CUNY Digital History Archive

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"Before Open Admissions there was a lot of the haves and the have-nots." – An Oral History Interview with Donal Farley

Following almost 10 years at the NYC Budget Bureau, Donal Farley began his employment at CUNY Central in 1967 as Assistant to the first Vice Chancellor for Campus Planning and Development Seymour Hyman. Under Chancellor Albert Bowker, he eventually assumed the position of Vice Chancellor and held that position until 1992.

In this interview conducted by Douglas Medina for his research on Open Admissions at CUNY, Farley discusses his personal and work life before CUNY and then discusses some of the key issues and events during his time as Vice Chancellor. Farley's early years were a time of great expansion for CUNY and Farley tells of the poor existing conditions of CUNY buildings and the influx of new funding for construction projects. He was intimately involved in all building projects during his tenure and shares information on the process of securing new space for CUNY schools and building new sites.

The time of Open Admissions was a particularly contentious one and Farley discusses not only the political decisions that were made regarding establishing new colleges but also the fiscal and practical decisions that impacted outcomes. The 70s fiscal crisis created pressure to reduce costs for CUNY, cut funding for facilities, and impose tuition and raise fees for students. Farley shares insights and opinions on these topics and various related incidents.

Source | Medina, Douglas
Creator | Medina, Douglas
Date Created | August 16, 2013
Interviewer | Medina, Douglas
Interviewee | Farley, Donal
Rights | Obtain From Medina, Douglas
Item Type | Oral History (Digital)
Cite This document | Medina, Douglas, “"Before Open Admissions there was a lot of the haves and the have-nots." – An Oral History Interview with Donal Farley,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed July 2, 2022,

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