I hope you had a restful holiday season with loved ones, and I wish you well as 2023 unfolds. I write with important updates concerning recent transitions within the CSI Administration.
First, I formally announce that after more than 16 years of service, Vice President Hope Berte has tendered her resignation. Over the course of her career at CSI, Hope held a variety of positions, including Executive Director of Human Resources, Chief of Staff to the President, and most recently, Vice President for Campus Planning, Facilities Management, and Operations. I thank Ms. Berte for her dedicated service and wish her well in the future.
With her departure, I have appointed Mr. Keith Pisons, to serve as Director of Facilities Management, Planning, and Operations. Keith has served CSI for five years within the division, after joining CUNY following a lengthy career in the NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYS DOCCS). While there, he served in various positions including Deputy Superintendent of Administration, Plant Superintendent, and Maintenance Supervisor. I am sure that you will join me in congratulating Mr. Pisons and in wishing him continued success at CSI.
Further, as a result of this change, Public Safety will report to the President’s Office, and the Center for the Arts will report to the Division of Economic Development, Continuing Studies, and Government Relations, which will be rebranded as the Division of Economic Development and Community Partnerships.
Secondly, it is my great pleasure to welcome to CSI, Dr. Jonathan Wesley, our new Executive Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President on Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belonging. Dr. Wesley, who will serve on Cabinet and report directly to me, has an extensive track record of advancing important initiatives related to JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) within higher education institutions, government agencies, faith communities, and non-profit organizations. He has developed programming in, and provided leadership to, the areas of compliance, assessment, policy creation, training, and other operational aspects throughout his career that have resulted in positive transformation of systems and people. Dr. Wesley earned a B.A. in Sociology (Claflin University – HBCU), an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration (Columbia College), graduate certificates in Leadership and Pastoral Counseling, an M.A. in Religion and Public Life (Emory University, Candler School of Theology), and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies (Georgia State University). Dr. Wesley is excited to embrace our mission, vision, and values while serving the entire CSI community. His portfolio will aggregate and amplify the very good work that various offices on campus have undertaken around various diversity imperatives. In addition to his role as Executive CDO, as Director of the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Dr. Wesley will oversee the Offices of Title IX; Pluralism and Diversity; and Accessibility Services.
This last unit, you may notice—and after recommendations made to the administration by members of the Disability Justice Working Group of the PSC-CUNY Chapter—has been rebranded from the Center for Student Accessibility to include services and resources for faculty and staff with needs for accommodations. The Office will liaise with Academic Affairs, Human Resources, and Information Technology as appropriate, and I appreciate your patience as we work through the usual and expected challenges with such reorganization. The Office of Title IX will be led by Tara Mastrangelo, an attorney whom we welcome to CSI from the NYC Department of Education, where she served as a Complaint Unit Attorney in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management.
I want to thank Jeremiah Jurkiewicz (OPD) and Stefan Charles-Pierre (OSA), as well as their immediate past supervisors (Carol Brower and Danielle Dimitrov, respectively) for their willingness to accept this reorganization for the betterment of our campus. Additionally, much appreciated are the contributions of Victoria Ajibade, (who served as Interim CDO) and Catherine Ferrara (who served as Interim Title IX Officer), the latter of whom will remain at CSI in a capacity as Interim Legal Counsel and Labor Relations Director, reporting to Interim VP and Executive Legal Counsel, Robert Wallace.
Please join me in congratulating all and welcoming our new colleagues to the CSI family.
Until next time,
Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)