Although this was a short work-week, it was a busy one! I took advantage of the President’s Day holiday to reflect on my first two months(!!) here at CSI, while thinking about the hard, important work ahead. The three-day weekend also provided an opportunity for some much-needed downtime (and no commute!) and allowed me to recharge my batteries, something I encourage all of you to do, too.

In addition to the usual meetings with faculty, staff, students (including the Student Government Association President and Vice President), and assorted friends and supporters of the College, I had the good fortune this week to tour our Performing & Creative Arts and Media Culture facilities. I met with Chairpersons Siona Wilson (PCA) and Cynthia Chris (MC), who introduced me to their colleagues, proudly displayed the work of our students, and shared their visions for the future of their departments and programs. It was inspiring to see and talk to so many of our faculty who are deeply committed to making CSI a destination campus, and one that is a jewel in the CUNY crown. This was evident during the tour and later, where I had the opportunity to listen to a “pop-up” lecture that analyzed the Russian-Ukrainian tensions from a historical and geopolitical perspective. Many thanks to the organizers (especially the Center for Global Engagement, whose Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Ferst, served as moderator) and, especially, to Professors Anat Niv-Solomon (Political Science and Global Affairs) and Susan Smith-Peter (History) for sharing their expertise on this matter. These types of events epitomize the college experience, where interested parties can hear experts share their knowledge (and passion!) about a seemingly endless variety of topics. As a true devotee of lifelong learning, I learned much from these interactions, and look forward to similar events.

The week also provided an opportunity to catch up on important tasks. With looming improvements in IT security, I finalized my multi-factor authentication (MFA) upgrade, and completed my annual (and mandatory!) Workplace Violence Prevention and Employee Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Trainings. These are important reminders of what is and what is not acceptable behavior, and I urge everyone to complete these trainings as soon as possible: these are especially important as we navigate the complexities of our return to a greater on-campus presence (70% for most employees, as of next week).  Please refer to CUNY’s Compliance Training FAQ’s for Employees for helpful information concerning these tutorials.

Next week also signals the first of our Spring 2022 Town Halls, scheduled for Tuesday March 1 at 2:30pm. With our Middle States “visit” less than a month away, I thought it prudent to provide an opportunity for the Steering Committee, Provost, governance leaders, and others to provide insight and input into the important reaccreditation process. Reaccreditation is the single most important event in our short-term future, and being cognizant of the process can only help us in this effort. You can register for this event online.

Finally, as Black History Month draws to a close, I was reminded of my own personal pledge to move from “aspiration to operation” and from “talk to task.” As such, I have asked the Provost to work with me to publicize a call for a Presidential Fellow for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, to begin no later than Fall 2022. This fellowship, paired with another dedicated to “Student Success,” positions CSI well to close equity gaps, increase a sense of belonging for all,  and advance social justice initiatives. A third fellow, for “Research Activities,” promises to address concerns raised by faculty regarding support for their scholarly and creative activities. More information about these vital additions to our campus operations will be shared soon.

These are exiting times for the College. I hope that you share in my hope and anticipation that the future is, indeed, bright.   

Until next time,   

Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)