Task Force for the Future
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as all of higher education face fundamental challenges that are completely unprecedented, Baruch’s incoming president, Dr. S. David Wu, who begins his tenure July 1, has established the Baruch College Task Force for the Future.
The topics taken on by this task force will be multifaceted and will address wide-ranging aspects of our future. But—especially in its early stages—it will focus on two main perspectives: on the immediate future of Academic Year 2020–21 and on the longer-term future. Please read the charge below for more details.
Reimagining Baruch in a Post-COVID World
Charge for the “Task Force for the Future”
May 28, 2020
S. David Wu, PhD
President-Designate, Baruch College
Introduction. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced higher education institutions to reassess the way we deliver education, research, and creative work, while maintaining the health and safety of the campus community. This is an unprecedented disruption for higher education, and for Baruch. The road to recovery will be bumpy, but it is likely to take us to a new normal, which could lead to a fundamental paradigm shift in higher education. Not only should we contemplate our place in that future, we should be poised to lead the paradigm shift through Baruch’s signature creativity and innovation. It is for this reason that, before even assuming my official duties as president, I am asking Interim Provost McCarthy to stand up a special “Task Force for the Future” immediately—we will use this crisis to put Baruch on a path to lead, to envision a transformation that allow us to deliver our mission with better quality, more flexibility, to assure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and to help hard-hit communities in New York City in the recovery from COVID-19.
Situation Analysis. Given the vertical configuration of Baruch’s campus, it is simply impossible to return to “normal” instruction in the near future while observing social distancing. Adding the public transportation challenges, and the shell-shock experienced by faculty, staff and students—who may not be ready to go back to “normal” mode of operation right away, there is a need to map out a multi-stage “reopening” plan for the coming year that is sufficiently flexible and adaptable to CUNY, NYS, and NYC policies, while positioning the College for long-term growth.
Portfolio of Modes for Future Instruction. To make sure that the faculty are empowered to deliver instruction based on pedagogical merit, they should be provided a rich portfolio of tools to create the best mode of instruction for each course. A possible framework to conceive future modes of instruction is as “sliding scale hybrid instruction.” Consider the construct of each class along the continuum of hybrid instruction. One may define this continuum based on CUNY categorization—from in-person, to web enhanced, partially online, hybrid, online, to fully online. In the immediate future, all classes may be configured as—again, using CUNY definitions—Partially Online (up to 32%), Hybrid (33-80%), or Online (80-100%). This will allow for significantly smaller number of face-to-face classes at any given time, meeting the pre-condition for social distancing. Over time, the degree of hybrid instruction will evolve. I challenge the task force to conceive an intentional and systematic regime, considering:
- Mobilize the faculty to map out their classes in one of three modalities (PO, H, O), with guidelines based on pedagogical needs and subject to space limitations, perhaps with assistance from Baruch’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL);
- Given the course mapping, configure the registration and class scheduling system to accommodate the offerings;
- Redeploy academic resources to support faculty and staff in the new reality.
Position Baruch for the Future:
- Located in lower Manhattan, Baruch has inherited physical constrains that limit its capacity for future growth;
- A majority of Baruch’s academic programs are quite conducive to incorporating some degree of hybrid instruction. The core competency (such as that of the CTL) in supporting such instruction is strong, but additional investment and partnerships will be essential as we increase the scale and sophistication of enhanced hybrid learning;
- Shifting to a sliding scale hybrid instruction offers Baruch new opportunities to innovate as a leading urban institution. For example, hybrid instructions allow room to incorporate significant experiential and service learning components, allowing faculty to leverage the richness of the City through co-op, internships, and community engagement;
- A dedicated “Baruch for New York” service learning initiative could mobilize Baruch students and faculty to engage and assist hard-hit communities in New York City in the recovery effort from COVID-19. The service learning component could be designed and imbedded into hybrid instruction as projects or assignments, or as credit bearing experiential courses;
- The task force is encouraged to envision, over multiple stages, build-in flexibility for faculty/staff to come back on campus over the coming months. It should open new opportunities for faculty/staff to conceive more productive ways to work and collaborate.
Specifically, I am charging the Task Force for the Future to consider the following areas:
- instructional and research programs of the College,
- administrative, technological, and operational functions,
- admission, enrollment, and student services
- facilities, safety, and college services,
- financial implications and economic impact,
- communications, branding and reputational impact
- “Task Force of the Future” begins with a “Charge and Kick-off Meeting” during the week of May 25th.
- Task Force starts working, with the aim to producing an initial report by June 30th, one that provides a concrete, comprehensive plan for the fall 2020, and spring 2021.
- Task Force, simultaneously, launches the preparation of a subsequent report that will present an expansive and ambitious “Conceptual Framework for The Future” (i.e., Academic Year 2021-2022 and beyond). This Framework will be presented in draft form by August 31st, and in final form by September 30th.
- Community updates will be provided throughout the Summer, and feedback will be encouraged throughout the process.
- Following the completion of the “Conceptual Framework”, an extensive communication effort will begin, and further College-wide engagement in implementing the Framework will continue into the future.
Below you will find messages related to the Task Force for the Future and meeting agendas.
- 06/02/2020 – Baruch’s Task Force for the Future
- 05/21/2020 – Announcing the Baruch Task Force for the Future
- 05/28/2020 – Inaugural Meeting
- 06/04/2020 – Meeting #2
- 06/11/2020 – Meeting #3
- 06/18/2020 – Meeting #4
- 06/25/2020 – Meeting #5
The Task Force for the Future, to be chaired by Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs James McCarthy, with representatives from across Baruch, will marshal the deep experience and knowledge bases that faculty and staff possess to help reimagine what the future of Baruch will be as a leading educational institution, especially as one that continues to set the standards for academic excellence and as a powerful engine of social and economic mobility
- Edward Adams, Registrar’s Office
- Jeremy Block, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
- Ann Clarkson, CAPS
- Paquita Davis-Friday, Zicklin School Business
- Patria De Lancer Julnes, Marxe School of Public International Affairs
- Shelly Eversley, Department of Black & Latino Studies
- Mary Finnen, Business & Finance
- Eric Gander, Department of Communication Studies,
- Leslie Ann Hunt, Weissman School Arts Sciences
- Gary Hentzi ,Weissman School Arts Sciences
- Samuel Johnson Jr., Department of Psychology
- Allison Lehr-Samuels, Center for Teaching and Learning
- Bang Lu, Zicklin School Business
- Marios Koufaris, Department of Information Systems & Statistics
- Lawrence Manganello, Facilities & Operations
- Edward Martin, Stan Ross Department of Accountancy
- David Milch, Department of Fine and Performing Arts
- Kristy Perez, SEEK Program
- Michael Richichi, BCTC
- Dennis Slavin, Academic Affairs
- Damali Smith Tolson Student Life
- Don Waisanen, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
- Leanna Yip, Office of Communications, Marketing, & Public Affairs
- James McCarthy, Provost
- Erika Stauffer, Provost’s Office
- A Day in the Life This Fall (Faculty Edition)
- An Urgent Time for a Year Off Campus
- Colleges and Universities Prepare for Fall Classes in the Middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education
- Coronavirus & Educational Equity: Supporting New York’s College Students Through the Pandemic
- Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction
- Ebola Media Relations – Nebraska Medicine
- Forceful Compassion: The Trauma Experience of My Baruch College Students in NYC During Spring 2020
- Higher Ed Survey Highlights the Academic, Financial, and Emotional Toll of Coronavirus on Students
- How Did My College Distance Learning Go During Lock-Down in Spring 2020? Tips!
- ICS Review Document
- Nine Ways to Reimagine Higher Education
- Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education
- Pandemic Prep: Training Your Students and Your Instructors
- Patriot Tiger Team Report on Fall 2020 Options
- Personalized Learning at Purdue University Global
- Reopening New York: Higher Education Guidelines
- Restart Standards for all New Jersey Institutions of Higher Education
- Secondary Traumatic Stress: A Fact Sheet for Child-Serving Professionals
- The Coming Disruption
- The Future of College is Online, and it’s Cheaper
- The Future of Higher Education Will Be the Same, but Worse
- The Pandemic is the Time to Resurrect the Public University
- The Plan for College Budgets Next Year? Improvise
- The Results are in for Remote Learning: It Didn’t Work
- The Single Most Essential Requirement in Designing a Fall Online Course
- University at Buffalo Campus Plan: Fall 2020 Semester
- Useful Tips and Insights to Help you Through the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond
- What Will College Be Like in the Fall?
- 10 Tips for Effective Crisis Communications
We encourage all members of the Baruch College community to share their ideas and suggestions on how we can move this very important initiative forward.
Please use this form to submit feedback to the task force.