I hope you enjoyed the wildly variable weather over the last week or so.

This week marks a milestone in our reaccreditation journey as our Middle States Steering Committee (Dante Tawfeeq, Christopher Miller, and Tara Mastrorilli) submitted the final self-study report to our review team chair (Kathryn Foster, President of the College of New Jersey). The entire report will be available shortly on our Middle States Website. The report was a 
Herculean effort on behalf of the steering committee; the 92 faculty, staff, and administrators who composed the eight working groups; and the staff of Institutional Effectiveness and the many other offices that provided data and logistical support for the report. The self-study will be reviewed by the Middle States Review Committee, which will then conduct a virtual site visit from Sunday to Wednesday, Mar. 27 to 30, and a schedule of meetings will be on the Website shortly. I would like to extend my deep gratitude to all those who worked hard to make this report a reality. 

CUNY is moving toward expanding the professorate, system-wide, and the first step in what is hopefully a multi-year process is an initiative that will add up to 250 lecturers across the University. We are in the process of finalizing CSI’s allocation for the CUNY lecturer initiative through conversations with the Budget and Lines Committee, the Deans, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and the Cabinet. CSI will receive 15 lines in addition to the four lecturer searches already underway in Nursing, Psychology, Biology, and EES. The goals of this initiative are specific:

•       Improve student success by increasing the number of permanent faculty, particularly in 100/200-level courses. Lecturer lines will be funded partly by CUNY, but also by a decrease in adjunct funding by department equivalent to the lecturer teaching load;

•       Provide full-time faculty with pedagogical expertise focused on undergraduate instruction, particularly in gateway courses with high DFW rates; and 

•       Diversifying faculty, particularly in departments with significant underutilization in protected groups.

We are exploring the possibility of creating at least one cluster hire as part of our allotment. More details should be forthcoming soon following additional discussions.
For the fall semester, CUNY is not imposing any metrics on campuses on mode of instruction, so the challenge that CSI and the other campuses are facing is to create a schedule that reflects student needs and preferences while also supporting teaching excellence and student success. A student survey will be distributed shortly to provide data to make some informed decisions about the fall schedule and beyond. With our enrollment down 13%, it will be more important than ever to align the balance of courses with student demand. Having said that, we remain a primarily physical campus, and will not have the bandwidth to provide fully online degree programs for students who choose not to be vaccinated. More to come on this shortly.

If you did not see the announcements about this, you might want to check out this People magazine profile​ of Sociology/Anthropology Professor Grace Cho and her brilliant recent book, Tastes Like War. In the meantime, I hope to see many of you virtually at Faculty Senate tomorrow, and/or in person on campus.

By Michael Parrish