Press Releases | General Education

ACTA Praises CUNY Task Force Study

City University of New York Study Calls for Higher Academic Standards and Greater System-Wide Accountability
June 7, 1999

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) today praised a study issued by the Mayor’s Task Force on the City University of New York which calls for higher academic standards and greater system-wide accountability. The report culminated many months of study and public hearings on the CUNY system and calls for requiring the SAT of all CUNY applicants, instituting more selective admissions standards at CUNY’s senior colleges, and relocating remediation courses to CUNY’s community colleges.

The task force was appointed by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and chaired by former Yale President Benno Schmidt.

“CUNY has embraced a culture of mediocrity for too long. Raising standards is the only route to excellence and this task force has told CUNY it must set new standards—in admissions, in curriculum, even in governance,” said ACTA president Jerry L. Martin. “Heeding the task force’s advice can usher in a new era of excellence in which the entire CUNY community—students, teachers, faculty—can participate.”

The report responds to a call made earlier this year by members of the Committee for the CUNY Future asking the Task Force to raise academic standards. Committee members include faculty, alumni, parents and citizens concerned about the future of the CUNY system including Martin and distinguished scholars Mary Campbell Gallagher, Paula S. Fichtner, Eugene D. Genovese, Oscar Handlin, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Donald Kagan, Margaret King, and Sheldon Stern.

On behalf of the Committee, Martin called on Mayor Giuliani and New York Governor George Pataki to make sure the task force’s recommendations are implemented. Martin also praised the appointment of Herman Badillo to the chairmanship of the CUNY board of trustees, calling Badillo “the one person who cares the most about CUNY’s future.”

ACTA is a national organization of college alumni and trustees dedicated to academic freedom and excellence.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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