What a fantastic way to end my first semester at CSI! This week’s Commencement activities—including our graduation ceremony, annual Dolphin Awards reception, and assorted departmental and other events—cemented in my mind just how special our campus and our community are. I was immensely proud of our students (now our alumni!) and I know that many of you also share in this: there was not one student who was able to finish their journey without the meaningful and impactful contributions of so many of you, both inside the classroom and beyond. While this is true under the best of circumstances, it is particularly apparent during the past two years of the pandemic, with the attendant challenges of distance learning and remote work. So, thank you for helping these students—our students—achieve their dreams!
The campus truly came alive this week in celebration of our students and our colleagues. Many thanks to Jennifer Borrero and the commencement committee for leading the charge and making this day happen. Thank you also to our dedicated Facilities, Buildings and Grounds, and Public Safety teams for their expert and professional preparations for the big day. I appreciate, too, the contributions of our Information Technology and Food Service staff members, who handled myriad issues (and late requests, including from me!) with a smile. The bustle of activity, and the chance to meet many whom I have only known through Zoom, was a pleasant way to end the term: the return of in-person Commencement activities and the Dolphin Award ceremony and reception were the perfect way to acknowledge and celebrate all those who make CSI such a spectacular institution.
In addition to preparing for Commencement, this week also saw conversations with the Chief Financial Officer of the University, and ongoing conversations with my peers from the other Senior Colleges within the University. In addition to sharing our respective thoughts on graduation and reopening plans, we also discussed the University’s nascent strategic and master plans. This is important, as these plans will identify the priorities and initiatives that will inform our own approach to CSI’s future: a future that is destined to be both equity-driven and student-centered. How we respond to challenges and identify opportunities will define us as a campus and as a system, and I look forward to working with all of you as we forge a new path to the future. I pledge to you that I will remain collaborative and consultative, and that I will continue with my commitment to transparency, accountability, and inclusivity.
Amid the celebrations there is also need to pause and reflect—on the million Americans who succumbed to the pandemic, and to the dozens of lives lost in senseless school and supermarket murders in Texas and in Buffalo over the last few weeks. The City University of New York and the College of Staten Island remain steadfast in their opposition to such hateful attacks, and I encourage all members of our community who have been affected by events such as these to seek counsel from the free and confidential services available for faculty and staff in need of support via CUNY’s Employee Assistance Program CCA@YourService. CCA@YourService can be reached confidentially at 800.833.8707. Counselors and work-life specialists are available 24/7. Students in need of emotional support should be encouraged to contact our Counseling Center at 718.982.2391 or email@example.com.
As the academic year draws to a conclusion, my updates and communications to the campus are likely to be less frequent over the summer months. I will provide updates on matters of importance (budget allocation, facilities updates, personnel matters, etc.) and remain available to discuss issues or concerns with any and all of you, individually and collectively. In closing, I want to wish you all a restful Memorial Day weekend: I thank you again for all that you do to make CSI a destination campus, and I wish you all a safe and healthy summer.
Until next time,
Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)