Friday, June 17, 2005

CU 110th Street School material]

Subject:[Fwd: School material]
Date:6/17/2005 2:10:01 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

FYI-The provost's web site is


June 16, 2005

Dear Colleagues:

Earlier this year, I asked a faculty task force to prepare a report on several issues of importance to the University community related to the K-8 School that Columbia opened in the fall of 2003. The task force has now presented its report to me. I want, first, to thank the members of the task force, and its chair, Professor Christia Mercer, for their hard work and for their thoughtful and intelligent recommendations. The School was created in large part to serve the educational needs of faculty children, and so it is appropriate for faculty to be at the center of our effort to chart the future of the School within the University. Their report will be available shortly on my website.

The report made a number of recommendations, including some that offered several options and others that will have to be considered over the course of the next year and beyond. But there are decisions that I believe it is important for us to make immediately, and I want to let you know now what the University�s policies on admissions and financial aid will be for the 2005-06 academic year. I also want to remind University families interested in the School that they should prepare for the possibility that their children will not be admitted and should actively pursue other options at the same time they are applying to the Columbia School. A School Search Service will be available beginning in the fall to assist University officers in identifying educational options for their children. I will make details of this service available to the University community at the beginning of the coming academic year.

The following are the admissions polices for the 2005-06 academic year:

1. There will be no change in the admissions or financial aid policies that we have been following for non-Columbia families from the community.

2. All families with children currently enrolled in the School, including those who enroll in the fall of 2005, will be guaranteed a continuation of existing financial aid policies for these children throughout their time in the School, even if financial aid policies change at some future date.

3. The siblings of students currently in the School or entering in the fall of 2005, both from Columbia families and from non-Columbia families, will receive preference for admission to kindergarten. We are not at this time guaranteeing sibling preference for children who enroll in 2006 and beyond, and we are not promising sibling preference for children applying to any grade other than kindergarten. To be eligible for this preference, siblings must reside in the same household.

4. In the admissions season that begins in the fall of 2005, we will again have a lottery for University children applying to kindergarten in the School if, as seems highly likely, there are not enough spaces available to accommodate everyone. The priorities for the lottery are as follows:

� Group I (first priority): Full-time officers of instruction of professorial rank (meaning assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors, professors of practice, and clinical professors) who are eligible for the PTS benefit. That benefit is restricted to officers whose principal residence and that of their children is in one of the five boroughs of Manhattan.

� Group II (second priority): PTS-eligible Officers of the Libraries, Officers of Research, Teachers from the K-8 School itself, and all Officers of Instruction not contained in Group I. No one will be admitted from Group II until everyone in Group I is accommodated.

� Group III (third priority): Officers of Administration and any other PTS-eligible officers. No one will be admitted from Group III until everyone in Groups I and II is admitted.

This process will govern admissions to kindergarten only. Available spaces in grades above kindergarten are likely to be so scarce that they must be held in reserve for faculty recruitment and retention. Any spaces not needed for that purpose will be released for other University applicants and allotted by lottery if necessary, using the same priorities listed above.

5. The task force has recommended that a pool of spaces in kindergarten be reserved from the lottery for use in the recruitment and retention of faculty. I have accepted that recommendation. To the extent possible, I will use these discretionary spaces as well to provide access to the School for the existing children of teachers currently in the School. Teachers who begin teaching in the School in fall 2005 and beyond will not be eligible for discretionary admissions. Such spaces may also be used for faculty who have written commitments of access to the School dated before September 2004.

6. Columbia families who wish to be considered for admission to the School must have completed the full application process by December 15, 2005. The application process includes a visit by the child to the School to meet with teachers, and this must be done before the child can be included in the lottery. The lottery for Columbia families will be held early in the second semester.

7. As was the case last year, there will be a cap on the percentage of admissions to the School that can go to families from any one academic unit of the University. This will mean that no more than 30% of the children admitted for fall 2006 can come from any one School within the University.

The task force has raised questions about many other issues, including how we distribute financial aid to Columbia families and what kind of governance is appropriate for the School. I will address these and other issues in the coming months, in consultation with members of the faculty and administration.

Let me conclude by saying again how proud we are of the great success the School has enjoyed in its first two years. It is important for us to remember that the challenges we have faced in accommodating faculty children are a result of the unexpectedly rapid growth in demand for the School from University families � a great tribute to the speed with which the School has established itself as an exceptional institution.


Alan Brinkley

Ellen S. Smith
Assistant Vice President and
Director of Government Relations
Office of Government and Community Affairs
302 Low Library
535 West 116th Street, MC 4319
New York, New York 10027

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