I would like to start by recognition today’s observance of International Women’s Day and, belatedly, of March as Women’s History month. These celebrations are tempered as we face a time of global sorrow surrounding the events currently taking place in Ukraine. The violence and destruction there are abhorrent, and I hope we will see a peaceful resolution to the conflict soon. 

As you have heard, the mask mandate for CUNY has been lifted, but I would still encourage all who want to continue masking for health and safety reasons to do so. Testing, Cleared4 campus access, and vaccine mandates for students remain in place. For the fall semester, we have more flexibility in offering modes of instruction. I do not have final figures for the distribution of course modalities for the fall, but it looks like a large majority of courses will be in person. Also, I have told the Chairs and Deans that any courses listed as hybrid should follow the CUNY guidelines of having between one-third to two-thirds of the instruction offered in person. We are also maintaining the expectation that full-time faculty should teach at least one course in person. As faculty and staff have returned to campus this semester, it has been very gratifying to see the Willowbrook campus come back to life. ​

President Lynch has announced that he will be sponsoring three Presidential Faculty Fellows–one each for student success, research, and diversity, equity and inclusion. I am very excited about this initiative, and more information will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, we are in the final stages of preparing for the Middle States Accreditation visit at the end of the month. The schedule is still being finalized, but the Steering Committee will let the campus stakeholders know how they can support this initiative. More than 100 people participated in last week’s Middle States Town Hall, and I hope that many of you will choose to take part in this important process.​

By Michael Parrish