Vol. 11, No. 3 May 13, 1998
With all the released time she is able to grab, she enjoys life without the trauma of teaching. We are therefore not at all surprised that the Queen of Released Time is now seeking the position of Secretary of the University Faculty Senate. This position would assure her substantial released lime for the next two years. She calculates that the released time payoff is much more substantial than the work of secretary of the UFS. This is especially true since the minutes of the Senate are recorded and transcribed by an outside agency. Furthermore, the responsibilities of preparing and mailing meeting agendas are carried out by the hard-working staff of the Senate.
A few years ago, the Queen of Released Time convinced the Senate leadership that she would be such a good UFS Newsletter editor that it would be all right for her to get released time even if it meant a violation of the Senate's Charter. Over the years, she has continued the good life of released time for supposedly writing the Newsletter which generally comprises four pages and includes items from the Plenary sessions, one full page written by the Chair of the Senate, one page listing the Senate committees and elected senators, and various inconsequential items. Under the Queen of Released Time's editorship, the number of issues per academic year has been reduced from three to two. In addition, there have been frequent complaints that the Newsletter is never published on time. We venture to say that it is not untrue that much of the preparation of the Newsletter is being performed by that ever-loyal Senate staff.
Some three years ago, with the sudden death of the KCC/PSC Chapter Chair, an opportunity arose for the Queen of Released Time to grab that released time. She positioned herself appropriately, took advantage of the disorganized Chapter Executive Committee, and snatched the chairmanship in an uncontested election, thus making herself eligible for (what else?) released time. As her three-year term draws to an end, we are unable to point to a single contribution of the Queen of Released Time to improving the working conditions of KCC/PSC faculty. Dissatisfaction over the Queen's performance has reached such high proportion that, there was not a single individual that we know of who wanted to run with the Queen for her reelection as Chapter Chair. The Queen, however, has been astute and calculating. Not admitting to the fact that she has lost the confidence of the faculty, she announced that she has ''decided not to run again for chapter chair" because she has received a two-year CUNY Collaborative Grant. Of course, knowing that she was going to lose her released time as a Chapter Chair, the Queen has now positioned herself for the UFS Secretary position which will assure her even more released time than she lost from the union.
On May 19, the Senate must decide whether or not to vote for Ms. O'Malley as UFS Secretary. Can the Senate afford to elect such a person, when it really needs an individual with credibility who is willing to give time and effort to deal with the monumental problems facing CUNY? Consider the following points:
First, the Queen of Released Time has already announced that she will be on sabbatical for a year, beginning Spring 1999. Do you really want to elect a Secretary for a two-year term when she will only be available for one year for Senate's work?
Second, her term as KCC senator will expire in 1998/99. She will be contesting her seat in a December 1998 election. If the 1995 election was any barometer, this coming election will not be a picnic for the Queen of Released Time. We are pretty sure that the Queen will be so preoccupied with her own survival as KCC senator that she will have little time for Senate work. Does it make sense to vote for a candidate who will be preoccupied with her own election in addition to her one year sabbatical?
Third, as stated earlier, the Queen of Released time had (to put it mildly) a very difficult time on campus in her bid for Senate reelection in 1995. She first lost the election, claimed technical irregularities in the conduct of the election, and even had Chair Cooper, in violation of the charter, intervene in the campus electoral process. Out of desperation, she had Chair Cooper write a letter endorsing her candidacy, totally disregarding the rights of the other faculty member who opposed her. Finally, with a great deal of nonstop campaigning, the Queen of Released Time won in a rerun election with the most minuscule margin imaginable. Our prediction for her reelection bid in December 1998 is that she is destined to lose.
Our advice to Senate members is that during these troubled times, you elect someone who is hard working, sincere, and committed. There are many such people in the Senate. Do not elect one whose main interest is the "perk" -- released time.