The HEO Forum was formed during the Spring 1995 semester following the declaration of fiscal exigency by CUNY and the non-reappointment of 18 HEOs, based solely on the “financial ability” clause and prior to the establishment of the Hunter College Retrenchment Committee. Its purpose is to represent actively an essential, yet diverse segment of the Hunter College community. We are NOT a union nor are we affiliated with any organization or chapter.
There are over 200 HEO positions at Hunter College and all persons holding the title are considered members of the Forum. A Steering Committee of 11 members, elected from and by active duty HEOs, is the principal arm of the Forum for intra- and inter-college relations
HEOs are classified as non-teaching instructional staff. They are appointed annually for the first four years and then, under provisions of the PSC-CUNY contract, receive multi-year reappointment until the 13.3b Certificate of Continual Administrative Service is reached, at present after eight full years of service. HEOs cannot receive tenure.
For the most part, HEOs work a 35-hour week for 12 months a year, including the January intersession and summer session periods, and earn annual and sick leave according to a set formula.
Qualifications and Responsibilities
All HEOs occupy positions of responsibility and the performance of their assigned tasks is essential to the day-to-day operation of the College. HEOs are found in virtually all areas of the college administration: academic areas (e.g., schools, divisions, departments, learning centers), administrative areas (e.g., registrar, admissions, testing, facilities, security, business office, institutional advancement), student services (e.g., advising, career counseling, resident hall operation, social services), and the various designated centers and specialized institutes that exist within the framework of the College (e.g., El Centro, Center on Aging, IELI).
The majority of HEOs have educational levels and performance skills well beyond the minimums established by CUNY for these positions. Many have managerial, administrative and organizational skills, while a select number have special talents and unique technical skills, as those in computer-related operations, that are essential to the running of the College.
Many HEOs are involved in the decision and policy-making aspects of their unit, and therefore have a hand in shaping the destiny of the College. Over the last five years HEOs have been appointed to many college-wide committees, such as the searches for senior administrators and directors, review of programs, Middle States Accreditation, the Strategic Plan, Campus Climate, and honorary degrees. HEO representatives sit on the Faculty Personnel and Budget Committee, the Senate, and the HEO Screening Committee. When HEOs are removed from the Hunter College Table of Organization, an abyss appears that cannot be filled from the ranks of the teaching faculty nor covered by the civil service secretarial staff.
A June 2001 survey of Hunter College’s 207 HEOs, of which 129 or 62% responded, provided the following data.
Across all areas of the College, the functional titles of HEOs show the breadth of their responsibility. A sample of these titles include:
Director of … Program Manager
Center Director Special Assistant to ...
Media Director Program Coordinator
Assistant to Dean Financial Aide Counselor
Assistant to Chair Executive Assistant to ...
Center Librarian Assistant Program Coordinator
The survey found that Hunter HEOs are educationally, a highly qualified group. Of those surveyed, more than 61% have degrees beyond the minimum requirement for the position. Many have more than one master’s degree and nearly 10% have doctorates.
When length of service is viewed, Hunter HEOs as a group can be classified as experienced and dedicated. Nearly 70% of the HEOs have between 13 and 31 years of service to the College. Over half have been here between 13 and 25 years. There is also a sizeable group of recent additions to the staff. Nearly 25% of those responding have been at Hunter for less than 5 years. The average length of service is 14.5 years.