absence from a community meeting in Bedford Stuyvesant on February 10. In this letter to Walter Pinkston, executive director of Bedford [...]

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