I hope this mid-January email finds you well as I write with updates that you may find of interest. It has been some time since my last communication, and much has transpired over the past month. I hope that you have enjoyed the relative quietude of campus, and that you were able to spend the long Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend with loved ones.

As to recent developments of note, our Spring enrollment—and it is hard to believe that the term begins in less than a week—is strong, with a 5% increase in FTE relative to last Spring. This comes on the heels of a very impressive double-digit gain in FTE for our January intercession. Both numbers, and the improved situation we experienced in Fall 2023, bode well for our budgetary situation which, while improving, remains precarious.

As some of you know, CSI was among nine CUNY institutions listed as “schools of heightened concern” owing to our sizable deficit. We closed FY 2023 with a $4M deficit, and our FY 2024 projections anticipated a similar (actually twice as bad) position. Now, halfway through the fiscal year, we have seen significant reductions, in our expected close-out position. I remain hopeful and optimistic that by staying the course and remaining true to our plan that we will end FY24 in a better position than we did FY23, and am counting on your support to get us there.

Last Friday saw a fantastic community event, attended by more than 100 of our local partners, including several elected officials and members of the CUNY Central Office, including Chancellor Matos-Rodríguez. (Photo Gallery) We chose as our theme “Both, And” emphasizing ways in which our College can serve each aspect of our mission (access AND excellence) by being value added to the local community. I was encouraged by conversations with community-based organizations, CUNY Trustees, feeder high schools, employers, alumni, and others who relayed how much CSI means to them. Many of the alumni in attendance I had met at a prior “young alumni mixer” orchestrated by the Department of Engineering and Environmental Science (which recently received a wind turbine for hands-on learning applications) where I was blown away by learning about what our successful graduates are doing. As we embark on lobbying efforts with our elected officials, I intend to share those stories in an effort to secure fair (read: increased) funding for CUNY. On that point, both the City and State preliminary budgets show modest improvements in municipal and state commitments to higher education, but we will continue to advocate for more (FY 2025 New York State Executive Budget ( and January 2024 Financial Plan Publications – OMB ( This was the focal point of our full-day Council of Presidents meeting, and a pair of subsequent gatherings of CUNY’s senior college Presidents and Deans, where we also discussed strategies related to growing enrollment and supporting faculty innovation.

This week, I met with representatives from the Board and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to brief them on conditions that led to the unfortunate, but unavoidable, closure of campus on Wednesday (Thanks to the facilities team for the hard work they put in to ensure the campus was able to open the following day). I am hopeful that the message they received will expedite much-needed repairs and improvements to our campus, although capital improvements such as those needed are often years in the planning and implementation. I also had the first of 2024’s “Tea with Tim” events where I spoke with staffers from the Office of the Registrar to thank them for their work in getting us to our enrollment targets while hearing suggestions for improvements to our operations. That evening, I attended an event recognizing the latest cohort of graduates from the Psychology Department’s Master of Arts program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The event, like the prior week’s Nursing pinning ceremony, featured remarks that acknowledged the strengths of that program and the impact its students make on the local community. Congratulations to all those who participated—and to those who made it happen, and thank you for the important services you provide to our local community.

With warm wishes on a cold and snowy Friday,

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