One of the age-long traditions of American higher education is the ceremonial beginning of a new academic year. So let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year! Exciting things are happening at CSI.
I am pleased to share with you that this fall 43 new faculty and several new administrators have joined the CSI community. These extraordinary and diverse faculty and staff are representative of CSI’s ongoing commitment to inclusive excellence and concerted outreach and advertising efforts to attract a qualified pool of applicants from a wide variety of sources. By bolstering the number of new faculty our students will reap the benefits due to an increase in the number of courses taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty. I want to thank the faculty and staff who dedicated countless hours of time and energy to ensure that these faculty and administrative searches were successful.
Under the auspices of CSI’s new Enrollment Management team and other members of the professional staff, and in conjunction with our outstanding academic programs and quality faculty, enrollment continues to surge. We have realized an increase in the number of students entering our baccalaureate degree programs, and our student persistence rate continues to rise as reflected in the high number of returning students.
The College had a very busy summer. We hosted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s summer concert, enjoyed a robust summer enrollment, and made significant progress in the development of the High-Performance Computational and Visualization Center. We offered an array of faculty development activities including a China Study tour in which 11 faculty and staff participated. Additionally, 33 CSI students took part in study abroad programs in countries such as Italy, England, Greece, Ecuador, Israel, Spain, France, Poland, and China.
One of the most enjoyable activities in which I personally participated last year was marching with faculty, students, and staff at the Staten Island LGBT Pride and the African Heritage parades celebrating the rich diversity of our community. I invite all of you to come out and join us this year at the Third Annual African Heritage Parade on September 19. Also, on October 3 the College will host the Fall Festival on the Great Lawn to raise money for breast cancer research. I look forward to seeing you at these events, which bring CSI and our Staten Island neighbors together in shared experiences.
In the coming academic year, I look forward to working collaboratively with you on two exciting projects that will shape the future of our College. First, the College’s Institutional Planning Committee will spearhead the strategic planning process that will draft a revised mission, vision, and values statement. It is my hope that the entire campus will be involved in this important process.
Second, the campus Master Planning process has resumed and we will be engaging the College community as we design space to meet our needs and aspirations, and, most importantly, bring alignment with our new Strategic Plan. I encourage you to provide input and feedback to the Master Planning process by participating in the Town Hall meeting on September 23.
We will accomplish a great deal this year by working together and being engaged.
Have a great year and welcome back!