As I have been reporting since last April, our budget remains a challenge. The first-quarter financial statement, which is now public on CUNY’s Website, shows CSI ending the year with a negative balance of just under a million dollars. This deficit amount is less than originally anticipated. We are aided by supplemental assistance from CUNY for the High-Performance Computing Center and our CSI St. George location, along with recommended cost-saving strategies developed by the College Council Budget Committee. In a proactive measure, CUNY presented an FY19 budget request to the Board of Trustees that includes $282.8M in additional monies to address existing and future labor costs.
We continue to implement energy- and budget-saving initiatives wherever possible. In consultation with CSI’s engineers, heating and air-conditioning set points have been set to 70/77: cooling to 77 in the summer and heating to 70 in the winter. In doing this, we will save on power, resulting in significant cost savings with minimal impact on the work environment.
Last month, I spoke about the work that Con Edison was doing to complete repairs to the substation that feeds electrical power to the campus. I was optimistic that the campus power supply would be reconnected through both of our substation power feeds. In Con Edison’s attempt to restore power to one of the feeds, the old transformer malfunctioned, resulting in a power connectivity failure. Due to this malfunction, the campus will continue to rely on a single electrical feed with backup provided by large generators on campus. CUNY has allocated $39M for a new substation. However, groundbreaking for this project is at least 12 to 18 months away.
I have also discussed with the Central Office the issue of using CSI as a storage facility for CUNY. The practice goes back to 1995, which includes storage of large metal objects from Hostos Community College, several large containers from City Tech, and seven salvage vehicles from other campuses. Due to our advocacy, we recently averted the placement of seven large containers on our campus just recently. The preservation of open spaces is in alignment with our new Strategic Priority of becoming a Destination Campus.
The Institutional Planning Committee met on November 10 and reviewed the feedback from the October 3 Town Hall and the additional comments posted on Blackboard. You have before you today our final draft. The Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Priorities are excellent talking points that will assist in positioning and championing the College in the community. The plan is written to celebrate our current successes and to organically and responsibly vision for the future in alignment with our budget resources. I now submit the final draft to College Council for its consideration.