As the calendar turns to July, I write with information and updates that you may find of interest.

The last few weeks have been busy, and filled with positive news and accomplishments. Campus re-fresh projects, including rehabilitation of all student lounge spaces, a revitalization of the SEEK suite, and technology upgrades in a number of teaching labs, have continued unabated. So too have projects that aim to improve campus accessibility (such as new automatic sliding entry doors in 1L), update our Campus Center, and renovate academic office spaces (such as in the Department of Physical Therapy). Many thanks to the hardworking teams in Facilities, and Buildings and Grounds for their dedicated attention to these matters: I am sure that when the fall term begins you will be impressed by all that we have accomplished to improve the look and feel of the campus!

Last week brought welcome news concerning our campus budget allocation which—thanks to improved retention and overall increases in enrollment—is more suitable to a campus of our size and complexity. While the City budget is yet to be crystallized, it does appear that our initial allocation is greater than it has been in several years and will allow us to prudently and cautiously move ahead on a number of important fronts, including the hiring of some critical staff and faculty. We still have a structural deficit and are still subject to a “hiring chill,” but I am committed to moving the needle in areas of growth and where the need is most acute. Speaking of faculty, last week bought the exciting news that two of our own received special recognition. First, at the most recent CUNY Board of Trustees meeting and in recognition of his long record of scholarly achievement, Ashley Dawson of our English Department was appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor, CUNY’s highest academic honor. Then, two days later and in recognition for his contributions to French culture Professor David Gerstner of our Department of Media Culture received the insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Cultural Counselor of France at an event on Fifth Avenue. It is an amazing testament not just to the accomplishments of these two gifted and dedicated colleagues but it is a reflection of the esteem and reputation that so many of our faculty have garnered, and deservedly so, over the years. Congratulations to Professors Dawson and Gerstner!

Last week also saw the monthly Council of President’s meeting, where we discussed important changes to Title IX and other legal matters, received an update on system-wide enrollment, strategized about lobbying efforts, and delved into matters of campus climate initiatives. I and members of the administration also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Heckscher Foundation to explore partnerships revolving around student success, and with the Robin Hood Foundation to discuss how they might support our workforce development and related enrollment initiatives. I am cautiously optimistic that these conversations will bear fruit, and I am very confident that the coming academic year will be a rewarding one for the College and the students we serve. Speaking of our students, it was good to see and meet some of our incoming Macaulay and Verrazzano honors students as they toured campus, met with advisors, and otherwise got acclimated to the college experience.

The next few weeks will be spent on preparing for the all-too-quickly approaching academic year. Of critical importance is our ongoing enrollment campaign as we seek to maintain the positive momentum that we have achieved in this area. We will also continue work on the next iteration of our Strategic Plan so that it will be ready for review and a vote, hopefully in the fall term. Facilities and technology projects will continue to proceed, as will a slate of “spirit activities” including a picnic, ballgames, and other activities. I hope to see many of you at these events!

I wish you all a safe and restful Independence Day holiday.

Until next time,

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