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Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 11:00pm

                                                                       Report of

                                     REGENTS HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE


                                                           The Board of Regents

March 17, 2009


              Your Higher Education Committee held its scheduled meeting on March 16, 2009.  All members were present.


Consent Agenda


Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents amend section 145-2.15 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to the Administration of Ability-to-Benefit Tests for Purposes of Eligibility for Awards of Student Aid, effective April 9, 2009.  [HE (CA) 1]


Action Items


              Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents continue accreditation of the teacher education programs offered by Wells College for a period beginning immediately and ending on March 14, 2012, with the condition that the annual reports confirm satisfactory progress in all areas for improvement and demonstrate sustainability, which include, but are not limited to 1) adequacy of faculty; 2) an effective systematic assessment system that informs program improvements; 3) field experiences in high-need schools; and 4) adequate resources to support the teacher education programs.   [HE (A) 1]


              Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents authorize Briarcliffe College – Bethpage and Patchogue campuses to award the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree and approve a master plan amendment to authorize the College to offer a B.S. degree program in Criminal Justice.  [HE (A) 2]


Your Committee recommends that that the Board of Regents approves The City University of New York Master Plan, 2008-2012 for incorporation into the Statewide Plan for Higher Education.  The Committee was joined for this discussion by members of CUNY leadership: Alexandra Logue, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost; Russell K. Hotzler, President, New York City College of Technology; Garrie W. Moore, Vice Chancellor for Student Development; Elliott Dawes, Director, CUNY Black Male Initiative; Christopher Rosa, University Director of Student Affairs for Disability and Veterans Services, and David Crook, University Dean for Institutional Research and Assessment.   Interim Vice Chancellor Logue presented a report entitled, “Trends in Student Enrollment, Preparation and Performance at the City University of New York.”  The Committee raised questions on alternative pathways for teacher certification, the tracking of students and dropouts, and transfer rates between SUNY and CUNY.  CUNY is in the planning process for a new community college that will focus on associate degree students and helping them succeed.   The Committee was also provided information on the CUNY/VESID partnership, the Black Male Initiative, and how success is measured for these targeted populations. When asked what the Board of Regents can do to assist CUNY in meeting its goals, the panel indicated that continued development of the P-16 data system will provide the data necessary to track students and report on student, program and college success.    [HE (A) 3]




              Mr. Chancellor and Colleagues:  Your Higher Education Committee recommends, and I move, that the Board of Regents act affirmatively upon each recommendation in the written report of the Committee's deliberations at its meeting on March 17, 2009, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.






Teacher Tenure regulations – The Committee was provided with information on draft emergency regulations that will be brought to them for discussion at the April meeting of the Higher Education Committee.  A recent Commissioner’s decision under Section 310 of the Education Law uncovered a long-standing gap in the Department’s teacher tenure regulations. Specifically, following this decision it became apparent that the existing regulations call for a teacher to accrue tenure in his/her tenure area, and that the teacher must be employed as a classroom teacher for at least 40 percent of his/her time.  This is a problem for those individuals that have been asked to take on assignments such as curriculum specialists, professional developers, committee chairs, and other special assignments.  If those individuals are not employed as classroom teachers for at least 40 percent of their time, they cannot accrue additional time to the tenure area of their base certificate.  This will impact on the seniority rights of many teachers and any contemplated reductions in the workforce to respond to economic conditions.    A memo is going to the field asking districts to wait until the Regents have acted on these emergency regulations in April before finalizing staffing plans for the 2009-10 school year.  Meetings with key constituency groups will be held in the next week or so to ensure that the final emergency regulations are been fully vetted and all concerns are considered. 


Structure and Content of Programs and Certificates for Teachers of Students with Disabilities (SWD) - The Committee discussed proposed recommendations for restructuring the certification of teachers of students with disabilities to address shortages, particularly in Grades 7-12.    The Department received extensive feedback and input from the field during the two-year process of developing these recommendations as well as reviewing how other states structure their certification systems.  The recommendations are:


  • Expand the SWD Early Childhood range to Birth to Grade 3.
  • Expand the SWD Childhood range to include Pre-K and K.
  • Recast the SWD Adolescence (7-12) credential to create a single SWD Adolescence Generalist certificate that includes a multidisciplinary core.
  • Strengthen the requirement for collaboration.
  • Strengthen requirements for understanding the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Expand movement between students with disabilities certification and retain the current path for general educators to become certified special education teachers.
  • Eliminate the SWD 5-9 certificate.


The Committee asked for additional clarification on some of the data concerning teacher shortages as well as a better understanding of the input received from the field and all options available. [HE (D) 1]


              That concludes our report.




                                                                                            Harry Phillips, 3rd, Co-Chairperson




                                                                                            Milton L. Cofield, Co-Chairperson