I hope this note finds you well as I write with updates concerning recent campus activities. Since I last communicated, I have been busy with on-campus and off-campus meetings, advocating for our College and its programs. Last week, we hosted Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Denise B. Maybank, who toured our childcare facility, visited Dolphin Cove, met with student leaders, and participated in team-building exercises with the staff from Student Affairs and Strategic Initiatives as they participated in a day-long retreat. It is always wonderful to have our colleagues from the Chancellery visit Willowbrook, to learn more about our campus, interact with our students, and to see firsthand our unique challenges.  

This week, I had the opportunity to tour our long-shuttered Astrophysical Observatory, and get a behind-the-scenes look at one of our—and Staten Island’s—real treasures. Working with Dean Ralf Peetz, Chair Charles Liu, and others (including Professor Emeritus and “godfather of the planetarium,” Irving Robbins), I believe we can get this showpiece operational in the coming months. It will be another example of the “return to life” that we saw on campus this week, with a lecture by Professors Lisa Manne and Richard Veit of the Biology Department; Open House at the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development; and a book talk by Professor Ken Gold in honor of National Archives Week, all of which were well attended. It is clear that folks are clamoring for engaging activities and we are answering that call: Thursday’s OMNI ensemble musical ensemble was one such example….another event to put on your calendar is the upcoming PCA performance of R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), on November 16-18 in the Lab Theatre of 1P.   

This week, I also had the pleasure of meeting with staff members from the Bursar’s Office as part of our inaugural “Tea with Tim” series. I learned of challenges faced by that unit, and we brainstormed ways to solve problems and streamline processes. The ultimate goal is to make the experience better and easier for our students and our employees, and I look forward to hearing from other units in the coming weeks. Later, I met with representatives from the Professional Staff Congress as part of our regularly scheduled Labor Management Committee meetings, where we discussed issues related to the administration’s support for research, scholarship, and creative activities; various facilities concerns; remote work agreements; and other items. I appreciate, as always, the candor and the willingness to work together to build a better campus environment for all. 

My week ended with external engagement: a recruitment visit to Moore Catholic High School, where Provost Michael Steiper and I discussed the reasons why these young men and women should consider CSI as a top destination for the next stage in their academic careers. As a graduate of a Catholic Prep School (go Cathedral Cannons!) and of CUNY, I was able to relate to these students and share aspects of my own journey: I hope that it resonated with those in attendance and if it brings even a few additional students through our doors next year, it was well worth the hour of my day that I spent with them. I hope that many of them and their friends will join us at our Open House on Sunday, October 29: it is always a great opportunity to put our best aspects on display.  

The week also included the very welcome and expected news that ALL of our Nursing programs (AAS, BS, MS, and Post-Master’s Certificate) were re-accredited for the next eight years. This is incredible news and reflects the quality of our program, our talented faculty, and its dedicated leadership. Moreover, the report issued by ACEN (the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, our accrediting body) revealed that our students pass their NCLEX exams at a 93% rate…higher than NYU (91%) and higher than Wagner College (86%)… and at a fraction of the cost.   

We change lives here, and I thank you for that. 

Until next time,

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

President, College of Staten Island

The City University of New York

2800 Victory Blvd, SI, NY 10314