CUNY Affirmative Action Trends

The City University of New York Affirmative Action Trends from 1978 to 2006 and the
Average Annual Employment Rates since 1993
by Race and Ethnicity


In 1970, The City University of New York (CUNY) opened its doors to all New York City high school graduates. This open admissions policy was designed to increase enrollment from the City’s “minority population”. It was these policies that led to an influx of Italian American students at CUNY. Simultaneously, the Italian American faculty and staff expressed dissatisfaction with its own small numbers of professionals available to address the unique needs of these students. In addition, Italian American faculty and staff were increasingly reporting professional and personal experiences of “discrimination” with respect to promotion and hiring practices within CUNY.

As a result of this situation, on December 9, 1976 Chancellor Robert J. Kibbee issued a directive in a memorandum to the CUNY Council of Presidents, formally designating Italian Americans an Affirmative Action category.

The Calandra Italian American Institute graphically summarizes the annual Affirmative Action Data by College, Ethnicity, and Gender (Volume I: Instructional Staff) prepared by the University Affirmative Action Office, Office of Faculty and Staff Relations of The City University of New York. The attached graphs from 1978 to 2003 summarizes Italian Americans, federal protected classes, and white (non-Italian American) in the total instructional staff, faculty, Higher Education Officers and Executives and Deans.  These summaries are distributed to CUNY Trustees, College Presidents, Affirmative Action Officers and interested faculty and staff for ascertaining the progress of Italian American hiring and promotions in the University.

The data on Italian-American faculty and staff has been collected annually since 1977, with the first reliable database compiled in 1978.  The following graphs provide a historical trend of the percentage representation of all faculty and staff including White (non-Italian-American), Federal Affirmative Action Groups (Hispanic, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander) and Italian-American in all teaching faculty staff positions from 1978 to 2003.