I hope this mid-month email finds you well. I write with some important updates and reminders.

First, as we prepare for the Spring term and an increased presence on campus, it is imperative that students upload proof of vaccination to CUNYFirst. Those who have not done so by January 18 will be de-registered from courses with on-campus activities—we have communicated this consistently and clearly, but I ask that you remind (y)our students to take this important action if you have the opportunity to do so.

Secondly, I want to thank Provost Parrish and his team in the Office of Academic Affairs who have worked collaboratively with the academic departments to meet the University mandate that at least 70% of Spring instruction occurs in a face-to-face modality. I know this has not been easy and I appreciate the hard work that has gone into ensuring that our students have access to the high-quality, in-person instruction they have come to expect from our dedicated faculty. As the semester nears, we will continue to monitor enrollment and fill-rates, and take appropriate actions as they relate to scheduling and modality of instruction.

Next, I draw your attention to the recent communication from the Chancellery extending the current work arrangements (50% onsite, 50% remote) for non-instructional staff through February 27. I know that there are questions related to vaccine mandate/boosters and to testing/masking/physical distancing protocols, and we are awaiting further guidance and direction from the University on these matters. I will share any updates that I receive on these or other issues. As always, feel free to bring your questions and concerns to me and I will seek to have them answered or addressed.

I had a series of very productive and cordial meetings with various campus stakeholders, including leaders from various faculty governance groups, and members of the CSI Foundation. I also had a series of meetings with members of the Chancellery, including a full-day session of the Council of Presidents, and a one-on-one with the Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. Next week, I will engage with the Alumni Association and with members of the larger Staten Island community as part of the kickoff celebration for the “Year of Willowbrook.” 

Lastly, as we approach the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, I ask that we reflect on how our institutional mission to provide access to transformational educational opportunities is more important now than ever before….and I look forward to working with, and serving alongside, each of you as we make this noble aspiration a reality.

Enjoy the long weekend.

By Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D.