I hope this end-of-semester email finds you well. It has been a typically busy week for me, and I write with my usual update and with wishes for a restful and restorative holiday season. As I conclude a full calendar year at the helm of the College of Staten Island, I remain impressed by the commitment to mission, focus on student success, and supportive community that I have come to regard as the true hallmarks of this institution.
This week, I had the pleasure of attending the CUNY Board of Trustees meeting, where I impressed upon that body our need for continued assistance, and where we discussed the unique challenges facing our campus. Of note, our transportation contract (with ferry shuttle, loop service, and accessibility vans) was extended, amid calls for greater collaboration with government agencies to improve access to our campus. Speaking of access, I anticipate revisions to the current protocol (although Cleared4 will remain in effect) in 2023: a return to greater on-campus activities and relaxed visitor access policies should generate revenue for the campus through sports camps, clinics, and performances at the Center for the Arts.
I also had ample opportunity to dialog with several members of the Board and the Chancellery at informal gatherings held after the official meeting. They remain committed to our system and will advocate—as will I—for increased funding from local elected officials as we seek to address a significant institutional and system-wide structural deficit. The coming year may be as challenging as those we endured during COVID-19, and with the expiration of federal stimulus funding, we will need to be nimble and agile when it comes to our financial planning. As an example of this agility, on Tuesday Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Reine Sarmiento visited CSI to discuss pipeline programs, including potential partnerships with international schools, to increase our visibility and reach to new student populations.
I also had the pleasure of meeting this week with representatives from the HEO Steering Committee, where we discussed items related to campus culture and workplace civility. Their advocacy for their colleagues and their commitment to our mission were readily apparent and I am confident that we can continue to work together to address their issues of concern as we build a community of caring at CSI. Similarly, Thursday’s College Council and Faculty Senate meetings foregrounded how far we have come in just one year—and the ongoing commitment to transparency and shared governance that now dominate CSI. It has been a refreshing and invigorating partnership. My week concluded with a pair of meetings hosted by the CSI Foundation: a subcommittee on Finance and Investment, and the general board meeting where we discussed fundraising and philanthropic initiatives (to that point, the Season of Giving continues through December 31.) The Foundation is truly committed to making CSI a destination campus, as evidenced by the time, treasure, and talent that they give to our cause. More importantly, their stewardship of your gifts leads to maximum impact for our students.
This will be my final regular update until after the holidays. In closing, I want to thank you all for the warm and generous reception that I received 11 months ago, the advice and counsel you have supplied during that time, and the support and encouragement you’ve shared since I began working here. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to working with you all in 2023.
With best wishes,
Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)