Open Forum With Dean Elliott
by Lemuel Morrison, MBA 2012 with Emily McMillen, MBA, Accounting 2012
This evening Dean Elliott met with graduate students to talk about the Academic Excellence Fee (AEF) and to answer questions. He spoke about the background of the plan and why the AEF evolved as it did. It has been in the works for 5 years and suddenly came to pass this summer. A lawsuit by Lehman College students over the approval process delayed the official announcement. The implementation was far from ideal he agreed.
The AEF aims to allow improvements that will enhance the graduate experience, such as:
- address long wait times at the GCMC and Academic Advisement Offices;
- enable the School to do outreach;
- help students to build confidence in seizing opportunities;
- improve our reputation;
- create more ways for working students to get the assistance they need;
- provide a method and funds for travel vouchers; and
- prepare more materials to guide students and inform recruiters
I am graduating in the next semester. Why couldn’t you implement this fee in a delayed or staggered fashion?
- The opening to implement this arrived suddenly and caught us with an imperfect plan;
- The CUNY Board of Trustees is many degrees removed and paints in broad strokes;
- There are and always will be many benefits, some uneven, across a very large institution; and
- The long-term benefit will come to you as an alumnus. A rising tide of reputation and improvements will float all the boats of 110k alumni network.
If a plan is not in place, what assurance do I have that there will be any improvements in the near future?
- The process takes time. There isn’t even agreement yet on how many students are full-time and how may are part-time. Thus the amount of funds available has not been settled; and
- You will see additional graduate assistants in this semester. A full-time staff member takes a bit more time, but will be online by semester’s end.
Before I get anything approved by my boss or client, I have to show a plan? Why not in this situation?
- Unfortunately, the process at CUNY is not the same as in business world — if only it were that easy. There are many restrictions and requirements placed upon the institution by the State.