As we enter Final Exams period, I hope that this email finds you well. The approach of the holidays, the stress of meeting semester and year-end deadlines, and other variables can make this a difficult time for many; I hope that you take some time for self-care and preservation. Today, I write with information and updates regarding recent activities that you may find of interest.  

This week held a spate of important events, both on campus and off. On Tuesday, members of the administration and I met with the College Council Budget Committee—and subsequently with the College Council Executive Committee—to discuss myriad issues. These included our Fiscal Year ‘23 closeout, as well as plans to address our continuing (projected) budgetary deficit. This will include a system-imposed savings target that is ambitious but realizable: we will be consulting with appropriate governance bodies as we formulate a plan that needs to be submitted to the University this month. Proposed steps include sustained attention to retention and enrollment, cost-sharing arrangements with the University and researchers, and a renewed focus on revenue-generation. Relative to other campuses—and in relation to the University as a whole—our campus is well-positioned for growth given our enrollment trends and action plans, but there is still work to be done. In addition to these budgetary items, we also discussed issues related to staffing, online education initiatives, intellectual property protections, and concerns related to campus climate. The commitment to transparency, open and frank conversation about difficult topics, and collaboration has helped tremendously as we navigate difficult situations and I expect this to be the case moving forward. Working together, I am confident that we will achieve our goals. Working together, after all, is what we do best. 

This was on display at Tuesday’s Convocation of the College, where we recognized those individuals—nearly 200 of our colleagues—for their service to CSI. The event was an opportunity to look back to what we have accomplished but also a chance to look forward to what we have ahead of us. We have come far and we have a bright and rosy future before us. Many thanks to those who made this event possible, especially our immutable “Mistress of Ceremony” Patty Kahn. See It: Convocation at CSI | CSI Today. The event, followed by our annual holiday gathering (wonderfully done by Dining Services), was a fitting way to kick off the season and celebrate all that we have accomplished together. It is important to do so, and to acknowledge one another, and I am pleased and proud to serve as this institution’s President.  

In addition to celebrating our colleagues, we also had multiple opportunities to showcase and support our talented students, this week, including the CSI Choir performance and the CSI Young Artists Recital on Tuesday, the CSI Guitar Ensemble on Thursday, and the pop-up art exhibition, “Life is N.I.C.E.,”  curated by students of EDE 305 (Social Studies, Art, and Reading and Language Arts in Elementary Education), which is on display in the Library Gallery. This exhibit closes December 19, so you still have time to check it out if you haven’t already. It’s always nice to see our students taking pride in their education, and celebrating their accomplishments.  

Next week, with a day-long Council of President’s meeting, a pair of events with the Board of Trustees, monthly College Council and Faculty Senate meetings, and the quarterly gathering of the CSI Foundation Board, looks to be hectic but there is much work to be done as we wind down the semester.   

Thursday evening marked the start of Hanukkah, and I wish all who celebrate a joyous and peaceful time with their families and loved ones. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Until next time,

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