I hope that you have been enjoying the mild autumn weather. As the days grow shorter and the calendar approaches November, work continues on several important initiatives, and I write with updates on these.

This week, I attended the first Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting of the academic year, the first such in-person gathering since March of 2020. (Regrettably, my attendance at that event precluded me from participating in Monday’s “Town Hall” with Senator Gillibrand, an event that affirms CSI as a center of intellectual and civic activity, and a sign that things are slowly “returning to normal…”). The lengthy BoT meeting— also attended by University Faculty Senate Chairperson and CSI faculty member John Verzani—discussed important issues as they relate to personnel, budget, curriculum, and related matters. It is good to have multiple voices in the room advocating for CSI and its best interests, and I know that Professor Verzani will continue to be a tireless champion of our faculty and other stakeholders.

I also met with my fellow Senior College Presidents, where we discussed—inter alia—campus efforts to combat antisemitism and other forms of hatred and discrimination. This followed on conversations I had with campus leaders from across the nation as part of ongoing dialog related to our work as part of the “Transformation Accelerator Cohort,” where we are focused on reducing and eliminating equity gaps in all our academic programs. The conversations are not separate and distinct: providing spaces where all persons feel safe and valued leads to better results and performance, and it is incumbent on all of us to speak out against intolerance whenever we encounter it. This is a moral imperative and, quite frankly, ignoring such activity is anathema to everything that we hold dear at CSI and within CUNY.

This week VP Hodge and I had the opportunity to enjoy lunch and conversation with a group of student-athletes. I was impressed by their commitment to academic and athletic excellence, and by their willingness to share their opinions about how we as an institution can best serve all our students. Among their desires is a closer relationship between academics and career engagement, something that aligns nicely with CUNY’s own initiatives, particularly as seen with AAS redesign and with workplace-based learning. I look forward to conversations with other student affinity groups throughout the academic year and anticipate similarly frank and productive dialog.

On Thursday, I was pleased to present at the second College Council meeting of the semester, and to dialog with my colleagues there and at the Faculty Senate meeting that followed. I was sorry to have to leave so quickly, but I was obliged to attend an evening kick-off event at the Ford Foundation for a multi-day national convening centered on “Public Interest Technology.” The PIT conference highlights the exciting work around this initiative, much of it centered at CUNY and—more specifically—at CSI. Kudos to Professor Kathleen Cumiskey and her team for the many months of hard work that have gone into preparing for this event, which include a full day of activities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a closing “unconvening” on Saturday. I was pleased to play an admittedly small role in acknowledging the accomplishments of our faculty and students in this arena, and in celebrating our efforts and achievements in this exciting field.

With now ten months (!!) in this role, I am always amazed and impressed by the vibrant activity emanating from our students, faculty, and staff. I am proud of the work we are doing here and will continue to support and amplify these efforts. I will be traveling next week so my usual communication will be on hiatus but will resume upon my return.

Wishing you all well, until then,

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