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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Guidebook for the Implementation of Asian American Studies at CUNY

This guidebook, published in November of 1995, was assembled by members of the Asian American Studies Faculty Development and Curriculum Project, a $15,000 initiative funded by the CUNY Office for Faculty Development. The guidebook provides [...]

Slave Labor in CUNY: The Plight of the Adjunct

"Slave Labor in CUNY: The Plight of the Adjunct," published in the City College of New York's (CCNY) Student Senate Publication in November 1979, attempted to dispel any misconceptions about adjunct faculty’s working conditions by highlighting the [...]

The Struggle Continues

Promoting solidarity and coalition building across CUNY campuses, this flyer called on students at Bronx Community College, Lehman College, and Hostos Community College to join a May 2, 1991 rally at Hostos Community College in the Bronx followed by [...]

Demand Amnesty for the Protestors

This City College memorandum was a call for supporters of the CUNY strike to contact President Harleston and Vice President Mac Donald and "demand amnesty for the [CCNY] protestors." The document explained that the students who had taken over the [...]

Harlem Demonstration

"Why pay more for less" read a protest sign. As student takeovers spread to more City University of New York (CUNY) campuses, CUNY students organized marches and rallies across the city. These images show students marching to City College in Harlem, [...]

We Can Win! Your Involvement is Crucial! – CCNY Student Strikes

Written three weeks into the City University of New York (CUNY) strikes of 1991, this flyer, signed CCNY STRIKE STUDENTS (City College of New York), urged students to support the movement and attend general assemblies. Daily mass general assemblies [...]

CUNY Students March and Rally

This flyer promoted a city-wide protest scheduled for April 24, 1991, at the World Trade Center. Drawing connections between the struggles of students, community, and labor, this flyer stated, “success in our struggle will only come if we fight [...]

Support CUNY Student Strikes!

“No Budget Cuts! No Tuition Hikes!” This 1991 flyer promoted a City University of New York (CUNY) wide rally on April 12th at City College of New York (CCNY). Chronicling April 8th’s CCNY and Borough of Manhattan student takeovers; and April [...]

Tweet: City College Bathrooms Under Repair Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

As with most public institutions, during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the City University of New York (CUNY) struggled with acquiring sufficient funding to meet the infrastructural needs of its physical facilities. With this tweet, [...]

Oral History Interview with Stuart Schaar

This interview with Stuart Schaar, Professor Emeritus of Middle East History at Brooklyn College, was conducted by Douglas Medina for his research on Open Admissions at CUNY. Stuart Schaar was raised in the Bronx and attended the City College of [...]

Oral History Interview with Stella Zahn, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education

In this impromptu interview conducted on July 27, 2013, Stella Zahn discusses the mission, students, and founding years of the Sophie Davis Biomedical School established in 1973. Stella was initially hired to be Director of Student Services but [...]

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 Henry Arce

In this interview conducted about CUNY’s Open Admissions program, Arce describes his journey from the NYC Public School system to graduating from college. He credits his mother, who raised him alone in a Puerto Rican, immigrant community, for [...]

"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 [...]

Oral History Interview with Allen Ballard

This oral history interview was conducted on April 4, 2014 at SUNY Albany. Allen Ballard grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and arrived at the City College of New York in 1960 as an assistant professor of Political Science. He was one of the [...]

Cottrell Report: Public Higher Education in the City of New York

This 48-page report provides a comprehensive survey of New York City's higher educational institutions in 1950 and its outlook over the next two decades. Commissioned by the Board of Higher Education, the study sought to identify, anticipate, and [...]

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 [...]

CCNY Protest Flier

This April/May 1969 flier was created to protest police presence on campus and police brutality that many student activists objected to at City College. College administrators requested the police in order to secure the conditions necessary to [...]

"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 [...]

Minutes of April 1965 CCNY "Special Committee"

One week after CCNY President Buell Gallagher obtained faculty approval for its creation, he sat in on this “Special Committee” meeting chaired by Bernard Levy to begin to plan a new racial and social justice admissions and support program that [...]

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 [...]

Janet Mayes: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960’s SEEK Program

In this oral history interview, Janet Mayes, a City College SEEK writing teacher reflects on her experiences with the program. Mayes joined CCNY in the spring of 1967, making her one of the seven original SEEK writing lecturers. She co-taught a SEEK [...]

Statement of Professor John A. Davis

In this 1965 statement Professor John A. Davis demands that his colleagues at City College take action to increase minority representation at the school. He writes that two years had “passed since various units of City College have been [...]

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 [...]

Allen B. Ballard: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In September of 1965, City College launched SEEK, a desegregation and supportive teaching program that quickly became the direct model for new Equal Opportunity Programs at dozens of New York colleges. Here SEEK founder Allen Ballard remembers the [...]

Francee Covington: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program and The Paper

In 1966, Francee Covington entered City College as one the first class of SEEK students. Here, Francee remembers growing up in Brooklyn, her years as a City College student and her student journalism work on The Paper. Short for "Search for [...]

Marvina White: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In this interview, Marvina White recounts growing up on Dyckman Street in Upper Manhattan and entering City College as part of the first class of SEEK students in 1966. White also analyzes how SEEK-- especially SEEK teachers and counsellors Barbara [...]

Eugenia Wiltshire: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In this oral history interview, Eugenia Wiltshire (nee Dorothy Robinson) recalls her time attending City College in 1966-70 as one of CUNY's first SEEK students. Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge," SEEK was established in [...]

"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 Struggle For Speech at CCNY, 1931-42

Based on the exhibition "Protest and Repression: The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY, 1931-42," mounted at The Graduate Center, CUNY, February 4 to March 4, 2005. This exhibition was first mounted at the Morris Raphael Cohen Library, The City [...]

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