President’s Report to the College Council
November 17, 2016
I recently sent a message to the entire campus community in response to the intense uncertainty and vulnerability expressed by many across our nation, including our own students, faculty, and staff, following the Presidential election. As I stated in my message, which bears repeating today, the College of Staten Island continuously strives to be the most welcoming campus for all people of all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. As Maya Angelou said, “in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Indeed, the last sentence of our College’s Mission, a mission which forms the foundation of our institution, reads, and I quote, “We embrace the strength of our diversity.”
As I often have stated, institutions of higher education should be the center for serious conversations on difficult topics as this lies at the very core of academic freedom. The College will continue to support the free exchange of ideas and differing viewpoints, but any actions that violate CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination will not be tolerated.
In the next few months, we will be announcing upcoming opportunities for discussion and reflection. I encourage each of you to engage in this important dialogue. I have confidence that we can learn from each other as we strive to understand the complicated issues before us and move forward together. CSI is a great place, and it will remain a great place to live, learn, and work.
As you may be aware, an interim report was released by the State concerning the management and oversight by the University and its Colleges of their administrative and financial controls. From the inception of the University-wide audit/investigation, I directed our College personnel to grant unrestricted access to all of our financial records and to provide our full cooperation during the process. While I am confident that the College’s fiscal operations are consistent with best practices, I welcome any recommendations by the State to further enhance our compliance efforts.