[video] CSI Partners with NYC ACS in Support Initiative For Foster Care Youth

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkFM2HENpVA[/youtube]The NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the City University of New York (CUNY) have announced a joint initiative that will support 50 foster care youth attending CUNY colleges this fall with academic and financial support. The new program, which is part of the Fostering College Success initiative, began this summer with New York Foundling providing tutoring and other supportive services to 40 foster care youth. The youth are now enrolled in academic programs at ten CUNY colleges across the city and are living on campus in the Queens College dormitory. An additional 11 students have enrolled at the College of Staten Island (CSI) and are residing on that campus.

“The College of Staten Island has embraced the motto of Opportunity and Challenge since 1956.  Today we are humbled and honored to be a lead college with CUNY and New York City’s Administration for Children’s services in providing opportunities to this important and valued group of tomorrow’s leaders,” noted CSI President William J. Fritz.


Convocation 2016 and College Holiday Reception

I am pleased to share with you an invitation to this year’s College Convocation taking place on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 2:30pm in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Williamson Theatre.

As part of our Convocation, we will once again be honoring full-time members of the College community who have reached service milestones.

Additionally, our College Holiday Reception will be held in the Atrium immediately following the event.

I hope that you will be able to join us at our annual campus community traditions.



President’s Announcement for the Campus Climate Survey

Last year, we embarked on a vital and relevant campus climate survey to help create a more inclusive campus. Rankin & Associates, a leader in campus assessments, directed this effort. More than 3,600 campus community members participated in the survey.

I am pleased to announce that we will have the results of the survey in November, when Rankin & Associates presents the findings during two public town hall meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 9 and 10, 2016:

  • Nov. 9: 2:30pm–4:00pm in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall (Building 1P, Room 120)
  • Nov. 10: 2:30pm–4:00pm in the Center for the Arts Lecture Hall (Building 1P, Room 119)

After those meetings, the College will host a series of forums to solicit your thoughts about the actions that we can take to address the survey results. There will also be a confidential online form to submit your ideas. I encourage all CSI community members to attend these meetings and to participate in the feedback forums. For more information, please go online.

I look forward to receiving the results from our campus climate survey and to creating a campus environment where all CSI community members thrive and reach their potentials.

If you have any questions please contact the Office of Diversity and Compliance at 718.982.2250 or odc@csi.cuny.edu.



[video] Deadlock and Disillusionment Delivers at Friends of CSI 40th Anniversary Literary Brunch

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdGMShaSAJU[/youtube]More than 100 members of the College of Staten Island (CSI) and local communities attended The Friends of CSI 40th Anniversary Literary Brunch featuring CSI Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gary Reichard, who offered his observations on politics in a presentation titled “Paralysis and Polarization.”

The signature event is the organization’s annual fundraiser, and drew members of the Friends from the past 40 years, including past Presidents Norma D’Arrigo and Christine Cea, and current acting President Carol Berardi.

View the CSI Today Photo Gallery>

Dr. Reichard utilized his recently published book, Deadlock and Disillusionment: American Politics since 1968, as a springboard for the discussion. The book is part of Wiley Blackwell’s American History Series, in which Reichard has already published a volume on the Truman and Eisenhower presidencies.

Beginning with a brief outline of the afternoon agenda, Dr. Reichard noted that he would not be commenting on the specifics of current campaigns, but rather discussing political history in general to lay the groundwork for panelists to discuss more current events.

“Our downhill slide to where we find ourselves in 2016 has been marked by accumulating dysfunctions over the whole period, the whole course of the administrations of the past five presidents,” he stated, as he introduced the what he believes are the five most important mileposts: Nixon: The Southern Strategy in Watergate; Reagan: Culture Wars and Iran Contra; Clinton: Government Shutdowns and Perpetual Scandals; Bush: Election by Supreme Court and WMDs; and Obama: The Party of “No” and the Revival of Race Issues.

“The current campaign between our two unprecedentedly unpopular major party candidates has introduced new issues into the mix, but essentially we are living through the same battle between red America and blue America that these recent elections battles have reflected,” noted Dr. Reichard as he discussed the challenges in the U.S. political system today.

The presentation was followed by an audience discussion moderated by Professor Rich Flanagan, which included Tom Wrobleski from the Staten Island Advance, and Francis Barry, columnist on politics and U.S. domestic policy for Bloomberg View.

“In a lecture informed by a mastery of contemporary American politics, Dr. Reichard provided a superb account of the failure of Washington politics to deliver policies informed by a sense of compromise and the common good,” noted Flanagan.  “The academics and journalists on the panel tangled over the role of social media as a driver of contemporary campaigns. The audience asked great questions. If only the current campaign season could match the quality and thoughtfulness of the luncheon brunch.”

More information on Deadlock and Disillusionment: American Politics since 1968 is available on the Wiley Website.

The Friends of CSI began in 1976 as a group of community members who support the College’s Mission and who promote and execute programs to involve the community in the educational and cultural activities of CSI. Most significantly, their efforts have assisted generations of students with scholarship support, making their dreams of a college degree accessible and affordable.

President’s Budget Message and College Council Report

As you are no doubt aware, continuing reductions in financial resources require us to be very mindful of our budgetary resources. I spoke on this issue at College Council on September 15, but I feel this portion of my remarks is important enough to send to you as a separate message. The full text of my College Council report is online.

Our budget, like those of all senior campuses in CUNY, has been impacted by at least four factors:

  1. State budget cuts of 3% to CUNY ($2.7M reduction to our campus) last year and 2% ($1.8M reduction to our campus) this year,
  2. CUNY’s loss of State Compact Funding that had historically been used to fund new faculty lines,
  3. Discontinuance of CUNY’s authority to implement a “rational tuition plan,” which permitted a $300 increase per year in full-time tuition ($2.8M loss to our campus),
  4. Revenue loss due to changes in enrollment trends. At CSI, the loss is due largely to retention issues (the numbers of new freshmen, new transfers, and graduate students continue to climb).

This combined reduction of more than $8M will present serious challenges to the College.

It is important to remember that despite these cuts, our level of faculty hiring for this year remained high, as over the past several years, which, in my view, properly reflects our academic priorities at CSI.

While we should be able to get through this year by a combination of OTPS cuts, holding positions open, and supplementing with non-tax levy resources, I am concerned about next year and beyond. Furthermore, continuing to balance the budget by attrition, salary savings, reduced professional development opportunities, and supply cuts is not an effective way to manage a campus.

As our budget becomes more challenging – and it will become even more challenging if we do not see either tuition increases or increases in State support – I will be relying heavily on the recommendations of the College Council Budget Committee concerning strategic priorities for allocations and expenditures. Specifically, I have asked that Committee to convene before the end of this month, with the Provost and VP for Finance and Administration, to review the campus budget, develop recommendations, and project expenditures for the remainder of this year and next.

I am asking the Committee to consider what our priorities should be as we deal with these issues. For example, should we continue to place the hiring of new faculty as our top priority or do we invest in our aging infrastructure and/or in staffing in other critical areas? This is the type of question that I would like the Budget Committee to address.

It is very important that we open CSI St. George as soon as possible and, it is hoped, by Spring 2017. Because enrollment has a direct impact on budget, I believe that it is especially important to stay with our St. George plan during this budget climate. Not only does St. George represent a way to gain additional enrollment, but it will also provide access to affordable post-secondary education for the 18,000 18 to 25 year olds on the North Shore with high school diplomas who are not currently attending any CUNY campus. It is my sincere hope that all academic departments will consider programs and course offerings that meet the needs of these students, and that you will work closely with your Deans and the representatives of Academic Affairs and Student & Enrollment Services to best support this new venture.

I want to thank all members of the campus community, and especially members of the College Council Budget Committee, for working with me to address these issues throughout the year.

Reaffirmation of the College of Staten Island’s Commitment to Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

As the 2016–2017 academic year commences, I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the College’s commitment to strengthening our diversity and inclusion efforts.

Last year, we embarked on a vital and relevant campus climate survey to help create a more inclusive campus. Rankin & Associates, a leader in campus assessments, directed this effort.  More than 3,600 campus community members participated in the survey. I am pleased to announce that we will have the results of the survey in November, when Rankin & Associates presents the findings during two public town hall meetings on November 9 and 10, 2016. After those meetings, the College will host a series of forums to solicit your thoughts about the actions that we can take to address the survey results. I encourage all CSI community members to attend these meetings. Detailed information about these events with be forthcoming.

The City University of New York (CUNY) is committed to diversity and equal opportunity in all aspects of employment practices. At the College of Staten Island, I fully support the policies and practices that we have implemented to foster non-discrimination, affirmative action, and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It is my personal belief that CUNY is enriched by the strengths of the people and perspectives represented here.

Accordingly, I am committed to overseeing CSI’s compliance with the CUNY Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination and the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct. The Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy states CUNY’s commitment to recruit, employ, retain, promote, and provide benefits to employees regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, unemployment status, pregnancy, or status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state, and city laws. I remind you that Italian Americans are included among CUNY’s protected groups. Additionally, as a federal contractor, CUNY engages in affirmative action consistent with federal requirements. I invite you to visit our Website, to view the Equal Opportunity Policy in its entirety, including the complaint procedures and prohibition against retaliation.

I have assigned the responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of our compliance program to the Chief Diversity Officer, Danielle Dimitrov, Esq., who will also serve as the 504/ADA Compliance Coordinator and the Title IX Coordinator. The vice presidents, deans, directors, managers, and supervisors share responsibility for ensuring our compliance with these policies and laws. The Office of Diversity and Compliance is located in Building 1A, Room 103 and the telephone number is 718.982.2250. Additionally, any individual who believes that he or she has experienced employment discrimination should immediately contact Ms. Dimitrov.

I ask for your continued support to ensure equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity and inclusion in all employment practices at the College of Staten Island. Please also continue to support the many diversity-related events on campus throughout the academic year.  I look forward to receiving the results from our campus climate survey and working toward a more inclusive campus environment.


Interim Special Counsel to the President and General Counsel Announcement

I am pleased to advise you that, over the summer, Meryl R. Kaynard joined our campus community to serve as the College’s Interim Special Counsel to the President and General Counsel.

Ms. Kaynard brings a wealth of expertise to this position, including experience in higher education, and the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. She served in this same capacity at Queens College for more than five years, and in the Office of the General Counsel of CUNY Central for the past year. Prior to her roles at CUNY, Ms. Kaynard served in various legal service leadership positions including Senior Vice President/Head of the Employment and Benefit Law Group for a Fortune 100 company, Director of Diversity and Special Counsel for an AmLaw 100 firm, Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department, and law clerk to a Federal Court judge. Throughout her career, in addition to providing full legal services and counsel, Ms. Kaynard has dedicated herself to the advancement of diversity. She was, for instance, the founder of the women’s network advancing women in financial services, and served as counsel to supplier diversity initiatives and as the Director of Diversity at a large law firm. Ms. Kaynard holds a BS in Biology/Genetics from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor (JD) from Wayne State University in Michigan.

Ms. Kaynard’s proactive, practical, solution-based approach has served her and her clients well, and we look forward to working with her in her new capacity at CSI.

This appointment follows the retirement of the College’s prior counsel, and the reorganization of some of the many functions performed by the Legal Department. In addition to providing the full range of legal services, counsel, and advice concerning faculty, staff and students, the Legal Department under Ms. Kaynard’s direction will perform a multitude of other related functions.  These include conflict resolution, litigation management, and support of various College initiatives, engagements and affiliations requiring agreements, contracts, letters of intent, and memoranda of understanding, compliance/investigations, and immigration/visa services. Ms. Kaynard will also serve as the College’s Ethics Officer and Records Access Officer (for FOIL requests and subpoenas). Hope Berte, who was recently appointed Executive Director of Human Resources and Labor Designee, is responsible for those functions that fall within the role of Labor Designee, and Ms. Kaynard and Ms. Berte will work seamlessly on matters that require both their expertise, as well as those that fall within both the Legal Counsel and Labor Designee roles.

Please join me in welcoming Meryl Kaynard to the College of Staten Island family.



Campus Climate Survey Findings to Be Revealed at Town Hall Meetings

CSI President William J. Frtiz is joined by Edgar Lorenzo who received special thanks for his role playing Danny the Dolphin during the Climate Survey recruitment period.

Last semester’s Campus Climate Survey helped the College of Staten Island community assess how all of its members experience the current campus climate through Learning, Living, and Working at CSI.

The goals of the project were multifold: (1) identify successful initiatives, (2) uncover any challenges facing members of our community, and (3) develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges.

With significant participation and a wealth of interesting data, the extensive analysis of the survey results is nearing completion.

There will be two Town Hall meetings to present the findings and explore the next steps in this process. All are encouraged to attend.


  • November 9: 2:30pm-4:00pm in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall (1P-120).

  • November 10: 2:30pm-4:00pm in the Center for the Arts Lecture Hall (1P-119).

Nine winners from last semester’s survey (three faculty, three staff, and three students) each received one of the following prizes: free on-campus parking for one year, a $200 MetroCard, or an iPad Mini 2. In the spirit of the survey’s confidentiality, winners’ names will not be released. In addition, 12 second prize winners received Barnes & Noble and CSI Cafeteria/Park Café gift cards for a total of 21 prizes.

The Town Halls will be followed by Feedback Forums to provide all members of the College community with a chance to propose solutions that may address challenges uncovered in the survey results.


  • November 15: 11:00am-12:30pm and 3:00pm-4:30pm; Library Video Conference Room (1L-220A).

  • December 7: 11:00am-12:30pm and 3:00pm-4:30pm; Library Video Conference Room (1L-220A).

  • January 18, 2017: 11:00am-12:30pm and 3:00pm-4:30pm; Library Video Conference Room (1L-220A).

In addition to the forums, an online form will also be created to allow members of the College community to submit their proposed solutions anonymously.

The Climate Survey was designed to provide information about both the positive and challenging aspects of our climate and was an opportunity to describe personal experiences, observations, and suggestions for change that might enhance the campus climate at CSI.