President’s Report to the College Council

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing.

-Charles Dickens


To the College Community:

At our past two Commencement exercises, I have spoken about our proud and important legacies at the College of Staten Island, initially focusing on our institutional legacy, which began with our predecessor institutions, Staten Island Community College and Richmond College, and then turning our focus to our legacy of place at this Willowbrook campus as the former site of Halloran General Military Hospital and then the Willowbrook State School.

This year, at our 68th Commencement, I will close our legacy trilogy by talking about our legacy of mission. From our first graduating class of 1958 to the graduating class of 2017 our mission has remain unchanged – providing unequaled opportunity for excellence for our students. On behalf of the thousands and thousands of graduates who have donned their caps and gowns at our Commencements, I thank the faculty and staff who helped them to ascend. There is no greater cause worth celebrating.

On the topic of legacies, I would like to recognize two members of our executive team who are leaving their current roles this summer. Ira Persky, Vice President for Finance and Administration, will be retiring, and Nan Sussman, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, will be returning to her faculty position after a well-earned sabbatical. I am pleased to announce that both Nan and Ira will be awarded the Presidential Medal at our December Celestial Ball in recognition of their invaluable contributions to the College.

Last month, I advised you that the Institutional Planning Committee preliminarily identified six Strategic Priorities that may form the direction and framework of a new CSI Strategic Plan and that small working groups of faculty and staff, established by the IPC, drafted proposed Goals under each priority that we may wish to accomplish over the life of our new Strategic Plan. I am now pleased to announce that we have created a Blackboard site called “CSI Strategic Planning Process 2017-2022,” which went live earlier today. This will allow the entire campus community to provide feedback about the Strategic Priorities and Goals that will inform the IPC. An email was sent to all faculty, staff, and students with instructions on how access the site. I encourage everyone to participate and express your respective voices, which will shape the direction and future of the College.

In closing, I want to thank all of you for another great year at CSI.

Thank you.