I hope that this mid-month email finds you well. I write with updates as to recent activities that you may find of interest.

Since I last wrote I have been engaged with folks on campus and off. Last week I attended the annual meeting of the CSI Alumni Association, where we discussed ways in which that body can continue to support our current students. I was pleased to hear that our “Strong College, Strong Community” campaign was doing well (there is still time to make a pledge) and to engage with individuals who want to “pay it forward” by working with their alma mater. The next day, I met with the Executive Committee of the CSI Foundation (the full Board meets next week) for a similar conversation. It is wonderful to have such dedicated friends of the campus on whom to rely.

Summer classes are in full swing, and our enrollment is better than expected, with an increase of nearly 8% over last year. Our fall numbers are also projecting well and we are cautiously optimistic that events such as open house, accepted students’ day, and outreach to parents will yield a larger entering class than we have seen in recent years. This is critically important, as our budgetary situation—which is improving—is directly related to our enrollments. As to our budget, we are still awaiting news related to our annual allocation (the city budget has not yet been finalized), and about our financial plan, which was submitted to the Central Office in mid-Spring.

As we grow our enrollment numbers and stabilize our budget, it is important that we maintain a prudent course when it comes to staffing, but we will be making several strategic hires to assist in our operations. The vacancy review board will continue to meet and review all requests, making recommendations for hires. I know that several areas are facing critical staffing shortages, so we will be intentional in our approach while balancing various needs. We will also be pushing ahead with various projects to improve the aesthetics of our campus, and to make it a welcoming and inclusive destination for all.

This weekend marks the celebration of Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the news of emancipation to enslaved persons, and one that reminds us of the work that is still needed to reach a truly equitable place.  As so eloquently put by our colleagues in ODEI, the day is not just a “day off” but can be a “day on” where we make the effort to advance this noble cause. I wish you all a restful and restorative weekend, and a Happy Father’s Day to all fathers.  Enjoy your day!

Until next time,

Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)
Interim President
College of Staten Island