Accountant Quanda Francis is among several mayoral candidates who responded to The Envoy’s survey on CUNY policy. The following are Francis’s raw answers to the survey. To read the article summarizing and explaining the mayoral candidates’ survey responses, click here.
1. What role do you believe the city and state should play in funding community colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
There was a time when people did not have access to primary school education, but societal demands were such that it became important for people to be literate and have basic computation skills, so public elementary schools were created. Over time, this was repeated for secondary school education. We are now in the 21st Century. The job market demands more, not less, from employees. High school education, as presently constituted, can not produce graduates who can meet the demands of the job market. Clearly, as a nation, there must be a shift in our educational outlook and practice. Financial barriers to college should be removed. Education is an investment, not a cost.
2. What role do you believe the state should play in funding senior colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
See response to question one.
3. How would you expand job opportunities for CUNY students and graduates?
CUNY students and graduates would receive additional considerations when applying for city-based career opportunities. Additionally, city vendors and contractors who have hired CUNY students and graduates would also receive additional considerations. I would also sponsor more job fairs at CUNY sites and an internship opportunity resource center.
4. Would you expand mental health and wellness funding and services for CUNY students? If so, how?
Definitely. Students who may be having difficulties in those areas are less likely to reach their academic potential. Those concerns must be addressed. CUNY graduates several mental health and wellness majors every year. There is an available pool of providers in our ecosystem.
5. How would you support CUNY students experiencing food and/or housing insecurity?
I would address this issue by appointing a Commissioner and creating an city-wide office dedicated to examining and resolving this issue.
6. How would you decide who to appoint to the CUNY board of trustees?
I would appoint Trustees who are diverse in various aspects (race, ethnicity, age, gender, etc.) but just as important, intellectually diverse as well. However, all my appointments would be based on the talent of the individual relative to other prospects. In short, “the best person for the job” is my mantra.