NYC Councilman Initiates Petition to CUNY re Petraeus

NYC Councilman Brad Lander has initiated a petition to CUNY.

The request is straightforward:

Rescind the $150,000 payday for David Petraeus and put those funds toward supporting low-income students or for more teachers.

So is the explanation:

At a time when the City University of New York (CUNY) pays an adjunct faculty member carrying a full course load as little as $25,000 per year, the university has offered former CIA Director David Petraeus $150,000 to teach a seminar next year. That is just 15-20 students.

Even though these are private donations, they surely could be better spent – to help students who cannot afford to pay the 30% tuition increase that CUNY has been implementing over five years. And it is outrageous to spend so much on one class, when some CUNY classes are so over-subscribed that students sit on windowsills and radiators because all the seats are full.

CUNY has been underfunded for decades – a sad sign of our under-commitment to higher education. That means the CUNY administration needs to make every dollar count toward educating the young people of New York.

CUNY’s mission is to provide a college education to the “children of the whole people,” and these expenditures of funds are an insult to the people of New York, especially those most connected to CUNY, and that mission.

So sign the petition here. And please circulate it widely on FB, Twitter, and other social networks.


  1. Jamie July 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm | #

    A small quibble: the “salary” for adjuncts has been overstated in pretty much every media report I’ve seen. The 25,000 seems more than a little inflated. Aside from the fact that securing enough courses is itself a major issue, adjunct classes pay 2,900 per class (granted, with seniority increases it is more, but these take a long time to kick in, and there are many reasons why they don’t always kick in), and the CUNY PSC limits adjuncts to a 3/3 load. That totals to 17,400. In many cases, adjuncts can pick up a course or two over the summer, but even then, it brings the total to 23,200. So, given the best possible situation (which itself is a rarity), a full-time adjunct would make more like 23,000 than 25,000. This might seem like nothing much, but when you’re living on that little, 2,000 is a big deal. It’s a whole extra course. And none of this is to mention that finding 8 courses to teach in a year is itself a feat. I think if we looked at what the average adjunct makes, rather than the topmost amount they could possibly make, we’d find that the 17,000 figure, or maybe 20,000, is probably much more accurate.

Leave a Reply