As the calendar turns to June, I write to wish you a Happy Pride month! Just last week, prior to our wonderful commencement ceremony, I had the honor of attending and speaking at the CSI Lavender Graduation. As the first and oldest such event in CUNY, the CSI Lavender event proves that our campus is a leader in providing student-centered, equity-focused services to our community. I want to especially acknowledge the hard work and leadership of Jeremiah Jurkiewicz of the Office of Pluralism and Diversity for all the hard work that goes into this important activity!
Although the campus has quieted since the end of the Spring term, my schedule has not. After commencement, I met with Senior Vice Chancellor Glenda Grace, Trustees Michael Arvanites and Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, and Vice Chancellor James Gallo to strategize about philanthropic efforts and how we can best position CSI moving forward. Similarly, I discussed grant activities with Congressperson Nicole Malliotakis, and am encouraged by these conversations. The following day, I participated in the ceremonial hooding ceremony for the 19 graduates of our Physical Therapy doctoral program, and later participated in local Memorial Day activities. This week I had a multitude of meetings, including sessions with City Councilmember Joseph Borelli to lobby for capital funding and for his support as it relates to planned academic and public-private partnerships, and with the University’s Vice Chancellor for Research to discuss planned activities related to climate science. I also had a great conversation with our colleagues from the PSC Anti-Racism Collective where we brainstormed ideas about how to improve our campus culture for those from marginalized communities. I am intrigued by some of their suggestions and look forward to working with them on grant applications to fund this hard, important work.
There was also a meeting of the Executive Committee of the CSI Foundation, and while a family obligation prevented me from attending, I am told that the conversation was, as always, predicated on how that body can best support the campus in the work that we do. I thank Provost Parrish for representing me at the meeting, and apologize that I could not be present, as it is always good to network with others who have the best interests of CSI in mind. On Wednesday, I attended a full day Council of President’s meeting at CUNY Central where we met the new Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, Dr. Wendy Hensel. We also discussed enrollment challenges, cybersecurity initiatives, campus reopening plans, emergency preparedness, and how we could leverage the power of our system (a theme that was repeated in Thursday’s strategic road mapping webinar). In the wake of tragedies in Buffalo and Texas, the chancellor and his team encouraged the campuses to review and update protocols related to active shooter and other scenarios: we will be reviewing and updating our plans, and I encourage you all to re-familiarize yourself with them. They can be accessed here:
My thanks to Director of Public Safety Mike Lederhandler and his team for keeping us and the campus safe. May we never be called to use these plans.
Until next time,
Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)