As mid-terms approach, I write with updates concerning recent campus activities. It has been an eventful and busy time for many, myself included.

Last week, I met with the Senior College Presidents as part of our regularly scheduled semi-monthly meetings. We discussed relationships with the CUNY Research Foundation, and I was pleased (but not surprised) to subsequently learn that research productivity (as measured via grants and other sponsored activities) has increased to pre-pandemic levels. This is an encouraging and impressive sign, and I want to congratulate our faculty for their activity in this arena, and I know that our Division of Academic Affairs, through the Office of Sponsored Programs, will continue to support these activities. Every day I am amazed at the quality and quantity of our faculty productivity and am especially impressed by the levels our students—graduate and undergraduate—are involved in these projects. Active, experiential-based learning such as this is integral to improving our retention and enrollment situation.

I also had the opportunity to meet with the new Executive Committee of the College Council, in advance of next week’s monthly meeting. I look forward to working with Professor Ken Gold and his colleagues through the shared governance process to advance our common mission. I am pleased and proud of the record of collegiality and collaboration that we have established over the last few months, and have every expectation that this will continue. The faculty and staff leadership members are dedicated to advancing the interests of their constituents, and I and others in the administration are always interested in hearing how we can support them in this endeavor. The following day, I participated in a lengthy Council of Presidents meeting, where I interacted with my peers and with colleagues from the Central Office to discuss matters related to technology initiatives, strategic planning, enrollment, budget, and academic operations. It was a wide-ranging conversation that focused on introducing efficiencies, leveraging best practices, and exploring ways to streamline processes to the betterment of all.

This week, I attended my first Personnel and Budget Committee meeting of the term. I was impressed by the accomplishments of our colleagues and by the careful attention and consideration that our faculty leaders gave to their deliberations. As an institution, we are committed to supporting the scholarly, creative, and research activities of our talented faculty colleagues, to the greatest extent that our budget allows, and I have instructed our Provost to “think outside the box” to incentivize and reward faculty research activities. As a comprehensive college, we have a disparate mission, but we should never forget our obligation to foster and support innovative, high-quality research and creative activities that make CSI a preferred destination for students and scholars alike.

As to budget, on Wednesday, CFO Carlos Serrano and I had a lengthy conversation with the Institute for State and Local Government (ISLG), which advises CUNY on budgetary and fiscal matters. The hoped for outcome is a greater realization on the part of the Chancellery to the unique challenges facing campuses, and ways in which modifications to the budget allocation process ought to be considered. I am proud of the work that went into our presentation, and even more so pleased by the request for—and receptiveness about—our proposal. I will keep you apprised as to any developments on this front.

The following day, I hosted Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Wendy Hensel and members of her team on our Willowbrook campus. Like the conversation with the ISLG, this day-long visit—which included a tour of our campus, presentations by students, lunch with faculty, and an interactive town hall with myriad stakeholders—evidences a desire by the Chancellery to learn more about what is happening on our campus, and—more importantly—ways in which they can help us. This is a refreshing and invigorating message and I intend to use the power of our system to elevate and amplify the work that we are all doing to make CSI a destination campus and to celebrate the ways in which we provide access to transformational educational opportunities for the communities that we are privileged to serve. I want to again thank EVC Hensel for her interest in our campus, her willingness to engage in meaningful (but at times difficult) conversations, and for the support she has provided. And in closing, I want to thank all those who made her visit such an impressive and impactful one.

Until next time,

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