I hope this mid-month email finds you well as I write with updates and information concerning recent activities that you might find of interest. I also wish those who celebrated a Happy Father’s Day, and a Festive Eid…and I wish everyone a restful Juneteenth holiday.

I have been engaged in deep and meaningful conversations with the Central Office and other campus leaders recently. As part of the system-wide Performance Management Process (PMP) we submitted our annual report that highlights student success metrics (the full, formal evaluation will take place this fall). We are making important inroads in many areas, and I am pleased by the progress we have achieved, particularly as it relates to credit accumulation and progress toward degrees. The good news is not restricted to student performance. As the fiscal year concludes, we are poised to end the year in a better financial position than we started. Our deficit was more than $12M just two years ago and is now projected to be slightly more than $5M, as of CUNY’s 3rd quarter financial report. While we remain one of the CUNY colleges of “high fiscal concern,” we have made impressive and considerable headway in closing this gap, and next year’s initial allocation, pending approval from the Board of Trustees on Monday, June 24, 2024, reflects this. The main drivers in this work have been enrollment—and many thanks to those who are engaged in our ongoing retention initiatives—and cost control (although we have not been subjected to austerity as evidenced by the many campus improvement projects currently underway).

I am pleased to announce, too, that our new Website—with interactive chatbot feature—has launched. Many thanks to those who participated in the redesign, especially CIO Patricia Kahn and her team in Information Technology. Last week also saw another campus climate engagement activity, with “Upstander 101: Allyship Is an Action” provided by our partners at the Center for Anti-Violence Education. This will be followed this week by an intensive session facilitated by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators for our Public Safety team (who had previously received training from the Interfaith Center of New York). We are committed to being a campus that is marked by respect for all. This theme was on full display at last week’s Inaugural Hooding Ceremony for the School of Education’s cohort of graduates from the EdD in Community-Based Leadership program, many of whom I am sure will go on to do great things in the future.

Congratulations on your achievements!

This week saw the year-end meeting of the CSI Alumni Association (which has grown tremendously in recent months as seen by the terrific turnout at a community event this past weekend) and of the CSI Foundation Board of Directors, where we welcomed the incoming President, Michael Cusick, and thanked the outgoing one, Joe Franzese (not to worry, Joe is not going away and will stick around as VP!). I look forward to continuing the transformative work we are doing with the Board, and I encourage you to consider making a year-end contribution to supporting their work through their Annual Fund Campaign. I also met with donors concerning potential rehabilitation of our Astrophysical Observatory, and with local service providers to discuss pathways to our academic programs and grant-funded workforce development and training opportunities. It has been a busy few weeks!

I close with news related to some staffing changes. First, I want to acknowledge and congratulate Mario D’Alessandro for being named as Director for Student Life (Building 1C) where he replaces the recently retired Carol Brower and after many years of functioning in a similar role at CSI-St. George. I am sure Mario will bring energy and vision to his new position. I also write with news of the departure of our Director of Athletics, Chase Licata, who is leaving for bluer pastures (Columbia) but who has made a definite impact on our campus in the short time he was here. As evidence of this, in just a few weeks’ time the campus will be alive with young day campers and bursting with athletic, artistic, and educational activity (and interested parties can register online). This is a relatively new realm for us but I am hopeful that this will be both revenue-generating and a source of future students who will realize and appreciate all that the College of Staten Island has to offer. We thank Chase for making this vision a reality, and we wish him well in his new role. The search for a new AD will commence shortly.  

Until next time,

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