Valorant E-sports Team Interest

The newest game from Riot Games, Valorant, has made its way to CSI and we are looking for interested students to play competitively on our Valorant E-sports team, which will compete in the East Coast Conference this fall.  

If you are interested, please fill out the online Valorant Esports team interest form.

By CSI Athletics

Seals Wins John Dewey Society Outstanding Achievement Award

Greg Seals, Associate Professor in the CSI School of Education, has won the John Dewey Society Outstanding Achievement Award, which is awarded by the Council for Social Foundations of Education (CSFE).

The award committee’s assessment stated, “Several well-respected Dewey scholars nominated Dr. Seals and his most recent book for this award. Teachable Moments and the Science of Education (Routledge, 2019) has been called an ‘innovative, groundbreaking, and pioneering work in progressive education’ and ‘a bold new look at Dewey’s educational ideas.’ They highlighted two different substantive contributions. First, Seals’ book takes the idea of social justice away from attempts to instill in teachers a desire to bring about social change. Instead, the book describes teaching as itself a socially transformative practice when aimed at creation of educational energy among students. Change in theoretical perspective makes possible improvement in student achievement in all strata and segments of society by transforming contexts of schooling in ways that connect them to improvement of life in schools and of life in communities served by schools. Dewey’s reconciliation of theory and practice is alive and well in Seals’ work. Second, in bringing together the teachable moment and ethnographic practices, Dr. Seals provides simultaneously an anchor and scaffold for the non-science-oriented educationist to grasp the conceptualization of teaching as basic and applied science. This discussion of teaching moves our thinking beyond the simplistic notion of standardized test results as evidence on which to base teaching practices that facilitate learning.”

According to CSFE, the Award for Outstanding Achievement is “awarded to those individuals who, in the judgment of the committee, have most strongly exemplified the Deweyan tradition of connecting theory and practice. Each year, the awards will recognize significant achievements in scholarship and/or in social, cultural, or educational practice accomplished within the two previous calendar years.”

By Editor

Faculty Center Info Hub (CSI): CSI Faculty Center Updates for Week of Aug. 3, 2020

There are still cohorts of the Bb Basics and Teaching Remotely courses available before the Fall 2020 semester begins. If you have not yet taken advantage of these wonderful online teaching and learning training resources, you still have time to enroll. Available course sections are as follows:

Blackboard Basics Course

This is a self-paced general overview of the basic tools and functions inside CUNY’s current installation of Blackboard. There are three remaining cohorts of the course available as follows:​​

  • FINAL COHORT – Begins on Monday, Aug. 10, enrollment closing at 5:00pm on Sunday, Aug. 9 

Teaching Remotely: Pedagogical Practices and Practical Skills Course:

This two-week, advanced-level course has been developed as an equivalent alternative to the CUNY Online Initiative’s SPS OTE course. It has been designed to fully instruct teaching faculty, department facilitators, and course developers at CSI in the actions and preferred techniques required to effectively stage and develop fully online courses. There are three remaining cohorts of the course available as follows:​​

  • COHORT 11 – Began Monday, Aug. 3, currently in progress
  • FINAL COHORT – Begins Monday, Aug. 10, enrollment available until 5:00pm on Friday, Aug. 7

By Kristen Lindtvedt

Technology Training Sessions for the Week of Aug. 3

In lieu of our monthly Lunch and Learn Series, Technology Training will continue to offer weekly training sessions on the applications that will assist you with your telecommuting efforts. 

If there is a topic that you would like to have covered in the future please reach out to us and we will do our best to assist you.

Please use our Registration page to register for this week’s sessions.  Please note that this schedule is fluid and we may add or cancel training sessions as needed to better serve the College community.

We look forward to working with you.

Be well.

By Doriann Pieve-Hyland

Budget and Fiscal Update

I write today to update you on CUNY’s budget process and fiscal environment for the 2020-21 academic year.

CUNY is not immune to the economic challenges and uncertainties engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, and in the absence of federal funding to help our State and City through this crisis, our fiscal outlook remains uncertain. While we wait for the federal government to exercise leadership, supporting states and cities impacted by the coronavirus, the Board of Trustees and my office have agreed to some interim steps to give us time until we have all the information at hand to make final budgetary decisions. These steps include:

  • Traditionally, the Board would have voted on a budget by May or June. This year, we are delaying the presentation and approval process of the 2020-21 CUNY budget until more information is available regarding another federal stimulus bill. This includes the vote on the proposed tuition increase and health and wellness fee.
     
  • In the meantime, and to guarantee the uninterrupted operation of our University, we have authorized the colleges and Central administration to operate on a month-by-month basis (instead of annual) so they can continue to cover expenses such as payroll and purchasing.
     
  • We have reappointed college assistants and other hourly employees on a month-by-month basis beginning with July, and we are doing the same for August. Similarly, we would have liked to postpone the re-appointment process for adjuncts until our budget is finalized but, as you are aware, the PSC did not consent to our proposal. This forced us to make final decisions by June 30, at a time when we did not have a complete picture of our financial outlook. If the fiscal and enrollment situation are more favorable in August, we plan to re-appoint as many adjuncts as we can.
     
  • We have almost completed the allocation of the $118 million CARES Act funds in direct aid to students. Because we moved promptly upon receiving the funds, we were one of the first Universities in the nation to distribute the funds starting on May 22. Regarding the $132 million of CARES Act funding that is to be allocated directly to the campuses, we submitted a plan to the State that prioritized student support and mental health services, reimbursements to campuses for COVID 19-related costs such as refunds, and investments in online infrastructure and training. We are optimistic that this student-centered approach will promote maintenance of our overall enrollment levels and sustain our students’ academic momentum. That plan has been approved by the State, but we have decided to postpone the use of these funds until we conclude our budget process, in case adjustments are required. In light of the financial uncertainties we face, this is the most prudent way to proceed.
     
  • We will continue the efforts of the Vacancy Review Board and the University hiring freeze, which to date have generated $17 million in annualized savings for FY 2020-21.

While I remain hopeful that the federal government will act as it should, I also know that these are financially challenging times, as we saw with the City’s recently adopted FY 2021 budget. The adopted budget totals $88.2 billion, a reduction of more than $9.5 billion from FY 2020, and it includes agency savings initiatives of more than $1.5 billion. We are grateful that the budget ultimately restored funding or partial funding for key CUNY programs, and included an additional $30 million to cover contractually negotiated, fixed, and mandatory costs such as fringe benefits, building rentals, and utilities. Those increases, however, are offset by an additional $25.3 million in efficiency targets above those announced for FY 2020. This means that CUNY’s total savings target from the City for FY 2021 is $46.3 million, about 9% of the community colleges’ total operating budget.

These are difficult times, emotionally as well as financially, with challenges that remain formidable amid a climate of persistent uncertainty. I appreciate your dedication to CUNY and to our students, and I know that together, we will push forward and persevere. As additional information becomes available, I will continue to keep you apprised. You have my unwavering gratitude.

By Félix V. Matos Rodríguez