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Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents

Your Committee on Cultural Education had its scheduled meeting on May 6, 2019. Regent Roger Tilles and Regent Judith Johnson, Co-Chairs of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Co-Chair, Regent Johnson, Co-Chair, Regent Cea, Regent Cottrell and Regent Mead. Regents, in addition to Cultural Education Committee members, in attendance were: Chancellor Rosa, Vice Chancellor Brown, Regent Cashin, Regent Collins, and Regent Mittler. Also in attendance were Commissioner Elia, Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin, and Deputy Counsel Alison Bianchi.  


Co-Chairs Regent Tilles and Regent Johnson welcomed everyone. Deputy Commissioner Schaming provided a brief report on Office of Cultural Education news and activities:

  • The New York State Museum recently repatriated a wampum belt, known as the “Ransom Wampum Belt”, to the Onondaga Nation. It was repatriated under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act as an “object of cultural patrimony” or an object of ongoing cultural importance belonging to a nation.
  • The State Museum has launched a new online resource for teachers about New York’s Dutch history, including an educational guide, photos of historic artifacts and artwork, and video interviews with experts. Funded through a generous grant from the Dutch Culture USA program administered by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, the educational guide provides five lessons that introduce students to Fort Orange (present-day Albany, NY) and the world of New Netherland, the first Dutch colony in North America.
  • Social studies educators from the BOCES and Big 5 Statewide Social Studies Network visited the Cultural Education Center in January for a day-long experience of the educational resources at the Office of Cultural Education. The educators met with social studies staff from P-12’s curriculum office, took a behind-the-scenes tour of the State Museum’s history collection, studied primary source documents from the State Library and State Archives that they could use in the classroom, and learned about PBS resources and the Summer School of the Arts.
  • The State Library is partnering again with myON this year on the summer reading program. Children will have free access to over 6,000 e-books on the myON digital library May 1 through September 30, 2019.

Amendment of Regents Advisory Council on Libraries Bylaws [CE (A) 1]
Deputy Commissioner Schaming presented for approval amendments to the bylaws of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries. The Council amended their Bylaws at their November 30, 2018 meeting, consisting of minor changes as well as amending the total number of members to reflect the Board of Regents’ action in October 2017 to increase membership of the Advisory Council.

Motion by: Regent Johnson
Seconded by: Regent Cea
Action: Unanimous vote for approval.

Proposed Amendment to §179.3 and §179.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Public Broadcasting [CE (D) 2]
Deputy Commissioner Schaming presented a proposed amendment to Commissioner’s regulations relating to public broadcasting. The amendments relate to the annual financial report required of public broadcasting stations as well as each station’s educational service committees. These amendments will reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and expand the pool of qualified educators to serve of stations’ educational service committees. These amendments will be posted for a 60-day public comment period later this month.

Public Broadcasting – GPS for Success (Discussion) [CE (D) 1]
Julie Daniels, Director of Educational Television and Public Broadcasting introduced staff from WPBS (Watertown PBS station) to discuss their educational programs including “GPS for Success”. Lynn Brown, WPBS President and General Manager, and Kraig Everard, WPBS Director of Advancement, detailed how “GPS for Success” provides students and young adults with information about career opportunities, income potential, and education/training requirements in careers experiencing a shortage of skilled workers.

State Museum’s Natural History Collections [CE (D) 3]
Dr. Jeremy Kirchman, curator of ornithology at the New York State Museum, presented an overview of how the Museum’s natural history collections are used for diverse research and education. The Museum’s natural history curators collect, interpret, and make available important specimens from the state’s past and present to document our changing natural environment. The Museum also supports students (high school and undergraduate interns, and graduate-student fellows) and researchers that pursue study on the natural history collections.

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Monday, May 6, 2019 - 3:15pm