As the semester winds down and Commencement plans ramp up, I write with updates as to recent activities. 

As we enter the final stretch, we also look to the future…and our efforts have been laser-focused on growing our enrollment and on stabilizing our budgetary situation. I am pleased of the progress we are making on both fronts, but it would be imprudent to think that we are “out of the woods” just yet. While our summer and fall registrations look strong, there is still work to be done, particularly on the granular department level, as we seek to engage students through advisement and other outreach. In the midst of declining traditional student age populations, our retention efforts are critical to our situation: we simply must keep the students we have. But that does not mean that we are not cultivating new communities: recently, we hosted a third “Accepted Students Day” and we plan for more targeted outreach throughout the summer to convince local students (and their parents) that CSI should be the destination of choice. With our stellar faculty, relevant programs, and beautiful campus, it is hard to see why anyone would not want to attend our institution.  

Although we do not yet have clarity into the budget situation for the coming academic and fiscal year, I am cautiously optimistic that we can anticipate increased support due to the State’s improved enacted budget. I and other CUNY leaders have been advocating for increased resources for the system and its campuses, and it appears that our efforts have been successful. City support is more dubious and we would be wise to be cautious in our spending plan (our revised financial plans are still under review): this approach has allowed us to stabilize our financial situation to the point that more than 80% of the deficit we had at the close of the last fiscal year has been resolved. This is thanks to the hard work, ingenuity, and innovation of many folks, and it positions us well moving into the next cycle.  

The last week has brought numerous meetings with myriad stakeholders, on-campus and off. I attended the monthly Council of Presidents’ meeting, where we discussed best practices related to campus security and how our institutions can be prepared for various emergency situations. It was an engaging presentation that emphasized collective and individual responsibilities in recognizing and responding to threats. To that end, I ask that all employees who have not yet done so to complete the required annual trainings in Workplace Violence Prevention and Employee Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response  (available on CUNY Blackboard: CUNY Login) by the deadline of May 31, 2023. Faculty should try and complete the trainings before annual leave starts after Commencement. Compliance Training FAQs for Employees can be found here. Your attention to these important (and mandatory) activities is appreciated.   

The week also saw the monthly Board of Trustees meeting, and the final College Council and Faculty Senate gatherings. It is my hope that the candor, collegiality, and camaraderie that marked these meetings continues into the future, (and hopefully in an in-person format). I am truly grateful for the ability to work so closely with the elected faculty, staff, and student representatives. Next Thursday brings the culmination of another academic year and the highpoint of all that we do. Over 2,000 students will earn their Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degrees, but not a single one of them could have done it without the support of all members of our campus community. Thank you for helping them get to this point. 

I want to congratulate this year’s winners of the CSI Dolphin Awards! The names of the winners can be found on our Website. Special thanks to our faculty leaders, Profs. Ken Gold, Jane Marcus-Delgado, and Wilma Jones for stepping in this year to help make the awards happen, and to the committee for their work as well. 

Sadly, this week we received news of the passing of Dr. Irene Deitch, beloved retired Associate Professor of our Psychology Department, and a strong supporter of the Staten Island community. Prof. Deitch founded the College’s Options Program for Mature Learners which is still a popular program for the 55 and over community. Dr. Deitch’s legacy will live on through this program and the many other contributions she has made to our community. We send her family and friends our sincerest condolences at this time.   

The end of the term also brings the imminent conclusion of the search for the next permanent President of the College, with an anticipated announcement coming at the June 26 Board of Trustees meeting. Multiple campus constituents have engaged with the finalists and are offering feedback to the Chancellery about the relative merits of each candidate. I thank all those who have participated during this busy time of the year: please know that your voice and your votes are important determinants in this process.   

Until next time,  

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