As the calendar turns to March and we enter Women’s History Month, I write with updates concerning recent activities.
This week, I had the pleasure of a lengthy conversation with Borough President Vito Fossella and his staff, where we discussed recent accomplishments by our programs in Engineering and Environmental Science (see this piece from SILIVE) and Nursing (where our students’ performance on the NCLEX examinations equaled that of their peers at NYU, at a fraction of the cost!). The Borough President feels that our strong product is another reason to promote his campaign to “Stay on Staten Island” and I could not agree more. In fact, this was part of my message to the executive board of the CSI Foundation, with whom I met on Wednesday evening as we discussed short-term needs and plans for the institution. I also used this occasion to brief the Board on CSI’s recent agreement (a signing event will be held later this month) with St. George’s University Medical School to provide guaranteed acceptance to high-achieving CSI graduates (LINK). As the largest provider of clinical placements in the U.S. and Canada, SGU offers tremendous opportunities for our graduates to further their studies and reinforces the fact that CSI is a destination for those seeking academic excellence and the opportunities that come with that.
Paramount among our plans is a recognition that we must involve as many stakeholders as possible in determining the future of our campus. To that end, I draw your attention to a series of surveys that we hope will allow us to make data-informed decisions about how we link resources to initiatives and improve the campus climate for all. First, there is a brief “Strategic Plan” survey that attempts to identify the four or five most critical areas to focus on in the next iteration of our institutional Strategic Plan. This can be viewed here via this survey link (http://survey.csi.cuny.edu/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=167328937369 ) and your participation is both needed and appreciated. Likewise, the experiences of full-time faculty are being assessed CUNY-wide via the COACHE survey, and the Office of Academic Affairs has sent targeted communications to those individuals for whom this is intended. Lastly, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) has sent a campus climate survey (generously funded by CUNY Central) to all students, staff, and part-time faculty to better gauge the experiences of these constituents. An individualized link to the survey has been sent to each respondent and your participation is appreciated so that we can best ascertain how to improve our campus experience for all. Each of these surveys/assessments is relatively brief and will determine institutional priorities and the allocation of resources to strategic initiatives and imperatives. If you would like to know more about the various surveys and their intended outcomes, or about how we have used the results of prior assessments to improve campus operations, please ask me, Provost Michael Steiper, or Executive CDO Jonathan Wesley.
My week also included forward-thinking conversations with the Executive Committee of the PSC where we discussed, among other things, facilities concerns (the long-awaited sidewalk replacement project is soon to kick off and detailed communication about that project is forthcoming), staffing challenges (all positions must be reviewed and approved at the Central Vacancy Review Board, a topic of considerable interest among the Senior College Presidents with whom I met this week), and our fiscal situation. This last item also formed the basis of a meeting—now held every week—with the College Council Budget Committee, where we are working on a strategy to close our structural deficit (and our third-quarter fiscal projection shows we are doing just that, and rapidly). I am certain that by working through these channels we will continue to best position ourselves for whatever the future holds.
Until next time,
Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)