As winter turns to spring and the days grow longer, my schedule remains packed with meetings… and my agenda remains laser-focused on advocacy for our institution. This week, I took advantage of the warmer weather and conducted several tours of the Willowbrook campus, where I was able to ascertain conditions and get reports on progress made on several projects. It is important to remember that as we return to a greater in-person presence, the campus needs to “catch up” from nearly two years of dormancy. As we maintain an emphasis on providing a work environment that is safe and that abides by all public health protocols, we are also now attending to matters of general concern that had not been addressed for some time. I am confident that we will soon have a campus in which we can once again take pride!

In addition to my campus tours, I met this week with the Presidents of the CUNY Senior Colleges, where we discussed challenges related to enrollment, the place of athletics on our campuses (a conversation I also had with our Faculty Athletics Representative, Dr. Christine Flynn-Saulnier), and the role of online education in the near-term and long-term future. It is always good to pick the brains of seasoned colleagues, and the willingness of my executive peers to share their wisdom and experience is valued. That evening, I met the full CSI Foundation Board, where we inaugurated two new members and discussed strategies by which that organization can continue its support in the coming years. In these challenging times, it is important to cultivate relationships that are proven beneficial and the CSI Board is one of these: the executive committee, in particular, is staunch in its support for student success, as evidenced by its ongoing assistance to the CSI Food Pantry and in its distribution of emergency grants to students.

Later in the week, I continued to engage with local and state elected officials (I will be making a trek to Albany in a few weeks) who applauded the College’s recognition as a top “military-friendly institution,” and with various faculty members, including the Faculty Senate and College Council. These latter meetings were—as expected—lively. The passion that our faculty and staff have for our institution is readily evident and impressive, and benefits our College and the students whom we serve.  

I also touched base with those who are instrumental in our looming Middle States reaccreditation—including members of the Chancellery and CUNY’s Board of Trustees–and I urge all who have not done so to read the Self-Study report and the associated documents distributed by the Office of Academic Affairs earlier this week. (To access the report, enter your FLAS credentials: Firstname.Lastname and FLAS password). There is no greater nor more important activity for CSI than a successful reaccreditation visit and I cannot over-emphasize the need for individual familiarization and collective preparation. Please take a few moments to review the materials, available here:

Until next time,

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